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

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
LVL 4
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
UDA is one mechanism we use in our labs for rapid deployment.
0
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
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)
0
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Use vCenter and ESXi for free.
0
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
thats the issue with UDA its fiddly...use vCenter.
0
Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
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.
0
S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
Thank you again! You're awesome!
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
VMware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.