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About Hardware Profiles

In Virtual Machine Manager, a hardware profile enables you to specify the hardware configuration for various virtual hardware components for virtual machines. You can use a hardware profile to customize new virtual machines as you create them or to customize one or more templates that you use to create new virtual machines. By creating and re-using hardware profiles, you can ensure consistent hardware settings in each set of virtual machines created by using that hardware profile.

A stand-alone hardware profile is a collection of hardware settings that you can import into a new virtual machine or into a new template. You can also specify hardware profile settings for a virtual machine or template directly while running the New Virtual Machine Wizard or the New Template Wizard.

Virtual Machine Manager stores hardware profiles in the library catalog in the Virtual Machine Manager database. Hardware profiles are database objects that are not represented by a physical configuration file and thus are not associated with any library share.

Configurable Virtual Hardware Settings for Virtual Machines

You can create a hardware profile based on defaults or based on an existing hardware profile. If you make no changes, Virtual Machine Manager creates a default hardware profile.

Hardware profile specifications for a virtual machine include the following:

  • CPU resources on the host available to a virtual machine.
  • Memory on the host that is available to a virtual machine.
  • A built-in virtual floppy drive.
  • A built-in virtual IDE device, to which you can attach virtual DVD drives and attach (on a virtual machine or template only) virtual hard disks. You cannot attach virtual hard disks to a stand-alone hardware profile.
  • One or more optional virtual SCSI adapters that you can add. On a virtual machine or on a template (but not on a stand-alone hardware profile), you can attach virtual hard drives to the virtual SCSI adapter.
  • One or more optional virtual network adapters that you can add. By default, a virtual network adapter that you add is not connected to a virtual network. Optionally, you can specify that a virtual machine created from this hardware profile be connected to an internal network or to an external network once the virtual machine is deployed on a host.
  • Settings that specify the priority assigned to virtual machines created by using this hardware profile for using the host's CPU resources in comparison to the use of the host's CPU by other virtual machines that are deployed on the same host but with a different assigned priority.

Available Options on Stand-Alone vs. Wizard Hardware Profiles

Although most options on any type of Virtual Machine Manager hardware profile are available on each type of profile, a number of differences exist depending on whether the hardware profile is a stand-alone hardware profile, a hardware profile configured on a template, or a hardware profile configured on a virtual machine.

When running either the New Template Wizard or the New Virtual Machine Wizard, you can configure hardware components directly on the Configure Hardware wizard page, or, alternatively, you can import an existing stand-alone hardware profile (if one exists) into the Configure Hardware page in either wizard.

The following table lists each hardware profile feature and indicates which features are available regardless of how the profile is created and which features vary depending on whether the profile is a stand-alone hardware profile, a hardware profile on a template, or a hardware profile on a virtual machine.

Available Hardware Profile Features Vary by Hardware Profile Source

Configurable Feature Stand-alone Hardware Profile New Template Wizard New VM Wizard

Ability to import existing stand-alone hardware profile

N/A

Yes

Yes

Ability to save a stand-alone hardware profile from within wizard

N/A

Yes

Yes

CPU Settings

Yes

Yes

Yes

Memory Setting

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual floppy drive (built-in)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual IDE devices (built-in)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual DVD drive attached to IDE bus

Yes

Yes

Yes

Existing VHD attached to IDE bus

No

Yes

Yes

New VHD attached to IDE bus

No

No

Yes (if deploy VM on host)

Yes (if store VM in library server that has Virtual Server installed)

Virtual SCSI adapters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Existing VHD attached to SCSI bus

No

Yes

Yes

New VHD attached to SCSI bus

No

No

Yes

Virtual DVD drive attached to SCSI bus

No

No

No

Network adapter

Yes

Yes

Yes

Relative priority for VM to access host CPU

Yes

Yes

Yes

Locating Available Hardware Profile Tasks in the Administrator Console

For procedures showing you how to configure each of the virtual hardware components on a Virtual Machine Manager hardware profile, see the following topics:

The following table provides a synopsis of the available methods to create, view, or modify a Virtual Machine Manager hardware profile and describes how to navigate to the corresponding location in the Administrator Console. Use the procedures listed above for detailed steps.

Entry Points in the VMM Administrator Console for Hardware Profile Tasks

Hardware Profile Task Administrator Console Entry Point

Create a new stand-alone hardware profile

In the Actions pane in Library view, click New hardware profile, and then click the Hardware Settings tab in the New Hardware Profile dialog box.

View or modify an existing stand-alone hardware profile

In Library view, click the Profiles node under Library Servers in the navigation pane, right-click the hardware profile in the results pane whose hardware configuration you want to view or modify, click Properties, and then click the Hardware Settings tab.

Create a new hardware profile by using the New Template Wizard

In Library view, click New Template in the Actions pane to start the New Template Wizard, fill out each page as appropriate, and then click Next until you reach the Configure Hardware page.

View or modify an existing hardware profile on a template

In Library view, expand the Library Server node in the navigation pane, navigate to the library server on which the template you want is stored, click the VMs and Templates node, right-click the template in the results pane whose hardware configuration you want to view or modify, click Properties, and then click the Hardware Configuration tab.

Create a new hardware profile by using the New Virtual Machine wizard

In any view, click New virtual machine in the Actions pane to start the New Virtual Machine Wizard, fill out each page as appropriate, and then click Next until you reach the Configure Hardware page.

View or modify an existing hardware profile on a virtual machine stored in the library

In Library view, expand the Library Server node in the navigation pane, navigate to the library server on which the virtual machine you want is stored, click the VMs and Templates node, right-click the stored virtual machine in the results pane whose hardware configuration you want to view or modify, click Properties, and then click the Hardware Configuration tab.

View or modify an existing hardware profile on a deployed virtual machine

In Virtual Machines view, expand the All Hosts node in the navigation pane (and host groups nodes if they exist), click the host on which the virtual machine is deployed, right-click the deployed virtual machine in the results pane whose hardware configuration you want to view or modify, click Properties, and then click the Hardware Configuration tab.

See Also

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