Objective: Run certain initialization scripts / jobs for new Linux / Windows VMs, such as local user and group manipulation, prior to new VMs having network available.
In vRA 7.6, we could specify a path to scripts to run and pass them variables through VMTools, allowing certain setup to be handled prior to the VM having any network access. Looking for the best path forward to accomplish the same in vRA 8.x.
Originally I thought Ansible or Saltstack would be replacing this functionality, until I realized these rely on TCP/IP.
I looked briefly at vRO workflows, but every user manipulation I saw there was for AD accounts. (I have no vRO experience yet, so finding out what ELSE it can do is beyond my current scope). If it CAN manipulate local accounts, (Windows and Linux), maybe that's one path. I see there's also a 'Guest script manager' package, which looks like a vRO way of doing what vRA 7.6 did in one line.
Cloud(base)init may be another path, but would require, in addition to using it for the script replacements, replacing the VMWare Customization Specs. Possibly another route, but introduces plenty of hurdles of its own (the documentation for the first hurdle - sysprepping, was sparsely documented online).
Other methods I haven't thought of yet?
So, before I start down the wrong path, what may be the best 'networkless scripting' method?
In short, and dissapointing, the vRA 7.x Software Components no longer exist in vRA 8.x
VMware now pushes Saltstack Config as "the new way", but if there's no network, that's not going to work.
I see cloudbase(init) as the solution, which indeed will need a new approach compared to the old Software Components.
And maybe I'm missing it, but it looks like Cloudbase(init) does account creation and password setting through cloudConfig with plain text, which seems like a big red flag too.
The one thing I've learned from using the Migration Assistant and then trying to 'clean up' my small test Business Group is that it's only a learning experience, and pretty much EVERYTHING will need to be completely redone/rewritten with new paradigms.