Everyday Virtualization

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Practice Point For Virtual Console Usage

Gone are the days of do more with less; we all are pressed to do everything it seems now. To help me manage this craziness in my virtualization practice, I install console connection limits for VMware environments.

It may seem silly for an administrator to limit console connections, but let me explain this practice. With a virtualized infrastructure, we can administer everything from one workstation. While I love this, having many consoles open means I will forget something and introduce risk. The risks include a wild mouse click on a VM console, inadvertently hitting a power button or resetting tasks or other situations that can result from unnecessary access to a usually privileged session.

How do I manage this and reduce risks? I put console limits on the local VI Client, which means I then have to specify the number of VM console sessions that I can have open. I configure it in the Client Settings option of the Edit menu.

Once configured, a message pops up that I've reached limit if I try to open console sessions past the threshold. I take this as a nice reminder to go back to the first task at hand to ensure it is completed in a timely manner. The configuration option is the same for VI3 environments.

Setting vSphere Client console sessions threshold
Figure 1. The vSphere Client permits a maximum number of concurrent console sessions; this show a limit of 4 sessions.

This value applies to all connections that a single client would use. Let's take an example where the vSphere Client connects to two vCenter servers and one unmanaged ESXi host simultaneously. This is three vSphere Client sessions each that are allowed, with up to four console sessions each. So, there could still be 12 console sessions across all connections.

Limiting console connections is a small but important setting that has helped me focus on the tasks at hand. Now, if I could only keep the total number of my remote desktop sessions down...

Posted by Rick Vanover on 07/24/2009 at 12:47 PM


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