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Configuring SP Dev VM for Cloning

Topics: Feedback, General Questions, Support
Nov 16, 2013 at 1:08 AM

I am looking for advice on how to configure a SharePoint development vm template (Server 2008 r2; SharePoint 2013 Standard; sql 2012) for cloning.

1 2008 domain controller
1 server 2008 r2 vm template (sharepoint, sql)
22 identical developer vm’s – cloned (hyperV) from the above template

We do not want a separate SQL server for multiple reasons.. (22 dev vm’s = 22 instances; developer control over sql; etc)

First attempt to clone:

Autospinstaller was used to deploy SP to the template ( and will be used to install/configure sp on each cloned vm if need be, but prefer to automate as much as possible by cloning the vm due to custom branding, post SP install configuration, etc)

SQL alias was not configured during autospinstall …. The result on the cloned vm (after manually running psconfig.exe) was that the machine could not connect to the configdb. ULS log showed SharePoint Configdb was using the template vm’s servername…

So then I tried to setup the sql alias after the fact… but I believe sql connection strings were already set to the vm template’’s servername, therefore SharePoint tries connecting to the vm template’s original servername).

I am going to have autospinstaller add the SQL alias ‘localhost’ next time around..which is an idea to combat the sql hostname which is hard-coded during the sql install (‘localhost’ stores the server machine name in the connection string(s)). Before doing so, I thought I would pose a question and seek advice/feedback..

In the above scenario, would there be a need to run stsadm -o renameserver -oldservername <oldServerName>-newservername localhost before cloning? Or, would the SQL alias be enough to get through cloning successfully?

Any thoughts or alternative suggestions are welcome….
Dec 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM
I wouldn't clone a VM that has SharePoint, IIS, SQL etc. already installed. In fact, it may even be unsupported...

Instead, I would build and clone a base VM that has all the required files/scripts/etc. to do the install, then use a scripted approach (incorporating, among other things, AutoSPInstaller) to build a fresh instance on your cloned base VM every time.

Make sense?