Deploy a VM from template with PowerCLI

Now that I have a small VM for my test lab, I converted it to a template and looked for a cool way to deploy several VMs from this template with PowerCLI. Turns out it’s actually really easy, anti-climactic, even. The good folks over at have an excellent tutorial on this topic. Alan Renouf (Twitter @alanrenouf) was the first to comment on their blogpost. He included a nice for loop to replace a single line for each VM deployment. I incorporated Alan’s suggestion as well as a few options from the PowerCLI New-VM cmdlet reference page, like adding the VM to a resource pool and then powering on the VM.

Here’s the code:

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A Small Virtual Machine for a Test Lab

Get my 57MB Damn Small Linux OVA here (rename file extension from .doc to .ova): DOWNLOAD

While I’m traveling, I use my laptop as a mobile test lab. To do anything of significance, I like to run two VMware ESXi 5 hosts, vCenter Server 5, a domain controller (both on x64 Windows Server 2008 R2) and for my recent study focus, a NetApp DataONTAP 8.1 simulator, all on VMware Workstation 8. All these things are great, but with “only” 8 GB RAM to pull from, my resources are limited and I’m pushing RAM utilization to the max before I even start running VMs, as you can see below. The only thing saving me is an Intel 320 Series SSD.

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