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

Updated: February 19, 2014

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

As of System Center 2012 R2, physical computer profiles replace host profiles. You can use physical computer profiles to provision computers into Hyper-V hosts, in the same manner that you use host profiles. The following procedure describes how to create a host profile—or for System Center 2012 R2, a physical computer profile—in the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) library. You can then use the profile to provision computers into Hyper-V hosts. These profiles include configuration settings such as the location of the operating system image to use during host deployment, together with configuration settings for the hardware and operating system.

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

Prerequisites

Before you begin this procedure, be sure to meet the following prerequisites:

  • A generalized virtual hard disk that has an appropriate operating system must exist in a library share.

    As of VMM in System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), the format of the virtual hard disk file can be .vhd or .vhdx. For VMM in System Center 2012, the format must be .vhd. Because the profile is for a host system, the operating system on the virtual hard disk must be compatible with the file format, as follows.

     

    Possible operating systems on a .vhd file Possible operating systems on a .vhdx file (for System Center 2012 SP1 or System Center 2012 R2)

    Windows Server 2012

    Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

    Windows Server 2008 R2

    Windows Server 2012

    Windows Server 2012 R2

    You must use an operating system edition that supports Hyper-V and is supported by VMM. For more information, see System Requirements: Hyper-V Hosts.

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

    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 to generalize the associated virtual hard disk. For more information about Sysprep, see Sysprep Command-Line Options. Another method that you can use is to follow the prerequisites and steps 1 and 2 of the article Walkthrough: Deploy a Virtual Hard Disk for Native Boot.

    For more information about virtual hard disks with native boot, see Understanding Virtual Hard Disks with Native Boot.

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

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

  • If you are running VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 or System Center 2012 R2, and you plan to use a physical network adapter that uses a logical switch, or you plan to use a virtual network adapter, prepare your network configuration as follows.

     

    For a physical network adapter For a virtual network adapter

    If you want to use a physical network adapter that uses a logical switch, before you create the host profile or the physical computer profile, make sure that you have installed the intended number of network adapters on the host computer or computers. In addition, before you create the host profile or the physical computer profile in VMM, create the uplink port profile and the logical switch.

    For more information, see:

    How to Create a Port Profile for Uplinks in VMM

    How to Create a Logical Switch in VMM

    If you want to create a virtual network adapter, before you create the host profile or the physical computer profile, make sure that you have installed the intended number of physical network adapters on the host computer or computers. In addition, before you create the host profile or the physical computer profile, on the VMM management server, install all necessary virtual switch extensions and extension providers, create a logical switch, and create at least one virtual machine network. If you will use a port classification with the virtual network adapter, create the port classification before you create the host profile or the physical computer profile.

    For more information, see:

    Configuring Ports and Switches for VM Networks in VMM

    How to Create a VM Network in VMM in System Center 2012 SP1

    How to Create a VM Network in VMM in System Center 2012 R2

  • If you want to assign static IP addresses through VMM, the logical network that you want the host to use must have an associated network site and static IP address pool that are managed by VMM. The network site must be available to the host group or to a parent host group where you want to assign the hosts. For more information, see Configuring Logical Networking in VMM Overview.

    In this example scenario, the host uses the BACKEND logical network.

  • If you want to use an answer file to specify additional host settings that are common to all hosts that will use this profile, create an Unattend.xml file that has 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 other physical network adapters on the host besides the management adapter, and enabling Remote Desktop. (Note that during the host deployment process, VMM automatically enables the Hyper-V role and the Multipath I/O [MPIO] feature.) You can select the answer file to use when you configure the profile.

    TipTip
    You can also run scripts on a Hyper-V host after the host is deployed. To do this, right-click the host in the Fabric workspace, and then click Run Script Command.

    In the advanced settings for script commands, note that the Restart the computer or virtual machine if the specified exit code is returned setting is ignored when you run the script on a host.

  • You must have a Run As account that you can use to join the target hosts to the domain.

    For example, create the Run As account Add Physical Host.

    securitySecurity Note
    Use an account that has very limited permissions. You should use the account only to join computers to the domain.

    noteNote
    You can create a Run As account in the Settings workspace. For more information about Run As accounts, see How to Create a Run As Account in VMM.

To create a host profile or a physical computer profile

  1. Open the Library workspace.

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

    The New Host Profile Wizard, or as of System Center 2012 R2 the New Physical Computer Profiles Wizard, opens.

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

    When you are creating a physical computer profile (for System Center 2012 R2), select VM Host.

    For example, if you want to assign an IP address through Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), type the name WS08R2Ent Hyper-V Hosts - DHCP and the description Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Hyper-V Hosts – DHCP address allocation, and then click Next.

  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" section 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 you need.

    2. By default, if the disk type is dynamic, VMM will automatically convert the disk to a fixed disk type during host 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 following options, and then click Next.

     

    Management NIC

    (under Network Adapters)

    • For System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine Manager: For the network adapter that you will use to communicate with the VMM management server, select whether to obtain an IP address through DHCP or to allocate a static IP address from the logical network that you specify.

      For example, if you are configuring a host profile or a physical computer profile for the WS08R2Ent Hyper-V Hosts – DHCP profile, click Obtain an IP address through the DHCP service.

    • For VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 or in System Center 2012 R2: For the network adapter that you will use to communicate with the VMM management server, choose between configuring a physical network adapter and creating a virtual network adapter. (The latter choice has certain requirements, as described in the list before this procedure).

      To provide a Consistent Device Naming (CDN) name for the adapter, or to configure logical switch and port information for the adapter, click Physical Properties. For more information about switches and ports, see Configuring Ports and Switches for VM Networks in VMM.

      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 host profile or a physical computer profile for the WS08R2Ent Hyper-V Hosts – DHCP profile 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.

      You can also click the Add button and add a physical network adapter or a virtual network adapter. Or you can remove an adapter by selecting it and clicking 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)

    • GUID Partition Table (GPT)

    noteNote
    If the host profile or the physical computer profile is for computers that use EFI, select GUID Partition Table (GPT) as the partitioning scheme.

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

    • Select the 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. By default, the Make this the boot partition check box is selected for the operating system partition.

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

    To add a new disk or partition, for System Center 2012, click either Add Disk or Add Partition on the toolbar. For System Center 2012 SP1 or System Center 2012 R2, 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 host deployment. You can select either of the following options:

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

    • Filter drivers with all matching tags specified below. If you select this option, enter the tags by which you want to filter, 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 you deploy the host.

    For information about how to add driver files to the library, see How to Add Driver Files to the VMM Library.

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

     

    Domain

    (under General Settings)

    In the Domain box, specify the domain that the Hyper-V host should join. For example, type contoso.com.

    Next to the Run As account box, click Browse, and then select the Run As account that will be used to join the host 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 Host.

    securitySecurity Note
    Use an account that has very limited privileges. You should use the account 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)

    Type 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 that a user logs on to the computer, type a command in the Command to add box, and then click Add. Repeat this procedure to add multiple commands.

    This action adds the commands to the [GuiRunOnce] section of the Sysprep file.

  7. On the Host settings page, specify the path on the host to store the files that are associated with virtual machines that are placed on the host, click Add, and then click Next. Do not specify a location on the drive C because drive C is not available for placement.

    By default, if you do not specify a path, placement determines the most suitable location.

    noteNote
    You can accept the default path, specify a new path, or change the path after you deploy the host.

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

    The Jobs dialog box appears. Make sure that the job has a status of Completed, and then close the dialog box.

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

    The new host profile or physical computer profile appears in the Profiles pane.

See Also

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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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