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Adding Physical Computers as Hyper-V Hosts or as Scale-Out File Servers in VMM Overview

Updated: July 31, 2014

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager

The procedures in this section describe how to use Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) to discover physical computers on the network, automatically install one of the operating systems listed in this topic, and provision the computers into one of the following:

  • Managed Hyper-V hosts

  • As of System Center 2012 R2 - Scale-out File Server clusters

noteNote
If you want to deploy Scale-Out File Server clusters running Windows Server 2012 R2 to bare metal, the VMM management server must also run Windows Server 2012 R2.

To integrate with Windows Server 2012 R2, as of System Center 2012 R2 VMM, you can provision physical computers as file servers, and then create a Scale-Out File Server cluster that consists of these computers. You can then manage and monitor these clusters in VMM. This integrated management of file servers in System Center 2012 R2 VMM ensures that administrators have an efficient way to manage Windows based storage. To create a Scale-Out File Server cluster, you need to use a physical computer profile that is configured with the Windows File Server role.

Operating system requirements

The operating system of the image that you deploy on servers must support the boot from virtual hard disk (VHD) option. The operating system choices are as follows:

  • If you are using System Center 2012:

    Windows Server 2008 R2

    Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)

  • If you are using System Center 2012 with Service Pack 1 (SP1):

    Windows Server 2008 R2

    Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

    Windows Server 2012

  • If you are using System Center 2012 R2 to deploy Hyper-V hosts:

    Windows Server 2008 R2

    Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

    Windows Server 2012

    Windows Server 2012 R2

  • If you are using System Center 2012 R2 to deploy Scale-Out File Servers:

    Windows Server 2012 R2 (but note that deploying Scale-Out File Servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 to bare metal requires that the VMM management server run Windows Server 2012 R2)

For more information, see Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot.

BMC requirements

To support discovery, the physical computer must have a baseboard management controller (BMC) installed that enables out-of-band management. The BMC must support one of the following out-of-band management protocols:

  • Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) versions 1.5 or 2.0

  • Data Center Management Interface (DCMI) version 1.0

  • System Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) version 1.0 over WS-Management (WS-Man)

    noteNote
    If you use SMASH, make sure you are using the latest version of firmware for the BMC model.

Through a BMC, an administrator can access the computer remotely, independent of the operating system, and control system functions such as the ability to turn the computer off or on.

Workflow and deployment process

The following sequence describes the workflow and deployment process for provisioning physical computers into managed Hyper-V hosts, or into clustered Scale-Out File Servers (As of System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager only).

noteNote
Links are provided to specific procedures in the last section of this topic.

  1. Perform initial configuration of the physical computers. This includes configuring the basic input/output system (BIOS) to support virtualization, setting the BIOS boot order to boot from a Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE)-enabled network adapter as the first device, and configuring the logon credentials and IP address settings for the BMC on each computer.

  2. Create Domain Name System (DNS) entries and Active Directory computer accounts for the computer names that will be provisioned, and allow time for DNS replication to occur. This step is not required, but it is strongly recommended in an environment where you have multiple DNS servers, where DNS replication may take some time.

  3. Prepare the PXE server environment, and add the PXE server to VMM management.

  4. Add the required resources to the VMM library. These resources include a generalized virtual hard disk with an appropriate operating system (as listed in Operating system requirements, earlier in this topic) that will be used as the base image, and optional driver files to add to the operating system during installation.

  5. In the library, create one or more host profile, or as of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) physical computer profile. These profiles include configuration settings, such as the location of the operating system image, and hardware and operating system configuration settings.

  6. To create a Hyper-V host, run the Add Resources Wizard to discover the physical computers, to configure settings such as the host group and the host or physical computer profile to use, to configure custom deployment settings, and to start the operating system and Hyper-V deployment.

    To create a Scale-Out File Server cluster (as of System Center 2012 R2 VMM only), run the Create Clustered File Server Wizard to discover the physical computers, to configure settings such as the cluster name, provisioning type, and discovery scope, and to start the Scale-Out File Server cluster deployment.

  7. During deployment, the VMM management server restarts the physical computers by issuing “Power Off” and “Power On” commands to the BMC through out-of-band management. When the physical computers restart, the PXE server responds to the boot requests from the physical computers.

  8. The physical computers boot from a customized Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) image on the PXE server. The Windows PE agent prepares the computer, configures the hardware when it is necessary, downloads the operating system image (.vhd or .vhdx file) together with any specified driver files from the library, and applies the drivers to the operating system image.

    Roles are then enabled as follows:

    • For Hyper-V host: Hyper-V role

    • For Scale-Out File Server (as of System Center 2012 R2 VMM only): Failover cluster and file server roles are enabled. Then, after the cluster is created, the Scale-Out File Server role is enabled in the cluster.

    The computer is then restarted.

Example scenario overview

The example scenario demonstrates how to convert a bare-metal computer to a managed Hyper-V host. To complete the scenario, you must have one or more physical computers that have a BMC installed, with a supported out-of-band management protocol. Also, the computers must support Hyper-V.

The example assumes that you have already configured the fabric as described in the Preparing the Fabric in VMM topic. If you intend to assign the host a static IP address from a pool that is managed by VMM, a logical network must exist with an associated network site and a configured static IP address pool. If you are using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), you do not need to have a logical network with a static IP address pool configured.

noteNote
This example uses one bare-metal computer. In a more advanced scenario, you could convert more than one physical computer and then continue on to create a Hyper-V host cluster through the VMM console. To do this, after you complete this scenario, use the procedures in the Creating a Hyper-V Host Cluster in VMM Overview section to cluster the hosts.

The following table summarizes the example resources that are used in this scenario. These example resources are mentioned where they are relevant in procedures in this section, which means they are mentioned in the following topics:

noteNote
The example resource names and configuration are intended to demonstrate the concepts. We recommend that you adapt them to your test environment.

 

Resource Resource names

Host names that are assigned to the physical computers

HyperVHost05.contoso.com

HyperVHost06.contoso.com (if you want to deploy two hosts that you will then cluster)

Target host group

New York\Tier0_NY

noteNote
This host group structure is based on the example that is used in the Preparing the Fabric in VMM section.

PXE server (provided through Windows Deployment Services)

PXEServer01.constoso.com

Run As accounts

  • PXE Administrator

  • Add Physical Host

  • BMC Administrator

Logical network

BACKEND (for use with a network site that defines a static IP pool)

noteNote
You can also use DHCP.

Host profiles or Physical computer profiles

  • WS08R2Ent Hyper-V Hosts - Static

  • WS08R2Ent Hyper-V Hosts - DHCP

In This Section

Follow the procedures listed here to discover physical computers and convert them to managed Hyper-V hosts.

 

Procedure Description

Prepare the Physical Computers in VMM

Describes how to prepare the physical computers for discovery. Includes information about configuring the BIOS to support Hyper-V and PXE boot, and configuring BMC settings.

How to Add a PXE Server to VMM

Describes the PXE server requirements and how to add a PXE server to VMM management.

How to Add Driver Files to the VMM Library (optional)

Describes how to add driver files to the library and how to add driver tags.

How to Create a Host or a Physical Computer Profile to Provision a Hyper-V Host in VMM

Describes how to create a host profile (called a physical computer profile in System Center 2012 R2 VMM) that contains hardware and operating system configuration settings.

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

Describes how to use System Center 2012 R2 VMM to create a physical computer profile to provision computers into a Scale-Out File Server cluster.

How to Discover Physical Computers and Deploy as Hyper-V Hosts in VMM

Describes how to use the Add Resources Wizard to discover the physical computers and deploy them as managed Hyper-V hosts.

How to Create a Scale-Out File Server in VMM

Describes how to use a physical computer profile to discover computers and provision them into a Scale-Out File Server cluster.

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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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