During my second install of ESX Server, I decided that I needed speed up the deployment of my Server 2003 virtual machines. The last time I setup ESX Server, which was over a year ago, I simply created an ISO on my laptop and set it as the virtual CD-drive. It was pretty fast, but it would obviously be faster if the ISO was actually sitting on the server itself. No big deal, the Virtual Infrastructure Client supports this. You just have to login to the server console as root or equivalent and use the DD command. For Server 2003, I did:
from within /vmimages,
dd -if=/dev/cdrom of=w2kstd_r2_1.iso
Pretty elemental stuff I guess, but I doesn’t hurt to document.
The install SCREAMS!