Enabling full management of VMware with SCVMM

Enabling full management of VMware with SCVMM

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Internally and externally to Microsoft I have seen a number of issues around how to enabling full VMware Management using SCVMM.  Most of the time people don’t understand that the reason they can’t create a VMware VM or migrate a VM from VMware environment to VMM library is because they have not done the necessary work to enable these operations. 

 

Let me start off by talking about ESX hosts states in VMM.

 

When a VMware environment is first added to VMM 2008 you will notice that the ESX hosts are in an Ok(Limited) state.  In a Ok (limited) there are certain operations that can be performed, but those operations are ….you guessed it..limited.   When a host is moved into an Ok state then full VMware Management is enabled.   Here is a table that provides you with information on what operations are allowed in an Ok (Limited) vs. OK.

 

Supported Virtual Machine Actions for ESX Server Hosts by Host Status

Virtual Machine Action

OK (Limited) Status

OK Status

Start

Yes

Yes

Stop

Yes

Yes

Pause

Yes

Yes

Save state

No

Yes

Discard saved state

No

Yes

Modify properties

Yes

While the host has OK (Limited) status, the following configuration updates are not allowed:

Attach an ISO image to a virtual DVD drive.

Attach an existing VMware virtual hard disk (.vmdk file) to the virtual machine.

Attach a VMware virtual floppy disk (.flp) to the virtual floppy drive.

Yes

New checkpoint

Yes

Yes

Manage checkpoints

Yes

Yes

Remove

Yes

Yes

Migrate by using VMware VMotion

Yes

Yes

Migrate across VirtualCenter server

Yes

Yes

Store in the VMM library

Yes

Yes

Clone within the same VirtualCenter

Yes

OK (Limited) restrictions:

In the VMM Administrator Console, VMM gives the host a zero rating during virtual machine placement, but you can select the host manually. No such restriction applies at the command line.

Yes

Clone on the same ESX Server host

Yes

OK (Limited) restrictions:

In the VMM Administrator Console, VMM gives the host a zero rating during virtual machine placement, but you can select the host manually.

In the Windows PowerShell – Virtual Machine Manager command shell, you must use a task group to create a new .vmdk file before you clone the virtual machine. You cannot clone an existing .vmdk file.

Yes

Convert virtual machine (V2V conversion) conversion

No

Yes

Create virtual machine from a VMM template

No

Yes

Create virtual machine from a blank VMware virtual hard disk (.vmdk file)

Yes

OK (Limited) restrictions:

In the VMM Administrator Console, VMM gives the host a zero rating during virtual machine placement, but you can select the host manually.

In the Windows PowerShell – Virtual Machine Manager command shell, you must use a task group to create a new .vmdk file before you create a virtual machine. You cannot use an existing .vmdk file as the source.

Yes

 

Now, let’s talk about how to enable Full VMware Management and move those hosts into the OK state.

 

To enable full VMware management operations you must do some work on ESX hosts first.  You have two choices:

 

Use a virtual machine delegate – this is setup in VMware VC for each ESX host.  (This is a low privileged account option.)

Or

 Root – Must enable SSH root login on each ESX managed host.

 

Next, the last step is to change the status of the ESX hosts from Ok (Limited) to OK.  To change the status of the ESX Server host to OK so that you can fully manage virtual machines, you must provide credentials and, if secure mode is enabled on the host, upload a certificate and public key from the host to VMM. 

 

To perform this operation simply right click on the ESX host and select Configure Security.  In the dialog box enter the credentials you chose to use either root or the virtual machine delegate account and then select ok.  You will notice the host state changes from OK (Limited) to OK.  At this point you should have full VMware Management from SCVMM. 

 

Note: If you are managing VMware Virtual Center with Secure Mode= On you will not only enter credentials when configuring security, but also import the SSH Public Key and the ESX Host Security Certificate. 

 

 

Carmen M. Asher
Program Manager | Virtualization & Datacenter Management

 

 

 

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