Deploying Templates with VMWare Customization Specifications

Deploying Virtual Machine Template with a Customization Specification.

In earlier posts, I’ve gone through how to create a template and how to create a customization specification. If you missed them they are located below.

Creating Templates

Creating Customization Specifications

Let’s put the 2 together

First lets open vCenter in a web browser and go to the Virtual Machine tab.


Right click on the template and select “New VM from this Template.”


On the first page Template Deployment Wizard, Give the new virtual machine a Name and choose a location for it.


Click Next to Continue.

On the Select Compute resources page, select which cluster and/or host depending upon your licensing level.


Under compatibly If there is a warning, vCenter is pretty good at telling you what the problem is

Click Next to continue.

On the Select Storage page select where you want your new virtual machine to be stored and if you want to change the disk provisioning type.


Click Next to continue.

On the Clone Options page, Check Customize the operating system and Power on virtual machine after creation.


Click Next to customize the operating system.

On the Customize guest OS page you will see the Customization Specification we created in the previous post.


If you didn’t create a Customization Specification, before now you can launch the wizard to create one by clicking on the icon above the word Name in the table.

As a quick recap in this specification I configured the following:

  • Set the Windows Server Name to the same name as the Virtual Machine.
  • Set the Timezone to Central Time
  • Join the Active Directory Domain
  • Apply Windows License Key and Activate.

Select the Customization Specification and click Next.

On the Ready to Complete Page, double check all your settings and click Finish to start the deployment. If you made a mistake click back to fix it.


You can watch the progress in the recent tasks


The one downside of using VMWare customizations is that there isn’t a progress bar or anything stating where vCenter is at in the customization progress. Obviously the time that it will take to complete the customizations will depend on how much vCenter is processing in Customization Specification. With the Specification, I created in this post I recommend once the new virtual machine has powered on, go get a cup of coffee and come back to your desk. The vCenter should be done processing the customization specifications by then unless your vCenter server/network infrastructure is that overloaded. In this instance the customization specification took as long as it took me to type this paragraph to complete.


As you can see the customization worked successfully. The Windows Server Name was changed to the VMWare Virtual Machine name, The Virtual machine was joined to the Domain, the Timezone Was set correctly, and Windows has been activated.

I hope this series of posts have helped and if there is any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments.