When software attacks!

Thoughts and musings on anything that comes to mind

Fixing Lab Manager environments with brute force

As you’ve probably seen, our Lab Manager/SCVMM 2008 R2 upgrade to SCVMM 2012 SP1 was not the smoothest in the world. The end result was a clean lab manager and SCVMM install, but a raft of virtual machines that had previously been part of environments.

In tidying up, Richard and I learned a few things about picking apart VMs that were once part of an environment such that a new environment could be built form the wreckage.

There are two approaches to getting what you need: Firstly, you could simply compose the existing virtual machines into a new environment without storing in, and deploying from SCVMM. Secondly, you could pull the VMs back into SCVMM such that you could build a new environment.

Don’t forget to fix the networks

If you want to use the running VMs you will need to make sure that you have recreated any private network generated by Lab Manager. These are all helpfully listed in the XML configuration file of the VMs. They are normally named Lab_<GUID>_NI so are easy to find in the file. On the hyper-v host, using hyper-v manager you will need to create a new private virtual network with the name you just found. You should then attach the synthetic network adapter of your VMs (not the legacy network adapter) to this private network. If you have a DC, and you told Lab Manager it was a DC, then you are likely to need to hook its legacy adapter to the private network as well.

Scenario 1: Pull existing machines into an environment

The big problem you are likely to find here is that whilst you have imported the VMs onto your hyper-v server and SCVMM can see the machines just fine, Lab Manager refuses to show them to you.

The reason for this is that Lab Manager believes the VMs are currently part of an environment, just not one it currently has. It therefore hides the VMs from you. It turns out that this is pretty straightforward to fix. In the notes field of the running VM settings you will see a block of XML. That is read by Lab Manager to identify the VMs in environments. Simply delete that xml and the machine will now show up in Lab Manager as being available to compose into an enviroment.

Scenario 2: Get the VMs back into SCVMM to build a new environment and deploy it.

This is a trickier situation and one which needs to follow the steps I talked about in my previous post about building VMs for Lab Manager.

The problem here is not just the XML, but that Lab Manager has probably mangled the hardware settings of the VM as well. You will need to tidy each VM before storing it in SCVMM ready for Lab Manager:

  • Remove the XML from the notes field.
  • Remove the legacy network adapter.
  • Configure the network adapter within windows to use an IP address and DNS handed to it from DHCP.
  • Delete any snapshots.
  • Make sure you cleanly shut down the VM – don’t save it!

If you follow those steps you can store the VMs back into SCVMM then build a new environment from the stored VMs. If this still gives you trouble then you should export the VMs from hyper-v, reimport them as a copy to get a new unique ID and then push those into SCVMM.

So far this has worked just fine for us with Richard working his magic in Lab Manager whilst I fix up VMs in hyper-v and SCVMM.

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