Virtual Machine Provisioning
Create VM & Install Guest OS
This walkthrough is designed to provide a step-by-step overview on how to install Guest Operating Systems on a virtual machine using the vSphere Web Client. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the screens.
We begin the walkthrough by logging on to the vSphere Web Client.
We will first create a new virtual machine for this demonstration. To do this, we navigate to the [VMs and Templates] view. You can also create a new virtual machine from the Hosts and Clusters view.
Go to [Actions] and click on [New Virtual Machine].
Select [Create a New Virtual Machine] and click on [Next].
Assign a name to the virtual machine, select the location where the virtual machine will be deployed on and click on [Next].
Select a cluster or a host and click on [Next].
Select a datastore and click on [Next]. Note: The datastore selected must be available for all ESXi hosts in a cluster to enable advanced functionalities such as vMotion and vSphere DRS.
Choose the compatibility level and click on [Next]. In this example, we set the virtual machine to be compatible with ESXi 5.5 and later versions.
Specify the guest operating system family and version for this deployment. In this example, we select Windows 2012 Server 64-bit. Click on [Next].
Here you can customize the hardware details for the deployment. In this demo environment, we have inserted the Windows 2012 64-bit R2 ISO image onto the virtual CD/DVD ROM drive. The ISO file has already been hosted on an iSCSI datatore that is connected to the ESXi hosts. To choose the ISO, we select [Datastore ISO File] from the CD/DVD drive drop-down menu.
We select the ISO file and click on [OK].
Choose to [Connect at Power On] and click on [Next]. This will ensure that the ISO image will be readily available when the virtual machine boots up.
Once the virtual machine has been created, Select the virtual machine, which in this case is [WindowsVM01], go to [Actions] and click on [Power On].
After powering on the virtual machine, we launch the console by clicking on [Open Console] from the [Actions] menu.
The console opens and boots using the guest operating system ISO. The operating system installation routine begins. Select the preferences and click on [Next].
Click on [Install Now].
The operating system has been installed. We will now switch to the [vSphere Web Client] to remove the virtual CD from the virtual CD/DVD drive.
The name of the guest operating system running can be seen on the summary page of the virtual machine. We click on [Edit Settings] to remove the ISO.
We unmount the ISO and click on [OK]. Similar process is followed to install Linux operating systems. This concludes the walkthrough on installing guest operating systems on a virtual machine. Select the next walkthrough of your choice using the navigation panel.
Install VMware Tools
This walkthrough is designed to provide a step-by-step overview on how to install VMware Tools on Windows and Linux guest operating systems. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the screens.
VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that are built to enhance the performance of virtual machines’ guest operating system and improves virtual machine management. We begin by logging on to the vSphere Web Client.
In this walkthrough, we have already installed Windows and Linux operating systems. Upon logging on to the vSphere Web Client and navigating to the virtual machine’s summary page, we see the message saying that VMware Tools is not installed. We click on [Install VMware Tools].
Click on [Mount] to load the VMware Tools installer on to the virtual CD/DVD drive.
We then access the virtual machine’s console and send a [Ctrl+Alt+Delete].
We have logged in as an administrator and access Windows explorer to the initiate the installation. Right-click on the DVD drive and click on click on [Open].
From the list of files available run the [Setup.exe] file.
Click on [Next] on the welcome screen.
Select the deployment type and click on [Next]. It is recommended to do a typical deployment.
Click on [Install].
Once installation is complete, click on [Finish].
You need to restart the system for the changes to take effect. Click on [Yes] to restart.
After restarting the virtual machine, we switch back to the vSphere Web Client and refresh the summary page. We see that VMware Tools has been successfully installed.
In this next example, we will install VMware Tools on a virtual machine that is configured with Linux as the guest operating system. We click on [Install VMware Tools].
Click on [Mount] to mount the ISO on to the virtual CD/DVD drive.
We switch to the virtual machine’s console and login using the root credentials.We first create a directory named “cdrom” using the "mkdir" commandlet.
We then mount the CDROM device from the virtual machine to the newly created directory using the “mount” commandlet.
After mounting the CD, we list the contents of the CDROM. We see the contents of the VMware Tools ISO file.
We then use the “tar” command to extract the contents to a temp directory.
The VMware Tools installation package has been extracted to the temp directory. We now access the temp directory and view the contents. We see that we have a folder named vmware-tools-distrib.
We switch to the vmware-tools-distrib directory and run the VMware Tools installer pearl script. We pass the “-d” command to accept the default
Once VMware Tools has been installed, the VMware Tools CDROM is automatically ejected. We restart the virtual machine for the changes to take effect. This concludes the walkthrough on installing VMware Tools on virtual machines running Windows and Linux guest operating systems. Select the next walkthrough of your choice using the navigation panel.
Manage Virtual Hardware
This walkthrough is designed to provide a step-by-step overview on how to manage virtual machine hardware in vSphere with Operations Management. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the screens.
Virtual machines can be powered on and powered off the same way a physical server is powered on/off. When a VM is powered on, it is allowed to access the virtualized hardware, the virtual BIOS is initiated and the OS boots. VM can also be suspended, in which case the data in its memory is written to a file on disk and configuration is saved to let you resume it later. When VMware tools is installed on the guest OS, shutdown commands can initiate OS directed shutdown sequence.
Here we have already created a virtual machine (VM); let’s analyze the VM hardware. Some hardware modifications can be made while the VM is powered on. Others require the VM to be powered off. On the Summary tab, we see that this VM has 2 CPUs and 4096 megabytes of memory. We can also see additional details about the hardware, such as the location of the VM’s hard drive or MAC address of the network adapter.
We’ll be adding some virtual hardware to the VM that requires the VM be in a powered-off state. Shut down the VM from the Actions menu.
Confirm the action by clicking on [Yes].
To edit the settings of the VM hardware, click on [Edit Settings].
Here we can customize the virtual machine hardware settings. For example, we can add an additional CPU by clicking on the CPU drop down menu. We can also add additional memory here. In this case, we change the memory to 8192 megabytes. This number can be specified in megabytes or gigabytes.
We can increase the size of the hard drive. We increase the size of this hard drive to 80 gigabytes. Note that we have multiple options for specifying the size of the VM hard drive.
We can add new hardware, as well. For example, we’ll add a network interface card. We click on [Add] and specify what network we want to connect the new network interface card to, which is the Internal Network in this demo.
We can remove a hardware by clicking on the [X] mark next to the hardware component. Multiple changes can be made to the virtual machine. We click on [OK] to save these changes.
In addition to changing virtual machine hardware, we have several options that can be set for the VM. These options are accessed by going to the top of the window and clicking on [VM options].
Here, we want to set the virtual machine to go into the BIOS when it boots for the first time. Click on [OK].
We [Power On] the virtual machine.
And get access to the console of the virtual machine by clicking on [Launch Console].
Notice that the virtual machine has booted up into the BIOS. We click inside the window and use the arrow keys to find settings we want to change. Next, we set the CD-ROM to be the first boot device and exit the BIOS by pressing [F10].
Select [Yes]. The virtual machine will restart and boot from the virtual CD-ROM device. We are ready to install the operating system. This concludes the walkthrough on managing virtual machines.
This walkthrough is designed to provide a step-by-step overview on how to clone a virtual machine and deploy a virtual machine from a template. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the screens.
We start by cloning the virtual machine named "prod-win-file08". With the original VM selected, we click on [Actions] and go to [Clone to Virtual Machine].
We name the clone as "prod-win-file09" and click on [Next].
Select a compute resource for the new virtual machine. We select "SecureServersCluster" and click on [Next].
Select the storage location for this virtual machine along with the virtual disk format. In this example, we select [iSCSI-Datastore-02] and [Thin Provision] and click on [Next].
For the clone options, we retain the default settings and click on [Next].
Review the settings and click on [Finish].
Once cloning process is complete, we see that "prod-win-file09" is now listed in the inventory. We [Power On] the virtual machine.
After powering on, we launch its console by clicking on [Launch Console].
We have logged into the cloned virtual machine and see that the clone machine has the same host name as the source machine. This is an identical copy of the original virtual machine. To solve this issue and to further automate the process of customizing a virtual machine, VMware has introduced Customization Specification Manager. Using this tool, we can automate the process of customizing a newly deployed virtual machine.
To demonstrate customization, we go to [Customization Specification Manager.]
Here we are going to create a new customization specification for Windows 2012-R2 Servers by clicking on the [Create a New Specification] icon.
We choose the target operating system, which in this case is Windows and assign a name to the customization specification and click on [Next].
Enter the registration information and click on [Next].
We see a few options to provide a computer name to the virtual machine guest operating system. For example, we can enter a name and append a numeric value. In this case, we will use the virtual machine name when a virtual machine is deployed using this customization specification. Note that you also need to enter a domain name. Click on [Next].
Enter the Windows license key and click on [Next].
Assign a password to the administrator account and Click on [Next].
Select the time zone and click on [Next].
Add any script that you need to run once after the customization process is complete and Click on [Next].
Configure your networking. You can either customize the settings or use the default setting, which as in this example is DHCP. Click on [Next].
Since we are using DHCP, there is no need to enter DNS server information. However, a DNS Search Path is required. Enter the path and click on [Next].
Choose if you want to create new SID and click on [Next].
Review the settings and click on [Finish].
The new Customization Specification has been created. We will now go ahead and clone the same source virtual machine and use this specification in the process.
We then right-click on the virtual machine and click on [Clone to Virtual Machine].
Assign a new name. We’ll name this clone "prod-win-file10" and click on [Next].
We select [SecureServerCluster] to run this virtual machine and click on [Next].
Select the storage and disk format for this virtual machine and click on [Next].
This time, while configuring the clone options, we check [Customize the Operating System] and [Power on Virtual Machine After Creation] and click on [Next].
Here we select the newly created [Customization Specification] and click on [Next].
Review the settings and click on [Finish].
The clone machine has been deployed, we will now open up the console to verify if the customization specification worked.
We login to the console and access the Local Server. Notice that the computer name has been updated. It is "prod-win-file10". This concludes the walkthrough on cloning a virtual machine and deploying a virtual machine from a template. Select the next walkthrough of your choice using the navigation panel.
In this walkthrough we will demonstrate a simple way of deploying virtual machines by using a virtual machine template. Use the arrow keys to navigate through the screens
For this demo, we have created a virtual machine with Windows updates, applications and other settings unique to our environment. Once the virtual machine has been converted to a template, we can use this template to deploy new virtual machines. Customization Specifications can be used when deploying virtual machines from a template to make each virtual machine unique.
We select the [Virtual Machine], go to [All vCenter Actions] and click on [Convert to Template]. Notice that we can also clone the virtual machine and create a template.
The virtual machine has been converted into a template. We can use this template to deploy a new virtual machine.
To deploy a virtual machine from the template, we right click on the [Template] and click on [Deploy VM from Template].
We assign a name to the new virtual machine, select the location and click on [Next].
We select the cluster and click on [Next].
We select the storage and click on [Next].
We choose to customize the operating system and to power on the virtual machine after deployment and click on [Next].
We select the customization specification that was created earlier in this demo and click on [Next].
Review the settings and click on [Finish].
A new VM has been deployed from this template and has been customized using the Customization Specification. This concludes the walkthrough on deploying depoloying virtual machines from a template. Select the next walkthrough of your choice using the navigation panel.