This issue has been driving me nuts for quite some time.
[we are on ESXi 5.1 U2]
I started noticing that after deploying a VM from template with custom specs, they would never run. Upon looking at the new VM the checkbox for ‘connected’ was not checked despite ‘connect at power on’ being checked (see below) AND the VM was powered on
If you try to check ‘connected’ you might even see this frustrating message:
I double checked my template and sure enough, both check boxes are checked. I did however notice this strange message when trying to power on the template in question
I ignored it for a while but then soon realized it was showing up on every template that was giving me grief.
A quick fix I found, was to just delete the NIC in the template giving you issues and re-add it. Upon the next deployment the issue was resolved. If you have already deployed a VM from the busted template, you can do the same thing – delete the NIC and re-add it (this however, may cause issues with your custom specs running correctly)
The official answer from vmware regarding this issue is located here
Basically when converting a VM to a template or a template to VM, the port associated with the machine is not released. There is also no way to tell if this is the case or not once you convert back to a template – until of course, you have a VM screw up again.
The official resolution is to……………………. upgrade to 5.5 (great)
So take the NIC issues outlined above and the custom specs issues outlined here – and you are left with some fun times when trying to deploy VMs in 5.1 U2.
To top it off, I now have a new NIC issue with my templates that is slightly different than what was described above. In my 2012R2 template (and only this template) when deploying a VM from it – the VM is brought online with neither checkbox checked!
I went back to the template and sure enough, both boxes are checked in the template. (I did not get the weird message asking me if I moved or copied it when trying to power it on)
I decided to remove the NIC and re-add it and deploy a new VM and the issue is still present. I do not have a workaround for this yet – I will just have to deal with 3 issues now when deploying 2012 R2 machines from template (NIC not connected + custom specs rerun workaround + the occasional custom specs not even running)
Yes, we are planning on moving to ESXi v6 – but it may be another 6 months.