We are a small company but we do have 3 ESxi4 hosts. No vCenter. So, we administer all our hosts and VMs thru vCenter client.
I have a fair amount of Vmware Infrastructure and vSphere experience in an enterprise environment so I know that the best way to create a large group of VMs is thru templates in vCenter. However, in this environment, they don't have vCenter and as such can not use templates. However, the need to create 15 VMs is rather immediate and I'd rather find a more immediate method of creating these VMs vs one at a time. I've thought about using cloning but I suspect that the SID will be an issue. Is there any method that I might consider that would better provide me with a more immediate method of creating VMs that is similar to templates in a standalone hosting configuration?
The way I do it, if in a hurry, is create 1 VM with the necessary software (eg Windows Server 2008 r2) ... Make sure everything is configured correctly like you would with creating a template in vCenter.
Then open sysprep (run > sysprep) Choose OOBE, generalize and shutdown (leave it in the inventory of the ESXi host) ... Then I use converter to create virtual machines from that "template".
Once you have that "template" it's just a matter of running through the converter "wizard" and deploying the VM's, starting them and letting them do their initial setup again.