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I have vmware infrastructure deployed, now I'm planning to create Debian templates with different disk sizes (5,20,50,100GB). Are there any vmware templates available which can be customized , or do I have to create 4 different virtual machines and do the same things with them? (install base system, fw, basic utils, etc.)

EDIT: I have Essentials Plus kit.

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Well I'm certain that there won't be any prebuilt 'templates' setup exactly as you'd like - and certainly not the same template with varying disk sizes.

There's a number of ways you can go about this easily however;

  • Build the smallest VM you want, use LVM and then simply duplicate the template for each larger template required, changing the disk size on each version and using LVM to 'stretch' whichever filesystems you want changed.
  • If you can afford the minor IO performance hit on writes you could just make a thin-provisioned VM at its largest required size. This was VMs all think they have say 100GB each but only actually take up the real space required.
  • Build them all manually - this idea sucks unless you have a scripted build, which in itself might be a cool idea to have to hand anyway - depends on your skills in this area of course.

The choice is yours.

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Ok, can I simply resize the ext4 partition ? – John Jun 21 '11 at 14:02
Basically yes, you need to expand the actual VM's .vmdk virtual disk first, you may need to do a reboot depending on Linux version but then yes, the VM will see the 'disk' as being bigger, at which point you can then (depending on Linux and some other options) expand one or more partitions and then (again depending on one or two other things) extend the filesystems. So yes, yes you can - clone off a VM now and practice it a few times. Personally I prefer the one-size thin-provisioned option myself. – Chopper3 Jun 21 '11 at 14:07
Can I have 5 VMs with 100GB dissk thin-provisioned on 300GB LUN ? – John Jun 21 '11 at 14:29
Not if they're FULL no (500GB>300GB) but it depends on how full they get - you do get warnings if they fill up too much but if they go over 500GB then you get problems yes, just watch for alarms and Storage-vMotion one or more VMs to an emptier datastore/LUN as needed. – Chopper3 Jun 21 '11 at 14:35
+1 for scripted build. It's Debian, and you have preseeding available. Four years ago, I could provision a new bare physical system within 5 minutes, including formatting 160 GB of disk space. – Mike Renfro Jun 21 '11 at 15:01

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