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  1. 1. feature section: virtualization in the mainstream Virtualization Management Using Microsoft System Center and Dell OpenManage By Balasubramanian Chandrasekaran Managing large virtualized environments can be challenging Ranjith Purush Brent Douglas and time-consuming. This article outlines how enterprises can David Schmidt use Microsoft® System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007, Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, and the Dell OpenManage™ suite to help simplify administrative tasks and enhance operational efficiency in virtualized data centers. V irtualization is a powerful technology that enables Key components enterprises to consolidate servers and storage, isolate Figure 1 illustrates the key components of a VMM infrastruc- systems from one another, and rapidly deploy new ture, which include the following: systems. However, virtualization can also lead to increased management requirements, from performing critical life cycle • VMM server: The VMM server runs the core application and systems management tasks to deploying features designed that communicates with VM hosts through VMM agents to take advantage of virtualization’s advanced capabilities. and maintains system information in the VMM database. Microsoft offers several tools that administrators can inte- Administrators can access it through the VMM Related Categories: grate with the Dell OpenManage suite to help simplify the man- Administrator Console, VMM provisioning Web portal, and Microsoft Virtual Server agement of virtualized environments on Dell PowerEdge ™ ™ scripting client. Systems management servers. Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager • VMM Administrator Console: Administrators can use the (VMM), which will be released later in 2007, delivers centralized VMM Administrator Console to add and manage hosts, Virtualization management of Microsoft Virtual Server–based systems, and create and manage VMs, monitor tasks, and administer Visit for the complete category index. includes features such as physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion, the Web portal. This console is a stand-alone application virtual machine (VM) provisioning tools, and intelligent VM built on Microsoft Windows PowerShell technology, and deployment. Integrating VMM with Microsoft System Center can be installed on a variety of systems to help adminis- Operations Manager 2007 and the Dell Management Pack (MP) trators remotely manage VMs. allows VMM to monitor the environment and allocate VMs effec- • VMM delegated management and provisioning Web portal: tively across the entire data center. The VMM Web portal is a Web page through which autho- rized users can create and manage VMs that are delegated Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager to them. Administrators determine who can create VMs, VMM, one of the key components of the Microsoft System which hosts their VMs can run on, which templates they can Center suite, is a one-to-many manager for Microsoft use, and which actions they can take on their own VMs. Windows OS–based VMs. VMM facilitates the deployment ® Administrators can also monitor resource utilization and of Microsoft Virtual Server software, rapid and intelligent use this information to bill VM users accordingly. provisioning of VMs on physical servers, and management • VMM database: The VMM database stores configuration of VMs across multiple servers. and performance information for hosts and VMs. DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | August 2007 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, August 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. 40
  2. 2. Key features candidates for P2V conversions (see the software, helping administrators efficientlyKey features of VMM include centralized man- “Integrated virtual machine provisioning and monitor their entire data center from a singleagement, Virtual Server software deployment, management” section in this article). console. Operations Manager 2007 and VMMoptimized VM placement, P2V conversion, a Central library. VMM provides administrators both belong to the System Center productcentral library, and scripting and automation. with a centralized library containing the building family, and their tight integration allows Centralized management. VMM provides cen- blocks for a virtual infrastructure. Objects that enhanced management capabilities.tralized management of VMs as well as the physi- the library can contain include VM templates, Key features of Operations Manager 2007cal servers hosting them. Administrators can use virtual disk files, virtual CD ISO files, virtual floppy include the following:VMM to perform basic VM operations such as image files, hardware profiles that can becreating VMs, powering them up and down, clon- assigned to new VMs, and post-deployment cus- • Health monitoring: Administrators can mon-ing, performing offline migrations, creating check- tomization scripts. The library is maintained by itor thousands of events and performancepoints, and configuring virtual hardware. They can one or more library servers, each with its own counters across hundreds of servers, operat-also easily add, group, and manage hosts running owners and access control. ing systems, and applications to provide aVirtual Server, including setting host server prop- Scripting and automation. The VMM single view of data center health.erties such as host reserves and configuring Administrator Console and provisioning Web • Alert monitoring: Operations Manager 2007virtual networks. portal are built on Microsoft Windows PowerShell, can combine alerts for critical events requir- Microsoft Virtual Server software deploy- as shown in Figure 1. PowerShell provides a pow- ing action, helping administrators respondment. Administrators can easily add new physi- erful scripting and automation interface directly quickly to events that may affect normalcal servers to VMM. When they do so, VMM can to the VMM core engine, enabling administrators operations.use the existing Microsoft Active Directory® to perform VMM graphical user interface (GUI) • Tasks: Administrators can investigate anddirectory service infrastructure to automatically functions using PowerShell. VMM also allows resolve problems from the Operationsinstall Virtual Server along with VMM agents on administrators to view the equivalent PowerShell Manager 2007 Operations Console by usingthese new servers, allowing the servers to host scripts for tasks when using the GUI. built-in as well as custom tasks, and takeVMs and communicate with VMM for monitoring advantage of the detailed troubleshootingand management. Microsoft System Center Operations and best-practices information provided by Optimized VM placement. VMM can intel- Manager 2007 Operations Manager 2007 to guide themligently place VMs to optimize resource utiliza- Operations Manager 2007 is a comprehensive, through problem resolution.tion, recommending a physical server based end-to-end service management tool designed • Diagram views: Administrators can accesson VM resource requirements supplied by to work seamlessly with other Microsoft graphical and hierarchical views of theadministrators. VMM bases its recommenda-tions on the physical servers’ processor, virtualization host servermemory, disk, and network characteristics, VM VM VM VMthen ranks them using a weighted sum of microsoft virtual vmm server Release 2 (R2) agent Windowsavailable resources. Once administrators have Powershell microsoft Windows server 2003 R2chosen from the ranked list, VMM creates and vmm Administratordeploys the new VM on the selected server. microsoft system Center Console P2v source server vmm P2V conversion. The P2V wizard in VMM Applications vmm agent microsoft Windows server 2003 R2helps simplify the migration of physical systems Windows microsoft Windows server 2003 R2 Powershellto VMs, including recommending a physicalhost for the new VM. VMM uses Microsoft vmm provisioning Web portalVolume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) in the library serverMicrosoft Windows Server® 2003 OS to create vmm agent vmm databaseVMs quickly and without requiring downtime for microsoft Windows server 2003 R2 Windows Powershell microsoft sQl server™ 2005the source physical server. VMM currently sup- microsoft Windows server 2003 R2 scripting clientports P2V conversion of servers running Disk drivesMicrosoft Windows 2000 Server or WindowsServer 2003. VMM can also integrate withOperations Manager 2007 to identify potential Figure 1. Key components of a Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager infrastructureReprinted from Dell Power Solutions, August 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. 41
  3. 3. feature section: virtualization in the mainstream different hardware and software compo- administrators to centrally monitor and manage alerts, and enable administrators to view nents of their data center. both virtual and physical environments and information on specific hardware components • Reporting: Operations Manager 2007 can their workloads. to help ensure the continuous availability of Dell generate a variety of reports based on Key functionality added to Operations servers. In addition to installing the Dell MP, events, alerts, and performance data stored Manager 2007 by this MP includes the administrators should install Dell OpenManage in its data warehouse. following: Server Administrator (OMSA) on managed serv- • Audit collection: Operations Manager 2007 ers to enable Operations Manager 2007 to cap- can automate the collection and consolida- • Graphical mapping of VMs to physical hosts ture Dell-specific alerts. tion of auditable events from Windows secu- at any given point in time Key functionality added to Operations rity logs, enabling enterprises to meet • Real-time monitoring of VMs and alert gen- Manager 2007 by the Dell MP includes the regulatory compliance requirements. eration for VM resource utilization, heart- following: beats, and other resources Figure 2 illustrates the key components of a • Reporting capabilities to help identify can- • Generation of Dell-specific alerts for server basic Operations Manager 2007 infrastructure. didates for P2V conversion based on histori- hardware events, such as chassis intrusion cal processor, memory, disk, and network and abnormal temperature or voltage Management packs utilization; show historic resource utilization • In-band management allowing administra- A key feature of Operations Manager 2007 is the and trends for both hosts and VMs; and tors to launch the OMSA console from ability to expand its capabilities through MPs, allow tracking of resource allocations across Operations Manager 2007 alerts and clear which allow it to discover, monitor, troubleshoot, cost centers, which enterprises can then use Embedded Server Management (ESM) logs report on, and resolve problems for specific com- to bill based on usage • Out-of-band management allowing admin- ponents. MPs are available for products from • Operations Manager 2007 VM utilization istrators to launch the Dell Remote Access Microsoft as well as numerous third-party ven- reports accessible in the VMM console Controller (DRAC) console from Operations dors, including Dell. Two MPs in particular add • Ability to launch the Virtual Server Web Manager 2007 alerts (only available on serv- important functionality that allows administra- browser–based administration GUI from ers supporting the DRAC III or later) tors to integrate VMM and Operations Manager Operations Manager 2007 • Extensive knowledge base providing typical 2007 to effectively manage a virtualized environ- resolutions for Dell-specific alerts ment on Dell PowerEdge servers: the Microsoft Dell MP. The Dell MP reports Dell-specific • Server-specific information such as service Server Virtualization MP and the Dell MP. server and application alerts through the tag, asset tag, IP address, and model Microsoft Server Virtualization MP. The Operations Manager 2007 Operations Console, Microsoft Server Virtualization MP is actually a helping simplify management of these systems. The latest Dell MP for Operations Manager collection of MPs, and is central to integrating Features introduced in this MP for Operations 2007 is available for download from VMM with Operations Manager 2007. It enables Manager 2007 provide reports and pre-failure Dell MP versions earlier than 3.0 are not compatible with Operations Manager 2007. Web Console server Dell OpenManage systems Web Console management suite mPs The Dell OpenManage suite, which includes OMSA and Dell OpenManage IT Assistant, is virtualized server farm Root management server operations Console designed to simplify the monitoring and man- agement of Dell systems. OMSA is a comprehen- sive one-to-one systems management mPs application that allows administrators to manage both local and remote systems. It provides an management server(s) Database server Reporting server integrated Web browser–based GUI and an OS- with data warehouse based command-line interface (CLI). Dell OpenManage IT Assistant provides a Figure 2. Key components of a Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 infrastructure central console to monitor and manage systems DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | August 2007 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, August 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. 42
  4. 4. on a local or wide area network. Similar to theway Operations Manager 2007 aggregatessystem data, IT Assistant presents administra- vm virtualized server farmtors with a comprehensive view of their network, vmhelping automate repetitive tasks, increase operations manager Applications 2007 agentsystem uptime, and prevent interruption of criti- microsoft Windows guest oscal operations. Administrators can use IT virtualization layer operations manager vmm 2007 agent omsA agent microsoft virtual server 2005 R2Assistant to create tasks that apply to a single host ossystem or each system in a group, create microsoft Windows server 2003dynamic groups of systems to facilitate manage-ment, and inventory systems. In addition, ITAssistant provides a consolidated launch point microsoft Active Directory server networkfor OMSA, Dell OpenManage Array Manager, andDell OpenManage Switch Administrator; DRAC microsoft system Center microsoft system Center vmm operations manager 2007consoles; and printer, tape, storage, IPMI, anddigital keyboard, video, mouse (KVM) devices. Figure 3. Example environment using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager andIntegrated virtual machine provisioning Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007and managementIntegrating VMM and Operations Manager 2007 applications from physical servers into an intel- functionality available across VMM, Operationscan help administrators increase VM availabil- ligently configured virtualized environment. Manager 2007, and Dell OpenManage to showity and perform seamless P2V migrations on In addition, to help increase VM availability, how administrators can use these tools togetherDell PowerEdge servers. For example, the VMs can be moved across physical servers to help provide end-to-end management of vir-Operations Manager 2007 reporting compo- based on host health. Operations Manager 2007 tual and physical server environments. The “Bestnent tracks the resource utilization of physical can trigger custom tasks, based on alerts and practices for managing virtualized Microsoftservers, and VMM can use this information to administrator-configured policies, that launch Windows environments on Dell servers” sidebarmake recommendations about VM placement scripts in VMM to migrate VMs across hosts. in this article summarizes some of the waysand identify potential P2V conversion candi- Figure 3 illustrates an example environ- administrators can use Operations Managerdates. Administrators can then use the P2V ment using both VMM and Operations Manager 2007 to efficiently manage virtualized Windowscapability in VMM to migrate the OS and hosted 2007. Figure 4 summarizes the management environments on Dell PowerEdge servers. best practices for managing virtualized Microsoft windows environments ON DELL SERVERS The following best practices can help administrators use Microsoft System • The Operations Manager 2007 agent can be pushed to VMs through the Center Virtual Machine Manager and Operations Manager 2007 to efficiently Operations Manager console, or it can be manually installed on the VMs. manage virtualized Windows environments on Dell PowerEdge servers: However, a better implementation would be to add the agent to the base VM image. When such an image is deployed, the Operations Manager 2007 • To have both in-band and out-of-band management capabilities on Dell agent queries Microsoft Active Directory and automatically communicates servers, administrators should install the Dell MP for Operations Manager with the appropriate management server. 2007. They should also install OMSA on all Dell servers. • To help optimize VM monitoring and provide virtualization-specific report- • Although Operations Manager 2007 supports agentless server manage- ing features, administrators should add Windows guest operating systems ment, in which no Operations Manager 2007 agents are installed on running in a Windows virtualized environment as agent-managed servers the managed servers, the additional functionality provided by the vari- in Operations Manager 2007. ous MPs is not available in agentless managed servers. To allow com- • To allow Operations Manager 2007 to monitor VM heartbeats and report prehensive management functionality, administrators should use VM states, Windows guest operating systems should also be running agent-managed servers. Microsoft Virtual Server Virtual Machine Additions.Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, August 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. 43
  5. 5. feature section: virtualization in the mainstream Efficient management of virtualized Category Management task VMM Operations Dell environments Manager 2007 OpenManage Effective management tools can be essential to with the Microsoft Server managing virtualized environments in enterprise Virtualization MP data centers. Combining management tools like and Dell MP Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Installation Installing Microsoft Virtual Server 4 Manager, Microsoft System Center Operations Installing Operations Manager 2007 MPs 4 Manager 2007, and Dell OpenManage software with the Microsoft Virtual Server and Dell man- Installing VMs 4 agement packs can provide a flexible, efficient Installing OMSA 4 way of monitoring virtualized environments and carrying out key administrative tasks. P2V conversion Identifying candidates for P2V 4* 4 conversion Balasubramanian Chandrasekaran is a sys- Performing P2V conversion with 4 intelligent VM placement tems engineer in the Dell Virtualization Solutions Engineering Group. VM management Creating VMs 4 Intelligently placing VMs 4 Ranjith Purush is a systems engineer in the Dell Virtualization Solutions Engineering Group. Cold migrating VMs 4 Managing VM states (start/stop) 4 4 Brent Douglas is a systems engineer in the Dell Starting and stopping Virtual Server Virtualization Solutions Engineering Group. 4 service Delegating rights to provision and David Schmidt manages the Dell Virtualization 4 manage VMs Solutions Engineering Group. VM monitoring Monitoring Virtual Server status 4 4 Monitoring VM status and performance 4 4 Monitoring guest OS–specific alerts 4 from VMs Mapping VMs to hosts 4 4 Generating reports on host and VM 4 4 QUICK LINKs resource utilization and historic trends Physical server Monitoring server-specific alerts 4 4 Microsoft System Center: monitoring Monitoring OS-specific alerts 4 4 Microsoft System Center Virtual Retrieving server configuration 4 4 4 Machine Manager: information Physical server Updating BIOS and firmware 4 scvmm remote management Microsoft System Center Operations Configuring virtualization software set- 4 tings (such as host reserves and virtual Manager 2007 documentation: networking) 2007/library/proddocs.mspx Performing out-of-band server 4 4 management Management packs for Microsoft * Enabled with Operations Manager 2007. Operations Manager: mom/catalog/catalog.aspx Figure 4. Key management functionality of Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007, and Dell OpenManage software DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | August 2007 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, August 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. 44