All through the 2010 Beta cycle, we got feedback that the new lab management capabilities were really cool but just too dang hard to get configured (sound familiar? :)).  Well, we’ve been working hard on it since about July of last year and each pre-release got better: Beta 2, RC, RC2.  We’ve officially made available the released version of one more important piece to making using the Lab Management capabilities quick and easy – a tool for preparing VM images to be used with VS Lab Management.

You can download the new version of the tool here: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/vslabmgmt

Some of the new features include:

  • New GUI interface which provides a simpler and improved experience. The UI supports the following options
    • Self Service Mode:  This mode should be used by owners/users of Lab environments to quickly install/upgrade agents on VMs that are part of their Lab environment. They will need to login to the VM as an administrator and run this tool on the VM to start off the installation process.
    • Admin Mode: This mode should be used by and Lab Administrators who are in charge of creating/upgrading templates with pre-installed agents. This mode requires the tool to be run from a machine with SCVMM Administrator console installed and requires the user to be an SCVMM delegated administrator.
  • Simplified UI based experience for creating VM templates, without the need to author XML configuration files.
  • Support for upgrading Visual Studio Agents on virtual machines. The tool has been enhanced to provide support for upgrading from Beta2 or RC version to RTM version of agents.
  • Enable Remote desktop connection on the VMs as part of the configuration process.
  • An option to disable machine account passwords from expiring. This enables domain joined Lab environments to continue functioning when they are reverted to an old snapshot.

Please refer to the documentation available on the release site for details on how to setup and use the tool.

Brian