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Im looking at using Virtual PC with a team of BizTalk developers. The idea is to install the dev env (Server 2003, SQL Server, Visual Studio, BizTalk etc) on a virtual PC image, and then each team member uses a copy of the image to develop with.

We have network problems if two or more images with the same computer name are started with network access (to SourceSafe). So I attempted to change the computer name in an image. After a while I managed to do it like this:

Export any information from the BizTalk databases (business rules etc.)
Run ConfigFramework /u
Delete BizTalk jobs in SQL Server Agent
Delete BizTalk logons in SQL Server Security
Delete BizTalk databases
Change computer name
Re-start computer
Change SQL Server Name (with sp_dropserver, sp_addserver)
Run ConfigFramework
Change BizTalkMgmtDB connection in Visual Studio
Change rules engine DB connection in Business Rules Policy Editor
Re-enable BackupBizTalk server DBs job
Add any Hosts and host instances using BizTalk Server Administration
Import information to the BizTalk databases (business rules etc.)

I'm wondering if anyone else is using VPC with a BizTalk team, and has come across this issue, or has any tips. (I'll post an article here and include any feedback).

Is there a workaround for having multiple VPCs with the same name? And is there an 'easy' way to change the name of a BizTalk box?

Update
Another Stockholm BizTalk guy called Ali pointed me to this. Looks like it's easy to avoid the "world of pain" of re-naming the VM PC, thanks to Dunk (wonder why that never got in the Bloggers Guide??). I'd still be keen to know if the re-naming procedure could be optimised...

 

 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 5:59 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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I am about do a similar configuration like your requirements described, with the difference that I use Vitual Servers 2005 not Virtual PC 2004. The entire server farm (setup as recommended by MS guide – 4 computers deployment scheme) is hosted on a physical server box. I notice you can use Sysprep to re-identity the virtual server image, incuding new SIDs, machine names, etc. Would this help. I guess Sysprep can always run regardless to gain a new image identity, right?
Left by Jingye Luo on Apr 28, 2005 4:52 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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I have read, heard, experienced, complained at the beta testing that BizTalk is not renamable. According to your description how to workaround it, I would have a VPC without BizTalk pre-installed instead. The BizTalk setup is quite fast, probably faster than all the uninstall, export, re-install and import is.

Perhaps it is better to create an unattended Windows installation (SysPrep, NewSID etc) instead where you choose a mini-setup only requiring the user to change the computer name, everything else preinstalled. And then after that you add a .reg-file with RunOnceEx settings, which will make the installation complete:
OSQL.Exe with sp_dropserver [oldName] sp_addserver [newName],local and then an unattended BizTalk installation.

Left by Niklas Engfelt on May 11, 2005 9:47 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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Thanks for that Niklas,

I have chatted to a few other people who have said the same thing you are saying. I'll take a look at sysprep soon, and look at doing it that way.

Regards,

Alan
Left by Alan Smith on May 14, 2005 4:59 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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Alan,

I'm very curious to know how your development team is doing using Virtual PC. Any issues during development? Accessing VSS?, etc... I'm working with a group that is currently re-working how biztalk development is done and I'm recommending A virtual image of BTS on the local workstation with VS and other tools on the Host OS

Thanks..!!..
Left by T Rivers on May 24, 2005 3:38 PM

# FAO T Rivers
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Hi T,
(I didn't get your email address, can you send it to me via the contact form?)

>>I'm very curious to know how your development team is doing using Virtual PC.

I think I've got this one sorted now, I'll blog about it soon.

Basically what I do is install everyting, then run ConfigFramework to generate the Config.xml, but then exit before configuring BizTalk. I then SysPrep the image, and pass it on to other team members.

When the image is started, the Mini-Setup runs, and the PC name is set. You can then use a BAT file to run the ConfigFramework with the Config.XML file.

There's a few other points, and a couple of gotchas, I'll cover those in more detail soon.

Cheers,

Alan
Left by Alan Smith on May 24, 2005 5:00 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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Hi Alan,
I'm just looking at doing the same now with VPC or VirtServer.
1. Which would you recommend for a developers machine VPC or Server?
2. <<Basically what I do is install everyting, then run ConfigFramework to generate the Config.xml, but then exit before configuring BizTalk. I then SysPrep the image, and pass it on to other team members.>>

Does SysPrep handle the SQL Server name change or do you have to do that manually first as you described?

Cheers
Gar

Left by gar on Jun 29, 2005 12:00 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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>>1. Which would you recommend for a developers machine VPC or Server?

I've only used VPC but it seems to wirk fine. Other guys on my team use Virtual Server to host our test BizTalk environment, which works well.

>>Does SysPrep handle the SQL Server name change or do you have to do that manually first as you described?

You will still need to run an SQL script to change the SQL Server name after running SysPrep.

/Alan
Left by Alan on Jun 30, 2005 8:53 AM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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I really should start blogging again sometime :-)
Left by Dot Net Dunk on Dec 15, 2005 10:00 AM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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What type of network model are these virtual machines using? Is it possible to make all of the VPC dev machines local DC's that matched your live system domain model (in terms of user and system accounts). If you happen to be running SQL on the same box then it would be possible to also copy that on the VPC machine. Then if the machines were NAT hidden from each other this should be cool??? That way you would have a complete similar image that could be used by a number of machines????? Yes or No ???? Or should I just use local system accounts on the VPC machine and forget about DCs letting the live config deal with it when the solution is deployed on the 'real' test server.

Cheers,

JOH
Left by JOH on Dec 20, 2005 8:22 AM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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Have you tried NOT renaming the VPCs and simply using SharedNAT for the network settings? This allows the VPC name to be shielded from the network, yet allows connection to things like SourceSafe. We have used this with a team of about 20 developers all using the same VPC image.
Left by JB on Jan 14, 2006 12:18 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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>>Have you tried NOT renaming the VPCs and simply using SharedNAT for the network settings?

We tried this, but we were getting realy slow network performance. I have heard of other people getting good results with this though.

Regards,

Alan
Left by Alan Smith on Jan 14, 2006 4:56 PM

# re: Changing a VPC Computer Name with BizTalk
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Hi Alan,
I know this is one of your old posts. But do you have any scripts or any other better methods of using VPC's for BizTalk development.

Currently we created one used sharedNAT and tried to share the VPC between all developers after getting the machine on the domain we are having issues.

Thanks,
Gokul
Left by Gokul on Oct 29, 2009 6:13 AM

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