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Drive-Through VMs: SCVMM Self-Service Portal

Drive-Through VMs: SCVMM Self-Service Portal

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The Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal is a Web page through which self-service users can create and operate their own virtual machines within an environment controlled by the VMM admin. In their sessions with the Self-Service Portal, self-service users see only the virtual machines that they own and the actions that their virtual machine permissions allow them to perform.

For example, suppose you have to conduct multiple training sessions that require a certain config for every learner. As the VMM admin, you can create virtual machine templates and store them in the library. You can then create a policy for each learner, give them the URL of the portal, and let them build their own VMfrom the template in minutes. If you want, at the end of the training, let them store their customized VMs back to the library, or not, as you choose. All that's required for hardware setup is a config that allows remote access and an IE session for each learner to the portal. That's it. No more long setups, imaging, deployment and then teardown of each learner's machine.

The Self-Service Portal includes a troubleshooting mode that allows a VMM administrator to log on to the portal as a self-service user to view what the user would see and troubleshoot issues with the same permissions as the user.

A self-service policy grants a user or group permissions to create, operate, manage, store, create checkpoints for, and connect to their own virtual machines through the Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal. Self-service policies are added to a host group. When a self-service user creates a virtual machine, the virtual machine is automatically placed on the most suitable host in that host group based on host ratings.

A self-service policy can be created for a user or a group. A self-service policy for a group can be configured for group ownership or individual ownership. Under group ownership, virtual machines are owned, operated, and managed by the group. Under individual ownership, the self-service policy applies a standard set of permissions and templates to the individuals in the group, but all individuals own, operate, and manage their own virtual machines.

You can set a virtual machine quota in a self-service policy to limit the number of virtual machines that a user or group can deploy. Quota points are then assigned to the templates that self-service users use to create their virtual machines. When the self-service user's quota is reached, the user cannot create any new virtual machines until an existing virtual machine is removed or stored in the library.

·      Under shared ownership, all members of the group own, operate, and manage all virtual machines that are created by the group according to the virtual machine permissions in the self-service policy. If a virtual machine quota is set in the self-service policy, a single quota is applied to all virtual machines deployed by the group.

·      Under individual ownership, each member of the group owns and manages his own virtual machines; other group members cannot see or operate the virtual machines. If a virtual machine quota is set in the self-service policy, the quota applies to each group member individually.

Quota points apply only to virtual machines on a host. If a self-service user is allowed to store virtual machines, the quota does not apply to virtual machines stored in the library.

Virtual machines can vary greatly in the amount of disk space and resources they require. To account for these variations, you can assign a different number of quota points to different virtual machines. This is configured through the templates that self-service users use to create their virtual machines.

Virtual machine permissions set in the self-service policy determine the actions that a user or group can take on their own virtual machines. The administrator can grant any of the following permissions:

·      Create—Allows the user to create new virtual machines by using virtual machine templates that the administrator provides. The administrator can limit the virtual machines that the user can have deployed at one time by setting a virtual machine quota.

·      Full Control—Grants all of the following management permissions for virtual machines that the user owns:

·      Start Virtual Machine

·      Stop Virtual Machine

·      Remove Virtual Machine—Allows the user to remove virtual machines, deleting the configuration files.

·      Pause and Resume Virtual Machine

·      Shutdown Virtual Machine—Allows the user to shut down the operating system on a virtual machine that has Virtual Machine Additions installed.

·      Local Administrator on Virtual Machine—Allows the user to set the local administrator password when creating a virtual machine so that the user has administrator rights and permissions on the virtual machine.

·      VMRC Access to Virtual Machine—Allows the user to open a session on the virtual machine through the VMM Self-Service Portal.

·      Create and Merge Checkpoints on Virtual Machine—Allows the user to create and merge checkpoints and to restore a virtual machine to a previous checkpoint. For more information, see About Virtual Machine Checkpoints [SCVMM].

·      Store in Library—Allows the user to store virtual machines in the library when they are not in use. Stored virtual machines do not count against the user's virtual machine quota. The user's virtual machines are stored on the library share that is specified in the self-service policy. The user has no knowledge of the physical location of a stored virtual machine.

Self-service policies that are added to a parent host group are in effect in all its child host groups. However, you can add a self-service policy for the same user or group to both a parent host group and its child host group. By adding policies to both parent and child, you can assign the same users different templates, set different virtual machine permissions, and assign a different virtual machine quota on all hosts in the parent host group and on the hosts in the child host group. When the user creates a virtual machine, the user is prompted to select a template from all templates that are assigned to him through all of his self-service policies on all host groups. The user's template selection determines which policy is in effect for the virtual machine.

The minimum and recommended hardware requirements for installing and operating the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Self-Service Portal are listed in the following tables based on the number of concurrent connections you maintain.

Up to 10 Connections

 

Hardware component

Minimum

Recommended

Processor

Pentium 4 2.8 GHz

Pentium 4 2.8 GHz

RAM

2 GB

2 GB

Hard disk

1 GB

1 GB

 

Over 10 Connections

 

Hardware component

Minimum

Recommended

Processor

Pentium 4 2.8 GHz

Dual-Core 64-bit 3.2 GHz or greater

RAM

2 GB

2 GB

Hard disk

1 GB

1 GB

 

The following software must be installed prior to installing the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Self-Service Portal:

·      An operating system supported by VMM.
For more information about operating systems supported by VMM, see Supported Operating Systems for Virtual Machine Manager.

·      Windows PowerShell 1.0.

Install this software from the following site: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=77521.

·      Windows Server Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0.

You can install IIS in Control Panel by using the Application Server components group in Add/Remove Windows Components.

The following software is installed during the setup of VMM server:

·      Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

If this software is not already installed, Setup automatically installs it.

·      Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0.

If this software is not already installed, Setup automatically installs it.

Note

Installing .NET Framework 3.0 does not interfere with the .NET Framework 2.0 components.

 

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