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Ease management: Add VMware Server to VirtualCenter

VMware admins can now add Server 2.0 Beta 2 to VMware Infrastructure's VirtualCenter and thus can manage Server 2.0 and ESX from the same VI client. Learn how in this tip.

The ability to add VMware Server 2.0 Beta 2 to VirtualCenter, a new feature in VMware Server 2.0 Beta 2, serves as evidence of VMware's strategy of positioning Server 2.0 as a transitional product for getting IT departments into ESX Server and the VMware Infrastructure Suite. This new functionality is more than just bait to get you into ESX, though.

By adding Server 2.0 to VirtualCenter, you can configure and manage VMware Server 2.0 servers and VMware ESX Server systems from a single interface – the VMware Infrastructure Client (VI Client). This is all managed by a single VirtualCenter server. I'll explain how in this tip.

The first step is to obtain a copy of VMware Server 2.0 Beta 2 or greater. You can download it from the VMware Server Beta download site. I recommend installing it on a test system with plenty of RAM (2GB+ or more), although that isn't absolutely necessary. Once installed, you will just need to know the IP address or DNS name of the test server to move on to the next step. You will also need the administrative username and password that allows someone to login to VMware Web Access on that server.

About VMware Server 2.0 and VirtualCenter VMware Server 2.0 Beta 2.0 gives you the ability to manage ESX servers and VMware Server systems with a single interface and provides a number of benefits:

  • The ability to ease administration of these different virtualization platforms – such as seeing all of your VM guests in a single place or on a single VC map.
  • The ability to more easily migrate virtual machines from ESX to VMware Server and vice versa (given that the VMs have the proper virtual hardware configuration).
  • The connection that VMware needs to get users to more easily move from their free product to their commercial product – a feature that other virtualization vendors do not have.

Let's first assume that you already have VirtualCenter installed in a test environment. Note: I do not recommend adding a Beta server to your production VirtualCenter system that is already managing your VMware ESX Server production systems. If you do not have VirtualCenter running in a test environment, you can download an evaluation version by visiting the evaluate Virtual Infrastructure Suite website.

VirtualCenter for VMware Server has been available for some time. But VirtualCenter for VMware Server only manages VMware Server. What I am discussing here is using the VirtualCenter edition included in the Virtual Infrastructure Suite which can manage not only VMware ESX Server (as it has always done), but VMware Server 2.0 as well.

How to add VMware Server 2.0 to VirtualCenter Adding VMware Server 2.0 to VirtualCenter is very easy. First, login to your VirtualCenter with the VI Client, right click on your data center, and click Add Host:

This is the most important part. When you add a traditional VMware ESX Server to VirtualCenter, all you enter is the IP address or domain name and username/password credentials. Unlike adding a traditional ESX Server to VirtualCenter, when you add a VMware Server 2.0 system to VirtualCenter you need one more crucial piece – the port number. Enter the Hostname or IP address with a colon and 8333 (the port number). Next, enter the username and password. Here is what it looks like:

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I added my Dell laptop running VMware Server 2.0 beta 2 as the new VirtualCenter host to be managed. I knew that VirtualCenter could communicate with my laptop when I saw the following:

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I added it to my default Virtual data center:

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And here was the final confirmation screen:

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Here is what it looked like after it was added and finished:

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As you can see, the laptop running VMware Server 2.0 has been added to my VirtualCenter server. This is the same VC server that is also controlling my two other ESX Servers. Very cool!

I can view the summary of this VMware Server system, see its configuration, resources, datastore and networks. Of course, all of these things can also be modified with the VI Client, as you can see from the tabs across the top.

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I went into the configuration tab where I can modify the memory, storage, networking, time, VM startup/shutdown, advanced settings and snapshots of this laptop running VMware Server 2.0:

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Of course, I don't recommend that you use a laptop to run VMware Server in a production environment. Let me reiterate that I do not recommend adding a VMware Server 2.0 BETA system to a production VirtualCenter environment.

About the author: David Davis (CCIE #9369, VCP, CWNA, MCSE, CISSP, Linux+, CEH) is the Director of Infrastructure at Train Signal, Inc. He has written hundreds of articles and six video training courses – including the Train Signal VMware ESX Server video training series. His websites are Happy and

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