VMware Server 2.0 has quite a different interface than previous versions of the popular free hypervisor, and sometimes accessing familiar configurations becomes more difficult with a new interface.
One difference between the prior 1.0.x versions of VMware Server and the version 2 release is the virtual machine power-on settings.
In versions 1.0.x, the option to have a VM power on when VMware Server boots was a property of the VM itself. With version two, this property is actually a configuration value of the server. Further, there are a good number of additional options around VM startup order with VMware Server 2.
The first thing in configuring VM automatic power on is to go to the ‘Edit Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown Settings’ configuration option link from the top page of the VMware Infrastructure (VI) Web Access. The figure below shows the area of the interface that this link is located:
In this area of VI Web Access, VMs can be configured to boot up automatically when the server powers on. One of the great new features of VMware Server 2 is that in this console, a sequence of VMs to be automatically started can be configured. This is important for many configurations where there are dependency services on one VM that provides something like DNS and DHCP on the network to the other systems.
In my VMware Server 2 implementation, there are two VMs configured to automatically start when the server powers on. Further, the startup delay can be configured for subsequent VMs. The figure below shows the VMware Server startup and shutdown options panel:
The move of this configuration to a server property instead of being per-VM is a good move for situations where VMware Server could carry more critical workloads. The added functionality around startup sequencing is also a welcome addition for better management options for the product.