Are there tools and/or scipts available to create a 'Golden' VMware SQL template? We are gearing up to create a number of SQL servers running in our virtual farm and have yet to figure out how to strip the server name hooks out of the SQL/Server install.
All you should need to do is run sp_dropserver then sp_addserver to change the server name after the template is renamed. The restart the SQL instance.
exec sp_dropserver 'OldserverName' go exec sp_addserver 'NewServerName', 'LOCAL' go
An easier option would be to install SQL after the fact using a script within sysprep to automatically log into the server after it's been syspreped then install SQL automatically via a batch file.
Installing SQL Server and changing the hostname after you clone is not terribly difficult;
Please refer to this KB article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143799(v=sql.105).aspx.
I would join it to your AD domain first (if you have one) with a generic hostname like SQLTEMPLATE. This way, Domain Admins always have privileges to run the commands you need. Clone and rename SQLTEMPLATE as necessary given the instructions above.