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akreitman
Contributor
Contributor

Cloning esxi hosts with their virtual machines

    I need to deploy 1,000  ESXi hosts on the identical hardware with identical disks running the exact same set of virtual machines.   The first problem I encountered was is simply transplanting disks from one machine to the next.  Because the MAC addresses were different, the network wouldn't function.  I managed to discover how to configure vmware so it uses whatever mac address it finds on its hardware host.  Now I've discovered that when I actually make a bit perfect copy on an identical disk, ESXi deletes the virtual machine datastore on startup.  Why does is do that, and what can I do about it.

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AureusStone
Expert
Expert

I think it would be a lot cleaner to build up the hosts using PXE, then have a PowerCLI script to copy the VMs across and register them.

Doing it your way could cause strange issues even if you fix the problem you are currently having.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

A better solution could be use scripted installation.

If you simple clone the ESXi installation you will have ordinal UUID that could not match hardware info.

Andre

Andrew | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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