VMM 2008 R2: How VMM Connects to Virtual Machines

VMM 2008 R2: How VMM Connects to Virtual Machines

Note: This article is based on VMM 2008  and might not apply to VMM 2012 (R2)
 

The technology that System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) uses to connect to a virtual machine depends on the virtualization software on the host (Hyper-V, Virtual Server, or VMware ESX Server) and how the connection is made. For example, if you connect to a virtual machine by using a thumbnail in the VMM Self-Service Portal, the method is different method than when you use the Connect to VM action in the VMM Administrator Console.

Connections to Hyper-V Virtual Machines from VMM

When you add a Hyper-V host to VMM, VMM enables remote connections to virtual machines using the default remote connection port for Hyper-V hosts (by default, port 2179), which is a configurable general setting in VMM. You can change the remote connection port for a host while adding the host to VMM or by modifying the setting on the Remote tab of the host properties. For instructions about configuring the default remote connection ports in VMM, see How to Configure Remote Access to Virtual Machines (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=162936).

Hyper-V Manager uses VMConnect for connections to virtual machines from remote consoles. VMConnect uses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) listener port to provide console connections to a virtual machine via the parent partition in Hyper-V.

VMM uses the same Single Port Listener technology to provide the administrator with live thumbnails in the VMM Administrator Console. The VMM Self-Service Portal and VirtualMachineViewer.exe also use the Single Port Listener technology of RDP.

However, the Single Port Listener for RDP is available only for console connections from a computer that is running one of the following operating systems: Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2. If the client computer is running any other operating system, VMM connects directly to the guest operating system that is running inside the virtual machine by using standard RDP. In that case, VMM can make the connection only if the virtual machine is in a running state and virtual guest services are installed on the virtual machine.

Connections to Virtual Server Virtual Machines from VMM

When you add a Virtual Server host to VMM, VMM enables virtual machine connections by using Virtual Machine Remote Control (VMRC) in Virtual Server. By default, VMM uses the default remote connections port for VMRC connections (port 5900), which is a configurable general setting in VMM. You can change the remote connection port for a host while adding the host to VMM or by modifying settings on the Remote tab of the host properties. For instructions about configuring default remote connection ports for VMM, see How to Configure Remote Access to Virtual Machines (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=162936).

Encryption is not enabled for VMRC connections when you add a Virtual Server host to VMM. After you add the host, it is recommended that you implement Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, particularly if you use Basic authentication, which transmits passwords in plain text. By modifying settings on the Remote tab of the host properties, you can enable SSL by using an unsigned certificate from Virtual Server. For instructions, see How to Change Remote Connections to Virtual Machines on a Host (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=123607).

By default, VMM does not allow multiple users to connect to a virtual machine by using VMRC. To support training and test lab scenarios where one user must demonstrate a task to other users connected to the same remote session, VMRC can allow multiple users to connect to a virtual machine, and each user can access the guest operating system without knowledge of the other users. VMM turns off this feature by default. If you want to turn it on, update another setting on the Remote tab of the host properties.

Connections to VMware Virtual Machines from VMM

For virtual machine connections, ESX Server hosts use VMware Control. ESX Server hosts the control, which runs on the user client.

Note   To manage VMware virtual machines, users of the VMM Self-Service Portal must download and install a VMware ActiveX control. This control must be downloaded through a secure SSL channel. VMM connects to the VMware host by using SSL. However, to ensure that users can download and install the ActiveX control, you must enable SSL on the VMware host computers. Alternatively, you can install the Virtual Infrastructure client on the client machine, which will also install the ActiveX control, thereby eliminating the need to download the ActiveX control from the host.

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