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How to Create a Physical Computer Profile to Provision File Servers in VMM

Updated: November 27, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

As of System Center 2012 R2, host profiles are replaced by physical computer profiles. Physical computer profiles can be used to provision a computer into a Scale-Out File Server cluster or into a Hyper-V host. The following procedure describes how to create a physical computer profile, in the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) library, which you can then use to provision computers into Scale-Out File Servers. Physical computer profiles include configuration settings such as the location of the operating system image to use during deployment and the hardware and operating system configuration settings.

ImportantImportant
Make sure to determine whether the computers that you want to provision use Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) or basic input/output system (BIOS). If you have computers of both types, you must create a separate profile for each type.

Prerequisites

Before you begin this procedure, make sure that the following prerequisites are met:

Virtual hard disk   A generalized virtual hard disk with the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system must exist in a library share.

TipTip
If you use Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to manage servers, we recommend that you enable the RDS connections in the image. You can also enable RDS by using an answer file in the physical computer profile, or by running a post-installation script after deployment.

  • To create the virtual hard disk, you can create a virtual machine, install the guest operating system, and then use Sysprep with the /generalize and the /oobe options. For more information, see Sysprep Command-Line Options.

  • Another method that you can use to create a virtual hard disk is to follow the prerequisites and Steps 1 and 2 in the following topic: Walkthrough: Deploy a Virtual Hard Disk for Native Boot. For more information, see Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot.

    ImportantImportant
    We recommend that for production servers, you use a fixed disk (.vhd or .vhdx file format) to increase performance and to help protect user data. By default, when you create the physical computer profile, VMM converts a dynamic disk to a fixed disk. If desired, you can change this setting when you create the profile.

Custom drivers   If you plan to assign custom drivers, the driver files must exist in the library. If you want to filter the drivers, the driver files must be appropriately tagged. For more information, see How to Add Driver Files to the VMM Library.

Static IP address   If you want to assign static IP addresses by using VMM, the logical network that you want the computer to use must have an associated network site and static IP address pool that is managed by VMM. For more information, see Configuring Logical Networking in VMM Overview.

Answer file   If you want to use an answer file to specify additional settings that are common to all computers that will use this profile, create an Unattend.xml file with the appropriate settings and add it to a VMM library share. For example, you may want to perform additional configuration steps, such as assigning static IP addresses to physical network adapters on the computer other than the management adapter, and enabling Remote Desktop Services. You can select an answer file to use when you configure the profile.

Run As account   A Run As account must exist that can be used to join the target computers to the domain. You can create a Run As account in the Settings workspace. For example, create the Run As account Add Physical Computer. For more information, see How to Create a Run As Account in VMM.

securitySecurity Note
When you customize the operating system, use an account that has domain administrator privileges or a domain account that has administrator privileges on the computer. The account should be used only to join computers to the domain.

To create a physical computer profile

  1. Open the Library workspace.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Create group, click Create, and then click Physical Computer Profile.

    The New Physical Computer Profiles Wizard opens.

  3. On the Profile Description page, type a name and description for the profile.

    Select the Windows File Server role.

  4. On the OS Image page, do the following:

    1. Next to the Virtual hard disk file box, click Browse, click the generalized virtual hard disk file that you added to the library share, and then click OK.

      ImportantImportant
      Make sure that the file meets the requirements that are defined in the Prerequisites of this topic.

      For the virtual hard disk file that you selected, VMM displays the virtual hard disk type, the expanded size (if dynamic), the current size, and the minimum partition size that is needed.

    2. By default, if the disk type is dynamic, VMM automatically converts the disk to a fixed disk type during deployment. We strongly recommend that for production servers, you use a fixed disk type to increase performance and to help protect user data. If you do not want to use a fixed disk, select the Do not convert the virtual hard disk type to fixed during deployment check box.

    3. Click Next to continue.

  5. On the Hardware Configuration page, configure the options listed in the following table, and then click Next.

     

    Physical NIC

    (under Network Adapters)

    • To provide a Consistent Device Naming (CDN) name for the adapter, click Connectivity Properties.

    • To select whether to obtain an IP address through DHCP, or to allocate a static IP address from the logical network that you specify, click IP Configuration. (If this is a physical network adapter that you have connected to a logical switch, the IP Configuration options will be disabled.)

      For example, if you are configuring a physical computer profile for WS2012R2Ent Computers – DHCP that is intended for use with physical adapters that use a CDN of “Blue.” First select the physical adapter option, and then click Physical Properties to specify the CDN. Next, click IP Configuration, and then click Obtain an IP address through the DHCP service.

    • To add a physical network adapter, click the Add button.

    • To remove an adapter, select it, and click the Remove button.

    Disk

    (under Disk and Partitions)

    Specify the partitioning scheme for the first disk. You can select either of the following options:

    • Master Boot Record (MBR)  Select this option if the profile is for a computer that uses BIOS.

    • GUID Partition Table (GPT)  Select this option if the physical computer profile is for computers that use Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI).

    Under Disk, click the default partition name OS. In the Partition information pane, configure the following options:

    • Type a volume label.

    • Select whether to use all remaining free disk space, or to use a specific size (in gigabytes).

    • Select whether to designate the partition as the boot partition.

      noteNote
      During deployment, VMM copies the .vhd or .vhdx file to the boot partition and automatically creates a system partition on the same disk where the boot partition is located.

    To add a new disk or partition, click Add and then select Disk or Partition. The new disk or partition appears under the Disk and Partitions section. Configure the settings for the new disk or partition.

    Driver filter

    (under Driver Options)

    You can filter the driver files that will be applied to the operating system during deployment. You can select either of the following options:

    • Filter drivers with matching PnP IDs. By default, drivers that match the Plug and Play IDs on the target physical computer are used.

    • Filter drivers with all matching tags specified below. If you select this option, enter the tags that you want to use for filtering, separated by semicolons, or click Select to view and assign the available tags. If you click New Tag, you can change the name of the tag after you click OK.

    noteNote
    If you select the Filter drivers with all matching tags specified below option, you must add driver files to the library and assign corresponding tags to the drivers in the library share before deployment.

    For more information, see How to Add Driver Files to the VMM Library.

  6. On the OS Configuration page, configure the options listed in the following table, and then click Next.

     

    Domain

    (under General Settings)

    1. In the Domain box, specify the domain that the computer should join. For example, type contoso.com.

    2. Next to the Run As account box, click Browse, and then select the Run As account that will be used to join the computer to the domain. For example, if you created the Run As account that is described in the Prerequisites section of this topic, click Add Physical Computer. For example, if you created the Run As account that is described in the Prerequisites section of this topic, click Add Physical Computer.

    securitySecurity Note
    When you customize the operating system, use an account that has domain administrator privileges or a domain account that has administrator privileges on the computer. The account should be used only to join computers to the domain

    Admin Password

    (under General Settings)

    Under Specify the credential for the local administrator account, type the password that you want to assign to the local Administrator account on the physical computer. You cannot specify a blank password.

    Identity Information

    (under General Settings)

    Complete the information in the Full name and Organization name boxes.

    Product Key

    (under General Settings)

    Enter the product key. For multiple computers, you must use a Volume Licensing key.

    noteNote
    If you do not enter a product key, the standard activation grace period applies.

    Time Zone

    (under General Settings)

    Select the time zone for the computer.

    Answer File

    (under Scripts)

    To use an answer file to specify additional settings, click Browse, click the Unattend.xml file that you want to use, and then click OK.

    [GUIRunOnce] Commands

    (under Scripts)

    To specify one or more commands to run the first time a user signs in to the computer, type a command in the Command to add box, and then click Add. Repeat this procedure to add multiple commands.

  7. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Finish.

    Depending on settings, the Jobs dialog box may appear. Make sure that the job status is Completed, and then close the dialog box.

  8. To verify that the physical computer profile was created, in the Library pane, expand Profiles, and then click Physical Computer Profiles.

    The new physical computer profile appears in the Profiles pane.

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012. For instructions and examples, see Search the System Center 2012 Documentation Library.
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