Product Documentation

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager and virtual machine management

Mar 23, 2015

Configure your system as described in this document if you use Hyper-V with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) to provide virtual machines in your environment.

System requirements

Before creating virtual machines (VMs), make sure that your environment meets the requirements described in Host requirements section of System requirements for XenDesktop 7.

Upgrade from SCVMM 2012 to SCVMM 2012 SP1

When upgrading from SCVMM 2012 to SCVMM 2012 SP1 consider the following component operating system versions combinations:

Note: A mixed Hyper-V cluster is not supported. An example of a mixed cluster is one in which half the cluster is running Hyper-V 2008 and the other Hyper-V 2008 R2.

Upgrade from SCVMM 2008 R2 to SCVMM 2012 SP1

If you are starting from XenDesktop 5.6 on SCVMM 2008 R2, it is important to follow this sequence so that XenDesktop can continue to operate without any downtime.

The recommend component upgrade sequence is:

  1. Upgrade SCVMM to 2012 (now running XenDesktop 5.6 and SCVMM 2012)
  2. Upgrade XenDesktop to 7 (now running XenDesktop 7 and SCVMM 2012)
  3. Upgrade SCVMM from 2012 to 2012 SP1 (now running XenDesktop 7.0 and SCVMM 2012 SP1)

Install and configure a hypervisor

  1. Install Microsoft Hyper-V Server and SCVMM on your servers. All Delivery Controllers in your environment must be in the same forest as the SCVMM servers.
  2. Install the System Center Virtual Machine Manager Console on all Delivery Controllers in your machine environment.
  3. Verify the following account information:

    • The account you use to create hosts in Studio is a VMM administrator or VMM delegated administrator for the relevant Hyper-V machines. If this account only has the delegated administrator role in VMM, the storage data is not listed in Studio during the host creation process.
    • The user account for XenDesktop integration must also be a member of the administrators local security group on each Hyper-V Server to support VM life cycle management (such as VM creation, update, and deletion).
    Note: Installing the Delivery Controller directly on the server running Hyper-V is not supported.

Create a Master VM

You create a master VM to provide user desktops.

  1. Install the Virtual Desktop Agent on the Master VM, and make sure that you select the option to optimize the desktop. This improves the performance of users' desktops by reconfiguring various Windows features that are incompatible with or unnecessary for virtual desktops.
  2. Take a snapshot of the Master VM to use as a back-up. For more information, see Preparing a Master image.

Create virtual desktops

If you are using Citrix Studio to create VMs, rather than selecting an existing Machine Catalog, run the Studio Deployment wizard and create virtual desktops as follows:

  1. On the Host page, select Virtual Machines and then select Microsoft virtualization as the host type.
  2. Enter the service address as the fully qualified domain name of the host server.
  3. Enter the credentials for the administrator account you set up earlier that has permissions to create new VMs.
  4. In the Host Details dialog box, select the cluster or standalone host to use when creating new VMs.
    Important: Browse for and select a cluster or standalone host even if you are using a single Hyper-V host deployment.

Support for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1

This feature provides performance improvements for Machine Creation Services ( MCS) when using SMB 3.0 on file servers with clustered shared volumes and Storage Area Networks (SANs). These file shares provide low cost caching and reduced IO on the SAN storage improving the performance.

Machine Creation Services (MCS) on SMB 3 file shares

For Machine Catalogs created through MCS on SMB 3 file shares for VM storage, make sure that credentials are set up as follows so that calls from a Delivery Controller's Hypervisor Communications Library (HCL) can successfully connect to SMB storage:

  • SCVMM user credentials must include full read write access to the SMB storage.
  • Storage virtual disk operations during VM life cycle events are performed through

    the Hyper-V server using the VMM user credentials.

Note: If you use SMB as storage, enable the CredSSP from the Delivery Controller to individual Hyper-V machines when using SCVMM 2012 SP1 with Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012. For more information, see the Enabling CredSSP KB article

Using a standard PowerShell V3 Remote session, the HCL opens a connection to the to Hyper-V machine using the Authentication Credential Security Support Provider (CredSSP) feature. This feature passes users' credentials across to the Hyper-V Machine (Kerberos encrypted) and the PowerShell commands in this session on the remote Hyper-V machine run with the credentials provided (in this case, those of the SCVMM User), so that communication commands to storage correctly work.

The following tasks use PowerShell scripts that originate in the Delivery Controller HCL and are then sent to the Hyper-V machine to act on the SMB 3.0 storage.

Consolidate Master Image


A Master Image creates a new MCS Provisioning scheme (Machine Catalog). It clones and flattens the Master VM ready for creating new VMs from the new disk created (and removes dependency on the original master VM).

PowerShell script operation

ConvertVirtualHardDisk on the root\virtualization\v2 namespace


$ims = Get-WmiObject -class $class -namespace "root\virtualization\v2"; 
$result = $ims.ConvertVirtualHardDisk($diskName, $vhdastext) 

Create difference disk


Creates a difference disk from the Master Image generated by consolidating the Master Image. The difference disk is then attached to a new VM.

CreateVirtualHardDisk on the root\virtualization\v2 namespace


$ims = Get-WmiObject -class $class -namespace "root\virtualization\v2"; 
$result = $ims.CreateVirtualHardDisk($vhdastext); 

Upload identity disks


The Hypervisor Communications Library (HCL) cannot directly upload the identity disk to SMB storage. Therefore, the Hyper-V machine must upload and copy the identity disk to the storage. Because the Hyper-V machine cannot read the disk from the Delivery Controller, HCL must first copy the identity disk through the Hyper-V machine as follows.


  1. HCL uploads the Identity to the Hyper-V machine through the administrator share.
  2. Hyper-V machine copies the disk to the SMB storage through a PowerShell script running in the PowerShell V3 remote session. A folder is created on the Hyper-V machine and the permissions on that folder are locked for the SCVMM user only (through the remote PowerShell connection).
  3. HCL deletes the file from the administrator share.
  4. When the HCL completes the identity disk upload to the Hyper-V machine. The remote PowerShell session copies the identity disks to SMB storage and then deletes it from the Hyper-V machine.
    Note: The identity disk folder is recreated if it is deleted so that it is available for reuse.

Download identity disks


As with uploads, the identity disks pass though the Hyper-V machine to the HCL. The following process creates a folder that only has SCVMM user permissions on the Hyper-V server if it does not exist.


  1. The HyperV machine copies the disk from the SMB storage to local Hyper-V storage through a PowerShell script running in the PowerShell V3 remote session.
  2. HCL reads the disk from the Hyper-V machine's administrator share into memory.
  3. HCL deletes the file from the administrator share.

Personal vDisk creation


If the administrator creates the VM in a Personal vDisk Machine Catalog, you must create an empty disk (Personal vDisk).


The call to create an empty disk does not require direct access to the storage. If you have PvD disks that reside on different storage than the Main or Operating System disk, then the use Remote PowerShell to create the PvD disk in a directory folder that has the same name of the VM from which it was created. For CSV or LocalStorage, do not use Remote PowerShell. Creating the directory before creating an empty disk avoids SCVMM command failure.

From the Hyper-V machine, perform a mkdir on the storage.

For more information about using the XenDesktop SDK, see About the XenDesktop SDK.