Compose an SCVMM Environment from Running Virtual Machines

When you create an SCVMM environment, you can include virtual machines that are already running on an SCVMM host group. These machines are not copied, but included directly into your environment. While it is in your environment, it is unavailable to other environments. When you subsequently delete the environment, virtual machines of this kind are not deleted, but instead are returned to the pool of available running virtual machines. They can then be used by other team members.

There are two typical scenarios in which environments are composed directly from running virtual machines:

  • Rapid environments. Because the virtual machines are not copied from a library, the environment can be built and used very quickly.

  • Shared environments. The environment is built and preserved for some time, with different team members sharing it. The virtual machines in it are built just for that purpose.

If you compose an environment entirely from running machines, it is created much more quickly than an environment that includes copies of library virtual machines or templates.


  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional


In previous versions of Microsoft Test Manager, environments constructed this way were called composed environments. You can now include in the same environment both running virtual machines and new virtual machines copied from the library.



To create a lab environment that contains virtual machines that are running Windows XP, perform the additional steps listed in Configuring Lab Environments that Contain Windows XP Machines.

The following prerequisites must be complete before you create an SCVMM environment using running virtual machines:

  1. Each virtual machine that you add to the environment must be managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). Before you can create an SCVMM environment using running virtual machines, you must complete the prerequisite tasks for SCVMM environments in Getting Started with Lab Management.

  2. One of the following operating systems must be installed and running on each virtual machine that you’re going add to the environment:

    • Windows Server 2008

    • Windows Server 2012

    • Windows XP SP3

    • Windows Vista SP2

    • Windows 7 SP1

    • Windows 8

  3. File sharing must be enabled on each virtual machine that you’re going to add to the environment.

  4. An administrator account with the same user name and password must be configured on each virtual machine that you’re going to add to the environment. This can be a domain account or a local account. This requirement does not apply to any additional accounts that you add to your machines.

Create an SCVMM environment using running virtual machines

To create the environment

  1. Run Microsoft Test Manager as an administrator.

  2. In Lab Center, create a new SCVMM environment.

  3. On the Machines page of the New environment wizard, under Virtual machines available, highlight the virtual machines that you want to add to your environment. Highlight only the virtual machines that are in the Status:Running section of the list.

    When you add a running virtual machine from the list of virtual machines, the Status of the virtual machine will change to Unavailable. This indicates that the virtual machine is no longer available to other environments. To make the virtual machine available again, you must delete the environment.

    You can also add stored virtual machines and templates. However, this will make the process of creating the environment slower than if you use only Running machines.

  4. Complete the New environment wizard:

    1. Attend to any pages that are marked by a red asterisk.

    2. Choose Verify.

    3. When verification is complete, choose Finish.

      The wizard will close and the new environment will appear in the Environments list.

    4. When the status changes to Ready, you can use the environment. If the status of the environment is Not Ready, highlight the environment and choose Repair. This will install a test agent in each virtual machine.

What’s next

Here are the tasks that you can perform after you create an SCVMM environment:

See Also


Creating Lab Environments

Using a Lab Environment for Your Application Lifecycle