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Re: [Xen-users] Rapid Windows Provisioning

> This is a slightly "off-topic" response to your query, but I found
> this to be an effective method for rapid provisioning on my little xen
> server.
> I installed Server 2003, the service pack, all the windows updates,
> and some other generic stuff.  Then I sysprep re-sealed the box.  Now
> on the xen host (dom0), I created LVM snap-shots of the lvm device
> backing the original install.  Since lvm does read/write snap shots, I
> was able to clone the config of the original machine, change the uuid,
> mac address and point it at the lvm snapshot.
> I did this twice, so I have three Server 2003 systems, all sharing the
> more or less static binaries of the Windows install, and the snapshots
> keeping track of individual changes made to each server.  Instead of
> three 20G lvm backed devices, I have one 20G device and two 8G
> snapshots (of which only a few 100mb is in use so far)

Thanks, Gordon,
This is essentially what I'm planning to do, except that Sysprep requires a 
reboot after it makes it changes and joins the domain.  I'm looking for 
extremely rapid provisioning here, such that a reboot isn't required at all 
between the time Windows starts after being provisioned and the time the user 
logs on.  I'm actually going to be using Solaris ZFS and either iSCSI or NFS to 
back the domUs, as the latest rev has the built-in deduplication.  This should 
allow me to deploy quite a few Windows domUs with far less disk overhead than 
either traditional file-based disks or LVM-based snapshots.  The problem with 
snapshots is that when you delete, upgrade, etc., you continue to consume disk 
space - there isn't really ever any reclamation of used disk space with 
completely deleting the snapshot and starting with a new one.


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