Virtual Hosting, Configuring and Using a VMware Server
For IT Pros This page contains information about the Technology Services Virtual Hosting services available to campus IT pros.
In most ways, configuring and using a VMware server is similar to configuring and using a physical server through a remote desktop connection.
VMware provides a full set of documentation for VMware server administrators.
Campus-specific information such as server names and access controls are described below.
How are access permissions controlled?
Access to the Virtual Machine itself is controlled with Active Directory groups. When you select an Active Directory group during the initial order, the users in that group will be granted permissions for your server.
Permissions within the VMware server
VMware uses "roles" to grant permissions for its various functions. Roles are defined as having a set of permissions, and then users or groups are added to an object with that role.
Currently defined role:
VM Server Admin
This role simulates a physical server, using no special VM capabilities. By default, all Technology Services VMware server administrators will receive this permission set. Defined permissions for the role are:
- Virtual Machine: Interaction
- Power on/off/suspend/reset
- Console access
- VMwareTools installation
- Device connection; CD/Floppy media
Connecting to a VM
To connect to the web client, Navigate to https://vcenter.techservices.illinois.edu/ui and log in.
After you log in you will need to click the VMs and Templates tab in the left pane to see the folders and VMs that you are entitled to.
From the web interface, the VM can be powered on/off or reset. The actions drop-down menu provides a list of functions that you can perform on the VM. This is accessed either by selecting the VM and using the actions drop down in the Right Pane or by right-clicking the VM in the left pane.
VMware Remote Console (VMRC)
If you need direct console access to a VM you will need to use the VMRC. This allows you to interact directly with the console as if you were sitting in front of the server or accessing it via lights out interface.
The VMRC has two modes.
1. 1. The HTML5 console provides direct access to the VM but you cannot connect additional devices. An advantage to this console mode is that it does not require an additional plugin.
You can access the HTML5 console by clicking on the screen preview when the VM is selected.
2. The VMRC installable plugin allows for the connection of remote devices like ISOs. This mode requires the user to install a plugin before using it.
You can access the VMRC connection by clicking the Launch Remote Console Link under the screen preview when the VM is selected. You can alternatively get to the VMRC by using the Open Remote Console link in the Actions menu.
The VMRC allows you to connect an ISO image from your local machine to install an operating System. This can be done by using the menu option:
VMRC-> Removable Devices-> CD/DVD drive 1-> Connect to Disk Image File(ISO)
Then browsing your local machine for the location of the ISO file you wish to mount. The ISO will stay mounted until the VM is rebooted or the VMRC is closed.
The VM can be rebooted by using the key combination of CTRL+ALT+INSERT or by using the CTRL+ALT+DELETE option in the VMRC menu. This allows you to mount an ISO and not have it disconnect on a cold restart.
VMRC download links:
How do I install my virtual server?
The VM does not have an operating system by default. During the request process, you will specify an OS to configure the virtual hardware for but you will receive a blank VM with nothing installed. You will need to use the VMRC process listed above to install your VM’s OS. After the OS is installed, it is recommended that you install either VMware tools or open-vm-tools to get the correct drivers for the virtual hardware.
See the VMware documentation for more details.