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How to Create and Deploy a Virtual Machine from an Existing Virtual Hard Disk

Updated: November 1, 2013

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

Use the following procedure in to create a virtual machine from an existing virtual hard disk that is stored in the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) library.

Before you complete this procedure, note the following:

  • To complete this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrator or Delegated Administrator user role, or a self-service user who has the Deploy action in the user role scope.

  • For a self-service user to store a virtual machine in the library, the following is required:

    • The self-service user role must have the Store and re-deploy action assigned.

    • The self-service user must first deploy the virtual machine to a private cloud, and then store it in the VMM library.

  • The virtual hard disk that you want to use must be stored in the VMM library. If the virtual hard disk currently exists on another computer or device, copy it to the VMM library. For instructions, see How to Add File-Based Resources to the VMM Library.

  • Use a virtual hard disk that has been generalized by using the Sysprep tool. If you do not use a generalized virtual hard disk, the identity of the new virtual machine will be the same as the source. Issues might occur if you turn on two virtual machines with the same identity at the same time.

Creating a virtual machine

Use the following procedure to create a virtual machine from an existing virtual hard disk.

To create a virtual machine from an existing virtual hard disk

  1. Open the VMs and Services workspace.

  2. On the Home tab, click the Create Virtual Machine drop-down arrow, and then click Create Virtual Machine.

    The Create Virtual Machine Wizard opens.

  3. On the Select Source page, click Use an existing virtual machine, VM template, or virtual hard disk, and then click Browse.

  4. In the Select Virtual Machine Source dialog box, select an existing virtual hard disk file, and then click OK.

  5. On the Select Source page, click Next.

  6. Specify identity options as follows, and then click Next:

    • With VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 or System Center 2012, on the Specify Virtual Machine Identity page, enter the virtual machine name and an optional description.

    • As of VMM in System Center 2012 R2, on the Identity page, enter the virtual machine name and an optional description.

      If the virtual hard disk file that you selected on the previous page uses the .vhdx file format, the Generation box also appears. In the Generation box, select Generation 1 or Generation 2. For more information, see Understanding Generation 1 and Generation 2 Virtual Machines in VMM.

  7. On the Configure Hardware page, either select the profile that you want to use from the Hardware profile list, or configure the hardware settings manually. Then click Next. In Compatibility, if you want to deploy the virtual machine to a private cloud, select a capability profile that is available to the private cloud.

  8. On the Select Destination page, specify how the virtual machine should be deployed:

Deploying the virtual machine in a private cloud

Use the following procedure to deploy the virtual machine in a private cloud.

To deploy the virtual machine in a private cloud

  1. On the Select Cloud page, select the private cloud on which you want to place the virtual machine. If you are connected as an administrator, you can select the host on which the virtual machine should be deployed in the private cloud. The private cloud suggestions are based on a 0-5 star rating. For more information, see Understanding Virtual Machine Placement and Ratings in VMM. Verify the settings and modify if required:

    • Expected utilization—For a virtual machine that is created from a blank hard disk, the expected utilization is based on standard defaults. For a virtual machine that is created from an existing virtual machine, the default settings are based on past performance of the existing machine. VMM updates host suggestions and ratings in response to modifications that are made to the expected virtual machine utilization.

    • Make this VM highly available—With this option selected, only hosts located in a cluster available for selection.

    • Details—Indicates the status of the host, the operating system, and the type and status of virtualization software.

    • Rating Explanation or Deployment and Transfer Explanation—Provides an explanation if a host received a zero rating.

    • SAN Explanation or Deployment and Transfer Explanation—Lists any factors that make a storage area network (SAN) transfer unavailable. VMM does not recognize a virtual machine that is stored on a SAN as available for deployment using SAN transfer if the virtual machine was stored directly in the VMM library when it was created, or was added to the library during a library refresh. To avoid this issue, deploy the virtual machine to a host by using a LAN transfer, and then store the virtual machine in the same VMM library, library share, and logical unit number (LUN).

      In addition, as of System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, the Deployment and Transfer Explanation tab provides an explanation if fast file copy cannot be used. Fast file copy is a feature introduced in VMM in System Center 2012 R2, based on the Windows Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX) feature introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. For information about ODX, see Windows Offloaded Data Transfers Overview.

  2. On the Configure Settings page, review the virtual machine settings:

    1. In Locations, either accept the default virtual machine path on the host to store the virtual machine files, or click Browse to specify a different location. Optionally, select the Add this path to the list of default virtual machine paths on the host check box.

    2. Under Machine Resources, click Virtual Hard Disk. Accept the default values or select a different destination path on the host for the virtual hard drive file (.vhd or .vhdx file). To change the file name, enter a new name in the File name box.

    TipTip
    To prevent placement from choosing a different value for these settings, click the pin icon next to the setting. Note that self-service users do not see this option.

  3. On the Add Properties page, configure the action to take when the host starts or stops. If you are an administrator, to prevent the virtual machine from being migrated by Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) or dynamic optimization, select the Exclude virtual machine from optimization actions check box. When you have finished this step, click Next.

  4. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Create.

  5. To confirm that the virtual machine was created, in the VMs and Services workspace, in the VMs and Services pane, expand Clouds, and then click the private cloud where you deployed the virtual machine. On the Home tab, in the Show group, click VMs. The virtual machine appears in the VMs pane.

Deploying the virtual machine on a host

Use the following procedure to deploy the virtual machine on a host.

To deploy the virtual machine on a host

  1. On the Select Host page, view the ratings, click the host on which you want to deploy the virtual machine, and then click Next. The host suggestions are based on a 0-5 star rating. For more information, see Understanding Virtual Machine Placement and Ratings in VMM. Note the following settings:

    • Expected utilization—For a virtual machine that is created from a blank hard disk, the expected utilization is based on standard defaults. For a virtual machine that is created from an existing virtual machine, the default settings are based on past performance of the existing virtual machine. VMM updates the host suggestions and ratings in response to modifications that are made to the expected virtual machine utilization.

    • Make this VM highly available—With this option selected, only hosts that are located in a cluster are available for selection.

    • Details—Indicates the status of the host, the operating system, and the type and status of virtualization software.

    • Rating Explanation—Provides an explanation if a host received a zero rating.

    • SAN Explanation or Deployment and Transfer Explanation—Lists any factors that make a SAN transfer unavailable. VMM does not recognize a virtual machine that is stored on a SAN as available for deployment using SAN transfer if the virtual machine was stored directly in the VMM library when it was created, or if it was added to the VMM library during a library refresh. To avoid this issue, deploy the virtual machine to a host by using a LAN transfer, and then store the virtual machine in the same VMM library, library share, and logical unit number (LUN).

      In addition, as of System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, the Deployment and Transfer Explanation tab provides an explanation if fast file copy cannot be used. Fast file copy is a feature introduced in VMM in System Center 2012 R2, based on the Windows Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX) feature introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. For information about ODX, see Windows Offloaded Data Transfers Overview.

  2. On the Configure Settings page, review the settings for the virtual machine:

    1. In Locations, either accept the default virtual machine path on the host for storing the virtual machine files, or click Browse to specify a different location. Optionally, select the Add this path to the list of default virtual machine paths on the host check box.

    2. In Networking, click a network adapter to view the configured network settings.

    3. In Machine Resources, click Virtual Hard Disk. Accept the default values, or select a different destination path on the host for the virtual hard drive file (.vhd or .vhdx file). To change the file name, enter a new name in the File name box.

    TipTip
    To prevent placement from choosing a different value for these settings, click the pin icon next to the setting. Note that self-service users do not see this option.

  3. On the Select Networks page, if it appears, optionally select the logical network that you want to use, the virtual network, and the virtual LAN (VLAN) ID, if applicable, and then click Next.

  4. On the Add Properties page, configure the action to take when the host starts or stops, and the operating system that you will install on the virtual machine. To prevent the virtual machine from being migrated by Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) or dynamic optimization, select the Exclude virtual machine from optimization actions check box. When you have finished this step, click Next.

  5. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Create.

Storing the virtual machine in the library

Use the following procedure to store the virtual machine in the VMM library.

To store the virtual machine in the library

  1. On the Select Library Server page, click the library server that you want to use, and then click Next.

  2. On the Select Path page, specify the library share location to store the virtual machine. Click Browse to select a library share and optional folder location, click OK, and then click Next.

  3. On the Summary page, confirm the settings, and then click Create.

To confirm that the virtual machine was created, in the Library workspace, in the Library pane, expand Library Servers, expand the library server where you stored the virtual machine, and then click Stored Virtual Machines and Services. The stored virtual machine appears in the Physical Library Objects 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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