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How to: View or Modify a Virtual Environment

You can change the properties or the composition of a virtual environment. The following examples illustrate the kinds of changes you might make during the lifecycle of an application.

  • Change the name of an environment or its description after you have installed new applications into it.

  • Remove a virtual machine with an outdated OS and add another virtual machine with a new OS to an existing stored environment.

  • Change the environment capabilities in a stored environment so that all active environments created from it will have those capabilities.

    NoteNote

    Installing software on a virtual machine by connecting to it does not constitute a change.

In Microsoft Test Manager, you can view and change active environments by clicking the Lab tab. You can view and change stored environments by clicking the Library tab.

To view or change the properties of an active virtual environment

  1. Open Microsoft Test Manager and connect to the team project.

  2. Open Lab Center.

  3. Click the Lab tab.

  4. Click the Environments sub-tab.

    A list of environments is displayed.

  5. Click the environment that you want to view or change.

  6. Click Open, and then follow the steps in the wizard to view or change the properties.

  7. If you have opened the wizard just to view the properties of the virtual environment, click Cancel to close the wizard. If you have made changes and want to save the changes, click Finish.

To view or change the properties of a stored virtual environment

  1. Open Microsoft Test Manager and connect to the team project.

  2. Open Lab Center.

  3. Click the Library tab.

  4. Click the Environments sub-tab.

    A list of environments is displayed.

  5. Click the environment that you want to view or change.

  6. Click Open, and then follow the steps in the wizard to view or change the properties.

  7. If you have opened the wizard just to view the properties of the virtual environment, click Cancel to close the wizard. If you have made changes and want to save the changes, click Finish.

Each virtual environment has its own set of properties. The following properties are present on all virtual environments when either Active or Stored:

Active environments also have the following two properties:

Stored environments also have the following additional property:

Name

This is the name of the environment.

NoteNote

Two environments cannot have the same name if they are in the same team project library share or same team project host group.

Description

This is a user friendly annotation that describes the environment.

Status

This is the current state of the environment. The following table describes the states that are supported by Lab Management.

Status

Applies to

Description

Stored

Stored environments only

The environment is stored in the library and is available for use.

Stopped

Active environments only

All virtual machines in the environment are stopped.

Running

Active environments only

All virtual machines in the environment are running.

Paused

Active environments only

All virtual machines in the environment are paused. A paused virtual machine has its CPU execution suspended. The virtual machine is still using memory and disk resources on the physical host.

Mixed

Active and stored environments

Not all virtual machines in the environment are in the same state. Some of them are in Stopped, Paused, or Running states, whereas others might be in some form of Failed states. This might occur if the state of a virtual machine was changed bypassing Lab Management. For example, if you restart a virtual machine and you are connected to it, the state of the environment becomes Mixed.

Creating

Active and stored environments

The environment is being created and cannot be used until it is completed. You can cancel creating the environment.

CreateCancelling

Active and stored environments

A Cancel operation was requested while the environment was under creation.

CreateFailed

Active and stored environments

Creation of the environment has failed. You can retry the creation.

Stopping

Active environments only

The environment is stopping.

Starting

Active environments only

The environment is starting.

Pausing

Active environments only

The environment is pausing.

Deleting

Active and stored environments

The environment is being deleted.

Updating

Active and stored environments

Properties of the environment are being updated.

CreatingSnapshot

Active environments only

A snapshot operation was performed on the environment. A new snapshot is being created.

DiscardingSnapshot

Active environments only

A snapshot is being deleted from the environment.

RestoringSnapshot

Active environments only

A restore operation was performed on the environment. The environment is being restored to an earlier snapshot.

UnderMigration

Active and stored environments

All virtual machines in the environment are being migrated from their current host or library server to another location.

Failed

Active and stored environments

All the virtual machines in the environment have entered one of the following failure states: CheckpointActionFailed, Missing, IncompleteVMConfig, HostNotResponding, CustomizationFailed, MigrationFailed, UpdateFailed, or Unsupported.

Project library share

This is the location of a stored environment. The library of each team project may be organized into multiple project library shares. For more information about how to change team project library shares, see How to: Change the Library Share for Your Team Project Collections.

Project host group

This is the location of an active environment. Each team project may be organized into multiple project host groups. For more information about how to change team project host groups, see How to: Change the Host Groups for Your Team Project Collections.

In use

This indicates that the environment is being used. When an environment is marked as In use, any additional operations on that environment trigger a warning. Use the In use marker to negotiate control of shared environments between team members. You can also include a comment when you mark an environment In use.

Owner

This is the identity of the person who created the environment. The owner is the only person other than a system administrator who can delete the environment. All the contributors in the team project can access, view, and update the environment.

Date created

This is the date and time when the environment was created.

Date modified

This is the date and time when the environment was changed by a user. The user should have changed one or more of the editable properties of the environment

Modified by

This is the identity of the person who last modified the environment.

Last accessed time

This is the date and time when the environment was last accessed. An access is any operation on or use of the environment. The time stamp is updated whenever:

  • An environment is edited.

  • Another environment is created from this environment through store or deploy operations.

  • Any of the following operations is performed on the environment: start, stop, pause, save virtual machine, create snapshot, discard snapshot, restore snapshot.

The following operation does not update the last accessed time:

  • Opening the environment to view, but not change, its properties.

The last accessed time is useful in managing the proliferation of virtual machines. You can write custom scripts to delete all environments that have not been accessed for a long time.

List of virtual machines or templates

This is the list of virtual machines or templates that the environment is made of. For a stored environment, this list could include both virtual machines and templates. For an active environment, this list could only include virtual machines.

List of snapshots

Each snapshot that you take on the environment has a name and description. In addition, the snapshots have a parent-child relationship with each other that indicates the order in which they have been taken. For more information about snapshots and snapshot operations, see How to: Save the Current State of Your Environment.

Capabilities

Each environment can be configured to support three capabilities: network isolation, test integration, and workflow integration. For more information about these capabilities, see the following topics:

Environment tags

You can associate custom name-value properties with an environment. Two examples of data that you can associate with each environment are as follows:

  • Purpose of the environment.

  • Date when the environment should be deleted.

ID

A unique identifier assigned by Lab Management to track the environment. Use the ID in communications with the system administrator. The ID is also useful if you want to use the programming interface for Lab Management and build additional features that layer on top of Lab Management.

If you take a snapshot of the environment, make several changes to the environment, and then restore to the original snapshot, the changes are not restored. In other words, if you change the name or custom properties after a snapshot and restore to the original snapshot, the environment still continues to have the changed name. However, the value of memory is restored when you restore the environment.

Caution noteCaution

If you add or remove a virtual machine from an environment, all the prior snapshots of that environment are obsolete and unavailable. You will not be able to restore the environment to any of those snapshots.

If you change a stored environment, when those changes finish successfully the environment returns to the Stored state. Similarly, an active environment returns to its original state after the changes are complete. If a stored environment was in the CreateFailed state, you must remove the CreateFailed virtual machine before you make any other changes to the environment.

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