Virtual Machine Tracking Basics in LabStats
May 18, 2023 | Data
Learn how to find usage data on virtual machines.
Many universities allow students to connect their personal devices, such as laptops, to virtual desktops and other services provided by the university. These Virtual Machines (VM’s) are a great way for students to access university software and tools from a remote location. This is referred to as a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment.
The struggle universities often discover, however, is finding usage data on the VM’s. When students access the university’s resources off campus, it becomes difficult to track how much of the resources are actually being used.
LabStats can be installed in many virtual machine environments, and as long as they can reach the check-in server, they’ll typically check-in just fine. We officially support Citrix and VMWare environments, but many others work as well.
Something to note is that if you are installing LabStats onto virtual machines for the first time in your instance, most VM MAC address ranges are blocked from checking in by default. In order for any station to check in properly; you would need to remove any MAC address ranges you are wanting to use from your ignored MAC address list, located at Admin > Advanced > Ignored MAC addresses
Most support tickets we receive about VMs are actually about station identification due to variable MAC Addresses, with new stations being constantly corrected. This often leads to licensing problems and can fragment your tracked VM data until you can’t really use it.
We recommend using static MAC Addresses wherever possible.
- This allows you to just license for the number of VMs you’ll have and allows for consistent station records.
- If you can’t use static MAC Addresses, you may be able to limit the range of addresses that your VMs will pull from.
If you have thin clients in your VM environment, you can use an installation parameter we provide during installation on the VM.
- This method will cause the client to use the MAC Address from the thin client rather than the VM, resulting in a constant, uninterrupted history at that location.
- The downside is that the VM will only be tracked if a thin client is present. If they’re spun up anywhere else, they won’t be able to check-in.
As a final option, you can use the Machine ID settings to merge VMs with static Hostnames or Serial Numbers. There will possibly be required cleanup in the future, but it will help prevent too many duplicates.
Have a question?
Reach out to our support team or browse the knowledge base to learn more about tracking virtual machine usage at your institution.