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About Virtual Machine Remote Control

Updated: October 21, 2008

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

VMM uses Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC), a feature of Virtual Server 2005 that lets you enable, disable, and configure virtual machines from within Virtual Machine Manager. Remote control options and the connection ports for virtual machines on virtual machine hosts vary depending on the virtualization software running on the host and the operating system running on the computer on which the VMM Administrator Console is installed.

You can also use remote control to access the guest operating system of a virtual machine much like you can access Windows by using Remote Desktop. However, unlike Remote Desktop, which allows you to connect only if the operating system is running, remote control in VMM allows you to access a virtual machine prior to the guest operating system startup.

Hyper-V Hosts

To control virtual machines on a Hyper-V host by remote control, VMM uses either VMConnect or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) depending on the operating system that is running on the computer that the VMM Administrator Console is installed on.

For all supported versions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server2008 R2, and for Windows Vista with SP1, VMM uses VMConnect with the default port of 2179. You can change the default port that is used for connecting to virtual machines on new Hyper-V hosts. For more information about changing the global default port, see How to Change Remote Connections to Virtual Machines on a Host.

For all other supported operating systems, VMM uses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) with the default port of 3389. You cannot change the default port for RDP connections in VMM.

Virtual Server Hosts

To control virtual machines on a Virtual Server host by remote control, VMM uses VMRC.

The VMRC client connects to an instance of Virtual Server on a host and allows you to access its virtual machines. Through VMRC, you can use a virtual machine as if you were using it through the Virtual Server Administration Web site. However, VMRC does not provide the administrative capabilities available in the Administration Web site, such as creating a new virtual machine or changing a virtual machine configuration. You can perform those functions in VMM.

You can enable and configure VMRC settings when you add a host or after you have added the host.

You can set up VMRC access accounts to give administrators access to all virtual machines on all managed hosts. To gain access to a virtual machine through VMRC, an administrator must be logged on under an account that has administrative credentials on the local host computer.

By default, when you add a host to VMM, VMRC is enabled and uses the following settings:

  • The connection port is set to the global default port setting for Virtual Server hosts as specified in General Settings in Administration view. For more information, see How to Configure Remote Access to Virtual Machines.

  • No connection time-out is enabled.

  • Only one user at a time is allowed to connect to a virtual machine.

  • The VMRC connection is not encrypted. (You can modify this setting only after a host has been added.)

    ImportantImportant
    It is recommended that you implement Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security for Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) connections, particularly if you use Basic authentication, which transmits passwords in plain text.

If you change the VMRC port, the port setting you assign for the hosts must identically match the port settings that are assigned in Virtual Server.

You can allow multiple users to connect to the same virtual machine. However, each user can access the guest operating system without the knowledge of the other users. This is by design for training and lab scenarios where one user wants to demonstrate a task to other users and have them connect to and view the same remote session. Because VMRC connections do not use sessions, allowing more than one user to connect can result in collisions.

You can use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt communications over the VMRC connection by uploading a certificate from an appropriate internal or third-party certification authority. For more information about how to encrypt a VMRC connection, see How to Change Remote Connections to Virtual Machines on a Host.

ESX Server Hosts

To control virtual machines on VMware ESX Server hosts by remote control, VMM uses the VMware MKS Client with default port 902. You cannot change the remote control settings or default post for an ESX Server host in VMM.

See Also

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