Chapter 11. Managing Virtual Machines

If you've not gone virtual, rolling out a new machine will take you a long time. If you need a new server, you need to take several upfront steps. For example, you need to choose adequate hardware. Next, you need to order the hardware. Finally, you need to set up the hardware. These steps will take you at least one week (if not one month) to complete. That's just too long!

In this chapter, you'll discover how to rapidly deploy new virtual machines by utilizing templates. Next, we discuss a risk-free way to change or upgrade machines utilizing snapshots. Last, we'll look at just how easy it is to make a physical machine virtual.

Creating a New Server in 15 Minutes

You read that heading right: Create a new server in just 15 minutes! If you're pondering how virtualization can reduce a week- or month-long process to 15 minutes, think of it this way: What if you could take a virtual machine and make a copy (also called a template) of it? You could then deploy the copy. And since you are just copying files, it is really fast. In fact, it may be too fast. Your boss might expect you to roll out 32 new servers in a day!

There's only one problem to this approach: Each machine has to have its own unique identifying information. For Windows, this is the Security Identifier (SID). And, if you put two copies of the same machine on your network, your other machines would likely get confused. Fortunately, VMware has a solution to this problem.

Preparing for virtual ...

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