Create clone of running VM using VMM

Do you know that System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) lets you create an identical clone of a running VM?

Yes! you do not even have to shut down a VM . How cool is that!

Just remember:

1) While going through the cloning process wizard in VMM, choose to leave the NIC disconnected

If you do not leave the NIC connected, you will have duplicate IP addresses on the network, when the cloned VM boots up.

2) After the cloning process completes, remember to run sysprep.

Yes, there have been some reports that VMM runs sysprep when it creates a clone, but I have confirmed myself (using psgetsid utility) that the clone and the original have the same SID and have the same hostname. They are virtually identical. So, you MUST run sysprep.

Solution to Host not responding in SC VMM

I have been troubleshooting a WinRM related problem which was the main cause of an error shown in SC Virtual Machine Manager as “Host not responding”. The error always pointed to Win RM or Windows Management. I tried a lot of fixes, but nothing worked. Eventually I thought to rebuild the Windows Management repository. Here are the steps I took to fix this issue:

  1. Run this command on the errant server: net stop winmgmt (You will have to do this multiple times, or the step #2 will give you an error, file in use)
  2. rename the folder ‘Repository’ underneath %windir%\system32\wbem
  3. restart the system
  4. Done

The repository will be rebuilt automatically, OR you can rebuild it manually by running this command winmgmt /resetrepository (I did not have to do this)

PS: This also fixes the error in Server Manager which shows up under NIC teaming – “Host Unmanagable”

Avocent UMG 4000 problems

ok so we we just bought a new KVM, a Avocent UMG 4000. I am very unhappy to report that we have multiple problems with this device.

I have opened multiple tickets to get these issues resolved with Avocent’s tech support. The good thing is that the tech support is responsive and helpful. However, I feel that these are basic things which should work right out of the box for any KVM. The old Avocents we had worked fine, for over a decade! These basic KVM features work fine even in $50 KVM switches. This UMG 4000 is a $10,000 dollar product!

Needless to say, I am VERY disappointed with our purchase of UMG 4000!

The tech support says that most of these issues will be addressed via firmware updates. I will post a review of our Avocent UMG 4000 as and when that happens.

For now, here are some of the issues:

Continue reading “Avocent UMG 4000 problems”

Fix “missing” VM status in VMM

OK so here is a tricky problem with an easy fix.

Sometimes, in SC VMM 2012 some of my VMs are shown as “missing”. I cannot do anything to them using VMM. An easy fix is to fire up FCM (Failover Cluster Manager) and live migrate or quick migrate the VM (depending upon whether the VM is running or not). After that VMM will immediately refresh the VMs state to the correct one….stopped or running.