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How do hardware profiles work in Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager?

The Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager allows the creation of hardware profiles, which help to provision virtual storage. Brien Posey explains how to use the tool.

Hardware profiles in Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 accomplish a couple of different things. First and foremost, they establish hardware allocations for virtual machines. A Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager hardware profile can be thought of as a hardware provisioning template. When a new virtual machine is created, its hardware allocation can be configured manually or it can be based on an existing hardware profile. As such, hardware profiles are designed to reduce the amount of work involved in creating virtual machines (or to allow for automatic virtual machine creation), while also ensuring that virtual machines are provisioned in an uniform manner.

Virtual machine storage can be configured as a part of a hardware profile, but the exact storage configuration options that are available vary based on a couple of factors. The first of these factors is the virtual machine generation. When you create a new hardware profile, you are asked to designate this. Generation 1 hardware profiles expose an IDE controller, a SCSI controller and a virtual DVD drive. If you choose to create a Generation 2 hardware profile, a SCSI controller is created, as is a virtual DVD drive, but the virtual DVD drive can be linked only to an ISO file, not to a physical DVD drive. Virtual hard disks are not created as a part of a hardware profile regardless of generation.

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Although the storage options exposed through the hardware profile do not change based on the hypervisor selected, a hardware profile cannot be validated if it contains virtual storage hardware provisioning options that are not compatible with the hypervisor selected in the "compatibility" section.

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