You can edit the properties of a virtual machine, including the virtual machine name and description, hardware and network settings, guest OS settings, and so on.

Change the General Properties of a Virtual Machine

You can review and change the name, description, and other general properties of a virtual machine.

Prerequisites

Changing properties such as operating system, requires that the machine is powered off.

Procedure

  1. On the Virtual Data Center dashboard screen, click the card of the virtual data center you want to explore and from the left panel, select Virtual Machines.
  2. Click Card Icon to view the list in a card view and, optionally, arrange the list of virtual machines from the Sort by drop-down menu.
  3. In the card of the virtual machine you want to edit, click Details.
  4. The list of properties that you can view or edit under General expands by default.
    Option Action
    Virtual Machine Name Edit the name of the virtual machine.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered on.

    Computer Name Edit the computer and host name set in the guest operating system that identifies the virtual machine on a network. This field is restricted to 15 characters because of a Windows OS limitation on computer names.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered on.

    Description Edit the optional description of the virtual machine.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered on.

    Operating System Family Select an operating system family from the drop-down menu.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered off. In addition, you cannot edit this property if an operating system is already present on the virtual machine.

    Operating System Select an operating system from the drop-down menu.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered off. In addition, you cannot edit this property if an operating system is already present on the virtual machine.

    Boot Delay Specify the time in milliseconds to delay the boot operation.

    The time between when you power on the virtual machine and when it exits the BIOS and launches the guest operating system software can be short. You can change the boot delay to provide more time.

    Storage Policy Select a storage policy for the virtual machine to use from the drop-down menu.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered on.

    Virtual Data Center View the name of the virtual data center to which this virtual machine belongs.
    VMware Tools View whether VMware Tools is installed on the virtual machine.
    Virtual Hardware Version View the virtual hardware version of the virtual machine.
    Upgrade to: To upgrade, select a version from the drop-down menu.
    Synchronize time Select the check box to enable time synchronization between the virtual machine guest operating system and the virtual data center in which it is running.
    Enter BIOS Setup Select whether to force entry into the BIOS setup screen the next time the virtual machine boots.

    You can edit this property while the virtual machine is powered off.

  5. Click Save once you complete making your changes.

Add a Security Tag to a Virtual Machine

Security tags that you create and assign to virtual machines help you to define NSX-T Data Center edge gateway firewall rules and distributed firewall rules for data center groups with an NSX-T Data Center network provider type.

  • Verify that your system administrator has published the Security tag edit right to your organization and that your role includes this right.
  • Verify that your role includes the vApp: Edit Properties right.

Starting with VMware Cloud Director 10.3, you can create security groups with a dynamic membership that is based on VM characteristics, such as VM names and VM tags. To include a VM in a dynamic security group, you create security tags to assign to the VM. You use dynamic groups to create distributed firewall rules and edge gateway firewall rules that are applied on a per-VM basis in a data center group networking context.

Procedure

  1. In the top navigation bar, click Applications and then click the Virtual Machines tab.
  2. In the card of the virtual machine you want to edit, click Details.
  3. Click Security Tags and click Add.
  4. To add an existing security tag to the VM, click the drop-down menu and select a tag.
  5. To create a new security tag to assign to the VM, enter a value for the tag and click Add tag.
  6. To save the changes, click Submit.

What to do next

  1. Create dynamic groups of virtual machines based on the tags that you assigned.
  2. Use the dynamic groups that you created to add distributed firewall rules to the data center group or to add firewall rules to an NSX-T Data Center edge gateway that is scoped to the data center group. See:

Change the Hardware Properties of a Virtual Machine

You can review and change the hardware properties of a virtual machine.

Procedure

  1. On the Virtual Data Center dashboard screen, click the card of the virtual data center you want to explore and from the left panel, select Virtual Machines.
  2. Click Card Icon to view the list in a card view and, optionally, arrange the list of virtual machines from the Sort by drop-down menu.
  3. In the card of the virtual machine you want to edit, click Details.
  4. To view the available removable media, such as attached CD/DVD and floppy drives, under Hardware, select the Removable Media tab.
  5. To edit the hard disk settings and add hard disks, select Hard Disks, and click Edit.
    Option Description
    Add Adds a new hard disk.
    Size Enter the hard disk size in MB. You can increase the size of the hard disk later.
    Note: You can increase the size of an existing hard disk if the virtual machine is not a linked clone and it has no snapshots.
    Policy The storage policy for the virtual machine is used by default.

    By default, all the hard disks attached to a virtual machine use the storage policy specified for the virtual machine. You can override this default for any of these disks when you create a virtual machine or modify its properties. The Size column for each hard disk includes a drop-down menu that lists all the storage policies available for this virtual machine.

    IOPS Select a specific IOPS for the disk.

    Use this option to limit the per-disk I/O operations per second.

    Bus Type Select the bus type.

    The options are Paravirtual (SCSI), LSI Logic Parallel (SCSI), LSI Logic SAS (SCSI), IDE, and SATA. For more information on storage controller types and compatibility, see vSphere Virtual Machine Administration Guide.

    Bus Number Enter the bus number.
    Unit Number Enter the logical unit number for the hard disk drive.
  6. To edit the compute settings, select Compute, and edit the relevant section.
    Option Description
    Compute Type Edit the VM purpose.
    Placement Policy

    Edit the placement policy of a VM.

    For more information on placement policies, see Understanding VM Sizing, VM Placement, and vGPU Policies.

    Sizing Policy

    Edit the sizing policy of a VM.

    For more information on sizing policies, see Understanding VM Sizing, VM Placement, and vGPU Policies.

    vGPU Policy

    Edit the vGPU policy of a VM.

    Starting with VMware Cloud Director 10.3.2, if the service provider publishes one or more vGPU policies to the organization VDC, you can create vGPU enabled VMs.

    Number of virtual CPUs Edit the number of CPUs.

    The maximum number of virtual CPUs that you can assign to a virtual machine depends on the number of logical CPUs on the host and the type of guest operating system that is installed on the virtual machine.

    Cores per socket Edit the cores per socket.

    You can configure how the virtual CPUs are assigned in terms of cores and cores per socket. Determine how many CPU cores you want in the virtual machine, then select the number of cores you want in each socket, depending on whether you want a single core CPU, dual-core CPU, tri-core CPU, and so on.

    Number of sockets View the number of sockets.

    The number of sockets is determined by the number of virtual CPUs available. The number changes when you update the number of virtual CPUs.

    Virtual CPU hot add If you enable virtual CPU hot-add, you can add virtual CPUs to the virtual machine while it is powered on. You can add only multiples of the number of cores per socket. This feature is only supported on certain guest operating systems and virtual machine hardware versions.
    Expose hardware-assisted CPU virtualization to guest OS You can expose full CPU virtualization to the guest operating system so that applications that require hardware virtualization can run on virtual machines without binary translation or paravirtualization.
    Memory Edit the memory resource settings for a virtual machine. The virtual machine memory size must be a multiple of 4 MB.

    This setting determines how much of the ESXi host memory is allocated to the virtual machine. The virtual hardware memory size determines how much memory is available to applications that run in the virtual machine. A virtual machine cannot benefit from more memory resources than its configured virtual hardware memory size.

    Memory hot add If you enable memory hot-add, you can add memory resources to a virtual machine while the machine is powered on. This feature is only supported on certain guest operating systems and virtual machine hardware versions greater than 7.
  7. Under NICs, click Add to add a new NIC.
    You can add up to 10 NICs. For information about the number of supported number of NICs depending on the virtual machine hardware version, see: http://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2051652. VMware Cloud Director supports modifying virtual machine NICs while the virtual machine is running. For information about supported network adapter types, see http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1001805.
    Option Description
    Primary NIC A flag displays when the primary NIC is selected.

    Select a primary NIC. The primary NIC setting determines the default and only gateway for the virtual machine. The virtual machine can use any NIC to connect to virtual and physical machines that are directly connected to the same network as the NIC, but it can only use the primary NIC to connect to machines on networks that require a gateway connection.

    NIC Number of the NIC.
    Connected Select the check box to connect a NIC.
    Network Select a network from the drop-down menu.
    IP Mode Select an IP mode.
    Caution: Do not set the IP mode to None if you selected a network to which to connect the NIC.
    • Static - IP Pool

      Pulls a static IP address from the network IP pool.

    • Static - Manual

      Allows you to specify a specific IP address manually. If you select this option, you must enter an IP address in the IP Address column.

    • DHCP

      Pulls an IP address from a DHCP server.

    MAC Address From the drop-down menu, select whether to keep or to reset the MAC address.

Change the Advanced Properties of a Virtual Machine

In the Advanced settings, you can configure the resource allocation settings (shares, reservation, and limit) to determine the amount of CPU, memory, and storage resources provided for a virtual machine.

Use the resource allocation settings (shares, reservation, and limit) to determine the amount of CPU, memory, and storage resources provided for a virtual machine.

Resource Allocation Shares
Shares specify the relative importance of a virtual machine within a virtual data center. If a virtual machine has twice as many shares of a resource as another virtual machine, it is entitled to consume twice as much of that resource when these two virtual machines are competing for resources. Shares are typically specified as High, Normal, or Low and these values specify share values with a 4:2:1 ratio, respectively. You can also select Custom to assign a specific number of shares (which expresses a proportional weight) to each virtual machine. When you assign shares to a virtual machine, you always specify the priority for that virtual machine relative to other powered-on virtual machines.
Resource Allocation Reservation
Specifies the guaranteed minimum allocation for a virtual machine. VMware Cloud Director allows you to power on a virtual machine only if there are enough unreserved resources to satisfy the reservation of the virtual machine. The virtual data center guarantees that amount even when its resources are heavily loaded. The reservation is expressed in concrete units (megahertz or megabytes).

For example, assume that you have 2 GHz available and specify a resource allocation reservation of 1 GHz for virtual machine 1 and 1 GHz for virtual machine 2. Now each virtual machine is guaranteed to get 1 GHz if it needs it. However, if virtual machine 1 is using only 500 MHz, virtual machine 2 can use 1.5 GHz.

Reservation defaults to 0. You can specify a reservation if you need to guarantee that the minimum required amounts of CPU or memory are always available to the virtual machine.

Resource Allocation Limit
Specifies an upper bound for CPU and memory resources that can be allocated to a virtual machine. A virtual data center can allocate more than the reservation to a virtual machine, but never allocates more than the limit, even if there are unused resources on the system. The limit is expressed in concrete units (megahertz or megabytes).

CPU and memory resource limits default to unlimited. When the memory limit is unlimited, the amount of memory configured for the virtual machine when it was created becomes its effective limit in most cases.

In most cases, it is not necessary to specify a limit. You might waste idle resources if you specify a limit. The system does not allow a virtual machine to use more resources than the limit, even when the system is underutilized, and idle resources are available. Specify a limit only if you have good reasons for doing so.

Prerequisites

  • A reservation pool virtual data center.
  • Ensure that a certain amount of memory for a virtual machine is provided by the virtual data center.
  • Guarantee that a particular virtual machine is always allocated a higher percentage of the virtual data center resources than other virtual machines.
  • Set an upper bound on the resources that can be allocated to a virtual machine.

Procedure

  1. On the Virtual Data Center dashboard screen, click the card of the virtual data center you want to explore and from the left panel, select Virtual Machines.
  2. Click Card Icon to view the list in a card view and, optionally, arrange the list of virtual machines from the Sort by drop-down menu.
  3. In the card of the virtual machine you want to edit, click Details.
  4. Click Advanced and Edit.
  5. Set the resource allocations shares for the CPU settings by selecting an option from the Priority drop-down menu.
    Option Description
    Low Allocates 500 shares per virtual CPU.
    Normal Allocates 1000 shares per virtual CPU.
    High Allocates 2000 shares per virtual CPU.
    Custom Allows you to assign a specific number of shares by entering the number of shares (which expresses a proportional weight) to each virtual machine.

    When you assign shares to a virtual machine, you always specify the priority for that virtual machine relative to other powered-on virtual machines.

  6. Specify the reservation for the CPU settings by entering the reservation in MHz, and optionally, the limit for the CPU settings in MHz.
    Option Description
    Unlimited The default CPU resource option.
    Maximum Specify an upper bound for CPU resources that can be allocated to a virtual machine in MHz.
  7. Set the resource allocations shares for the memory settings by selecting an option from the Priority drop-down menu.
    Option Description
    Low Allocates 5 shares per megabyte of configured virtual machine memory.
    Normal Allocates 10 shares per megabyte of configured virtual machine memory.
    High Allocates 20 shares per megabyte of configured virtual machine memory.
    Custom Allows you to assign a specific number of shares by entering the number of shares.
  8. Specify the reservation for the memory settings in MB and, optionally, the limit for the memory settings in MB.
    Option Description
    Unlimited The default memory resource option.
    Maximum Specify an upper bound for memory reservation that can be allocated to a virtual machine.
  9. Click Save.

Change the Guest OS Customization Properties of a Virtual Machine

Guest OS customization on VMware Cloud Director is optional for all platforms. It is required for virtual machines that must join a Windows domain.

Some of the information requested on this menu applies only to Windows platforms. The Guest OS Customization panel includes the information necessary for the virtual machine to join a Windows domain. An organization administrator can specify default values for a domain that Windows guests in that organization can join. Not all Windows virtual machines must join a domain, but in most enterprise installations, a virtual machine that is not a domain member cannot access many of the available network resources.

Prerequisites

  • This operation requires the rights included in the predefined vApp Author role or an equivalent set of rights.
  • Guest customization requires the virtual machine to be running VMware Tools.
  • Before you can customize a Windows guest OS, your system administrator must install the appropriate Microsoft Sysprep files on the VMware Cloud Director server group. See the VMware Cloud Director Installation, Configuration, and Upgrade Guide.
  • Customization of Linux guest operating systems requires that Perl is installed in the guest.

Procedure

  1. On the Virtual Data Center dashboard screen, click the card of the virtual data center you want to explore and from the left panel, select Virtual Machines.
  2. Click Card Icon to view the list in a card view and, optionally, arrange the list of virtual machines from the Sort by drop-down menu.
  3. In the card of the virtual machine you want to edit, click Details.
  4. Click Guest OS Customization and Properties to expand the list of guest operating system settings.
    Option Description
    Enable Guest Customization Select this option to enable guest customization.
    Change SID Select this option to change the Windows Security ID (SID).

    This option is specific for virtual machines running a Windows guest operating system. The SID is used in some Windows operating systems to uniquely identify systems and users. If you do not select this option, the new virtual machine has the same SID as the virtual machine or template on which it is based. Duplicate SIDs do not cause problems when the computers are part of a domain and only domain user accounts are used. However, if the machines are part of a Workgroup or local user accounts are used, duplicate SIDs can compromise file access controls. For more information, see the documentation for your Microsoft Windows operating system.

    Allow local administrator password Select this option to allow setting an administrator password on the guest operating system.
    1. Specify a password for the local administrator.

      Leaving the Specify password text box blank generates a password automatically.

    2. Specify the number of times to allow automatic login.

      Entering a value of zero deactivates automatic login as administrator.

    Require Administrators to change password on first login Select this option to require administrators to change the password of the guest operating system on the first login. This is recommended for security purposes.
    Auto generate password Select this option to allow password auto generation.
    Enable this VM to join a domain You can select this option to join the virtual machine to a Windows domain. You can use the organization's domain or override the organization's domain and enter the domain properties.
    1. Enter the domain name.
    2. Enter the user name and password.
    3. Enter the account organizational unit.
    Script You can use a customization script to modify the guest operating system of the virtual machine. When you add a customization script to a virtual machine, the script is called only on initial customization and force recustomization. If you set the precustomization command line parameter, the script is called before guest customization begins. If you set the postcustomization command line parameter, the script is called after guest customization finishes.
    • Click the upload button below the script text box to navigate to a customization script on your local machine.
    • Type the customization script directly into the Script file text box.

    A customization script that you enter directly into the Script file text box cannot contain more than 1500 characters. For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base article https://kb.vmware.com/kb/1026614.

  5. Click Save once you complete making your changes.

Understanding Guest Customization

When you customize your guest operating system, there are some settings and options you should know about.

Enable Guest Customization Check Box

This check box is found on the Guest OS customization tab on the virtual machine Properties page. The goal of guest customization is to configure based on the options selected in the Properties page. If this check box is selected, guest customization and recustomization is performed when required.

This process is required for all guest customization features, such as the computer name, network settings, setting and expiring the administrator and root passwords, SID change for Windows Operating systems, and so on, to work. This option should be selected for Power on and Force re-customization to work.

If the check box is selected, and the virtual machine's configuration parameters in VMware Cloud Director are out of sync with the settings in the guest OS, the Profile tab on the virtual machines Properties page displays that the settings out of sync with the guest OS and the virtual machine needs guest customization.

Guest Customization Behavior for vApps and Virtual Machines

The check boxes are deselected.

  • Enable guest customization
  • In Windows guest OSs, Change SID
  • Password reset
If you want to perform a customization (or you made changes to network settings that need to be reflected in the guest OS), you can select the Enable guest customization check box and set the options on the Guest OS Customization tab of the virtual machine Properties page. When virtual machines from vApp templates are used to create a vApp and then add a virtual machine, the vApp templates act as building blocks. When you add virtual machines from the catalog to a new vApp, the virtual machines are enabled for guest customization by default. When you save a vApp template from a catalog as a vApp, virtual machines are enabled for guest customization only if the Enable guest customization check box is selected.

These are the default values of guest customization settings:

  • The Enable guest customization check box is the same as the source virtual machine in your catalog.
  • For Windows guest virtual machines, Change SID is the same as the source virtual machine in your catalog.
  • The password reset setting is same as the source virtual machine in your catalog.
You can deselect the Enable guest customization check box if required before you start the vApp.

If blank virtual machines, which are pending guest OS installation, are added to a vApp, the Enable guest customization check box is deselected by default because these virtual machines are not yet ready for customization.

After you install the guest OS and VMware Tools, you can power off the virtual machines, stop vApp, and select the Enable guest customization check box and start the vApp and virtual machines to perform guest customization.

If the virtual machine name and network settings are updated on a virtual machine that has been customized, the next time you power on the virtual machine, it is recustomized, which resynchronizes the guest virtual machine with VMware Cloud Director.

Power on and Force Recustomization of a Virtual Machine

You can power on a virtual machine and force the recustomization of a virtual machine.

If the settings in a virtual machine are not synchronized with VMware Cloud Director or an attempt to perform a guest customization has failed, you can force the recustomization of the virtual machine.

Ensure that the application that is running in the virtual machine supports a recustomization. If you change a domain controller by using Microsoft Sysprep, and also change the SID, the virtual machine might be damaged. To mitigate the risk of damaging your virtual machine, create a snapshot before you recustomize it.

Prerequisites

  • You must be an organization administrator.
  • The virtual machine must be powered off.

Procedure

  1. On the Virtual Data Center dashboard screen, click the card of the virtual data center you want to explore and from the left panel, select Virtual Machines.
  2. Click Card Icon to view the list in a card view and, optionally, arrange the list of virtual machines from the Sort by drop-down menu.
  3. From the Power menu of the virtual machine you want to power on and customize, select Power On and Force Recustomization.

Results

The virtual machine is recustomized and powered on.