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akreitman
Contributor
Contributor

Duplicating ESXi on multiple identical machines with VMs

     We are deploying 1,000 identical ESXi based systems.  The hardware for each system will be identical except for the NIC's mac address.   The set of VMs and their configuration will be identical.  All the ESXi systems will operate under the same VMware license.   The best way to deploy these systems is to simply use a hard drive duplicator and then stuff the duplicated disks into each system.   Our initial experiments have shown that VMware is uniquely sensitive to the MAC address of the host hardware.  We tried the following experiment:  Installed ESXi as a virtual machine under ESXi with a fixed MAC address, this worked fine.  We shut down are restarted the VM several times, no problem.  We then changed the MAC address.  Once we did that, networking stopped operating.   Is there a workaround for this bug?

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

I suggest to use scripted installation.

A disk cloning (as I know) is not supported.

Andre

Andrew | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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idle-jam
Immortal
Immortal

agreed above, script is the best possible way to go ..

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

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bulletprooffool
Champion
Champion

Just use one of the deployemnt appliances and a postbuild script (or Host Profiles) to configure them?

UDA, EDA or V-PXEserver are all very quick to setup.

I've done walkthroughs for these at : http://www.get-virtual.info/2011/03/02/upgrading-from-esx-to-esxi-a-multipart-series-tools/

One day I will virtualise myself . . .
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