jhammond
Contributor
Contributor

clone ESX 3.5 host via SAN tools

I'm looking into wether or not I can create a SAN based image of ESX 3.5 that I can then clone and use on other hosts. All of my servers are the same hardware type, and all systems are boot from SAN. I know VMware has a scripted installation option but I have specific situations where that is not an option. Has anyone done this before? and if so what was your results.

Here are the issues I have seen so far.

1) network interface mac address's are saved in esx.conf (vmnic0 and vmnic1) I could change the mac for the physical adapter, I'm not sure how to modify and or regenerate the virtualmac for each interface (vmnic0 and vmnic1)

2) service console mac needs to be unique. I can remove and regenerate the service console, I have the script for this. When I recreate the vswif0 it always creates an interface with the same MAC as my original system. Does anyone know what informatin is used to generate the vswif0 mac address?

3) system uuid in /etc/VMware/esx.conf .. does this have to be unique? can you regenerate this?

As you can see I'm basically looking to change the personality "ensure uniqueness" on my gold image without having to go through an install either via script or full blown install from CD.

Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Jason

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5 Replies
Lightbulb
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

This gets asked every so often and the answer always is basically no. The ease of install of ESX systems has tended to steer people away from the Image based install, as you end up spending so much time making changes post re-image that you would have been better off install from a CD, if not better Kickstart and some good build scripts.

Perhaps someone else will have a different answer though.

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

Thread moved to the ESX 3.5 forum

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Tom Howarth

VMware Communities User Moderator

Blog: www.planetvm.net

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

As LightBulb stated, this is not a good idea, for the reasons you've already found. To find and correct every place where a unique value is used, is error prone at best. So, you'll be able to correct some, and not others, and still forget to correct others. Save yourself time and a migraine, and create a kickstart file.

-KjB

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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jhammond
Contributor
Contributor

Am I able to create a self contained image that run's kixtart at first boot? I dont care how i do it but I do have a requirement to have everything that I need in the volume that is presented to the server. So if this is possible with kixtart thats great.

any thoughts?

Jason

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

Yes. The only additional thing you need from the base ISO, is the config file. You can open the iso image, and insert the ks.cfg file directly into the ISO itself, or you can keep the ks.cfg file on a network share (nfs/http) or usb/floppy, and call the config that way.

-KjB

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB
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