Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 Environment Management Best Practices

Things to Consider When Managing your VMM 2008 R2 Environment

The following are best practices in managing your VMM 2008 R2 environment:

► Use VMM’s P2V function to convert physical computers to virtual machines.

► Use VMM’s V2V function to convert virtual machines created on VMware ESX to Hyper-V virtual machines.

► Use the online P2V process to convert physical computers to virtual machines without disrupting the online server.

► Use the offline P2V process to convert offline physical computers to Hyper-V virtual machines.

► Use the Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit (VSMT) to convert Windows NT Server 4.0 computers to virtual machines.

► Perform a disk defragmentation on the source computer before performing the P2V conversion.

► Ensure that a fast network connection exists between the source computer and the VMM server.

► Use the owner property of a virtual machine to identify the owner or contact person for the virtual machine.

► Ensure that the WMI service is running on the source computer and that a firewall is not blocking HTTP and WMI traffic to the VMM server.

► Remove the RemoteAdmin firewall exception, if necessary, after the conversion is complete to increase server security.

► Increase the size of a VHD to allocate more space for the virtual machine if necessary.

► Use the Customize Ratings button to customize the importance of computer and network resources available on hosts.

► Use the Jobs view to monitor the progress of P2V and V2V conversions.

► Review the details in the Jobs view for errors and to determine the cause of failures and the recommended course of action to resolve issues.

► Pay special attention to collect any data that was changed on the source server after an online conversion process was begun.

► Copy VMware ESX VMX and VMDK files to a VMM library that is closest to the host server to speed virtual machine conversion.

► Always refresh the VMM library server after adding files to the library.

► Use the P2V process to create a virtual copy of the organization’s production environment for testing.

► Use role-based access control (RBAC) to define the administrator roles in VMM.

► Because the Administrator user role has full access to the VMM infrastructure, limit the number of members of this group as much as possible.

► Use the Delegate Administrators user role to scope administrators to a specific set of objects in VMM.

► Create a VMM Administrators group in Active Directory and add that group to the Administrator role in VMM. This is better than adding an individual user account, in case that user account is deleted.

► Create security groups in Active Directory and use these groups to define members of the Delegated Administrator and Self-Service User roles in VMM.

► Monitor the members of Delegated Administrator user roles because Delegated Administrators can manage the groups they are members of.

► Add Administrators or Delegated Administrators to the Self-Service User role if Self-Service Portal access is required.

► Run wizards, such as the Create Virtual Machine Wizard, to view, customize, and save the PowerShell scripts that the wizard will run.

► Build a collection of PowerShell scripts that perform commonly used VMM administration tasks.

► Scope the VMM library resources that Self-Service Users can access by creating their own folders in the VMM library share.

► Use a common virtual machine path on all host servers to ensure that virtual machine migrations will succeed.

► Use quota points for Self-Service Users to control the number of virtual machines they can deploy to hosts.

► Monitor the progress of virtual machine migrations using the Jobs view in the Administrator Console or the Properties page of the virtual machine in the Self-Service Portal.

► Notify users of an active virtual machine before migrating it to a new host because the virtual machine might be temporarily stopped during the migration.

► Use Automatic Placement of migrated virtual machines by using the “drag and drop onto a host group” method.

This posting is 1 of a monthlong series of postings on the Microsoft System Center family of products. This is an excerpt from my book "System Center Enterprise Unleashed" with more postings on the System Center family of products up at

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