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Creating a golden image that will generate random passwords for each deployment and how to retrieve those passwords

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Hello,

New to VDC 5.5 and hopefully this is an easy one for all you gurus.  After creating a golden image of say windows 2008 server and presenting it in the public catalog how do you configure it to generate random administrator passwords when customers in each of the ORG VDC's wants to use it.  Now I know you can sysprep the OS in advance and then when it boots you can run through the configuration wizard or you can even set an answer file for things like the license key and administrator password but is there a better way?  Having to go through the console and run through a wizard in today's cloud technologies seems a bit old fashioned to me so I'm hoping its just something I have just missed in the configurations.

The goal would be simple...a customer deploys a VM and when it boots it's all ready to go so that no 2 VM's from that golden image have the same credentials.  Somehow they are provided with a randomly generated password to initially access the new systems.  Amazon AWS does this through the use of keys so if you deploy a VM you dont get asked to set a password...instead you can use your portal and get the password it generated for you.  Their VM's deploy and are ready to go without any additional configuration steps from the user at all.  How can this be accomplished on a vcloud director solution ( if at all).  I would like my clients to deploy from template, receive or access their new password, and ready to go.  Perhaps there is a way to query the DB somehow and pull the password that way?  And while I am focused on windows OS's at the moment it would be great to be able to do the same for root users on UNIX based templates as well.  Many big public cloud providers can provide this to their customers so I know there is a way but many also use things like openstack or cloudstack and not vcloud director.  Also I am not familiar with scripting so if you can achieve this kind of solution using scripts I would appreciate some information or links that can outline step by step ways to achieve this and I will be happy to learn.  Thanks in advance

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cfor
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Unix systems are suppose to work.  And I know most the time they do.  (IE Redhat / Cent seem to work very well, however I have seen some posts on this forum where a specific verion a distro might not work correctly.

For where to find the password.  Once the VM is started (if the guest customization option was set to random) - the password will be on the guest customization screen; next to the "Random" radio selection.

The API also has a way to get to the password in case you need to expose in a different method.  (You can get it from the guestCustomize section of a VM in the restAPI as well).

ChrisF (VCP4, VCP5, VCP-Cloud) - If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful

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cfor
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If I understand you correctly, thus is easy ( built in feature of VCD).  You can set the guest customization section of a VM before adding to catalog.  This section has an option to create a random password.  This password will only be shown in the vcd interface, and is random for each deployment of the VM.

A couple settings that sometimes get people with this - 1: guest customization had to be setup on the vcd cells, this is part if the install guide but sometimes missed; 2: when adding the gold image to catalog you need to pick the customize option - otherwise it will come out if the catalog how it went in.

Hope this gets you started.

ChrisF (VCP4, VCP5, VCP-Cloud) - If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful
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Great thank you for the advice and I will have a look but couple more quick questions...where in the vcd interface would I find the password> and second the customize option does it work for UNIX based systems as well or only windows?  Again appreciate the help and I will definitely have a look based on your suggestion

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cfor
Expert
Expert

Unix systems are suppose to work.  And I know most the time they do.  (IE Redhat / Cent seem to work very well, however I have seen some posts on this forum where a specific verion a distro might not work correctly.

For where to find the password.  Once the VM is started (if the guest customization option was set to random) - the password will be on the guest customization screen; next to the "Random" radio selection.

The API also has a way to get to the password in case you need to expose in a different method.  (You can get it from the guestCustomize section of a VM in the restAPI as well).

ChrisF (VCP4, VCP5, VCP-Cloud) - If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful
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