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Microsoft VMM Self Service Portal 2.0 guide

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This Topic is about Self Service Portal of System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

The VMMSSP Website Component

The VMMSSP website component provides a role-based user interface to the self-service portal; in this way, it provides
functionality for different levels of users within business units, and for datacenter administrators who oversee the entire system. For information about how to plan for and deploy the VMMSSP website component, see the Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0: Deployment Guide.

Business units that enroll in the self-service
portal system can use the VMMSSP website component to do the following:

  • Register. Use standardized forms and  follow a simple workflow for registering in the portal (also referred to as “on-boarding”).
  • Create infrastructure and change requests. Use standardized forms and follow a simple workflow to request the
    resources needed for the business unit infrastructure.
  • Manage virtual machines. Use  self-service provisioning to create virtual machines in bulk on the provisioned
    infrastructure, and delegate management functions to user roles within the
    business unit.

Datacenter administrators can use the VMMSSP website component to do the following:

  • Manage requests. Use standardized forms and follow a simple workflow for provisioning and approving or rejecting
    business unit requests.
  • Configure and allocate datacenter resources. Store management and configuration information related to memory,  network, and storage resources as assets in the VMMSSP database.
  • Customize virtual machine actions. Work  with technology partners and hardware vendors to extend the default virtual  machine actions; for example, you can add scripts that interact with storage area
    networks (SANs) to support rapid provisioning of virtual machines.

The following figure summarizes the process of registering a business unit, setting up its resources, and creating its first
virtual machines.

The VMMSSP Server Component

The VMMSSP server component is a Windows® service that runs default and customized virtual machine actions that users request through the VMMSSP website. The VMMSSP server component uses the VMMSSP database component to store and retrieve information (described later in this section), and communicates with the Virtual Machine Manager server to manage virtual machines and access resources such as the VMM Library and virtual machine hosts.

Customized virtual machine actions may contain scripts that interact with Virtual Machine Manager or with other datacenter
resources, such as SANs or load balancers. The VMMSSP server component runs any embedded scripts when it runs the virtual machine actions. The VMMSSP server component also makes sure that business units do not exceed the memory and storage quotas that have been reserved for their use, and calculates the charge-back costs—costs to business units of both the reserved resources and the resources in use.

For information about how to plan for and deploy
the VMMSSP server component, see the Virtual
Machine Manager Self-Service Portal 2.0: Deployment Guide
.

The VMMSSP Database Component

The VMMSSP database component is a SQL Server® database that stores information about configured assets, information related to business units and requests, and information about what has been provisioned to various business units. The database also stores the XML that encodes default and customized virtual machine actions and other information related to the
configuration of the self-service portal.

Understanding the Self-Service Portal

To get started using the self-service portal, you first need to understand certain concepts about how it operates. These
include how the self-service portal works, options for extending the self-service portal, charge-back costs, and the different user roles that the self-service portal uses.

Understanding How the Self-Service Portal Works

As described previously, business units can use the self-service portal to manage their own infrastructures while using the
physical resources of a central datacenter. The self-service portal defines infrastructures in terms of services and service roles.

Infrastructures

In the context of the self-service portal, an infrastructure is a collection of services that a business unit needs for a specific purpose. For example, a human resources business unit may create an infrastructure called “Payroll” that contains the services needed to run the payroll system. A single business unit can manage multiple infrastructures.

Services

An infrastructure must contain at least one service. The service coordinates the resources needed for a specific function or set of related functions. These resources include networks, Active Directory® domains, users that have access to the service, memory and storage capacity available to the virtual machines, and locations of virtual machine templates to use in creating virtual machines. A business unit can use a service to contain groups of virtual machines (see the discussion of service
roles later in this section) that must communicate with each other, such as a set of web servers and their supporting database server. A business unit can use multiple services to set up parallel versions of the same environment, such as a production environment and a development or test version of the same environment. If the datacenter environment includes a storage
area network (SAN), services can take advantage of the rapid provisioning features provided in Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. Rapid provisioning decreases the amount of time to create virtual machines by eliminating the need
to copy the virtual hard disks (VHDs) for the new virtual machines over a network connection. For more information about how rapid provisioning works or about how to configure it, see What’s New in VMM 2008 R2Scripting.

Service Roles

A service must contain at least one service role. A service role is a group of virtual machines that perform a single function and share some configuration settings. Service roles within a service have access to a common set of networks
(configured as part of the service), or may be configured to use a subset of those networks. A common way to use service roles is to group virtual machines for load balancing. You can designate a load balancer for a service role, and the load balancer can manage network traffic to the virtual machines in the service role. Incoming traffic connects to the single virtual
IP address and a TCP/IP port configured for the load balancer, and the load balancer forwards the traffic to one of the virtual machines in the service role. For example, to run a web application, a BUIT administrator can request a service role of load-balanced virtual web servers. The load-balancing configuration of the service role applies to each member virtual machine. The BUIT administrator can request new virtual machines for the service role as appropriate. The self-service portal does not provide its own load balancing functionality; you can configure a service role to use the virtual IP address, port numbers, and network connections of an external load balancer.

Note   Depending on your specific load balancer, the self-service portal may need to use custom versions of the virtual machine actions (Stop, Start, and so forth). In addition to configuring a service role to use a specific load balancer, you can configure the service role to use a matching set of customized virtual machine actions. For more information, see “Extending the Self-Service Portal.”

For more information about load balancing, see Network Load Balancing.
For specific information about configuring your load balancer, see the
documentation provided by the load balancer’s vendor.

For more information on SCVMM Self Service Portal

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Author: James van den Berg

I'm Microsoft Architect and ICT Specialist and Microsoft MVP System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management

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