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*NEWBIE* Virtual Guest Services - Installed? Need it?

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  • *NEWBIE* Virtual Guest Services - Installed? Need it?

    Hi all,

    Using brevity, I have a Hyper-V environment. There are three physical host servers (A, B, C) running 15 virtual servers. It is a fairly small environment overall, but I am a department of one and this was installed for me by a vendor I contracted 2.5 years ago. Largely, I am quite clueless about the whole thing (I know, that's crazy), and have relied on them all this time to help me when and if disaster strikes. It's getting to the point where I can't really do that anymore and over the last few months I have used every chance I get (which isn't much) to learn everything I can. Still, I know very little. As such, I will probably be posting A LOT here in the next couple weeks/months.

    FYI, my VMs run the following Windows Server versions:

    2003 R2 Standard (2 servers)
    2008 R2 Enterprise (1 server)
    2008 R2 Standard (2 servers)
    2012 Datacenter (all the rest)
    Hosts A, B, and C are also 2012 Datacenter

    I wanted to start with something small: Virtual Guest Services

    I recently had a backup issue and in talking with the support tech from the company (Veeam), he was poking around and looking for guest services. What he discovered (or at least thinks he discovered) is that the VM didn't even have it installed. The VM in question, by the way is TOB-File01, my main file server. But he wasn't expert enough to dig further. Check this out:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	FIle01Guest.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	495688

    This is my primary file server and as you can see, "Install Virtual Guest Services" is grayed out and unavailable. In fact, ALL of the servers in the list show this. The only two that don't, and allow me to try to install it are "TOB-DOCS" and "TEST PC", both of which are off and useless. Now, for fun I shut down the file server and sure enough, the option to install livened up. I clicked it and it shot to 50% complete, then failed. So I started it back up again and left well enough alone. I don't know what logs to look at or errors to check. I'm dead in my tracks.

    So here are my questions:
    1. What exactly is Guest Services? In Lamen's terms.
    2. Do the VMs even need it?
    3. Given the variety of server OSs on the VMs, is it even supported on the older ones?
    4. How can I check each VM to see if it is even installed? On this note, the Veeam tech checked for a file called vmms.exe in the C:\Windows\System32 folder and to his knowledge, said to me that if the file didn't exist, Guest Services wasn't installed. None of the VMs have anything in Programs that would indicate it's installed... What I do know is that all 3 physical HOSTS seem to have it. Here is a screenshot from Host A:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Host_A_VMMS File.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	79.2 KB
ID:	495689

    Now, I haven't checked each VM yet, but so far I have NOT seen this anywhere but the physical hosts.

    Lemme start with that. Can you guys gimme a hand, please? This will go a long way. I am Hell-bent on learning this stuff. Getting better every day, but it scares the crap out of me and I don't like playing with it unless it's already broken or I have help from gurus.

    THANKS in advance!

    Chris

  • #2
    You can't install Virtual Guest Services with SCVMM in a running VM. You need to shut down the VM. - https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/vir...es-with-scvmm/

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Joe,

      First, thanks for the quick reply. Secondly, nice throwback avatar! Hadn't seen that little guy in a while. LOL! OK, well I kinda figured that out already seeing as how I did notice the option come available upon shutting the VM down and then being able to try it. But like I said, when I do that, it progresses to "50% complete" almost immediately, then sits there for another few minutes not moving, then goes to "Failed". How can I troubleshoot whatever is going on here?

      Thanks!

      CB

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting... I just went poking around a little more in SCVMM and found "Jobs" on the right. Took a look and found the job wherein I tried and failed to install GS onto the file server. Here is a screenie of the reason for failure:
        Click image for larger version

Name:	FIle01Guest2908.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	40.1 KB
ID:	495696

        How could anything still be in use? It was off. Is there a difference in VM-World between "Shut Down" and "Power Off"? As you can imagine, powering off my file server is not something I can do readily, but as a test, I just kicked off an installation of GS on another server I can afford to have down. It completed! Now, I haven't yet checked it on the VM side itself, but I will report back.

        CB

        Comment


        • #5
          OK, so this is weird and I don't know what to make of it... I just went to the VM that I "successfully" installed GS on and went to the C:\Windows\System32 folder on it to look for that "vmms" application file. Sure enough, despite SCVMM claiming "Success" on the installation job, this file is NOT there. Bear in mind, looking for this file, whatever it is, is the only way I know to check whether or not GS is installed on any given VM. And I only learned that from the Veeam tech (who is not a specialist in this area, of course). That's why I asked in the OP if there was another way. There has to be because this is kinda silly IMHO.

          Nevertheless, the file is not there in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. So for fun I went up to the Windows folder and searched down through it. Well, there are actually several of these "vmms" files in different locations! Here is a screenshot of the search results: Click image for larger version

Name:	VeeamOne_VMMS_Files.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	229.0 KB
ID:	495699



          Of course, some of these look exactly like the file I second screenshot from the OP with the 10.6MB size, etc. But, of course, none of them are in C:\Windows\System32. So I don't know what this means...

          But I decided to do a comparison. So I went to Host A and performed the exact same search from C:\Windows for "vmms". Here is a screenie of that search: Click image for larger version

Name:	Host_A_VMMS File_Locations.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	210.4 KB
ID:	495700


          As you can see, it seems basically identical except it HAS the "vmms" file in the System32 folder as well.

          Not sure what all this means.

          CB
          Last edited by WorldBuilder; 11th March 2016, 04:24. Reason: Duplicate Screenshots Removed.

          Comment


          • #6
            The copies of the file in the WinSxS folder are part of the Windows side-by-side infrastructure and aren't the copies you're actually looking for. You're looking for the copy in the System32 folder. If it doesn't exist there then guest services aren't installed (all of this you've already discovered and stated). What happens if you install The Integration Services from the Hyper-V console?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
              The copies of the file in the WinSxS folder are part of the Windows side-by-side infrastructure and aren't the copies you're actually looking for. You're looking for the copy in the System32 folder. If it doesn't exist there then guest services aren't installed (all of this you've already discovered and stated).
              OK, that's good to know, and also good to know that at least I'm kind of in the right arena of understanding.
              Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
              What happens if you install The Integration Services from the Hyper-V console?
              Honestly, I don't know what this means. "Hyper-V console"? I really do mean "Newbie"!

              By the way, if the installation was a "success" according to the Virtual Machine Manager, why did it actually not work? Well, seemingly it didn't work. This is rather maddening. LOL!

              Comment


              • #8
                Do you mean this? https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/.../dn632582.aspx

                I just looked on my SCVMM server and this does NOT appear to be an installed Role. Installing now:
                Click image for larger version

Name:	RSAT_Hyper-V.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	54.2 KB
ID:	495705

                If this is what you are referring to, it wasn't even there, but will be soon. Hopefully I am not breaking anything. I won't touch it further until I hear from you. THANKS!

                CB

                Comment


                • #9
                  On each Hyper-V host you should find the Hyper-V Manager console. In that console you'll see all of the virtual machines that are hosted on that Hyper-V host. Check the settings of the virtual machine to make sure that the Integration Services are being offered to the virtual machine (the checkboxes for the Integration Services should be checked). Then connect to the virtual machine from the Hyper-V Manager console and select Action|Insert Integration Services Setup Disk from the Virtual Machine Connection window. Then log onto the virtual machine and install the Integration Services.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, I will give this all a look asap. I have seen "Integration Services" in the properties of some VMs before, but not in detail. Will do. In the meantime, are "Virtual Guest Services" and "Integration Services" the same thing? Sorry, little confused.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi again, Joe!

                      OK, I did what you suggested on one of my VMs that isn't critical (in case I kill it, LOL). Check this out:

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Integration Services is installed already.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	75.4 KB
ID:	495722

                      So it's already there. Cool! But as you can also see in the background, that "VMMS" file is still not there. So this makes me think that "Virtual Guest Services" and "Integration Services" are not the same thing...? And something you said earlier triggered a thought. In the settings of any given VM in Hyper-V Manager, you said "offered" in regards to IS. So, just because those boxes are checked, that just means that Hyper-V is making them available, but does NOT mean they're actually in use on the VM? Is that right?

                      And can I also return to my original questions of:
                      1. What exactly is Guest Services? In Lamen's terms.
                      2. Do the VMs even need it?

                      And again add are "Virtual Guest Services" and "Integration Services" the same thing? Are they BOTH necessary?

                      Hey, thanks! You've been very helpful and I'm learnin'...

                      CB

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, Guest Services and Integration Services are the same thing.

                        My sincere apologies. I was mistaken about the vmms.exe file. That file is for the virtual machine management service on the Hyper-V hosts only. I mistakenly thought that it was also on the virtual machines, but that is not the case. That file will not and should not exist on the virtual machines.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Absolutely no need for an apology! Thanks! I completely understand now. This is most helpful. So then am I to understand that the ONLY way to check that GS (or IS, as they are confirmed to be the same) is installed is to perform the task you mentioned in Post #9? There is no program that is listed in Windows? What I mean is that if I go to the uninstallable programs list of the VM I have been playing with, I see this:
                          Click image for larger version

Name:	Programs List.JPG
Views:	1
Size:	98.6 KB
ID:	495725
                          Nothing there seems to indicate GS (IS) is installed. Overall, it seems like a very cumbersome way to check, if I have to use your Post #9 method on each VM. There is no other way?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You're correct that there's no program installed in the VM that corresponds to the Integration Services. You can check from PowerShell on the Hyper-V host by running the following from a PowerShell window:

                            Get-VM | ft Name, IntegrationServicesVersion

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Where, in that command, "Name" is the computer name of the VM?

                              Nevermind, answered my own question just by trying it.

                              OK, so finally...
                              1. CAN GS be upgraded both on the hosts and VMs?
                              2. SHOULD GS be upgraded both on the hosts and VMs?
                              3. If so... How?

                              Many. Many. Thanks!
                              Last edited by WorldBuilder; 13th March 2016, 04:19. Reason: Answered my own question and added more...

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