Create a private cloud in SCVMM with these factors in mind

The process of creating a private cloud with System Center Virtual Machine Manager starts with getting to know major private cloud components and calculating resource requirements.

You can easily create a private cloud using SCVMM, but you must set up the necessary resources beforehand, including host groups, library servers, networks and storage.

Members of your organization can access resources inside the private cloud via an internal LAN or the internet, if the private cloud is exposed to the internet via a virtual private network connection. The private cloud resides on an internal network behind the firewall.

There are four major private cloud components: network, storage, servers and clusters. You must prepare these components before you create a private cloud. For example, you must decide how many System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) host groups to create before you decide on the number of virtualization hosts. Similarly, you must classify storage and make sure only critical workloads -- not development VMs -- use expensive disks.

Prepare and create host groups

Your first task is to create a host group structure in SCVMM. When you create a private cloud, you'll select which host group to use.

The host groups contain either stand-alone or clustered virtualization hosts. You should create host groups based on physical site locations. For example, if you must provide VMM private cloud services to Seattle and Denver, create two SCVMM host groups and then configure the settings for each.

By default, child host groups will inherit the settings from parent host groups. If you need to change any settings specific to a host group, modify the setting on that host group and then uncheck the Inherit settings option.

Set up and configure library servers

Library servers contain resources such as virtual hard disks, ISO images for OSes, scripts, driver files and many other objects that can be made available to private cloud users.

The SCVMM library server is a repository of resources that are used to build the fabric. Library servers contain resources such as virtual hard disks, ISO images for OSes, scripts, driver files and many other objects that can be made available to VMM private cloud users. Library servers also contain SCVMM templates, service templates and profiles.

It's important to include all necessary items as explained above in the library servers so users can access and deploy them. Note that a private cloud also provides self-service for users.

If a user needs to deploy an OS in a VM, he or she should be able to do it with the ISO images made available by the library servers.

Set up and configure networks

The network is the major building block for a VMM private cloud. You must provision networking in SCVMM before you create a private cloud, which includes setting up the necessary logical switches and logical networks.

There are several options available when creating the logical networks. You might want to consider allowing new VM networks created on a logical network to use network virtualization and assigning port classifications such as low, medium and high bandwidth in the virtual port section.

Configure and classify storage

SCVMM can serve both local and remote storage. SCVMM supports direct attached storage, which is connected directly to the virtualization hosts, and remote storage, from external storage devices such as a storage area network box.

Once you add storage, you need to classify it. Storage classification allows you to define what types of disks will be used by the virtualized workloads. For example, you might not want to use expensive storage such as solid-state drives (SSDs) for development VMs.

You can include iSCSI and Fibre Channel storage in the Bronze Storage category and SSDs and other expensive storage in the Gold Disk category. This would help you select the right disks when you create a private cloud.

Once you have made resources available in SCVMM, you can select them when you create a private cloud.

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