Add service templates to the VMM library


This version of Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) has reached the end of support. We recommend you to upgrade to VMM 2022.

Read this article to learn about setting up service templates in the System Center - Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) library.

Service templates group VMs together to provide an app. They contain information about a service, including the VMs that are deployed as part of the service, the applications installed on VMs, and the network settings that should be used. You can add VM templates, network settings, applications, and storage to a service template.

Service templates can be single or multi-tier:

  • A single tier service contains one VM used as a specific app.
  • A multi-tier service contains multiple VMs. For example, you could create a three-tier service with a backend tier running a SQL Server database, a middle tier running the business server, and a third tier running a frontend web interface.
  • Tiers can be added based on a copy of an existing VM template (which can be customized) or a virtual hard disk in the library.

You set up service templates using the VMM service template designer.

Before you start

You can create service templates if you have VMM admin or delegated admin permissions, or if you have a self-service user account with Author enabled.

Create a service template

  1. Select Library > Create > Create Service Template.
  2. In New Service Template > Name, specify a template name. In Release, indicate the template version.
  3. To configure a tier using the predefined templates, click in the designer workload and select a preconfigured tier pattern (blank, 1, 2, or 3 tiers). Select Save and Validate to save the template. After it's created, you can click on a template object to modify its name, release version, or users/roles that can access it.
  4. When the tier appears in the workspace, drag a VM template to it. The properties of the VM template are applied to the tier.


This doesn't establish a link between the tier and the template. Changing the template properties does not modify the tier properties.


You can also select Add Machine Tier to add a tier manually. This opens the Create Machine Tier Template wizard. In Select Source, select a source for the tier. You can use an exact copy of an existing VM template or to customize an existing VM template. Select Browse to select the template or hard disk. In Additional Properties, you'll configure the tier properties described in the next step.

  1. You can click on a tier to access its properties in the details pane of the designer. Select View All Properties to modify all the properties in a single view. Here's what you can modify when you select to view all:
    • In General specify:
      • The order in which tiers are deployed and serviced. For example, if you need the database tier to be running in order to run a frontend web app, you'd set the database tier to 1.
      • Whether you want to be able to add additional VMs to the tier in order to scale out (you can scale out to five VM instances in a tier).
      • More than one upgrade domain to minimize service interruptions when a tier is updated. VMM will update VMs in the tier according to their upgrade domains. VMM upgrade an upgrade domain at a time. It shuts down VMs in the domain, updates them, brings them online, and moves to the next domain to reduce impact.
      • The creation of an availability set for the tier. The availability set helps VMs in the service remain available during maintenance. VMM tries to separate VMs in the same availability set by placing them on separate hosts.
    • In Configure Hardware, you'll see the hardware settings for the associated VM template. You can select an alternative hardware profile or configure hardware settings manually. To learn more, review how to create a hardware profile.
    • In Configure Operating System, you'll see the operating system settings for the associated VM template. You can select an alternative guest OS profile or configure settings manually. To learn more, review how to create a guest OS profile.
    • In Application Configuration or SQL Server Configuration, you can select an application/SQL Server profile or configure settings for a new profile. Learn more about application and SQL Server profiles.

Add a VM network to the service template

You'll need to configure network settings for a tier by connecting the tier adapters to one or more VM networks. To do this, you'll add a logical network component and then use the connector tool to connect it to the adapter.

  1. In the Service Template Designer, select Service Template Components > Add VM Network.
  2. When the network appears as a component, use the Connector to connect to the appropriate NIC.

Next steps

Set up load balancing for a service tier.