Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How to use Active Directory to identify / track virtual machines:

As organizations become more and more virtual, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between physical and virtual servers. Some administrators append "_vm" to the host names of each virtual machine. However, many organizations do not prefer this approach, as any name change could impact how users and applications access the VM's data. Changing a server's name after it has been converted to a VM may also impact the server's locally installed applications and services. When administrators rename a server following a physical to virtual (P2V) migration, they often use CNAME records in DNS to ensure name resolution transparency. Still, this approach adds additional complexity to managing server resources. Another way to identify server objects as either physical or virtual is by making use of each computer object's Description attribute in Active Directory. Some organizations already use the Description attribute to identify a computer's location, department, or role. With that in mind, making use of the Description attribute may require you to be concise in how you identify physical or virtual objects.

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