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How to Configure a Virtual Machine for Management in Essentials

Updated: April 14, 2010

Applies To: System Center Essentials 2010

In System Center Essentials 2010, an unmanaged virtual machine is one that either does not have an operating system installed or does not have an Essentials management agent deployed to it. To manage a virtual machine requires that you first install an operating system, install virtual guest services, and then run the Computer and Device Management wizard to install the agent. The All Virtual Machines view in the Computers workspace provides a list of all managed and unmanaged virtual machines. Use the following procedures to view or change the properties of, connect to, install operating systems and guest services on, discover, or delete virtual machines.

If you have Essentials 2010 installed with Virtualization Management and you also have System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) installed, we recommend that you only manage virtual machines in Essentials 2010 instead of in the VMM 2008 Administration console to prevent conflicts between applications.

After a new virtual machine is created, click Configure Virtual machine, which contains a list of actions that must be completed in sequence, for Essentials 2010 to manage the virtual machine. First, install the operating system. The operating system installation media is specified in the virtual machine properties. During the operating system installation, ensure the machine is configured as part of the appropriate domain so it can be discovered by Essentials 2010. After the operating system has been installed, install guest services, and then discover the virtual machine, which installs the agent required to monitor the machine.

To install an operating system on a virtual machine

  1. Before you can install an operating system, decide whether to install from the network, from a CD or DVD, or from an ISO image file. Then, ensure the installation files are present, and change the BIOS startup order to load the selected media.

  2. In the Essentials console, click Computers. In the Computers pane, click All Virtual Machines.

  3. In the All Virtual Machines view, right-click the new virtual machine in the list, and then click Configure Virtual Machine. This command is also in the Tasks pane.

  4. In the Configure Virtual Machine dialog box, click Install an operating system.

  5. When the Virtual Machine Viewer window appears, the virtual machine starts, and the operating system installation begins. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the operating system installation.

    If the virtual machine is in a stopped state, Essentials first starts the virtual machine before connecting to it. You see an exclamation mark beside the new virtual machines that require these steps, and the preview pane below the list of virtual machines alerts you that additional steps need to be followed.

    To discover and manage the virtual machine after the operating system has been installed, ensure that guest services are installed, that the user account on the virtual machine has administrator rights, and that the virtual machine has been joined to the domain, if applicable.

To install virtual guest services on a virtual machine

  1. In the Configure Virtual Machine dialog box, click Install Virtual Guest Services.

    Guest services provide features that securely integrate a virtual machine with a physical computer. For example, guest services provide mouse functionality and time synchronization. These services also enable a host server to more effectively manage the virtual machine. An operating system must be installed on a virtual machine before you can install guest services. When guest services are installed, Essentials determines the appropriate services to install for your hypervisor. Refer to the appropriate Hyper-V or Virtual Server 2005 product documentation for more details on specific services.

  2. A dialog box appears reminding you that an operating system must be installed before you can install guest services. If an operating system has already been installed, click Yes; otherwise, click No, and follow the procedure to connect to the virtual machine and to install the operating system.

While guest services are installed on the virtual machine, the virtual machine will be stopped, and a progress bar will be displayed in the All Virtual Machines view.

To discover a virtual machine

  1. In the Configure Virtual Machine dialog box, click Add the new virtual machine to management.

  2. In the Computer and Device Management wizard, leave the discovery type set to Windows Computers, and then click Next.

  3. On the Auto or Advanced page, accept the default selection for Computer and Device Classes, and then click Next.

  4. On the Discovery Method page, click Browse for, type the virtual machine computer name, and then click Next.

    The name of the virtual machine in Essentials should be the same as the computer name you chose when you installed the operating system on the virtual machine. If they are different, you can edit the properties of the virtual machine when the machine is in a stopped state so that the names match. To be discovered, the virtual machine must be in the same domain as the Essentials management server.

  5. On the Administrator Account page, use either the credentials you used to set up Essentials, or click Other user account. Supply a user name, a password, and the domain for a user with administrator rights on the virtual machine, and then click Discover. The progress will be displayed while Essentials discovers the virtual machine.

  6. On the Select Objects to Manage page, select the virtual machine in the list of devices, and then click Next.

  7. On the Summary page, review the information to ensure it is correct, and then click Finish.

The Agent Management Task Status dialog box will be displayed while Essentials installs the agent, and the results will be shown in the Task Output window upon completion.

See Also