VMRCPlus is a new tool that provides an alternative to the Virtual Server 2005 web based administration console. It is not designed to replace every function, but does a pretty good job at it in addition to providing features that the web console does not have.

VMRCPlus was developed by a member of the Virtual Machine product group Paul Despe and a Principal Consultant in the Netherlands Matthijs ten Seldam as a a side project.  VMRCPlus is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions current from here and will be featured in an upcoming TechNet Magazine article.

VMRCPlus will also be on the companion media of my new Virtual Server 2005 R2 Resource Kit book.

Here is a list of features

  • Does not require IIS to be installed locally
  • Local or remote management of hosts (uses current credentials for access)
  • Connect to multiple hosts at once
  • Tabbed interface to quickly jump between Virtual Server hosts
  • Advanced VMRC client with tabbed interface and access to all available configuration options for a running guest.
  • Reusable saved states: this feature allows users to preserve a particular saved state and return to that state at any time.
  • Multiple guest selection supported for startup/shutdown/save/display.
  • Browse button navigation for media, hard disk images, ISO images, .VMC files, etc.
  • Drag and Drop support for .VMC files, ISOs images, VHD and VFD files.
  • Resizable desktop support for guests running Virtual Machine Additions (maximize VMRC window supported).
  • Limited cut and paste of text from host to guest (only).
  • A built-in utility to take JPG screenshots of running guests.
  • Built-in error notification with Virtual Server eventlog viewer.
  • A Virtual Networks Manager and Virtual Disks Manager that cover all features.
  • Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl-S to save state a guest).
  • Create multiple guests at once.
  • Create guest from parent (or multiple guests)!
  • Automatic reconnect to a designated Virtual Server host.
  • Toolbars in both Guest and Console Manager for quick access.
  • Unlimited number of guests.
  • Maximum of 32 Virtual Server hosts.
  • Sorting on columns of guests so you can sort based on status and multi-select.
  • Automatic detection of Virtual Machine Additions and notification.
  • Detection of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

VMRCPlus is a great tool that will free you from running IIS on your local or remote hosts.

Note that VMRCPlus is a resource kit tool and therefore not supported by Microsoft Support Services.

For Enterprise level supported management platform for multiple Virtual Server hosts, you should investigate System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) which is currently in beta.  More info here or join the beta program here.