Creating a Windows 2012 VM Template with SCVMM 2012 – introduction

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Let’s be honest. How many times do I have installed Windows 98 by hand? 20 times? 40 times? It may be up to 100 times. In the 90’s, a manual install was one of the most efficient ways to install your computers. There were no tools to help you. I think I spent 500 hours in just watching my CRT Monitor, waiting for the OS and patches to be installed. A colleague of mine calls it “Progress Bar Management”. Which is a nice phrasing. I believe him. In fact, he’s very good in it 😉

In 2013, times have changed. Actually times were already changing in de 00’s, when virtualization became a hot topic, but now with System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (abbrev. SCVMM 2012, or VMM 2012), times have changed even more. VM Templates, multiple kind of profiles and Service Templates came into place.
I believe there’s only one reason to install Windows Server 2012 on a Hyper-V platform: to create a template. Once you’ve created the template, you can deploy hundreds of different VM’s from that template. By using profiles you can customize your VM deployment ‘on the fly’, like adjusting the memory, or enabling roles and features. And updates to a VM Template can be applied by using DISM. Deploying a server will now cost you only 30 minutes instead of one day.

Windows 2012 VM Template VMM Console

In this series of blog post, I’ll guide you through the steps necessary in VMM 2012 to create such a flexible Windows Server 2012 Template.

How to create a Windows 2012 VM Template

At the high level, we are going to perform the following steps:

1) Copy the Windows 2012 ISO the the Library
2) Create the VM and install Windows 2012
3) Customize Windows Server 2012 and sysprep
4) Convert the VM to a VM template
5) Create a Guest OS Profile
6) Create a Hardware Profile 
7) Deploy a VM from your template

Let’s get started!

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