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Fastest way to deploy 100 or more Windows XP Virtual Machines?

Posted on 2012-03-20
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Last Modified: 2012-03-21
Hello,

I am about to deploy a test virtual network with VMware ESXi server.

What are best practices for building and deploying a 100 virtual XP workstations as quickly as possible?

My conventional method of creating a new copy of a VM is by:
- Preparing the VM workstation with latest updates and SPs
- Turn off all updating
- Sysprep
- Snapshot it
- Clone the snapshot
- copy the heck out of that clone
- Power each of them up
  (but b/c it's sysprep'd, there is still a bit of a manual process to get each of them
   up and running).

Is there a better way?

What about the Ultimate Deployment Appliance (http://www.ultimatedeployment.org/inside.html)? Has anyone here used this?

Any other thoughts?

Thank you
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Question by:Shawn Connelly
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10 Comments
 
LVL 124
ID: 37745263
use vCenter Server to deploy Virtual Machines or VMware View or Citrix XenDesktop.

But you will be limited by datastore, as this will produce heavy IO.
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37745268
UDA is one mechanism we use in our labs for rapid deployment.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 37745280
Hello Hanccoka,

Thanks again for your advice. Are you the only one who reads and/or understands the Virtualization sig questions? :-)

Actually, if you recall... I am only going to be using the free version of ESXi?

Can I use vCenter Server for a free trial (long enough to complete the deployment)?

I am also looking into Microsoft's free deployment tool: Microsoft Deployment Kit (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=25175)
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37745284
You can use free trials of ESXi and vCenter for 60 days, to complete your deployments on all your servers, and then add free licenses to ESXi and your done!

vCenter has then done its job for you.

I would use that method, simple.
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 37745287
Thanks again for your especially rapid responses.

>UDA is one mechanism we use in our labs for rapid deployment.

Any tips on using this tool when deploying XP VMs on ESXi hosts. Quick glance did not reveal any documentation.
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37745288
Create one Master XP template, with your build, apps, patches, the way you want it, Deploy this template, it will clone, sysprep, generate new sid, add to domain, create correct machine name, networking etc.....and it will Queue all the builds...
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37745292
Use vCenter and ESXi for free.
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37745294
thats the issue with UDA its fiddly...use vCenter.
0
 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 37745848
If you can use a zfs backed nfs datastore (check out zfs guru or nappit) you can put one vm in a filesystem sysprep and clone it instantly. The main problem is you have to add each clone as an NSF share (thanks VMware for not supporting nfsv4).
But it's faster than copying the vm 100 times.
In fact, you can Cli script adding all the nfs stores.
If you can figure outhow to automate the renaming of machines and stuff it may be really fast.
Also nexenta has a cool vm clone thing built into their open indiana based zfs NSF storage setup but I think it's only in the paid version.
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LVL 4

Author Closing Comment

by:Shawn Connelly
ID: 37746058
Thank you again! You're awesome!
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