To manage local virtual machines go to Virtualization > Local virtual machines.
To create a virtual machine you have three options:
Deploy from the Marketplace
Syneto Marketplace is an online service provided by Syneto. Here you can find different virtual machines already prepared by Syneto. Even though you can install a Syneto UTM or your preferred Linux distribution from ISO any time you want, the virtual machines in the marketplace are already installed with a basic configuration. Deploying from the marketplace will save you time and effort because you need to do a single step to have a working virtual machine instead of installing and configuring it all by yourself.
Click on + button and select Marketplace. Than choose your desired virtual machine. For this example we will use CentOS.
A menu will appear where you must select the folder that will hold the virtual machine. It is not required but we encourage you to create a dedicated folder where all the virtual machines will reside.
After you click Deploy it, a deployment progress will appear with an estimated time of completion, download speed and other information.
As the deployment finishes the box will change into a virtual machine with a powered off state. You can simply power on the virtual machine by clicking on the green arrow on the top right corner. If you desire to configure the machine first, see the Change a virtual machine configuration section of this article.
Deploy from ISO
In case you need a virtual machine with a particular operating system which you can’t find on the Marketplace you have the option to deploy one from an ISO file. This ISO file must be placed in a folder on the Syneto Storage itself. Name the virtual machine. Then, select the operating system. Finally specify the ISO file by first selecting the folder it is located in and then the file itself, and on the right specify the destination folder for the virtual machine. Again, this can be any folder, but we recommend you put all your virtual machines in a dedicated folder.
The deployment will finish in just a couple of seconds and you can configure your virtual machine before you start the installation. Please check the Change virtual machine configuration section for a detailed explanation about what each configuration option means.
Import an existing virtual machine
The use cases for this feature are:
- you move a disk pool to another storage array
- a VM is replicated (locally or remotely) and you want to use your virtual machines from the moved pool or from the replicas
- you have some VMs that were previously removed from the inventory.
Once a virtual machine is selected, the information about the operating system, the folder containing the virtual machine, the mounted ISO image, the number of assigned processors (CPUs) and the assigned memory(RAM) will be displayed and you are ready to deploy.
As usual after any deployment, the virtual machine will be in a powered off state and you can change its hardware settings. Please refer to the Changing virtual machine configuration below for a complete explanation of the configuration options.
Changing virtual machine configuration
To change the configuration of the virtual machine click on the dropdown menu and select Configure.
The options that can be changed
- Name of the virtual machine
- Operating system and the correspondent Version – in case the operating system installed on the machine is different than selected or you wish to install a different operating system.
- Number of assigned processors (CPUs) – this can be a minimum of one and a maximum of physical cores you have on your system.
- Amount of assigned memory (RAM) – the system automatically calculates a maximum available memory you can assign to all the virtual machines that are running at the same time. This amount is calculated in a way that virtual machines will not have a negative impact on system performance or disk caching. The usage bar at the top of the screen always shows the available and free memory dedicated for virtual machines. You can assign, at most, the amount of free memory to a virtual machine.
- Keyboard layout – offers a list of languages (e.g. Italian, German, English UK) to configure the machines keyboard layout to match the actual keyboard that you use. If you choose a different layout, be aware that the keys on your keyboard may display different characters than those that appear on screen.
- Guest network model – specifies the network interface model the guest operating system will see. If you want out-of-the-box networking, on a freshly installed Windows XP, which does not have any Gigabit network adapter drivers, choose the slower RTL8139 card which is supported without any further driver installation. The E1000 Gigabit network adapter is recommended for normal workloads on modern operating systems. However, if you want high performance 10 Gigabit network adapter you must go with the VirtIO one. This requires special drivers on all operating systems. Windows users can easily install the drivers by just selecting Virtio Windows Drivers on the Attach ISO screen. (Linux users have their drivers provided by the distribution packages.)
- Host network interface – represents a list of the available network interfaces on the current host, on the storage itself. All checked interfaces will appear in the running virtual machine as individual network interfaces of the type you selected in the Guest network model section.
- Disks – The operations that can be performed on an existing disk are: expanding the disk size and changing its bus type.
To add a disk to your virtual machine click on the New disk button and specify the disk size and the bus type, which can be IDE, SCSI or VirtIO. For the VirtIO bus type additional drivers are required. You can easily install the drivers by just selecting Virtio Windows Drivers on the Attach ISO screen. See Installing VirtIO Windows disk drivers article for a detailed installation walkthrough.
To remove a disk click on the Delete button that is highlighted once you hover with the mouse over it.
After the desired changes are made click on Save changes.
In case you desire to discard all the changes click on Cancel changes.
After the machine is powered on a VNC connection is prepared and a preview of the screen is shown on the right. If you click this image a new VNC connection will be opened to this virtual machine directly in a new browser tab. If you prefer to connect to a virtual machine with your favorite VNC client, each machine has a dedicated VNC display. Just point your client to the display number shown right below the little preview image. If your client needs a port number instead of a display number, you can calculate it by adding 5900 to the display number. So a display number of 5 is equivalent with the network port of 5905.
Attach an ISO image
Regardless of the state of the virtual machine (running or powered off) you can always attach an ISO image to it. The attached ISO will be seen in the virtual machine immediately as a disk inserted into the CD-ROM device.
Attach an USB device
When the machine is running, and only then, you can also attach a USB device to the virtual machine. This can be helpful when you want to copy something from a virtual machine to an existing and physically connected USB drive. This is only a runtime information and will be reset if the virtual machine is restarted. A note to Windows users: If you repeatedly mount and unmount the same USB storage device, you will have to go to “Device Manager” in Windows and do a rescan for new devices. Otherwise your attached USB stick will not be seen by Windows.
Cloning virtual machines
Important! Cloned virtual machines are linked to their parent virtual machine. You will not be able to delete a virtual machine that has clones.
Use cases for cloning a virtual machine
- You need to deploy many similar virtual machines.
When you want to do this you just click on the Clone and select “current state”. A new snapshot of the virtual machine will be created and then cloned. Creating a clone is almost instantaneous so this a good way to quickly deploy identical virtual machines.
- You need to run a virtual machine as it was in the past. Suppose you take periodical snapshots of your virtual machines. Suppose a negligent user accidentally deletes some important information from a virtual machine. One way to quickly recover it is to create a clone of the virtual machine to a specific snapshot. Just select the desired snapshot from the “Clone from” dropdown and you will have a new virtual machine exactly as your original one was at that moment in time.
- You need to deploy many similar virtual machines.
Removing virtual machines from inventory
A virtual machine can be removed from inventory. Your VM will not be deleted and no data will be lost. You can always re-import it back by selecting the Existing virtual machine option from + dropdown menu.
Remove a virtual machine from disk
To delete a virtual machine from the disk click on the Delete VM from disk button. This operation is not revertible: the machine will not be available for import later.