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Sysprepping templates SCVMM 2012R2 vs VMWare

Posted on 2015-01-24
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Last Modified: 2015-01-30
When deploying VMWare templates with VMWare tools installed, sysprepping always happens when the new virtual machine is being deployed from the template. It looks to me that the process in SCVMM 2012 R2 is somewhat different. When creating a template in SCVMM 2012 R2 from a virtual machine, it gets destroyed and seems to be automatically sysprepped in the process(or so it seems judging by the result template and the messages given in the gui when performing this). When creating a template in SCVMM 2012 R2 from a virtual disk, it seems that I need to sysprep the OS on the virtual disk in advance. I can't find any sources that verifies this or the actual process regarding sysprep. Could anyone here comment on this and bring some sources or arguments that either backs this up or explains it differently?
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Question by:itnifl
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 20 total points
ID: 40569271
A template should always be a sysprepped image .. The two hypervisors enforce this differently.
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by:itnifl
ID: 40569344
I know. I want to know if i have understood this correctly as I describe above. I can't find sources that verify this.
Summary:
1. VMWare syspreps automatically via VWare Tools when deploying from the template.
2. SCVMM syspreps the system disk automatically when converting a existing virtual machine to a template.
3. SCVMM does not sysprep the system disk automatically when creating a template from a disk in library.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 480 total points
ID: 40569896
1. VMWare syspreps automatically via VWare Tools when deploying from the template.

Wrong, VMware Tools has nothing to do with it.

VMware vSphere vCenter Server, if you specify the Customization Specification Option, with the Generate a New Identifier, causes a script to run at OS Boot, which launches the SYSPREP application, and injects the Answer File, that has been created through the  Customization Specification Option.

Customization Specification Option can use selected, on CLONE or Deploy from template.
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by:itnifl
ID: 40570501
OK - thanks for correcting :)
But how does the contents of the answer file end up in the guest OS?
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ID: 40570605
Answer file is created based on the Questions asked in the Customization Guest OS Wizard, and it's read by the OS, when it's mounted in the VM.
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by:itnifl
ID: 40572464
I can't find any documentation on this, but I would assume that there would be no way for vmware to tell the OS to read the information it needs and start sysprep unless vmware tools is installed. The OS will not do it by itself, and there is no communication between the OS and VMWare unless tools is installed.

It bewonders me why both VMWare and Microsoft seem to keep such details on this topic seemingly not available, at least from the the Google perspective of what I have been able to find.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 480 total points
ID: 40572494
it's a simple as connecting a floppy disk into the VM, at startup.
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by:itnifl
ID: 40575022
OK I didn't think about that option.
Back to SCVMM, from the screenshot below it states that it is sysprepping the virtual machine I am converting to a template.
SCVMM sysprepping
Despite of this, I ended up with the same GUID on the operating systems of two virtual machines deployed from the same template made the same way as in the above screenshot. This did not happen when I deployed from a template where the virtual machine was sysprepped manually before I converted it to a template.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 480 total points
ID: 40575031
It would seem it's not creating a new SID, which is a different option, when Sysprep is run, manually.
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by:itnifl
ID: 40575206
I used to think that the SID was very important to have unique for each VM. Is that true still?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 480 total points
ID: 40575354
That's debateable, Microsoft RECOMMENDS that ALL Windows CLONES are Sysprepped, and therefore SID changed!

BUT.....

have a read of this article

The Machine SID Duplication Myth (and Why Sysprep Matters)

Having duplicate SIDs is not an issue for Domain Machines.

WUS can have issues, because references are not changed in the registry, which is changed by the Sysprep, not because of the duplicate SID.
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by:itnifl
ID: 40579218
Thanks! That clarifies it.
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