Windows: Windows 2012 Sysprep for Vagrant readiness

Many developers like to use Vagrant from HashiCorp to standardize the workflow of virtual machines: creation, running, destroying, taking snapshots, etc..

Usually Vagrant is used for Linux hosts, but it also works with Windows as long as you prepare the template properly.

In a previous article I went over the detailed steps to create a template image for Windows 2012 server using Sysprep.  Consider this the second part in that series, where Vagrant has specific additional requirements.

Continue reading “Windows: Windows 2012 Sysprep for Vagrant readiness”

Ubuntu: Standing up a Windows 2012 instance on Ubuntu using Sysprep

In the world of Linux containers where deployment takes on the order of seconds, even the best-case scenario for spinning up a new Windows host can seem like an eternity.

Clearly, you don’t want to wait for the entire Windows install process each time you bring up a Windows guest OS.  Even automated, this would take 15+ minutes and all it would deliver is a base, non-patched, non-customized system.

Windows Sysprep allows you to build a base Windows template with any patches, customizations, and files that you want in a base system.  And then any subsequent guest OS created with that template will inherit all those template basics.

I wrote this article to give developers a peek into how these templates are created so they can influence the base images that their Operations teams generate.

Continue reading “Ubuntu: Standing up a Windows 2012 instance on Ubuntu using Sysprep”

VirtualBox: Installing VirtualBox and Vagrant on Ubuntu 14.04/16.04

Although container based engines such as Docker are highly popularized for newer application deployment – there will still be widespread use of OS virtualization engines for years to come.

One of the most popular virtualization engines for development purposes is the open-source VirtualBox from Oracle.  This article will detail its installation on Ubuntu 14.04.

Continue reading “VirtualBox: Installing VirtualBox and Vagrant on Ubuntu 14.04/16.04”

VMware: Exporting from Oracle VirtualBox/Vagrant to vCloud Director

vmware_logo2Oracle VirtualBox as a virtualization engine paired with Vagrant provides a cross-platform virtualization-agnostic workflow for Linux, Windows, and MacOS.  It is light enough to allow a developer to setup, test, and tear down virtual infrastructure as part of a unit test.

You may find yourself in a position where you have built a VM in VirtualBox that you need to test in a lab running VMware vCloud Director.  This may beg the question of, “Why not simply using the same script or process to rebuild the VM in the VMware lab?”

Perhaps the Vagrant box available in your VMware lab is not yet the latest version or OS flavor, maybe someone in the community constructed a Vagrant box for a software stack you have not yet scripted, or maybe internet access in the lab is limited to certain package repositories and you needed to reference a custom archive.  Whatever the reason, you can export your VM from VirtualBox and import it into VMware if you are willing to jump through a few hoops.

Continue reading “VMware: Exporting from Oracle VirtualBox/Vagrant to vCloud Director”