Aloha808
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Contributor

Cloned Windows Server 2008 VM's, Sysprep?

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Aloha from Hawaii!

I've run into a situation where I am cloning a Windows Server 2008 R2 VM. We have a vanilla base install, updates are run, and Windows is activated on this VM. We also have a corporate multiactivation license. The end goal is to be able to clone the VM multiple times, insert roles, and give it some identity from the vanilla setup.

My question is:

What are the steps in order to make this cloned VM run correctly with other cloned VM's of the same vanilla install, however have different roles (App server, Database server, etc). I am leaning towards Sysprep type command.

Mahalo!!

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chriswahl
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hello Aloha808,

It sounds like you have already completed most of the work required: you have a base install that is updated. Do you have a vCenter environment? This will allow you to turn that "vanilla base install" into a Template. If you do not, you will have to clone the VM and then do a sysprep manually (make sure to change the SID).

If you do have vCenter: Convert this VM into a Template to be used as a "golden image" server that will create other servers. Next you will need to create a customization specification. It is located in the vSphere Client under Home > Customization Specifications Manager (here is a link with more info). Finally, you would do a "Deploy from Template" off the Template, fill in the server information, and then apply the customization to the deployment. VMware will then handle sysprep for you.

Here is another good writeup on making a template with Windows Server 2008 R2.

http://www.jasonsamuel.com/2010/05/07/how-to-build-a-vmware-vsphere-vm-template-for-windows-server-2...

Cheers.

VCDX #104 (DCV, NV) ஃ WahlNetwork.com ஃ @ChrisWahl ஃ Author, Networking for VMware Administrators

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proden20
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

If I am reading this correctly the answer is simple.

1.) Convert your vanilla VM to a template.

2.) Deploy your new VMs from this template

3.) Choose customization of your guest os & opt to generate a new SID when you deploy the new VMs

In the past (Win2k3 / XP and earlier), we needed to add the sysprep files to our vCenter server for integrated vSphere guest customization.

In Server 2008, this functionality is built in and vSphere 4 is designed to leverage it automatically.

http://vmetc.com/2009/08/13/windows-server-2008-deploy-from-template-guest-customization-update/

chriswahl
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hello Aloha808,

It sounds like you have already completed most of the work required: you have a base install that is updated. Do you have a vCenter environment? This will allow you to turn that "vanilla base install" into a Template. If you do not, you will have to clone the VM and then do a sysprep manually (make sure to change the SID).

If you do have vCenter: Convert this VM into a Template to be used as a "golden image" server that will create other servers. Next you will need to create a customization specification. It is located in the vSphere Client under Home > Customization Specifications Manager (here is a link with more info). Finally, you would do a "Deploy from Template" off the Template, fill in the server information, and then apply the customization to the deployment. VMware will then handle sysprep for you.

Here is another good writeup on making a template with Windows Server 2008 R2.

http://www.jasonsamuel.com/2010/05/07/how-to-build-a-vmware-vsphere-vm-template-for-windows-server-2...

Cheers.

VCDX #104 (DCV, NV) ஃ WahlNetwork.com ஃ @ChrisWahl ஃ Author, Networking for VMware Administrators

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Aloha808
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the links, and incite guys!

I am unfortutately using VMWare Workstation.

So what I ended up doing, is using the built in SysPrep tool in Windows Server 2008 build, located c:\windows\system32\sysprep. I ran the tool, and set it to "Enter System Out-of-Box Experience(OOBE)" and set the shutdown options to "Shutdown". This way the VM gets turned off, and the next time its powered up it goes into OOBE startup. After the power off I then take a snap backup of the VM, and then create a clone.

I then use the clone as my template, and power up, and run the OOBE, and give some personality to my box.

Thanks again!

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