I'm trying to setup a vSphere Client vCenter v5.0.0 Build 455964 Template Customization Specification using a Windows Sysprep unattended answer XML file for Win2008R2.
However I didn't know how Sysprep worked before attempting this so it was a time-consuming nightmare (even after reviewing VMware vSphere ESXi 5's documentation)! I think I've figure out what I'm supposed to be doing, but it's still not working. The biggest problem at this point is that vSphere Client vCenter Customization Specification IP address information is not sticking when I load a Sysprep XML file with just 1 basic setting! This can only be a bug.
Here is the process I'm using:
PROCESS for Windows - vSphere Client > Install Windows OS > install VM Tools > customize Windows (GPOs can be used to do this after deployment) > install Applications (GPOs can be used to do this after deployment too) > shutdown the VM > convert the VM to a template > create a custom Windows Sysprep XML answer file with desired customizations > View > Management > Customization Specifications Manager > create "New" Specification > for "Target Virtual Machine OS" select Windows > check "Use Custom Sysprep Answer File" (ADDS: Custom Sysprep File. KEEPS: Network (IP), Operating System Options (SID, Sysprep /generalize). REPLACES: Registration Information of Owner Name & Organization, Computer Name, Windows License (Key), Administrator Password, Time Zone, Run Once, Workgroup or Domain) > name it as "VMwareCS-OS####R#x32/64w/Sysprep-TEST" (CS=Customization Specification) > set Description as "Created YYYY/MM/DD by FLast" > NEXT > import a Sysprep answer file from secure location > NEXT > Custom settings > NEXT > click "..." box to right of "Use DHCP" > set "Use the following IP settings:" > for "IP Address" fill out the first 2 octets > set appropriate values for other 2-3 fields > set DNS server addresses > OK > NEXT > check "Generate New Security ID (SID)" ALWAYS as template is likely a domain-member computer so it can be updated occasionally > NEXT > Finish > View Inventory > VMs and Templates > right-click previously completed template > Deploy Virtual Machine from this Template > provide the new OS name (max15char) > select inventory location > NEXT > select Host/Cluster (wait for validation to succeed) > NEXT > select Resource Pool (wait for validation to succeed) > NEXT > select Storage location > NEXT > check "Power on this virtual machine after creation" > select "Customize using an existing customization specification" > select desired specification > select "Use the Customization Wizard to temporarily adjust the specification before deployment" > NEXT > NEXT > Custom settings? > NEXT > check "Generate New Security ID (SID)" ALWAYS as template is likely a domain-member computer so it can be updated occasionally > NEXT > Finish > Finish.
I know a community member named "brian" (http://serverfault.com/users/25904/brian) has worked with this scenario before, but I couldn't figure out how to contact him directly, so Brian if you see this message could you provide some information to help?