I'm working with vRA 7.5 and setting this up for another team. It will basically have blueprints that teams can use to deploy different images of Windows, Linux and Mac for testing. Currently I'm working on tweaking a blueprint for a Windows VM and am trying to figure out the best things to do to keep the speed of the image build quick, but yet also provide an awesome image that has what the user needs.
To start I'm joining the machine to our domain and the user who creates it will only be a user on the machine and not a local admin per the team requirements. There's also a local non-domain user on the machine as well that can be used. I'm using a Guest Customization that does the sysprep, new SID, domain join, etc. It takes about 7 - 8 minutes to complete the whole process thru vRA, which to me is fine. However since it's joining a domain I'd like users to be able to RDP, but sometimes DNS isn't fast enough and it can't find the machine for a few minutes and sometimes it can. I do have a Property Group that has the VirtualMachine.Admin.NameCompletion and the DNS name I want to use, which I think was supposed to help with the DNS part, but it doesn't seem to be fast enough for what the team will want. Using VMRC is rather odd as it doesn't work well thru vRA. If I login to the vCenter where the machines are hosted and Open Console it works with VMRC without issue. However if I go thru vRA and go to the machine I've created and choose Use VMRC it will either prompt in the browser to install VMRC, which I already have or let me click on a link to open the console. If I open the console it does open, but that's it. It doesn't seem to fully open, I can't get into the OS and just have to close VMRC back out. Obviously I'm the admin so not a huge deal for me, but for users it would be a real pain. How do I fix that?
I'm also trying this without adding the machine to the domain, without adding the user who creates it as a local user and just only having the users login with the local non-admin user. However it would be really helpful to have VMRC working on that as a secondary option. I've noticed when I remove the Property Group and the Guest Customization it will create the machine in about 3 minutes which is awesome. However the machine still has the same name as the template and I can't RDP to it either. I'm assuming the SID/GUID are still the same? I'm going to assume this is probably the worst way to create an image.
Another test I've done is to use a Guest Customization that doesn't join the domain. New SID, host name matches the VM name, can use a local non-admin to login. It took only 5 minutes to complete. However RDP is still an issue. I notice when I go to deployments and to Components -> Machine -> Network I don't see an IP yet for the machine, even though I know it has one, which could be why I'm not able to RDP? Is there a way to get it to RDP using the IP instead of the host name, or is it just I have to be patient? I'd basically like it to be after a machine is created for a user to be able to RDP right away or open VMRC (Is there a way in vRA to use a browser to open a console instead of VMRC? Not seeing an obvious answer).
So from what I've gathered here so far based on my testing is this:
Need Guest Customization to rename the machine
Difference between domain/no domain is about 2-3 minutes build process
RDP doesn't work right away, need vRA to see IP sooner
VMRC not working properly thru vRA, but fine in vSphere
So is there any other way to speed the process? I use Clone or NetApp FlexClone for the machines since we actually have NetApp/Tintri storage. How to get the IP quicker so RDP works and how to get VMRC working as well? Any other good custom properties to use to enhance the process?
All help appreciated.