VM Lab - Introduction


Hey guys,

It’s been a bit quiet lately, some holiday time and most importantly a change of jobs! As of July 1st I now work for OSC as an Infrastructure Specialist and will hopefully have more time to expand my knowledge and share this with the community.

The last few weeks I’ve been busy playing around with a solution in order to quickly create a Lab with VM’s.

While I know how to manually set them up and create machines, I had a somewhat ‘ideal’ method in mind and didn’t really want to stray from that idea.

I will finish up the solution this week hopefully, but already have a Proof Of Concept [POC] solution working as intended. While this sounds all fancy, basically I have all the tiny building blocks ready as scripts. It means I will need to finish writing all the help files, modifying them from scripts to functions and putting them all in a single module.

What does the solution do?

Here’s a quick overview of what my solution does:

  • Create [or checks if it exists] a default Hyper-V folder structure in place where you can store everything you require for your Lab
  • Create a default Hyper-V infrastructure in place which you can utilize for your Lab
  • Creates template VHD files on which you can base your Lab VM’s. This solution provides templates for the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 10
    • Windows Server 2008R2 [Core + GUI]
    • Windows Server 2012R2 [Core + GUI]
    • Windows Server 2016 TP5 [Core + GUI]
  • Creates differencing disks based on the above template VHDs, which are ’enhanced’ by custom Unattend.xml files specifying:
    • ComputerName
    • UserName
    • Password
    • Organization
    • IP Address
    • DNS Server Address
    • Gateway Address

Once you have the template VHD files created [this takes the longest and only needs to be done once], it takes SECONDS to configure and start up your custom Lab VM


What next?

As mentioned above, I will need to update the help files, fine tune certain bits and convert the solution from separate scripts to functions in a module. Now I’m not expecting this to take ages, but I want to make sure I don’t accidentally break my current solution.

In the coming time I will try and break down all created functions and provide the entire code.

To be continued! 🙂