Creating Windows Templates
This will cover Windows virtual machine templates but the same steps are used with Linux virtual machines, except the Sysprep.
After you get your VM configured the way you want it, patches, secured and have your applications installed, you right click on it in the inventory window of your virtual center and select “convert to template”.
Converting your “Golden” Windows or Linux server to a template will allow you to deploy new virtual servers from the template that will have a unique SID.
Unlike a clone that is an identical copy of the original, which means it will have the same SID.
So, don’t clone unless you plan to convert the clone to a virtual machine template.
Golden Windows VM Template
Also, to properly deploy a template you will need to copy the Microsoft Sysprep tools to the correct directory on your virtual center system – C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Vmware\VMware VirtualCenter\ .
This will activate the custom deployment feature. Make sure you download the proper Sysprep file from Microsoft or get them off the Windows Server 2003 SP1 disk in the \Support\Tools\Deploy.cab file.
Once the Sysprep files are in place, when you deploy new system, you can customize the system just like you would if you were running the sysprep tool from the system.
Then when you boot the new system it will start up like with what ever name, IP, time zone, etc you gave the system during the deployment.
Other things to consider are VM setting for your new system: CPU, memory, NIC, etc. Don’t over use resources!
Read the VMware Template Usage & Best Practices Document (open)
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