Overview of System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager


Updated: May 13, 2016

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

Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is a management solution for the virtualized data center. You can use it to configure and manage your virtualization host, networking, and storage resources in order to create and deploy virtual machines and services to private clouds that you have created.

A deployment of VMM consists of the following.

VMM management serverThe computer on which the VMM service runs. It processes commands and controls communications with the VMM database, the library server, and virtual machine hosts.
VMM databaseA Microsoft SQL Server database that stores VMM configuration information such as virtual machine and service templates, and profiles.
VMM consoleThe program that you can use to connect to a VMM management server in order to centrally view and manage physical and virtual resources, such as virtual machine hosts, virtual machines, services, and library resources.
VMM library and VMM library serverThe catalog of resources (for example, virtual hard disks, templates, and profiles) that are used to deploy virtual machines and services.

A library server hosts shared folders that are used to store file-based resources in the VMM library.
VMM command shellThe Windows PowerShell–based command shell that makes available the cmdlets that perform all functions in VMM.
VMM Self-Service Portal (optional) Note: As of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), the VMM Self-Service Portal has been removed.A website that users who are assigned to a self-service user role can use to deploy and manage their own virtual machines in private clouds.

For information about deploying VMM, see Deploying System Center 2012 - Virtual Machine Manager.

You can perform the following tasks to configure security in VMM.

TaskDescriptionFor more information
Configure Run As accountsCreate Run As accounts to provide the necessary credentials for performing operations in VMM.Configuring Run As Accounts in VMM
Create user rolesCreate self-service users, delegated administrators, and read-only administrators to ensure that users can perform the appropriate actions on the appropriate resources in VMM.Creating User Roles in VMM
Review ports and protocolsReview ports and protocols, and as appropriate, modify ports that VMM uses for communication and file transfers between the VMM components.Ports and Protocols for VMM

The following resources in VMM are referred to as ‘fabric’, and you must configure them before you can deploy virtual machines and services to a private cloud or to virtual machine hosts. You can use VMM to configure and manage the following fabric resources.

ResourceDescriptionFor more information
Virtual machine hostsMicrosoft Hyper-V Server or Hyper-V in Windows Server, Citrix XenServer, and VMware ESX hosts and host clusters on which you will deploy virtual machines and services.

You can create host groups to organize your hosts based on physical site location, resource allocation, or other criteria.
Adding and Managing Hyper-V Hosts and Scale-Out File Servers in VMM

 Managing Citrix XenServer Overview

 Managing VMware ESX Hosts Overview

 Creating Host Groups in VMM
NetworkingNetworking resources, such as logical networks, IP address pools, and load balancers that are used to deploy virtual machines and services.Configuring Networking in VMM
StorageStorage resources, such as storage classifications, logical units, and storage pools that are made available to Hyper-V hosts and host clusters.Configuring Storage in VMM
Library servers and library sharesA catalog of resources (for example, virtual hard disks, templates, and profiles) that are used to deploy virtual machines and services.Configuring the VMM Library

After you configure your hosts and your networking, storage, and library resources, you can perform the following tasks to deploy virtual machines and services in VMM.

In VMM, a service is a set of virtual machines that are configured and deployed together and are managed as a single entity. An example is the deployment of a multiple-tier line-of-business application.

TaskDescriptionFor more information
Create private cloudsCombine hosts and networking, storage, and library resources to create a private cloud.Creating a Private Cloud in VMM Overview
Configure self-serviceCreate a self-service user role that can create, deploy, and use virtual machines and services in one or more private clouds.Configuring Self-Service in VMM
Create sequenced applicationsUse Microsoft Server Application Virtualization (Server App-V) to sequence applications that VMM will deploy.Microsoft Server Application Virtualization
Create profilesCreate profiles (hardware profiles, guest operating system profiles, application profiles, and SQL Server profiles) that will be used in a template to deploy virtual machines.

For example, an application profile provides instructions for installing applications such as Server App-V applications, Web Deploy applications, and SQL Server data-tier applications (DACs), and for running scripts during the deployment of a virtual machine.

You can use hardware profiles and guest operating system profiles when you deploy virtual machines through a virtual machine template or a service template. You can use application profiles and SQL Server profiles only when you deploy virtual machines through a service template.
Creating Profiles and Templates in VMM
Create virtual machine templatesCreate virtual machine templates that can be used to create new virtual machines and to configure tiers in VMM services.How to Create a Virtual Machine Template
Create service templatesUse the Service Template Designer to create service templates that can be used to deploy services.Creating Service Templates in VMM
Deploy virtual machinesDeploy virtual machines to private clouds or hosts by using virtual machine templates.Creating and Deploying Virtual Machines in VMM
Deploy servicesDeploy services to private clouds or hosts by using a service template.Creating and Deploying Services in VMM
Scale out a serviceAdd more virtual machines to a deployed service.Scaling Out a Service in VMM
Update a serviceMake changes to a deployed service.Updating a Service in VMM
Support tenants by using VMM with Windows Azure PackUse VMM with Windows Azure Pack to enable tenants to deploy preconfigured virtual machines.Creating Virtual Machine Role Templates by Using VMM and Windows Azure Pack

The different elements in a VMM deployment can scale as described in the following table.

VMM elementIn System Center 2012 – Virtual Machine ManagerIn System Center 2012 SP1In System Center 2012 R2
Virtual machine hosts4001,0001,000
Virtual machines8,00025,00025,000
User roles3001,0001,000
Tenants (based on one user role per tenant accessing the system)1,0001,000
Concurrent jobs250250250
Concurrent clients

(such as VMM consoles and Windows PowerShell sessions)
Job history records2 Millions5 Millions5 Millions

You can perform the following tasks to manage the servers, virtual machines, and services in your VMM environment.

TaskDescriptionFor more information
Manage update compliance of servers (for example, Hyper-V hosts and library servers)Scan servers (for example, Hyper-V hosts and library servers) for update compliance, view update compliance status, and perform update remediation by using a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server.Managing Fabric Updates in VMM
Monitor the health and performance of virtual machines and their hosts and provide reportsUse Operations Manager with VMM and enable Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO).Configuring Operations Manager Integration with VMM
Perform common maintenance tasks such as backing up the VMM databasePerform common maintenance tasks, such as using maintenance mode to prepare to take a host offline, or backing up and restoring the SQL Server database that VMM uses.Performing Maintenance Tasks in VMM