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SCVMM 2012 R2 – QuickStart deployment guide

SCVMM 2012 R2 – QuickStart deployment guide

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The following document will cover a basic install of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 at a generic customer.  This is to be used as a template only, for a customer to implement as their own pilot or POC deployment guide.  It is intended to be general in nature and will require the customer to modify it to suit their specific data and processes.

SVCMM can be scaled to match the customer requirements. This document will cover a two server model, where all SCVMM roles are installed on a single VM/Server, and leverage a remote SQL database server.

This is not an architecture guide or intended to be a design guide in any way.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 will be installed as the base OS for all platforms. All servers will be a member of the AD domain.
  • SQL 2012 with SP1 will be the base standard for all SQL database services.

Server Names\Roles:

  • DB01             SQL 2012 with SP1 Database Services
  • SCVMM01     VMM Management Server and Console

High Level Deployment Process:

1.  In AD, create the following accounts and groups, according to your naming convention:

  • DOMAIN\scvmmsvc                 SCVMM Service Account account
  • DOMAIN\scvmmadmin            SCVMM RunAs account for managing hosts
  • DOMAIN\sqlsvc                        SQL service account
  • DOMAIN\SCVMMAdmins        SCVMM Administrators security group

2.  Add the “scvmmsvc” and “scvmmadmin” account to the “SCVMMAdmins” global group.

3.  Add the domain user accounts for yourself and your team to the SCVMMAdmins group.

4.  Install Windows Server 2012 R2 to all server role servers.

5.  Install Prerequisites and SQL 2012 with SP1.

6.  Install the SCVMM Server and Console.

7.  Deploy SCVMM Agent to Hyper-V hosts.


1.  Install Windows Server 2012 R2 to all servers.

2.  Ensure server has a minimum of 4GB of RAM.

3.  Join all servers to domain.

4.  Install all available Windows Updates.

5.  Add the “DOMAIN\SCVMMAdmins” domain global group and the “DOMAIN\scvmmsvc” domain account explicitly to the Local Administrators group on each SCVMM role server.

8.  On the SCVMM server, install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1  When you install this – install only the “Deployment Tools” and “Windows Preinstallation Environment” options.  This can take a significant amount of time depending on download speed.  This can be downloaded in advance and placed on a share to reduce time to install. 

9.  On the SQL database server, install SQL 2012 with SP1.

  • Setup is fairly straightforward. This document will not go into details and best practices for SQL configuration. Consult your DBA team to ensure your SQL deployment is configured for best practices according to your corporate standards.
  • Run setup, choose Installation > New Installation…
  • When prompted for feature selection, install ALL of the following:
    • Database Engine Services
  • If you are going to be deploying a shared SQL server for other System Center components, you might consider adding:

    • Full-Text and Semantic Extractions for Search
    • Reporting Services – Native
  • Optionally – consider adding the following to ease administration:
    • Management Tools – Basic and Complete (for running queries and configuring SQL services)
  • On the Instance configuration, choose a default instance, or a named instance. Default instances are fine for testing and labs. Production clustered instances of SQL will generally be a named instance. For the purposes of the POC, choose default instance to keep things simple.
  • On the Server configuration screen, set SQL Server Agent to Automatic.  You can accept the defaults for the service accounts, but I recommend using a Domain account for the service account.  Input the DOMAIN\sqlsvc account and password for Agent, Engine, and Reporting.
  • On the Collation Tab – you can use the default which is SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS or choose another supported collation.
  • On the Account provisioning tab – add your personal domain user account or a group you already have set up for SQL admins. Alternatively, you can use the SCVMMAdmins global group here. This will grant more rights than is required to all SCVMMAdmins accounts, but is fine for testing purposes of the POC.
  • On the Data Directories tab – set your drive letters correctly for your SQL databases, logs, TempDB, and backup.
  • On the Reporting Services Configuration – choose to Install and Configure. This will install and configure SRS to be active on this server, and use the default DBengine present to house the reporting server databases. This is the simplest configuration. If you install Reporting Services on a stand-alone (no DBEngine) server, you will need to configure this manually.
  • Setup will complete.
  • You will need to disable Windows Firewall on the SQL server, or make the necessary modifications to the firewall to allow all SQL traffic.  See    

Step by step deployment guide:

1. Install SCVMM 2012 R2:

  • Log on using your domain user account that is a member of the SCVMMAdmins group.
  • Run Setup.exe
  • Click Install
  • Select:
    • VMM Management Server
    • VMM Console
  • On the Product Registration – input a product key for a licensed version, otherwise Eval will be installed with a timeout.  Click Next.
  • Accept the license agreement and click Next.
  • Configure the Customer Experience settings, and click Next.
  • Configure to use Microsoft Update or note, click Next.
  • Accept or change the default install path and click Next.
  • If you get any Prerequisite errors – resolve them. If you get any warnings, understand them and click Next to proceed.
  • On the Database Configuration screen, enter in the name of your SQL database server and leave port blank. You can leave “use the following credentials” blank if you are installing to the local SQL server.  You can enter credentials here to connect to a remote SQL server if your user account you are running setup as does not have enough rights over the instance to create a database.  On the Instance Name – click the pull-down to select the instance you wish to install to.  Ensure “New Database” is checked and use the default name or change it to suit your naming standards. Click Next when this screen is complete.
  • On the Account Configuration screen, enter the domain account for the SCVMM service account that we created earlier (DOMAIN\scvmmsvc). Leave the default to store encryption keys locally for this simple deployment. Click Next.
  • On the Port configuration screen, accept defaults and click Next.    
  • On the Library configuration screen, change the library path or accept the default location, and click Next.
  • Click Install.
  • Setup will install all roles and complete.

2. Deploy an agent to an existing Hyper-V Host.

  • Open the System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 console.
  • Connect to the SCVMM server.
  • In the lower left hand pane of the console – select “Fabric”.
  • In the folder list – Right click “All Hosts” and choose “Create Host Group”.
  • Name your custom host group something like “Demo
  • Right click the Demo host group and choose “Add Hyper-V hosts and Clusters
  • On the Resource Location screen – choose the first bullet for a trusted AD domain computer.
  • On the Credentials screen, click Browse.
  • Select “Create Run As Account
  • On the General screen, enter a Name of “Hyper-V Host Administration Account
  • Input a DOMAIN\username of an AD account that has admin access to your Hyper-V servers. This account will be used to administer the Host and VM guests. For the purposes of the POC, we will use the DOMAIN\scvmmadmin account.
  • After inputting the password, and accepting the new account, we will return to the Credentials screen with our existing RunAs account shown. Click Next.
  • Type in the computer names of your Hyper-V servers that you wish to Manage. Ensure that the DOMAIN\SCVMMAdmins global group is a member of the local admins group on all Hyper-V servers so that we can manage them. Click Next.
  • Select all the discovered Hyper-V servers, and click Next.
  • Assign the discovered hosts to the “Demo” host group.
  • Click Next, Finish.
  • A job will be created to deploy the SCVMM agent to the Hyper-V hosts.

3.  Create host groups and clouds

4.  Configure WSUS for updates to Hosts

5.  Configure Logical Networks

6.  Connect with OpsMgr 2012:

  • Hi Kevin, very nice guide. I want to ask only one question. I tried to build test SCVMM server but when i want to discover and then join Hyper-V servers, i found that i even can not find those that are not in same domain even if second domain has 2-way trust with the one where SCVMM server is. Is there anything i can do to to be able to discover and join those servers to SCVMM or do i need to have 1 SCVMM server per domain?

  • Thanks for the helpful post, Kevin!

  • Very helpful, thanks!

  • @ Michal - You do not need to SCVMM server per domain. Please check out , it may help.

  • Hello. very nice presentation. Fast and objective. I have only one questionȘ after deploying VMM, how can i run it from IE from another domain computer? Thank you very much.

  • These QuickStart guides are fantastic. We are a smaller shop transitioning from System Center Essentials. These guides have helped me get up and running.

  • Is scvmmadmin domain admin account?

  • @Alber: absolutely not.

  • Just installed SCVMM 2012 R2 Rollup 1, when adding cluster I get error 441, I made everything people said about this error but no luck. when trying my domain admin account it worked fine. tha'ts why I was asking if scvmmadmin is domain admin. Any thoughts?

  • Nice write up. Could MS make this any harder. Compared to setting up vmware and vCenter this is awful and has a lot of overhead. I'm new to Hyper-V, do others think this is worth it? Or should fork out the cash for VMWare?

  • I barely finish reading this article before saying in my mind that this is the best step by step on this VMM setup that I have read in 4 months. I mean, there might be something out there, but I never find it until now.

    Kevin, you deserve our thunderous thanks.

  • Excellent and straight to the point. Clarification at its best.

  • @HolyCow - "Compared to setting up VMware & vCenter this is awful"...really!. ( Not exactly next next finish in a new test lab when a co-worker installed it. With VMM, I configured PDT (Powershell deployment toolkit) for 2 new servers, clustered them plus DB on an existing cluster and took me ~15 minutes of watching. Plus that included App Controller and it integrated with our OpsMgr servers as part of the install. (small ramp on PDT however)

    "do others think this is worth it? Or should fork out the cash for VMware"... like vCenter is cheap or something. Our VMware ELA was millions while we already owned VMM and Hyper-V with our Microsoft EA. So is 15 minutes worth millions, every dime!

  • Very useful, thanks Kevin.

  • Great post. very clear and objective. Congratulations!

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