Managing the VMM Library

Applies To: Virtual Machine Manager 2008, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1

The Virtual Machine Manager library is a catalog of resources that allows users to store objects that are not running or associated with a host. The library contains files stored on library shares, as well as templates, operating system profiles, and hardware profiles stored in the Virtual Machine Manager database. There are only two places an object can live and be managed by VMM: either registered to a host or stored in the VMM library.

Types of Library Resources

The library can store the following types of resources:

  • File-based resources such as virtual hard disks, virtual floppy disks, ISO images, and scripts. To be used in Virtual Machine Manager, a file must be added to the library. This requires storing the file on a library server on a designated library share. For more information, see Adding File-Based Resources to the Library. For a list of file types that can be stored in the VMM library, see File Types That Are Indexed During a Library Refresh.

  • Virtual machine templates, hardware profiles, and guest operating system profiles, which are configured in Library view for use in creating standard virtual machines. These configurations are stored in the Virtual Machine Manager database but are not represented by physical configuration files.


    You can store VMware virtual machines, hard disks, floppy disks, and ISO images in the VMM library. Use the Import templates action to import VMware templates into the library after adding a VMware VirtualCenter server. For more information, see How to Import VMware Templates.

  • Virtual machines that are not in use. The virtual machines are displayed in Library view. However, the files for a stored virtual machine are not displayed in the library because the files cannot be used to create or configure new virtual machines.

Single and Multiple Library Servers

To help streamline deployment, VMM allows you to use host servers as library servers also. The Virtual Machine Manager library initially contains a single library share, which is created on the Virtual Machine Manager server during Setup. To distribute your file-based resources among multiple servers, you can add library servers and library shares. For more information, see How to Add a Library Server and How to Add Library Shares.

Highly Available Library Servers

VMM 2008 supports highly available library servers that are configured as a failover cluster in Windows Server 2008. VMM 2008 does not support clusters created in Windows Server 2003. To add highly available library servers to VMM: in the Add Library Server Wizard, enter the highly available file server name as the library server name. The wizard discovers all of the nodes of the cluster, and then adds the highly available file server to Library view. The nodes will not be displayed in Library view, but will be displayed in Administration view, under Managed Computers. For more information, see How to Add a Library Server. For more information about adding and managing highly available library servers, see Frequently Asked Questions: Virtual Machine Manager Library.

Refreshing the Library

One of the benefits of providing direct access to library files through the file system is that you can copy, move, and create directories through Windows Explorer. Virtual Machine Manager tags each file in the library share with a GUID and periodically indexes the files during library refreshes. Once a file has been refreshed by the library refresher you can move that file to any other location on a library share managed by VMM and the library refresher will automatically track the file’s movement. By default, library refreshes are performed once every hour; you can change the refresh rate or disable automatic library refreshes by updating Library Settings in Administration view. For more information, see How to Perform Manual Library Refreshes and How to Configure Library Refreshes.

Library Groups

For ease of managing library resources, you can organize your library servers into custom library groups. You can use library groups to organize library servers in whatever way meets your needs. For example, you can use library groups to associate library servers with a nearby host group. The library group property can only be set after a library server is added. If you do not specify a library group for a library server, the server is added to Library Server, the root node in Library view. For more information, see How to Assign Library Groups.

When you create a new virtual machine and you choose a base VHD from the library, you can scope your choices to library servers associated with the host group where you want to place the virtual machine. For example, you can create 10 geographic locations and assign a host group to each location. If you create a virtual machine in Location 1, you can use library objects from the library server associated with Location 1 to prevent large file copy operations across long distances. In this example, you would right-click the library file share and set the library group equal to Location 1. Similarly, from the command line, you can query for a library object and filter by library host group to ensure that you use the closest copy of the file.

See Also

Other Resources

Configuring the VMM Library
Frequently Asked Questions: VMM Library