In my efforts to continue to try and increase awareness of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA), I wanted to write about another part of the setup process. There are still a few steps before you are fully production ready even after you deploy the vCSA and are managing your hosts. One of the steps is to upload the Microsoft sysprep files for OS customization.
When deploying a virtual machine from template you will need sysprep files for the older operating systems. The sysprep process allows for the guest OS to be customized to your specification. This will allow for the newly deployed VM to receive a unique name and a new GUID.
The good news is that most of the modern versions of Windows no longer need sysprep files. This function has been incorporated into the operating system for the last couple of versions of Windows by Microsoft. The follow lists show which versions do and don’t need sysprep files to be uploaded.
DO need Sysprep files:
DO NOT need Sysprep files:
Once you have deployed the vCenter Server Appliance you can log into the management console. Go to the following link to reach the appliance management page (https://ip-of-your-vCSA:5480). In case you have not yet logged in yet, the default credentials for the vCSA are user:root and password:vmware.
This process will launch a window that will look like the one in the image below. This will allow you to upload the different sysprep files that are needed in your environment. You do not have to upload them for all operating systems, just the ones you plan to use.
To accomplish these tasks you will need to download the sysprep files. You can fire up Google, Yahoo, or whatever search engine you’re using these days and try to track them down. Or VMware has a handy little Knowledgebase article that has the sysprep file locations all in one place.