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How to: Operate an SCVMM Environment

As you work with an environment, the specific actions that you can take depend on whether that environment is active or stored. An active environment is an environment that is deployed to and running on a host group. A stored environment is an environment that is stored in the team project library share. The following table summarizes the actions that you can take on an active or on a stored environment.

Operation

Active

Stored

Deploy

No

Yes

Start

Yes

No

Pause

Yes

No

Shut down

Yes

No

Power off

Yes

No

Store to library

Yes

No

Delete

Yes

Yes

You can also change the properties of an active or stored environment. For more information, see Viewing and Modifying Properties of an SCVMM Environment.

Requirements

  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional

You can deploy an environment that is stored. Deploying a stored environment creates a copy of each virtual machine or template. The original stored environment is left unchanged in the library. For more information about how to deploy an environment, see Deploying a Stored SCVMM Environment.

You can start an environment that is in the Stopped, Paused, or Mixed state. Starting an environment powers on all the virtual machines in that environment and configures the environment capabilities asynchronously. The environment transitions into a Running state as the virtual machines are booting up. If any of the virtual machines fail to start, then the environment is put into a Mixed state. From this state, you can try to start the environment again after you fix the underlying issues. After the machines start, the agents that reside on them finish the configuration.

The following illustration summarizes the steps to start an environment.

Steps to start a virtual environment

To start an environment

  1. In Lab Center, choose the Lab tab, and then choose Environments.

  2. In the list of environments, choose the environment you want to start.

  3. On the menu bar, choose Start. Alternatively, you can right-click the environment and then choose Start.

You can pause an environment that is in the Running state. When you are not using an environment to run tests or deployment scripts, you can pause it, stop it, or store it in the library to save resources. Pausing an environment is useful when you want to freeze the execution in the middle of a session and come back and resume the session exactly from that point. Pausing holds the CPU execution of each virtual machine of that environment and keeps the virtual machines as they are on the hosts. Pausing does not release any CPU, memory, or disk resources on the physical hosts.

If pause operation fails, the environment is in a Mixed state. From that state, you can retry the Pause operation.

To pause an environment

  1. In Lab Center, choose the Lab tab, and then choose Environments.

  2. In the list of environments, choose the environment you want to pause.

  3. On the menu bar, choose Pause. Alternatively, you can right-click the environment and then choose Pause.

You can shut down an environment that is in the Running, Paused, or Mixed state. If you are taking a longer break in your active work, you can shut down the environment to release the CPU and memory resources held by the virtual machines on the physical host. You might also have to shut down an environment to make a copy of it to store in the library.

This operation shuts down all the virtual machines in an environment. If any of the virtual machines fails to shut down, then the environment is put into a Mixed state. From this state, you can try to the shut down the environment again after you fix the underlying issues.

You can turn off an environment that is in the Running, Paused, or Mixed state. This operation powers off all the virtual machines in an environment. If any of the virtual machines fails to power off, then the environment is put into a Mixed state. From this state, you can try to the stop the environment again after you fix the underlying issues.

The Power off operation simply turns off all the virtual machines and does not shut down the operating system in each of them. We recommend that you use the shut down operation instead of abruptly turning off an environment.

To power off an environment

  1. In Lab Center, choose the Lab tab, and then choose Environments.

  2. In the list of environments, choose the environment you want to turn off.

  3. On the menu bar, choose Power off. Alternatively, you can right-click the environment and then choose Power off.

You can store an environment that is in the Running, Paused, or Mixed state. This operation shuts down the environment and moves the environment into the team project library.

Deleting the environment releases all the resources held by the environment on hosts and library servers. You can delete an environment that is in a state other than:

  • Creating

  • Starting

  • Deleting

  • Running

  • Stopped or Stored while another copy of that environment is being created.

To delete an environment

  1. In Lab Center, choose the Lab tab, and then choose Environments.

  2. In the list of environments, choose the environment you want to delete.

  3. On the menu bar, choose the X (Delete) button.

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