Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cloud Management with System Center - Creating a Service Template with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

As part of my blog series on 'Cloud Management with System Center', this post will cover the creation of a Service Template within System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (SCVMM 2012) and its deployment to your private cloud.

You can review the other posts in this series from the links below:

Cloud Management with System Center - Building a Private Cloud with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

Cloud Management with System Center - Creating a Virtual Machine Template with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

This series coincides with the new Microsoft Private Cloud Community Evaluation Program starting up and you can sign up at any time to the CEP by clicking on the link below (you will need a Microsoft Live ID to sign in):

Creating the Service Template

The creation of Service Templates within SCVMM is a new concept and builds on the original idea of creating virtual machine templates for provisioning of resources to your hypervisors. Service Templates can be used to provision all the components that make up a service such as virtual machines, virtual networks, sequenced applications and load balancers in no more than a few clicks of a mouse!

The idea of a Service Template within SCVMM 2012 is similar to the Distributed Application/Service model in System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) and it is a representation of 'IT as a Service' within your environment.

To create the Service Template, open the SCVMM 2012 console, click on the 'Library' button from the wunderbar on the left hand side, expand 'Templates' and then click on the 'Service Templates' link. Now right mouse click on ‘Service Templates’ and click on ‘Create Service Template’

This will open up the ‘New Service Template’ window and will require you to select one of four options to begin your template design with.

I’ve selected the two tier option for simplicity but these are only guidelines and you may well want to just start from scratch with a blank template and design the tiers yourself.

You will see from the screen above that the template wizard has created a two tier service but has no references to any Virtual Machine templates or virtual networks at the moment. What you need to do now, is to drag and drop your virtual machine templates that are in your SCVMM 2012 library and displayed on the left hand side of the screen in the ‘VM Templates’ window onto each tier to populate them with data that is relevant to your environment templates.

Once you’ve dragged over your VM templates to each tier, you should then see something like this

As you can see here, we now have the VM templates imported over specifying the RAM, CPU, O/S and Virtual Network settings as taken from the Virtual Machine Templates earlier.

Now select the ‘Save and Validate’ button from the ribbon above to validate the Service Template and ensure that there are no errors within your configuration

If all is good, then you should see no more errors on each of the tiers of your Service Template as below

Now that you have built your new service template, you wil need to deploy it to a private cloud that has enough capacity to support each of the components of the service.

Deploying the Service Template to your Private Cloud

To deploy your Service Application template to your Private Cloud, you need to open up the ‘Library’ and then select ‘Service Templates’ within SCVMM 2012. You should see any service templates that you have created listed in here.

Select your desired Service Template, right mouse click on it and then select ‘Configure Deployment’ from the drop down menu

This will bring up a window asking you to type the name of the Service Instance and also the location that you want to deploy this to – in my case it’s ‘Ergo Private Cloud’

This will bring up the ‘Deploy Service’ window where you can check if there are any errors before deploying the service

If there are errors on any of the components of your Service Template, you can select the component with the error and click on the ‘Ratings’ button for a description of the error. The most likely cause of errors at this point of deployment are due to the Private Cloud you want to deploy to not having enough memory or disk space resources to host the new Service and all of its components

If there are no errors and you are happy to deploy the service, then click on the ‘Deploy Service’ button to begin the deployment of your Service Template to your Private Cloud

Check the ‘Jobs’ window for progress on the deployment of your service and once SCVMM 2012 has completed the deployment, you should see the following message in the ‘Jobs’ window

To confirm that the service has been deployed successfully, go to the ‘VMs and Services’ tab and expand the ‘Clouds’ option to see the contents of your Private Cloud

As above, you should see your newly deployed Service Template up and running within your new Private Cloud and fully manageable through the one console! Notice that the deployment wizard deployed multiple virtual machines to the private cloud virtual hosts and pre-configured them with all of the relevant settings, roles and features along with their virtual network placement too.

Now that's something that can save us all some time in future!!

Note:To learn more about the new Service Concept in SCVMM 2012, check out  the Technet Wiki post that 'Mr.Cloud' Kristian Nese (SCVMM MVP) wrote early this year. There are some caveats to watch out for when adding roles and features to your templates:

(Thanks for the heads up Kristian!!)

If you want to learn more about Cloud Management with System Center, click the link below for my next post:

Cloud Management with System Center - Connecting your private cloud to System Center App Controller 2012

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