Give the users a console again

Granting Console Access and Power On/Off functions to your Users

Sometimes a user will complain that they need console access to there servers or permission to turn on/off or reset there machines if there is a problem, as the servers become virtualised this can be achieved in a number of ways, I have documented a couple of these ways below…

  1. Apply the correct permissions for the user you wish to access the virtual machine limiting them to there required security permissions.

If you’re using VirtualCenter, you can use roles and groups to assign permission to users such that they would only see the VM’s that they have permission to and could have various levels of rights over those VM’s. This is covered in depth starting at page 261 here – http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_35/esx_3/r35/vi3_35_25_admin_guide.pdf.

You could do something similar with ESX 3.0.x but that was removed with ESX 3.5.

With ESX 3.5 you can create individual users, but you can’t grant permissions to specific VM’s without VirtualCenter.

  1. Once you have completed the permissions side of things start your favourite web browser and browse to your VC or ESX server web interface by using https://yourservername/ui

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  1. Log into the web interface using your own Administrator account details, we will use this to create the link which you will be providing to the end user.
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    Use the navigation bar (blue area) on the left hand side of the screen to navigate to and click on the Virtual Machine you wish to give access to

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    Click the “Generate Remote Console URL” on the right hand side of the screen

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    Use this form to customise what you would like the user to see.

  1. Once completed you can copy the link from the light blue area and send this to the user.

There is also a dedicated client for accessing machines on the VC/ESX servers which also works very well, this can be downloaded from the following area: http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/170-The-games-have-begun.html

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