vSphere Instant Clone was re-architected back in vSphere 6.7 and has been enhanced to be made more powerful and flexible. These enhancements not only power solutions like VMware Horizon but it also unlocks new customer use cases including things like Instant Cloning of Nested ESXi and Apple MacOS Guests.
Although the possibilities are truly endless with Instant Clone, this also means that any customization including basic guest identity such as hostname and networking must now use an alternative workflow. For application-level customization, it is expected that customers will create and manage these custom scripts but for basic networking configuration, it would be ideal to leverage the existing and well known vSphere Guest Customization Engine.
While downloading a file from MyVmware the other day, I came across an interesting set of packages called Guest Customization Engine for Instant Clone. Upon further investigation, I came to learn that these guest packages actually enable support for native vSphere Guest Customization for Instant Clone in vSphere 7 for the following Linux guest OSes:
- CentOS 7.4 or higher
- RHEL 6.8 or higher
- RHEL 7.4 or higher
- Ubuntu 16.04
- SUSE 11SP4
- SUSE 12SP3 or higher
In addition, there is also new set of vSphere (SOAP) APIs that you will need to interact with to use the new Instant Clone Guest Customization feature. The GuestCustomizationManager is a new vSphere 7.0 API which includes the following three API methods:
If you are interested in taking advantage of the new Instant Clone Guest Customization in vSphere 7, you can refer to the official VMware documentation which has step by step instructions.