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I have VHDs of Web Servers (IIS) and Database Servers (SQL). Can I safely copy/paste the VHDs and create new Virtual Machines from those without a sysprep?

Questions:

  • The machines will have identical SID. Is that a problem?
  • Will it break the SQL Server / IIS configuration if I change the name?

Notes:

  • All hosts and VMs are running on Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • My machines are not part of a domain.
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2 Answers 2

If the same VM images are not joining the same domain and are within their own networks (unless you rename the systems), then it is not a problem.

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"Sysprep will not usually create problems to IIS, but you could run into troubles if you are using custom service accounts for application pools and anonymous access; it will instead create problems to SQL Server: blogs.msdn.com/b/boduff/archive/2009/02/12/…; This is an example where making the images unique creates problem. I think you misread it. –  user48838 Jul 14 '11 at 12:32

You can, but it's not best practice because duplicate SIDs could create problems; however, if the machines are not going to be joined to the same domain, this should not be an issue.

Sysprep will not usually create problems to IIS, but you could run into troubles if you are using custom service accounts for application pools and anonymous access; it will instead create problems to SQL Server: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/boduff/archive/2009/02/12/why-not-to-sysprep-sql-server.aspx.

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Can you be more precise about what problems this could cause. I read a bit on the subject and I see a lots of could but nothing concrete. It looks like there used to be problems with duplicated SID but that it's lo longer a problem. –  Sly Jul 15 '11 at 12:18
1  
If you deploy servers with duplicated SIDs, you run into unsupported territory, so any problem you may have might be related to it; I know for sure it breaks Exchange 2010 DAGs, and there have been other reported issues; but there's no conclusive assessment of what troubles it could cause. Bottom line is, avoid it if you can. –  Massimo Jul 15 '11 at 12:23

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