As Kevin stated in his post yesterday, our group setup a Private Cloud environment in a partners datacenter down in San Jose. This was a great hand on experience for the 12 IT Pro Evangelists that got the opportunity to get our butts back into a datacenter again. For me it has been a long time since I lived 40 hours a week in a chilly datacenter.

Building out a cloud environment in the datacenter with 5 physical servers and over 20 Virtual Machines gave me the opportunity to revisit some of the difficulties with working in the “real” world. Things like making sure you have the network ports needed and the IP addresses allocated that you need. There are all kinds of problems you run into that can slow down your deployment and give you headaches.

When you work in the trenches on a daily basis these problems become things you think automatically take care of without a second thought. When I worked on the cloud build out I had already heard about Kevin’s issue with having a DC outside of the failover cluster that he wrote about in yesterday’s post. I made it past there easily but I too ran into some issues.

Lessons learned:
My issues dealt with the setting up our SCVMM 2012 server. I decided to take a VHD server I had and copy it to save time. I changed the name and IP address then I added it to the domain. Seemed to work great. Then I tried to install SCVMM 2012 and it kept failing. After about 2 hours of retrying and looking through logs, I realized it appeared it kept failing when it tried to add the server object to a local group. I tried to add the server to the group myself through the computer management mmc. Nope. No luck. What could it be? Could the problem be that I never sysprepped this server and it had the same SID as one of the Domain Controllers? Yep – I do believe that was the issue. I had a server with the same SID as one of my DCs. In any case after I sysprep the machine it worked. I guess the moral of the story is to use sysprep.

For some more interesting reading on SIDs check out Mark Russinovich’s article on why SIDs don’t matter. But note the section where he points out you still need to sysprep!

I did learn one more lesson in this kerfuffle when I ran sysprep. I had the administrator account to password never expires and user cannot change password. Well what is the first thing the out of box experience has you do? That’s right, set the administrator password. So after I syspreped the first time I was locked out because I couldn’t change the administrator password! I had to throw away that VM and copy a new vhd. More wasted time. I Wish I would have taken a snapshot! doh.

I think my whole team learned their own lessons from out cloud build out. I expect you will hear some more fun lessons from Matt and John in their future posts.

Don’t forget to check out the whole 30 part series of “The Cloud on your Terms”: