Creating a VMware template for use with ESXi

pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
So i know that ESXi/vSphere doesnt have the cloning feature. So what i plan on doing is creating a template VM then just copying the vdk to create new VMs. A few questions.
  1. Is it necessary to sysprep prior to shutting down this template VM? Wont copying change the important stuff?
  2. When creating a new VM, do i create it, but prior to booting do the copy and replace the vdk that was created?
  3. Any benefit as to whether i thin or thick provision when doing this?
  4. If i join the template VM to a domain prior to saving will it keep that setting?
Thanks.

Comments

  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    1. I always do Sysprep before cloning. It's not a must, but Microsoft says so. Also, you don't want to have two identical machines on your network anyway, even if it's temporary.
    2. You right-click the template (in vCenter) and choose "Deploy a VM from this template". Something along the lines.
    3. Depends. Thick provisioned VMs are useful for applications that do a lot of I/O, like Exchange and SQL server. For others, thin is fine.
    4. If you do Sysprep, the VM will join a workgroup.
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    sratakhin wrote: »
    1. I always do Sysprep before cloning. It's not a must, but Microsoft says so. Also, you don't want to have two identical machines on your network anyway, even if it's temporary.
    2. You right-click the template (in vCenter) and choose "Deploy a VM from this template". Something along the lines.
    3. Depends. Thick provisioned VMs are useful for applications that do a lot of I/O, like Exchange and SQL server. For others, thin is fine.
    4. If you do Sysprep, the VM will join a workgroup.

    Thanks. Unfortunately, i will be doing this with just vSphere. so i wont have access to the cloning features of vCenter.
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Why are you not using vCenter? You are missing out on all the good stuff. This is a lab environment right?

    1. Yes, sysprep your VM before turning it into a template if you dont want conflicts when you power on the VM's that you'll create from the template.
    2. I dont quite understand what you mean but sratakhin is right in what he said.
    3. In a lab, thin's good. You'll save space, you may notice a slight slowness here and there when the VM needs to right to fresh disk space. But in a lab, it isnt too bad and barely noticeable in most cases. I have some Windows Server 2003 VM's with thin disks and they use something like 2GB of space.
    4. Yes, it'll be taken off any domains. The SID's gone. OOBE right?

    Once again, use vCenter for all the fun stuff - HA/DRS/FT...
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Member Posts: 732 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    Why are you not using vCenter? You are missing out on all the good stuff. This is a lab environment right?

    1. Yes, sysprep your VM before turning it into a template if you dont want conflicts when you power on the VM's that you'll create from the template.
    2. I dont quite understand what you mean but sratakhin is right in what he said.
    3. In a lab, thin's good. You'll save space, you may notice a slight slowness here and there when the VM needs to right to fresh disk space. But in a lab, it isnt too bad and barely noticeable in most cases. I have some Windows Server 2003 VM's with thin disks and they use something like 2GB of space.
    4. Yes, it'll be taken off any domains. The SID's gone. OOBE right?

    Once again, use vCenter for all the fun stuff - HA/DRS/FT...

    Is vCenter free? I was under the impression it wasn't.
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    No it isnt free but the 60 day trial license can be renewed any number of times, well not renewed but reinstalled without losing any config. Here's the link > Information about Cloud Computing (IaaS) and VMware Technologies: vCenter Reinstallation after 60-Days trial expires without losing Database Contents . I have the same vCenter I had a year ago, so it works without a problem.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Guest customization within vCenter allows generation of a new machine SID when cloning from template. I use this on all my clones and have zero issues. I don't add the machine to the domain though using the customization. I manually do that after the clone is done. This ensures a new domain SID. However, you need vCenter to do this. But then again you technically need it to do cloning at all. Although previous admins here did it without it.
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    I used the guest customization a few times but for some reason it always failed. Can't remember the details though.
    Technically, it's possible to clone a machine without using the vCenter. Sysprep it, shut down, browse to the datastore and copy the files to a new location. Then create a VM using the existing disk.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Yeah that's how they did it before. Any port in a storm I guess.
  • scott28ttscott28tt Member Posts: 686 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Reinstalling in evaluation mode when you're doing anything apart from evaluating the software would be illegal - I'm no lawyer mind...
    VCP2 / VCP3 / VCP4 / VCP5 / VCAP4-DCA / VCI / vExpert 2010-2012
    Blog - http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com
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    Email - [email protected]
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