So, how difficult is to create your own factory?

  1. Option 1 – Build it from Scratch using Visual Studio ALM Rangers Guidance
    • You will need a good day and a couple of coffee based caffeine boosts.
  2. Option 2 – Use the Starter factory
    • You need 2 hours elapsed time on a good LAN and occasionally flip over to the factory to check progress.

Option 2 – Step by Step

  1. Obtain the starter factory virtual machine, which is a VPC based image.
  2. Create a virtual machine using your virtualization host of choice and point at the starter factory VM. As you can see the system requirements for the factory are minimal, although we recommend that you increase the RAM is you are expecting heavy traffic on the factory.
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  3. Start the virtual machine.
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  4. Be a bit patient (minutes) while the sysprep’d image continues the setup.
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  5. If you are testing, skip the licensing step. If you are creating a more permanent factory, a license key will avoid the TRIAL issues.
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  6. Specify a machine name, that is unique and preferably based on the VSTSR-MDT-* pattern for uniformity. I chose LAB, as this will be our staging, LAB and test factory in future.
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  7. Change the administrator password.
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  8. Watch was the DeploymentShare environment is initialised. If you are interested in how this magic works, refer to the the full script at c:\windows\system32\sysprep\Setup-Factory.ps1, which is using the MDT PowerShell snapin.
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  9. Please read the conclusion message carefully and select OK when done.
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  10. At this stage we have a fully functional factory that supports the TFS2010R32TW, TFS2010R32TM, TFS2010R64TW and TFS2010R64TM profiles. In our case we have a number of other factories which are configured to support MSDN based profiles as well and therefore I execute the Syncfactory script as mentioned in the conclusion message.
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  11. Less than half an hour later and 1.5 hours after starting the process …
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    … we have a fully configured and functional factory.
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Need I say more … phenomenally easy!