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We have a number of hosts running VMWare ESXi 5.5 all attached to a vCenter instance. We access and manage all of our VMs with the vSphere Web Client.

A number of people who do not necessarily have a lot of VMWare experience create VMs on a cluster of these hosts. Due to storage limitations we prefer that they set their hard disks to Thin Provision when creating new VMs.

However, this setting is hidden well in the UI and many people end up forgetting it.

My question is, does VMWare provide any way to set some kind of default VM configuration? Perhaps with settings on vCenter, vSphere Web Client, or even each individual host? Like I said we are mostly concerned with defaulting to Thin Provisioning for new hard disks.

Thanks!

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If you just up and delete their thick-provisioned VMs without warning, hopefully they'll learn fast. I'm not aware of a way to change the default from within vCenter/vSphere... though you'd think there should be one. –  HopelessN00b Feb 12 at 21:32

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could create a VM template for those users and have them deploy from template. In addition you could check to see whether linked clones are an option for your deployment needs. As a sidenote; You may want to reconsider whether those who cannot properly operate vCenter should have access to it.

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Thanks for your answer. In response to your sidenote, this is in a University setting. The systems on this cluster are non-critical and most all of this is an exercise in learning. We would just like to reduce headaches of converting drives to thin provision if we can. –  computmaxer Feb 12 at 21:41
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@computmaxer since this is about learning have the students create the template, that way they can set it to thin provisioning, experience the template setup, and can then not screw up further deployments from template. That's exactly what happens in VMware vSphere Install, Configure, Manage training, users create the template, then deploy from template thereafter. Also check out the VMware IT Academy Program at labs.vmware.com/vmware-it-academy send me a PM if you have any questions about that. –  Reality Extractor Feb 12 at 23:42

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