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Deploy Q’center Virtual Appliance in Virtual Environments

1. Challenges and Solutions  

Q’center now provides Q’center Virtual Appliance that allows you to deploy Q’center in virtual environments such as Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware ESXi, Fusion and Workstation. Using Q’center as a virtual appliance further increases its flexibility and connectivity for large environments, as you no longer need a local QNAP NAS to monitor other NAS and can use an existing central server to monitor every NAS unit.

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Use exist central server to manage your QNAP NAS with Q’center virtual appliance.

2. How to Start

2.1. System Requirements

To use Q'center Virtual Appliance, your server needs to match the following requirements:

Minimum requirements:108 GB free disk space, 1 GB memory and 4 virtual CPUs
Supported platforms: VMware ESXi (ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.5), VMware Fusion 7, VMware Workstation 11, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V 3.0, and Oracle VM Virtualbox (non-official).

2.2. Download Q’center Virtual Appliance

To obtain the Q’center Virtual Appliance, go to the below link and download one of the different packages depending on your virtual environment. After downloading, extract and put the Q’center folder in your server.

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Download Q'center Virtual Appliance from https://www.qnap.com/utility/
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The downloaded package should contain a folder called "Qcenter". Put it in your server to begin deploying it.

3. Deploy Q’center in virtual environment

3.1. Deploy Q’center in Microsoft Hyper-V

Open the “Server Manager” in your Windows server, select “Tools” in the top-right corner and click “Hyper-V Manager”. 

#If you have not installed the Hyper-V Manager, you can do so in “Add roles and features”.

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Select “Tools” in the top-right corner and click “Hyper-V Manager” to start importing Q’center

In the Hyper-V Manager, select a server and choose “Import Virtual Machine”. The system will then ask you to select a folder. Select the folder that you downloaded and extracted earlier. Follow the wizard to continue. In “Choose Import Type”, select “Copy the virtual machine (Create a new unique ID)”. After the settings are completed, the Hyper-V manager will start importing Q’center to your server. You will now see Q’center in the “Virtual Machine” list. Right click on it and select “Connect” to start Q’center.

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Select the “Qcenter” folder you extracted from the downloaded file.
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In “Choose Import Type”, select “Copy the virtual machine (Create a new unique ID)”
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The Hyper-V manager will start importing Q’center to your server if the settings are correct.
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Q’center will be displayed in the “Virtual Machine” list, right click on it and select “Connect” to start Q’center.
Please check Chapter 4 to start configure your Q’center.

3.2. Deploy Q’center in VMware ESXi

To deploy Q’center Virtual Appliance in VMware, open VMware vSphere Client and log in to your server. Select “File” > “Deploy OVF Template” in the menu bar to start deployment. In the wizard, find the folder that you downloaded and extracted earlier, and select the “Q’center” OVF file to continue.

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Select "Deploy OVF Template" to start deployment.
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Go to the "Qcenter" folder you extracted from the downloaded file, and select the "Q'center" OVF file to continue.

When the wizard’s steps are completed, you will be able to review your settings. VMware vSphere Client will start deploying Q’center after you confirm those settings. Once completed, check the “Inventory” icon in VMware vSphere Client and right click on “qcenter”, select “Power on” and “Open Console” to connect to Q’center.

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Confirm your settings for deploying Q'center
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In "Inventory", right click on "qcenter" in the left list, select "Power on" and "Open Console" to connect.

4. Use Q’center Virtual Appliance

After connecting, a console will display for Q'center. In the console, it will show a http address where you can connect to the Q'center UI. Open your browser and type in the address to start initializing Q'center by changing the password, time zone, set up the IP address and add servers. When all of the settings are completed, you can now use the Q'center Virtual Appliance. Otherwise, you can type in the default account and password admin/admin to login to the console.

#If your browser says that the connections is not private, select “Advanced”, and “Proceed to your Q’center address” first so you can import SSL settings into Q’center. 

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Type in the default account and password admin/admin to gain access to Q'center.
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Use the browser in your server to access the Q'center UI and start initializing Q'center. Q'center Virtual Appliance allows you to change the administrator's password and server time zone. This can also be changed later in "Settings".
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Q'center Virtual Appliance allows you to set a specified static IP address or DNS server address for Q'center, thereby increasing connectivity. You can change this setting later in "Settings".
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In the final step, choose the servers you want to monitor in this Q'center.
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You can now access Q'center Virtual Appliance through the browser at anytime.

5. Additional settings in Q’center Virtual Appliance

As mentioned before, a few settings can only be accessed in Q’center Virtual Appliance. You can access them in “Settings” > “Guest OS setting" in Q’center after you have confirmed the account and password:

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Assign a specific static IP address or DNS IP address to Q'center Virtual Appliance to increase its connectivity.
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Change the time zone and time of Q'center to match your existing server's time.
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Upload an SSL Certificate and Private Key that you are already using for your servers or use the default Certificate and Private Key provided by QNAP.
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Enable SSH and SFPT connections for greater security.
Release date: 2015-10-06
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