Lab Management

Posted on June 2, 2010

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Do you like virtual machines? Do you build them from the OS on up every time you have even just a half baked excuse? Well then we have a lot in common!

With the release of Visual Studio 2010 came Lab Management: heaven for the likes of us because it integrates with System Center Virtual Machine Manager and all the automation goodness that comes with it.

One catch: where I am based, bandwidth is such that I can not wait for Updates every time I want to spin up a new VM. Let’s face it, all new VMs need the same collection of patches, so why download repeatedly?

First thought was, of course, ISA! Let me just spin up a proxy, set a massive cache and long TTL and be done with it. Well, no: thanks to CDNs, not all the VMs aim at the same HTTP object when reaching out for Windows Updates. So even though a cache would work out fine for corporations, I need WSUS: Windows Server Update Services!

Be sure to grab Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 otherwise you’ll have grief installing it on Windows Server 2008 R2.

My Lab Management rig now consists of:

* Lenovo T500 with 8GB RAM, HDDs: 160GB + 500GB (7200rpm)

* Host running Windows Server 2008 R2 booted from VHD

Guests:

* Windows Server 2003 R2 Domain Controller with SMTP & POP3

* WS 2008 R2 with Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2

* WS 2008 R2 with System Center Virtual Machine Manager R2

All of the above was configured manually. Now for the automation fun. Watch this space!

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Posted in: Lab Management