vSphere 5–How to Deploy from Template


As I’ve mentioned in the past I’ve been working with a good friend of mine to help him get his home lab up and running.  In the last blog post I talked about the importance of a solid Windows 2008 Template and the process in vSphere 5 on how to create a template.  As I pointed out, a good windows 2008 R2 Template can be a nice thing to have when building up your home VMware Lab !!  Between Active Directory, vCenter, View Connection server etc.  The number of Windows Servers can add up quickly and the last thing you want to be doing is re-creating the wheel each time with a new install.

The next step after you’ve created a Template is to actually deploy that template.  This is a step by step process of how that works in vSphere 5. 


First things first, you want to click on Home: VM’s and Templates:

Click on Home-VMware and Templates

Next, you want to select them template you want to use:

Now you see your template in Home-Inventory-VMs and Templates

Then Right Click on it and “Deploy Virtual Machine from this Template”

right click on template and chose deploy virtual machine from this template

The first question that pops up ask you to name the new virtual machine as well as pick the inventory location.  In my case, I just have 1 datacenter 🙂 so I picked my Plano, Tx location.

1 Name-Location of new VM

The next step will ask you to pick the Host/Cluster you want to run this new VM in.  In my case, I just have 1 Cluster and that’s my “HomeLab” so this was an easy pick.

2 choose Host-cluster

It will then prompt you to pick a host.  In my case I have 3 hosts to choose from.  .

3 if more then 1 host - chose which one

Next question asks you what Datastore you want to utilize for this.

4 Choose Datastore-or datastore cluster

The next few questions are all around the guest customization.  Take it from me, don’t simply skip this step.  All to often I’ve seen a cloned OS come on line and wreak havoc with Active Directory.   Case in point:  https://vtexan.com/2011/06/05/quick-fix-to-an-ad-issue-with-a-vm/

5 Click Customize using the customerication wizard

First question on the customization process is naming the server and setting up the organization. 

6 Name new VM and Org2

Then you enter in the NetBIOS name – you can also choose to simply use the VM’s name – just keep it under 15 Characters or it gets truncated

7 setup NetBios NAME

Ahh the fun part – adding in the Product Key.  I sometimes do this, sometimes I don’t.  Its not a show stopper.

8 Setup Product Key - no big deal if you dont have it

Step 9 (or so) asks you for the password

9 setup password

Then you pick the time zone

10 pick timezone

If you have any other types of scripts or processes you want to kick off during the setup, this is the spot to call that out. – I don’t have anything fancy like that so I just click next to skip it.

11 Run Once Stuff

Ahhh, the fun Network info.  You can either do “typical settings” which will be DHCP (you can change it later)

12 Network Setup

Next you get to define if you want to add this to a domain or not.  I have to tell you, I’ve been hit or miss on this.  Sometimes it works, but often times it doesn’t and I end up adding it to the domain once it powers on after all the setup stuff.

13 worksgroup or domain name

Most importantly – have it generate a new SID.

14 generate new SID info

If what you’ve selected above is your “Typical” settings then you can simply save all of this in a customization script that you can use in the future. 

15 Save Customization Settings

We are just about done, this next step gives you a chance to review all the changes you’ve made to the OS

16 Review VM info

Finally the last part is for you to review the VM specific stuff (Hosts/Cluster/Datastore etc) stuff.  Once you are done, click Finish

17 Ready to complete - finish

Now you can watch the process down in the Tasks area 🙂

18 - status report of process in task list

Once it’s completed, you will now see your new VM in the Hosts/Clusters area.  Right Click and power on !!

19 power on and let complete

There ya go – EASY PEASY !!

Like I said, a good template can make your home lab a lot easier to deal with !!  If you have any other tips/tricks or hints feel free to leave them in the comments section.







3 thoughts on “vSphere 5–How to Deploy from Template

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