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About Virtual Machines

A virtual machine is a virtual computer within a physical computer, implemented in software. A virtual machine runs on a virtual machine host and emulates a complete hardware system, from processor to network card. A virtual machine typically consists of one or more virtual hard disk files (.vhd files) and other properties that are specified when the virtual machine is created.

Virtual Machine Manager provides centralized administration of virtual machines on multiple virtual machine hosts. When you add an existing host that is running Virtual Server 2005 R2 or later to Virtual Machine Manager, virtual machines on the host are added to Virtual Machine manager automatically. You can convert virtual machines created in VMware to be managed by Virtual Machine Manager (V2V conversions), and you can convert functioning physical computers to virtual machines (P2V conversions).

Features for Managing Virtual Machines

Virtual Machine Manager provides the following capabilities for creating and managing virtual machines:

  • Create a virtual machine from a virtual machine template, a virtual hard disk, an existing virtual machine, or an existing physical server. For more information, see Creating Virtual Machines.
  • Store virtual machine components such as ISO images, scripts, and virtual hard disks in a centrally managed library. The library also can store virtual machines that are not in use. For more information, see About the Virtual Machine Manager Library.
  • Perform physical-to-virtual machine (P2V) conversions on existing Windows Server 2003–based computers. Identify candidates for P2V conversion with the Conversion Candidates report. For more information, see How to Convert a Virtual Machine to a VMM Virtual Machine.
  • Perform virtual-to-virtual (V2V) conversions on virtual machines that were created in VMware. For more information, see How to Convert a Physical Server to a Virtual Machine.
  • Place a virtual machine on the most suitable host based on customized host ratings. For more information, see About Virtual Machine Placement.
  • Create checkpoints that enable you to restore a virtual machine to a previous state. For more information, see About Virtual Machine Checkpoints.
  • Connect to virtual machines through Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC). For more information, see About Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC).
  • Through reporting, monitor resource usage by virtual machines and track resources allocated to individual virtual machines by cost center. For more information, see Report Descriptions.
  • Allow users to operate and optionally create their own virtual machines in a controlled environment through virtual machine self-service. For more information, see About Virtual Machine Self-Service.

See Also