VMware, 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.
Campus-specific information such as server names and access controls are described below.
Access to the server 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 roles
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
To connect to the web client, Navigate to: https://vcenter.cites.illinois.edu:9443/vsphere-client/# and log in.
In the left-hand column, you will see a list of virtual machines you are authorized to view. Double click one to select it.
From the web interface, the VM can be powered on/off or reset and devices like the CD-ROM can be managed.
For more detailed information about the web-based interface, see the VMware company's documentation (external link: http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-pubs.html).
Launching the Virtual Console requires the installation of a browser plugin. You should get prompted to install the plugin when you launch the Virtual Console.
Note: Web-based console access problems with Linux Firefox
The plugin will not work on RedHat Linux or other systems that have export MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH in /usr/bin/firefox. That line can be commented out of the script for the plugin to work, but that will make all other system-installed plugins (like Java) inaccessible. The work-around for that is to add symlinks to ~/.mozilla/plugins.
Finally, the Windows-only stand-alone client is still available here if you experience issues with the browser plugin: https://vcenter.cites.illinois.edu/client/VMware-viclient.exe
A quick-start installation guide with campus-specific information is provided below. See the VMware company's documentation for more details.
- Launch an Internet Browser and navigate to: https://vcenter.cites.illinois.edu:9443/vsphere-client/#
- Login to the web client using your UOFI Active Directory Password
- You should get prompted to install a browser plugin. This plugin is necessary to launch the virtual console.
- In the left-hand column, you will see a list of virtual machines you are authorized to view. Right-Click your virtual machine and select the option to power it on.
- In the vCenter web client, mount the appropriate installation ISO with the "Connect to CD/DVD" button in the VM Hardware menu. You will want to select the "Connect to CD/DVD image on a local disk" option.
- Launch the virtual Console by Right-Clicking the VM and choosing Open Console
- When the console window launches, click the Send Ctrl-Alt-Del button to restart the VM and then Immediately press the F2 button on your keyboard to bring up the boot menu.
- Once the boot menu appears, select your mounted installation media as the boot source to install the operating system on your VM.