5.3 Managing a Virtual Machine in Runtime

There are many ways you can control the VM after it has been deployed from the warehouse. All actions from provisioning to shutting down the VM can be managed directly from the Orchestrator Console and through the jobs written and executed by the Orchestrator Server.

5.3.1 Provisioning Actions from the Right-Click Menu

You can perform provisioning actions by right-clicking a VM in the tree of the Orchestrator Console. You start VMs by provisioning them under the VMs list according to the appropriate provisioning adapter. The provisioning actions available from the right-click menu are as follows:

Table 5-1 Right-Click VM Commands




Starts a VM to a running state. The Orchestrator Server automatically looks for the best VM host machine to run the VM on, unless you have specifically designated another server to run the VM.


Prevents the VM from gaining access to the processor of the host machine, although it is still resident in the memory of the host machine.


Allows a paused VM to access the processor of the host machine again.


Pauses the VM and takes a snapshot of its disk and memory status. In the suspended state, a VM can be moved or migrated to another host machine.


Stops a VM from running, just like shutting down a physical machine. The operating system stops and acts as if it were shut down.


Shuts down and restarts a running VM.


Moves a VM that is shut down from one host machine to another. This action is a “live migration” as opposed to moving the disk image with a “cold” VM.

Resync State

Assures that the state of the VM displayed in the Orchestrator Console is accurate.

Save Config

Commits runtime modifications of VM properties (such as adding more virtual memory or a new application during runtime) to the VM Warehouse.

Apply Config

Updates the VM’s transient configuration. The VM must be running. This action is not supported in ZENworks Orchestrator 1.2.

Create Template

Makes a VM instance into a template from which other versions can be cloned. This menu item is replaced by the Clone menu item when you right-click a template VM.


Launches a cloned instance of the template VM.

Delete/Destroy Resource

Removes a VM from the Resources list in the Orchestrator Console.

Move Disk Images

Migrates a disk image from one storage location to another. Select the storage location from the drop-down menu. You can also move a VM from one VM host machine to another. This is a “cold” migration. VMware Server VMs must be migrated in this manner.


Creates a named snapshot of a VM image. This image is stored on the disk of the repository machine. Xen VMs cannot have a checkpoint applied to them.


Starts a Checkpoint VM (that is, resumes the operations of a VM made into a stored checkpoint from the moment of storage).

Remove Template Dependency

Changes a cloned instance of a VM into a VM instance.

Install Agent

Launches a job that automatically installs the Orchestrator Agent on a VM the next time you provision the VM.


Allows you to customize the VM. This includes changing elements like the DNS server. The changes are made to a VM that is shut down.

Shutdown Agent

Shuts down the Orchestrator Agent and makes the VM unavailable as a resource.

Cancel Action

Stops an action that has been requested.

Check Host Assignment

Opens a window so you can compare the VM hosts capable of hosting the VM.

Launch Remote Desktop

Launches a VNC terminal in which you can view and control the VM.

For information on provisioning a VM and on the usable provisioning adapters, see Section 5.3.4, Managed Virtual Machine Actions.

5.3.2 Releasing a Virtual Machine from Usage

When the demand and load on your data center decrease, the Orchestrator Server analyzes the remaining resources and releases the most appropriate resource. If a VM meets the requirements of the remaining job demands better than a physical machine, then the physical machine is released before the VM. This dynamic analysis allows you to make sure that the needs of your data center are met.

5.3.3 Managing Virtual Machine Templates

A VM template is a special kind of VM that is not deployed separately. When the Orchestrator Server needs a VM of the template’s type to be used as a resource, it automatically clones a version of the VM and uses that clone as the VM. You can change cloned VMs into instances of VMs instead of clones.

Making a Virtual Machine Instance into a Template

To make an individual instance of a VM into template:

  1. Right-click the VM.

  2. Choose Create Template.

  3. Name the template.

  4. Choose a Repository

  5. Choose a visible VM host.

  6. Select a recommended host for the VMs to be launched on, if any are present.

  7. Click OK.

When the clone of the template VM is provisioned, it appears as a sub-branch of the template’s location in the resources tree, as in the following figure.

Figure 5-1 VM Template with Daughter Clone

This clone functions as an instance of a VM and runs as though it were its own version with its own MAC address and other unique identifiers.

Ending the Clone

When the Orchestrator Server no longer needs the clone, it deprovisions it and automatically deletes it from the data center.

Changing a Virtual Machine Template Clone to an Instance

If you decide to keep a clone VM, you can right-click it and select Remove Template Dependency. This brings up the Remove Template Dependency dialog box, shown in the following figure:

Figure 5-2 Remove Template Dependency Dialog Box

5.3.4 Managed Virtual Machine Actions

You can perform many actions to the VM through the Orchestrator Console and VM Management interface or you can write jobs to have actions performed on the VMs in your data center. The following table lists the managed VM actions that can be performed by you or log a written job.

Table 5-2 Managed VM Actions




Starts a VM. This action clones and start a cloned VM template.


Creates a new, unique instance of a VM template.

Cold Migrate

Moves the storage location of the configuration and first disk files to another physical storage host. This might allow for the VM to start faster.


Stops an active VM instance (including a started template VM).


Restarts (reprovisions) an active VM.


Takes a snapshot of an active VM and pauses it in order to move it to another VM host.


Prevents the VM from obtaining CPU cycles, but it stays resident.


Allows a paused VM to access the CPU again.

Create Template

Creates a VM template from a VM instance.

Hot Migrate

Moves the storage location of an active VM, its disks and configuration, to another VM host machine.


Create a named snapshot of a moment that can later be accessed to restart from the same point


Resumes a VM at a previously stored checkpoint.

Install Orchestrator Agent

Opens a VM image and installs the Orchestrator Agent.

Make Standalone

Removes the association of a template and makes the active VM into its own instance.

Check Status

Checks the current state of the VM to verify if the VM is provisioned or shut down.


Modifies the Orchestrator Agent properties and disk image that are currently part of a clone.

Save Config

Transfers changes made to a VM to its permanent image storage.

5.3.5 Virtual Machine Technology-Specific Actions

For a detailed breakdown of the actions you can perform to and with a VM, see the appropriate VM technology and configuration section in Section B.0, Virtual Machine Technologies and Actions.