[This is prerelease documentation and is subject to change in future releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

A virtual machine emulates a complete hardware system from processor to network card, in a self-contained, isolated software environment, enabling the simultaneous operation of otherwise incompatible operating systems. Using System Center Essentials 2010 to virtualize your environment can help maximize limited IT resources by consolidating underutilized physical servers and more rapidly provisioning new virtual machines, which can be used as application servers or other similar tasks. The following section discusses the various ways in which you can create a virtual machine in Essentials 2010.

Creating Virtual Machines

Before you can create a virtual machine, you will need to designate at least one server as a host for virtual machines. See Designating a Host for Virtual Machines for more information.

Using virtualization management in Essentials 2010, you can create virtual machines from the following:

  1. Physical computers (P2V conversion)

    A physical computer must already be managed by Essentials 2010 in order to select it for conversion to a virtual machine. In addition, the physical computer must have one of the following operating systems installed:

    • Windows Server 2008 without Hyper-V (x86 and x64)

    • Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and above (x86 only)

    • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1) and above (x86 and x64)

    • Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 (SP4) and above (Offline P2V only)

    • Windows 2000 Advanced Server with Service Pack 4 (SP4) and above (Offline P2V only)

    • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and above (x86 and x64)

  2. Virtual hard disks

    You can import Microsoft virtual hard disks (.vhd files) and VMware virtual hard disks (.vmx files). These files must be located in the Essentials 2010 library folder in order to be imported.

  3. Virtual machine templates

    The following virtual machine templates are included with Essentials 2010:

    Recommended (default) server

    Basic server

    High-end server






    1 GB

    512 MB

    2 GB

    Hard Disk

    16 GB

    16 GB

    60 GB


    Show locations

    Show locations

    Show locations

    CD/DVD Drive



    Use host CD/DVD

    BIOS Boot Order

    CD/DVD, Virtual Hard Drive, Network

    CD/DVD, Virtual Hard Drive, Network

    CD/DVD, Virtual Hard Drive, Network

For more information and step-by-step instructions on creating virtual machines, see the Virtualizing Your Server Environment section of the System Center Essentials 2010 Operations Guide.

See Also