Manage Virtual Server Machines with VMRC Plus
As some of you know, a few Microsoft employees have been spotted working with a cool tool called VMRC Plus, which is an improved version of the VMRC client that is deployed together with Virtual Server 2005.
This tool used to be an internally available app, but not anymore. I was recently informed of this blog by Arlindo Alves, a Microsoft employee (found at http://blogs.technet.com/aralves/default.aspx) that has finally made VMRC Plus available for the general public.
Furthermore, it now seems that there’s an official blog written by Matthijs ten Seldam who is the original author of the tool. You can read more about it here: http://blogs.technet.com/matthts
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
Anyway, as soon as I got the link I downloaded this tool, installed it on my machine. In order to use it you need Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 running, so get it too for free from the link below. The cool part about VMRC Plus is that you do not need to install IIS or the Web Administration tools for Virtual Server anymore.
Not having to install IIS on the host machine is naturally a good thing as it lowers the machine’s attack profile and reduces some of the resources it uses.
What does VMRC Plus offer?
- Direct control of local or remote instances of the Virtual Server service. No more need for IIS!
- Reusable saved states: this feature allows users to preserve a particular saved state and return to that state at any time.
- Multiple guest selection supported for startup/shutdown/save/display.
- Browse button navigation for media, hard disk images, ISO images, .VMC files, etc.
- Drag and Drop support for .VMC files, ISO’s images, VHD and VFD files.
- Resizable desktop support for guests running Virtual Machine Additions (maximize VMRC window supported).
- Limited cut and paste of text from host to guest (only).
- A built-in utility to take JPG screenshots of running guests. Useful when filing bugs.
- Built-in error notification with Virtual Server event log viewer.
- A Virtual Networks Manager and Virtual Disks Manager that cover all features.
- Keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl-S to save state a guest).
- Create multiple guests at once.
- Create guest from parent (or multiple guests)!
- Automatic reconnect to a designated Virtual Server host.
- Toolbars in both Guest and Console Manager for quick access.
- Unlimited number of guests.
- Maximum of 32 Virtual Server hosts.
- Sorting on columns of guests so you can sort based on status and multi-select.
- Automatic detection of Virtual Machine Additions and notification.
- Detection of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.
Note: VMRC Plus is NOT supported by Microsoft. Use at your own risk.
Download VMRC Plus (New Link on 4/29/2008) at
- Download MS Virtual PC 2007
- Installing a new OS on a new VM with Microsoft Virtual PC
- Creating Differencing Disks with Microsoft Virtual PC
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