System Center Virtual Machine Manager & RTFM
I've been playing with System Center Virtual Machine Manager. I needed to do a demo of it, so figured now was the time to start learning..
You can get your hands on Beta 1 of VMM from http://connect.microsoft.com/ - you just need to sign up for it.
I've got a 64-bit laptop, so without doing anything sensible (like RTFM), I installed the x64 version of Windows Server 2003 R2 onto it. Next I installed the x64 version of Virtual Server R2. Now I'm ready to install VMM? No - VMM Beta 1 only installs on 32-bit Windows!
Next I install the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2003 R2 and the 32-bit version of Virtual Server. My machine is in a workgroup, I try the install with no joy. The machine must be in a domain (no workgroups)!
I join my machine to the Microsoft network as a member server. VMM has a couple of pre-requisites to install before you can install it, which I do (still no reading manuals) - just execute everything in the pre-reqs folder. VMM installs a treat and is an amazing product - I'm very impressed (more on that later).
Everything working fine, I work out what I can demo (and what to avoid). One last, quick test before I head off for my demo - reboot laptop without a network connection. VMM won't start without connecting to a domain controller - no demo yet!
I plug back into the network and leave the Microsoft domain. Quick install of DNS, reconfigure IP and run DCPROMO. Now I've got access to a domain controller (my laptop), VMM should work, right? No! Maybe it's an access thing (I did install it as myself when on the Microsoft domain)?
So, I uninstall VMM and start the installation again. VMM won't install on a Domain Controller!
Plan F (of is it G?) - dcpromo again, back to a workgroup. Create a Virtual Machine running in my Virtual Server and make it into a Domain Controller. Install the MS Loopback connector and configure it to connect to the DC running as a virtual machine. Get my laptop (the host) to join the domain that's running in the guest. Making sense - see where I'm going?
After a few reboots, and a quick Virtual Server configuration to get my guest DC to start automatically (so that I can log onto my laptop as the domain admin), I re-install VMM. Did is work? No (and with an error I cannot find documented anywhere)!
My demo is tomorrow, and I have nothing to show (well I do have a 10 minute video of a demo shown at WinHEC earlier this year).
I haven't given up yet - it must be possible to demo VMM on a laptop (and nothing is impossible - right?). I have another plan (which I'll hopefully get to try next week): 64-bit Windows, 64-bit Virtual Server, 32-bit guest Virtual Domain Controller and a 32-bit guest Virtual Member Server, onto which I'll install VMM (and get it to manage its own host server). What are my chances (slim I'd say)?
What lesson did I learn? RTFM (I could have saved myself a lot of time)!
I'll let you know how I get on next week..