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using virtualization to quickly set up multiple windchill dev environments?

bcavanaugh
1-Newbie

using virtualization to quickly set up multiple windchill dev environments?

I am new to the world of windchill...just started taking classes, digesting the tons of docs..

is anyone using virtualization such that you can create a single instance of a windchill dev environment, designate it as a template, then have the ability to create many "clone" copies of the whole environment (easily?)

I am not experienced with server level virtualization, but a vmware contact says that what I want to use for such a purpose is "vSphere with templates and clones"...also, he said I would need to learn how to automate the process so that the clones can be uniquely configured (don't want lots of clones with same IP address, etc.)

anyone have any advice?

Thanks

Barry

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Randy,

I am the Windchill System Administrator who works with Darren and can reply to your question.

As Darren mentioned, our virtualised DEV system is built from the "Ground Up" and consists of a VMware Virtual Machine running 32bit Windows XP which has both Oracle and Windchill installed on it (ie a monolithic installation).

The VMware virtual machine is configured to run in host only mode so that there is not communication from the DEV machine to any other host on our network apart from the VMware host machine (ie the laptop of the developer). This means that we can have numerous copies of our DEV machine all with the same hostname and configuration and they will not clash with each other on the network due to a name collision. It also means that only the developer can access the DEV machine running in VMware Workstation on his laptop and no one else.

The only changes that need to be made to the DEV machine image when it has been copied to a new VMware Workstation host is related to the change in the IP address for the new VM. This is because when you copy the VM to another VMware Workstation installation, it is most likely given a different IP address/network range via DHCP from the VMware Workstation installation on the new machine. Both Oracle and Windchill need to be able to resolve the hostname of the DEV machine to the correct IP address and this is usually hard coded in the local Windows Host file (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts).

All you need to do is to boot the VM for the first time, note the new DHDP IP address that the VM has been given (Start/Run/CMD then run ipconfig /all) and then update the host file on both the DEV VM and the VMware Workstation host laptop so that the Oracle and Windchill hostname resolves to the new IP address. Then, reboot the DEV VM and the Oracle should start at boot succesfully and then you can then start Windchill normally.

Note - it is possible to configure Oracle to use a local loopback adapter hostname/IP address so that it can cope with the IP address change (https://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=392603) but you will still need to change the hostname/IP resolution for Windchill...

Other than that, you would not need to make any changes to the DEV machine's Windchill properties as it is running as a completely identical clone to the previous version of the machine.

Hope that helps.

Garu

View solution in original post

4 REPLIES 4

We create and manage a master monolithic Windchill install (everything on one VM) for development/training purposes. If we want to use it, we take a copy of the VM to preserve the master. Then blow away once it has served its purpose. This development VM machine runs in local host only network. That way we can have multiple copies at the same time without a battle for IP's. We accept the limitation that this Windchill system cannot see services on the network beyond the host. We can still use it with browser and workgroup manager installed on the host. This VM image can be tuned to run on desktop PC.

For validation we use a larger production representative server based ESXi VM environment which does sit on the network. So just one instance of this, strictly for validation testing and treated with respect. There is always a snapshot to revert back to if validation test fails, ensuring it stays in sync with production system, without having to rehost/rebuild. Changes are created and captured on the dev (where possible), stored on separate VCS and deployed on validation, then again on production if all goes well.

We use VM workstation to create the machines and run them on the same or simply player if no snapshots required. For sure there are slicker ways, but this work fine us and it is a very cheap solution.

Darren

Darren,

Any advice for how you reconfigure the Development VM once it's created?
Do you need to change properties or anything?

Randy

Randy,

I am the Windchill System Administrator who works with Darren and can reply to your question.

As Darren mentioned, our virtualised DEV system is built from the "Ground Up" and consists of a VMware Virtual Machine running 32bit Windows XP which has both Oracle and Windchill installed on it (ie a monolithic installation).

The VMware virtual machine is configured to run in host only mode so that there is not communication from the DEV machine to any other host on our network apart from the VMware host machine (ie the laptop of the developer). This means that we can have numerous copies of our DEV machine all with the same hostname and configuration and they will not clash with each other on the network due to a name collision. It also means that only the developer can access the DEV machine running in VMware Workstation on his laptop and no one else.

The only changes that need to be made to the DEV machine image when it has been copied to a new VMware Workstation host is related to the change in the IP address for the new VM. This is because when you copy the VM to another VMware Workstation installation, it is most likely given a different IP address/network range via DHCP from the VMware Workstation installation on the new machine. Both Oracle and Windchill need to be able to resolve the hostname of the DEV machine to the correct IP address and this is usually hard coded in the local Windows Host file (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts).

All you need to do is to boot the VM for the first time, note the new DHDP IP address that the VM has been given (Start/Run/CMD then run ipconfig /all) and then update the host file on both the DEV VM and the VMware Workstation host laptop so that the Oracle and Windchill hostname resolves to the new IP address. Then, reboot the DEV VM and the Oracle should start at boot succesfully and then you can then start Windchill normally.

Note - it is possible to configure Oracle to use a local loopback adapter hostname/IP address so that it can cope with the IP address change (https://forums.oracle.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=392603) but you will still need to change the hostname/IP resolution for Windchill...

Other than that, you would not need to make any changes to the DEV machine's Windchill properties as it is running as a completely identical clone to the previous version of the machine.

Hope that helps.

Garu

Thanks for the information - I was able to get the mapping to work after adjusting the hosts file on both the guest and the host.

Barry

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