Note: This article is based on VMM 2008  and might not apply to VMM 2012 (R2)

Now that your organization has begun to embrace this virtualization trend that’s spreading across the IT industry it has become apparent that it is hard to know what you have when working with virtual machines. With physical machines you are limited by the hardware that you are installing on. Virtual Machines do have limitations but instead of just saying that you have a server with 4 quad-core CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage in an array, you can now have a number of virtual machines all with different hardware settings running on this same server. Maybe you’ve been designated as the “Lab Manager” or “Virtualization Manager” and now you are looking for some best practices to keep your hands-on tasks to a minimum.
Let me just say that using System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) will make your job much easier. The old principal of “garbage in, garbage out” definitely applies here. If you have multiple people making virtual machines and each of them doing their own thing you will have a mess later when you try to determine what you have.
SCVMM lets you create templates that you can use to help standardize the virtual “hardware” that is used when VMs are created. Use templates for everything from the very first virtual machine if possible. You can build a virtual machine with all the software and settings just like you want and then make that virtual machine a template. All the manual steps of sysprepping and capturing the image are all done for you. You can build hardware profiles to use to configure things like CPU, NICs, RAM, hard disk size, etc… You can also create “profiles” to populate the unattend settings (such as PID, username, org name, time zone, etc…) used to build the VMs from templates.
You can use the Self-Service Portal (SSP) feature in SCVMM to give set users rights to perform certain operations such as start, stop, or create virtual machines. Using “Quota Points” gives you the capability to limit the number of virtual machines or resources that the Self-Service users can create. Using templates in conjunction with quotas and the Self-Service Portal is really the only way to go when managing a virtual environment.
The point of this is that there are TEMPLATES for nearly everything so USE THEM to make your job easier!!!
One thing that I should mention is that when you are creating VM templates to be used in the SSP you should configure which virtual network the VM is connected to. SSP users do not currently have permission to do Set-VM operations (such as change RAM, CPU, VNICs, etc…). If a user wants to test something and needs the VM to be disconnected from a virtual network then they can disable the vNIC inside the VM. If they need to change anything in the VM hardware settings, then you’ll be getting a call. : )