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How to Designate a Host for Virtualization Management in Essentials

Updated: August 2, 2010

Applies To: System Center Essentials 2010

Host Server Requirements for Virtualization Management

To create and manage virtual machines in System Center Essentials 2010, you must designate a physical server capable of supporting virtual machines as the host server. Choose a server that meets the following system requirements and has the necessary prerequisites before designating it as a host.

  • Supported Operating Systems

    • Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64 only)

    • Windows Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise Edition (x86 and x64)

    • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later (x86 and x64)

  • Prerequisites

    • Host servers that are running Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) must have the following components installed:

      • Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2 or later

      • WS-Management (WinRM) 1.1 or later

    • Host servers that are running Windows Server 2008 must have the following components installed:

      • Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2 or later (x86)

      • On 64-bit operating systems, the Hyper-V role must be enabled and Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) must be enabled in the BIOS.

    • Host servers that are running Windows Server 2008 must have the following components installed:

      • Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2 or later (x86)

      • On 64-bit operating systems, the Hyper-V role must be enabled and Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) must be enabled in the BIOS.

    • Host servers that are running Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2 must have the following updates installed:

      • Update 948515 from the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=160366).

    • Host servers that are running Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role enabled must have the following updates installed:

      • Update 950050 from the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=160367).

      • Update 956589 from the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=160370).

      • Update 956774 from the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=160372).

noteNote
Essentials 2010 only shows available physical servers that meet the requirements to be designated as host for virtual machines. On a server that is running Windows Server 2008, Essentials 2010 enables the Hyper-V role for you during the host designation process. After a host has been designated, the Hyper-V role should not be uninstalled. If you have an existing host, it must still be designated as a host in Essentials 2010 to be used for virtualization management.

To designate a host server

  1. In the Essentials console, click Computers, click Computer Groups, and then click All Windows Servers.

  2. In the Tasks pane, click Designate a Host.

  3. On the Select a computer to use as a host page, select a computer from the provided list that has sufficient resources to be used as a host server for virtualization management, and then click Select to continue.

    ImportantImportant
    If you are running Essentials 2010 on a virtual machine and try to designate this machine as a host for virtual machines, you might lose connectivity to the Essentials console.

  4. On the Provide account credentials page, specify an account that has administrative credentials on the selected computer, and then click OK to continue.

  5. A dialog box appears notifying you that the process of designating a host computer might require the computer to be shut down and be restarted. Click Yes to continue.

  6. A progress bar appears while Essentials designates the selected server as a host. Clear the check box if you do not want to view the new host after closing the wizard. When the wizard has completed and the selected computer has been successfully designated as a host, click Close.

    ImportantImportant
    If Essentials encounters any error from which it cannot recover while designating the host, you will be notified of the cause and a recommended solution. You have to repeat the steps to designate a host after the issue has been resolved.

When you use the Designate a Host wizard to designate a host for virtual machines, Essentials 2010 automatically assigns a network location to each network adapter found, as long as the host computer’s IP address is dynamic. If the host computer’s IP address is static, the network location is blank for each network adapter.

Designating a host creates a virtual network. If you add a new physical network card to the host server, use the following procedure to assign the new network adapter to the network location.

WarningWarning
Changing the network configuration of a virtual host could cause a loss of connectivity on the host and its virtual machines.

To change host server network configuration

  1. In the Essentials console, click Computers.

  2. In the Computers pane, expand Computer Groups, and then click All Windows Servers.

  3. Right-click the host server whose network configuration you want to change, and then click Properties.

  4. Click the Host Networking tab. In the list of network adapters, select the new adapter, and then select the network location to use for the adapter from the list.

  5. Click Apply and OK to save your changes.

If you later experience network connection problems, remove the server designated as host and repeat the steps to re-designate it as a host. Essentials treats both the server and the virtual machines like any other Essentials-managed computer until you re-designate the host server.

TipTip
We recommend selecting hosts that use Hyper-V over Virtual Server technology for users of Essentials 2010. Core feature set differences between these technologies include support for up to 64 guest virtual machines, SMP support, 64-bit guest and host support, host clustering, and overall performance improvements. Hyper-V also uses several new networking technologies that are contained in Windows Server 2008 R2 to improve overall virtual machine networking performance. The technology type for host servers is displayed in Essentials 2010 when you perform tasks such as creating new virtual machines, converting physical machines to virtual machines, importing virtual machines, or migrating virtual machines to a new host.

On a clustered host server or a host server that is running Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2, you must enable the agent on that computer to act as a proxy for the health service to submit discovery data about other computers. Use the following procedure to enable an agent to act as a proxy.

To enable an agent to act as a proxy in a clustered environment or on a host that is running Windows Virtual Server 2005 R2

  1. In the Essentials console, click Administration.

  2. In the Administration pane, click Agent Managed.

  3. Right-click the computer whose agent you want to act as a proxy, and then click Properties.

  4. In the Agent Properties dialog box, click the Security tab, select the box to enable the agent to act as a proxy and discover managed objects on other computers, and then click OK.

See Also

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