Q: I've configured a virtual machine template in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 to install roles, features, and applications--however, they're not applied when I apply the template, why?
A. System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager allows a lot of customization as part of virtual machine (VM) templates. These can include the following:
- Specifying answer files
- RunOnce commands
- Adding Roles and Features
- Application configurations such as running scripts, SQL Server data-tier applications, virtual applications, and web applications
All of those customizations except for the answer file apply only if the VM is part of a Service Template. It's possible to have a single VM service template in VMM, which would be a way to utilize this functionality even if you don't want multi-tiered services. If you absolutely don't want to use service templates, then you could try the following:
- Use the answer file to perform all the customization
- Use a Windows PowerShell script or service such as System Center Orchestrator to perform customization after deployment
Note that for Linux VM templates, the RunOnce commands are used even outside of a Service Template.