Cloudbased-init For vSphere

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vRealize Automation Cloud and 8.x allows you to deploy and configure cloud agnostic virtual machines. To achieve agnostic in-guest OS customization capability across for on-premises vSphere, AWS, GCP and Azure endpoints cloud-init is used for Linux guests and cloudbase-init is used for Windows guests.

Inital Attempt All Defaults

In vSphere I created a Windows 2019 VM with defaults except for mapping ISO as CD/ROM. I then ran through installer to install Standard edition with Desktop experience, installed VMware Tools, disabled firewall and enabled Remote Desktop. I installed Cloudbased- init 0.9.12.dev76 and optional Carbon PowerShell module to default location. For configuration options I left the default Admin user be created into Administrators group, in addition I selected option to ‘Run Cloudbased-Init service as LocalSystem’. I chose options to ‘Run Sysprep to create a generalized image’ and ‘Shutdown when Sysprep terminates’. When complete I change virtual machine to be a virtual machine template.

I connect to vRealize Automation Cloud > Infrastructure > Cloud Accounts > {my account} and run ‘Sync Images’. Once image sync is completed vRealize Automation Cloud > Infrastructure > Image Mappings and create ‘New Image Mapping’. Create a Blueprint with single Cloud Agnostic Machine linked to the image mapping.

When I provision a vRA Cloud blueprint to deploy a VM

formatVersion: 1
inputs: {}
    type: Cloud.Machine
    image: dc-win2019
    flavor: small
    cloudConfig: |
        hostname: i-got-a-new-name

The VM powers on and cloud-data gets passed by vRealize Automation Cloud as an OVF which is mounted as CDROM with CDROM contents ovf-env.xml in its root.

Cloud-init runs on startup but appears to fail to do what it is asked, Cloudbase-init.log contains error.

2019-09-26 16:00:15.041 4360 ERROR [-] HTTPConnectionPool(host='', port=80): Max retries exceeded with url: /openstack/latest/meta_data.json

Adding OVF Metadata Service

Looking at the error suggested to me that Cloudbase-Init was not finding the OVF and file. I read through some of the Cloudbase-Init documentation and found that metadata service configuration was specified in,

C:\Program Files\Cloudbase Solutions\Cloudbase-Init\conf\cloudbase-init-unattend.conf

Checking the default configuration file does not include the OvfService metadata service:,,,

If I follow similar steps to before to creeate templat but during install of Cloudbase-init but DO NOT chose wizard options ‘Sysprep and Shutdown’. Instead I update the metadata_services entry in the cloudbase-init-unattend.conf file include OvfService like:

Other Cloudbase-Init plugins which require reading metadata, such that which sets the hostname, pickup their configuration from this config file:

C:\Program Files\Cloudbase Solutions\Cloudbase-Init\conf\cloudbase-init.conf

The default installation of cloudbase-init.conf does not have a metadata_services entry at all. To allow the plugins be capable of reading metadata from OVF source add the following line to the file:

When both files have been updated execute sysprep passing the same parameters as the Cloudbase-Init installer wizard would:

cd “C:\Program Files\Cloudbase Solutions\Cloudbase-Init\conf\”
C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe /quiet /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

Performing a deployment of thee vRealize Automation Cloud blueprint example from earlier now deploys a VM with its hostname updated.