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Self-Service for Virtual Windows Servers (VM)

Self-Service Options for Windows Virtual Servers in the Application Service Request (ASR) System

The self-service options listed below for Windows virtual servers (also called virtual machines or VMs) have been automated for faster service delivery. For instructions on submitting a request for a Windows VM, click one of the self-service option links below.

Field Restrictions Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.


Printer-friendly PDF version of the self-service instructions


Provisioning New Windows VM Servers

You can  provision a Windows virtual server automatically, in just a few minutes, if you are an established CIT-hosted customer and authorized to submit requests through the Application Service Request (ASR) system. Note: The system will not display the options to request a virtual server unless you are already a CIT-hosted customer.

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.


Steps for Provisioning a New VM Server

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.

ASR system menu - Initiate Request
ASR menu

  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.

Service Type selection in ASR
Service Type selection

  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select New Virtual Server.

The service drop-down menu with New Virtual Server option selected
New Virtual Server request menu option

  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:
  • Location – Choose either CIT Building 12 or Sterling
  • Server Name - Enter the NETBIOS name for the server (15-character limit)
  • Template name – If you want to create a new virtual machine (VM) from an existing VM that is hosted in our environment, enter the name of your existing VM in this field.
  • Server Operating System – Choose from the drop-down menu
  • Server Description – Enter a brief description of how the new virtual server will be used
  • Dependent Systems – List specific hosts, firewalls, load balances, etc.
  • VLAN Assignment – Choose from the drop-down menu. If you do not specify a VLAN, the default will be used. 
  • Number of CPUs – Choose from the drop-down menu
  • Amount of Memory (GB) – Choose from the drop-down menu
  • Additional Storage – You may add additional storage to the standard storage provided for the C or D drive or add an additional drive lettered E
  • Applications – Select the applications you require.
    • For a multiple server SharePoint farm, enter the number of web front-end servers and number of application servers.
  • Comments – Fill in the field with any additional details if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.
  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

New Virtual Server request form 
New Virtual Server request form
 

Note: Requests for setting up a new Windows VM server are processed automatically once they have been submitted. The new virtual server will be provisioned within one hour of the request submission. Once the server has been provisioned, you will receive an email with a notice that software patches will be installed within the next two hours. CIT may reboot the server at any time during the two-hour window.

You may still need additional time to prepare your server for production (for example, install software and perform testing).
 

Charging Adjustment

Whenever there is a change in resources, such as an increase in the number of servers, there will be an appropriate adjustment to the charges on the CIT account. When the SLA is renewed the following year, it will be amended to reflect the changes. The CIT hosting storage rates are listed at http://www.cit.nih.gov/ServiceCatalog/DataCenterRates.


Decommissioning Windows Servers

Server owners or their designated application users can decommission a virtual or physical Windows server almost immediately through the ASR system. 

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.

Steps for Decommissioning

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.
  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.
  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select Decommission Server.
  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:

    • Specify Server – Select the server name from the drop-down list 
    • Location – Choose either CIT Building 12 or Sterling (Bldg 12 is selected by default)
    • Type of Server – Select Virtual from the drop-down menu
    • Comments – Enter additional details in the field if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.

  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

Server Decommission request form in ASR
Server Decommission request form

Note:
Servers will be decommissioned when the request is submitted. Do not submit requests until you are ready. You will receive an email upon completion.


Requesting a Hardware Upgrade for Windows VM Servers

Server owners or their designated application users can request a hardware upgrade for a virtual Windows server almost immediately through the ASR system. 

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.

Steps for Upgrading Hardware

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.
  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.
  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select Hardware Upgrade (VM and Physical).
  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:
    • Type of Server – Select Virtual from the drop-down menu 
    • Server you want to upgrade – Select a server name from the drop-down menu
    • Please select the server's location – Choose either CIT Building 12 or Sterling
    • Amount of additional RAM – Select the amount of RAM to add to the server
    • Number of additional CPUs – Select the number of additional CPUs to add to the server
    • Storage – Specify the drive letter(s) to be upgraded and the amount of additional GB requested for each drive letter 
    • Comments – Enter additional details in the field if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.

  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

ASR system Hardware Upgrade request form
Hardware Upgrade request form

Note: For virtual servers, hardware changes will be applied within one hour of the request submission. To apply RAM and CPU changes, the virtual server will be shut down. DO NOT submit the form if you are not ready to have your VM powered off. You will receive an email once the requested changes have been completed.

Requesting a Windows VM Server Snapshot

Server owners or their designated application users can request a virtual server snapshot for a virtual Windows server almost immediately through the ASR system. 

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.

Steps for Requesting a Virtual Server Snapshot

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.
  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.
  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select Virtual Server Snapshot Request.
  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:
    • Location – Indicate where the VM is located by selecting either CIT Building 12 or Sterling from the drop-down menu. 
    • Server – Select a server name from the drop-down menu.
    • Number of days you would like to retain this snapshot – Enter the amount of days you would like to keep the snapshot (60 days maximum retention).
    • Comments – Enter any details or special instructions if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.

  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

ASR system VM Snapshot request form
VM Snapshot request form

Note:
 When you submit a request for virtual servers, the process is automated. You will receive an email once the request is completed. Snapshots are automatically deleted after 60 days.


Requesting a Rollback to Snapshot for Windows VM Servers

Server owners or their designated application users can request to rollback a Windows VM server almost immediately through the ASR system. 

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.

Steps for Rolling a Server Back to a Snapshot

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.
  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.
  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select Virtual Server Rollback to Snapshot Request.
  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:
    • Location – Choose either CIT Building 12 or Sterling.
    • Server – Select a server name from the drop-down menu. 
    • Snapshot Name – Enter a valid snapshot name (A valid snapshot name must exist in the hosting environment for you to roll back to that snapshot. Please verify snapshot name before submitting the ASR).
    • Comments – Enter any details or special instructions if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.
  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

ASR system Virtual Server Rollback to Snapshot request form
Virtual Server Rollback to Snapshot request form

Note
: When you submit a request for virtual servers, the process is automated and the rollback is almost immediate. You will receive an email once the request is completed.

Requesting to Clone a Windows VM Server

Server owners or their designated application users can request to clone a Windows VM server almost immediately through the ASR system. 

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.

Steps for Cloning a VM Server

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.
  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.
  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select Clone Virtual Server.
  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:
    • Location – Choose either CIT Building 12 or Sterling
    • Server – Select a server name from the drop-down menu
    • Would you like this clone to be used as a custom template? – Select Yes or No (if yes is selected, the clone will be turned into a custom template that can be used in the New Virtual Server ASR form)
    • Comments – Enter any details or special instructions if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.

  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

ASR system Clone Virtual Server request form

Clone Virtual Server request form

Note: When you submit a request for virtual servers, the process is automated. You will receive an email once the request is completed. Custom templates are automatically deleted after 30 days. The custom template name will be emailed to the request submitter and may be specified in the New Virtual Server ASR form.

Requesting Disk Storage

Server owners or their designated application users can request adding or removing disk storage for a Windows VM server almost immediately through the ASR system. 

Log into the ASR system using one of the following options:

  • NIH users – If you are associated with NIH, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and click the NIH user login for the Application Service Request System link. Log in with your NIH Login/password or your PIV card/PIN.
  • Users outside the NIH network – If you do not have an NIH Login, go to the ASR System Login page at: http//asr2.cit.nih.gov/ and use your email address and an ASR password to access the system. Enter your email address and your password in the appropriate fields in the Non-NIH Users section of the page, and then click Submit.

Note: Before logging into the ASR system for the first time with your email address, you must request a new password from the system.

Steps for Managing Disk Storage

  • Once you have logged into the ASR system, select ASR > Initiate Request.
  • From the Application Name drop-down list, choose the name of your application.
  • From the Service Types drop-down list, select Windows as the type of service.
  • The Service drop-down list appears. From the drop-down list, select Disk Storage Request.
  • A service request form appears. Fill in the following fields:
    • Location – Choose either CIT Building 12 or Sterling
    • Action – Select one of the three actions listed below. Depending on your selection, new fields will appear:
      • Add New Drive – In the Drive Size (in GB) field, enter the size of the additional drive in gigabytes.
      • Extend existing drive – In the Drive Letter and Drive Size (in GB) fields, enter the letter designation of the existing drive to which you want to add disk storage and the amount of additional storage in gigabytes.
      • Remove drive – In the Drive Letter field, enter the letter designation of the existing drive you want to remove.
    • Type of Server – Select Virtual from the drop-down menu
    • Specify Server – Select a server name from the drop-down menu
    • Comments – Enter any details or special instructions if necessary. Note: Do not use the greater than (>) or less than (<) symbols in the Comments field or any field in the ASR form. Using these symbols may prevent your request from successfully being submitted to CIT.

  • Once you have filled in the fields, click the Submit button.

ASR system Disk Storage request form (entire form)
Disk Storage request form

Disk Storage form Add New Drive option
Disk Storage form Action field option 1

Disk Storage form Extend existing drive option
Disk Storage form Action field option 2

Disk Storage form Remove drive option
Disk Storage form Action field option 3


Note: Changing your disk space will affect your monthly storage costs.


Self-Service FAQ for Windows Servers


Q: Which Windows services are automated processes?
A: The Windows team has been steadily automating Windows VM ASR services to improve overall efficiency. This means that some services for virtual servers are automated from submission of ASR to completion. Currently the services that are automated are:

  • New Virtual Server Request (if you are an established CIT hosted customer)
  • Decommission Server Request
  • Virtual Server Hardware Upgrade Request
  • Virtual Server Snapshot Request
  • Clone Virtual Server Request
  • Disk Storage Request


Q: I submitted a request for a Windows service that is automated. When will the automation start and how long will it take to finish?  How will I know when it is done?
A: Currently automation is scheduled to run every half hour. Most requests will be completed within one hour of request submission. An email will be sent to the request submitter once the automation process has finished fulfilling the request. 

Q: How long will I be able to keep a virtual machine (VM) snapshot or VM template?
A: Currently snapshots and templates created with the ASR system are removed automatically after 60 days (maximum retention). Server and VM patching occurs on a monthly basis, and any templates or snapshots older than 60 days start to become non-compliant with patches. You may submit another request for a new snapshot to obtain a new baseline as the 60-day retention window approaches. Per VMware best practices, snapshots should not be used as a backup method, should be kept for no longer than 72 hours, and a VM should not have more than three snapshots assigned at any one time.

Q: I would like to create a new VM based on a current VM we have in the Windows hosting environment.
A: To create a new VM based on a current VM, you will need to submit a clone virtual server request and specify that you want to turn the clone into a custom template. After the custom template is created, you will receive an email that includes the custom template name. You can then submit an new virtual server request specifying the custom template name instead of the operating system name. A new virtual server will be provisioned based on your custom template.

Q: If I submit a clone virtual server request will there be any interruption to my production server?
A: The cloning of a virtual server happens seamlessly and does not cause production server issues.

Q: What is a virtual machine snapshot?
A: A virtual machine snapshot is a file-based representation of the state of a virtual machine at a given time. The snapshot includes configuration and disk data. Snapshots are useful for storing states that an administrator might want to return to repeatedly.

Q: What is a template?
A: A template is a base image that is used as a model from which to provision new virtual machines (VMs). A template can have all the desired software application and configurations pre-loaded, then multiple new VMs can be created using this template.

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This page last reviewed: August 20, 2014