How to create configurations and use workspaces in VMware Lab Manager

This post is to help people new to VMware Lab Manager and not for the experts. If you are looking for details on how to use some of the base features in Lab Manager.

You can access the Management Console from the following link. You will see a login screen like the one listed below. Use the user name and password that was entered during the install or if you have setup LDAP/AD integration to login into the console.

http://servername/LabManager/

Now that you have logged into the console you will be greeted with the Welcome screen. This will give you some details about what you have created in VMware Lab Manager over time.

You will notice on the left side of the console there is a Menu in an explorer like structure. This will allow you to easily navigate around the console.

How to create new Virtual Machines

When creating and working with existing virtual machines you will find them located in the Workspace area of Lab Manager. A workspace is the area that hold Configurations which is a method to group virtual machines together. A configuration can have 1 virtual machine or many.

There are many reasons why using separate configurations is beneficial to keeping the environment organized. I would suggest that each application team creates a configuration for their team at minimum, this will allow them to control the settings on their virtual machines. At times you may need to create new configurations for short term projects, this will allow you to dispose of the setup once its completed.

Each separate configuration has some settings that can be applied to it that won’t affect others. You are also able to shut down and undeploy your configuration when not using it. This will then free up the computing resources for use by others.

The first step in creating a new configuration is to click the New Configuration button from the Workspace area. You can see from the image below that we are in the Workspace area from the left menu and the button for New Configuration is at the top.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Lab Manager configurations are only deploying to one datastore

So I have to admit this is not something that I paid much attention to in the past. But I’m currently working on creating documentation for a customer and putting together a Run Book for them to use with Lab Manager 4. During this process of running through things in the end user mind set I noticed this limit and just wanted to write something down for future reference.

Hopefully you are fairly familiar with how VMware Lab Manager works and I don’t loose you. The limit that I will cover here is when you are creating a New Configuration in a Workspace within Lab Manager when you select a VM Template to use by default the Datastore that it will be created on is locked. The Datastore that it is locked onto is the one that the VM Template is sitting on. This is done for a reason, since by default when creating these new configurations the new VMs created form the Template will be a Linked Clone of the original. For a Linked Clone to work it must reside on the same Datastore as the master VM image.

As you are probably aware that use Linked Clones will save you a lot of disk space on your Datastores so if you do not have a valid reason to not use them I would suggest to leave it this way. Now the only thing that I see is depending on the size of your VMs and your Datastore you could eventually run out of space for this Template on a particular Datastore. To solve that issue you could expand the Datastore or Clone your Template to another Datastore and start creating Linked Clones from that one. If anyone else has run into this issue and has a better idea drop something in the comments.

I have pasted a couple of screen shots below showing what the screens will look like with the default Linked Clone method. And then the option to do a Full Clone which will copy the entire template to the new VM and end up using all of the space.

Here is a note that I found in a VMware KB article to help explain this behavior also.

In vCenter Lab Manager, the configuration files will only be accessible from the same host or datastore as the base template. For example, if you have a Virtual Machine 1 on DataStore1, all the configurations you create from Virtual Machine 1 will be created on DataStore1.

Default option using Linked Clones in Lab manager

Full Clone option in Lab Manager

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Initial setup for VMware vCloud Director and setting up provider vDC

Let me start off by saying this is a very long blog post, probably the longest I will ever create. I wanted to showcase the initial setup wizard for those of you new to setting of VMware vCloud Director. Once you have created and installed all of the Hosts, vCenter server, Database, vShield and the vCD cell you then need to setup vCD. There are several very good blog posts by other community members out there that step you through the process of setting up the base infrastructure. I will include some of the links at the end in case you need them.

I will be showing you step by step that the vCD setup wizard takes you through. This will show you how to created Virtual Datacenters, Organizations, Networks and Pools, Catalogs and Media. You will begin to get a good base understanding of how vCloud Director works. I will also point out some similarities with Lab Manger 4.0 for those of you that have used LM in the past.

Logging into vCloud Director

Before getting to this initial login screen you will need to supply a password for the admin account and enter the vCloud Serial number. You will not be able to test out vCloud Director in your lab unless you get a trial code or have an NFR license, unless you are lucky enough to have a valid license code to use.

vCloud Director first time setup Wizard

Now that you have logged in you can see below you are presented with the first screen of the vCD setup wizard. This process is broken up into 8 main parts that will step you through setting the bones of the configuration.

Read my full blog post after the jump for complete details.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware vCloud Director upgrade or exchange program for Lab Manager customers

Yesterday while talking about the future of Lab Manager with our VMware rep I found out about a current VMware exchange program that is being offered. If you are a current customer of Lab Manager 4 I would assume you may qualify for vCloud Director licenses in this exchange program. The one gotcha that was explained is that you needed to purchase your Lab Manager before 9/1/2010 but that should not be an issue for most folks. Guessing that most groups would be taking a hard look at vCD before buying Lab Manager these days.

So how does this work out since Lab Manager was sold as normal per socket licenses and vCloud Director is now sold on the new VMware per VM licenses. It breaks down like this for each Lab Manager license you will get 20 per VM licenses of vCloud Director. So if you purchased 6 sockets of Lab Manager that would equal 120 Per VM licenses for vCD.

I personally could not find this promotion on the Partner portal so you should inquire with your VMware rep for details.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware Lab Manager how to videos

Unless your lucky enough to user Lab Manager on a regular basis then your probably like must Admin’s. When talking with people everyone seems to have a solid idea of what Lab Manger can do but they have little experience in setting up and supporting a LM environment. The team over at VMware KB has created a few videos to showcase and explain some of the core features. You can view them from VMware KB1020915.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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