We all know the benefits of installing VMware Tools into your guest operating system which also includes additional functionality such as the Guest Operations APIs, allowing administrators to perform operations directly within the guest (credentials required), even if networking is not available. In addition to all these benefits, customers also get better visibility into the guest such as the underlying OS that is actually installed, disk volumes and networking information such as hostname and IP Addresses for the different network interfaces.
I am assuming most of you have seen the VM Summary page in the vSphere UI and if VMware Tools is installed and running, some of the GuestInfo data will be displayed such as networking.
An interesting tidbit that I had learned recently about VMware Tools while working on Instant Cloning Apple MacOS (yup, this works!) is that there is a default polling interval of 30 seconds in which this GuestInfo data is updated. In general, this is not a problem as this type of information does not change frequently and the default should be more than sufficient for most customers.
However, if you are performing an Instant Clone and you are relying on the vSphere API and the GuestInfo data to determine the IP Address of the guest, having to wait up to 30seconds is not ideal, especially since the actual Instant Clone operation completes in just a few seconds. One option is to change the default polling interval, which I have outlined the details in the MacOS Instant Clone article, but rather than changing the default which can add some additional load, there is actually a much simpler solution.
With VMware Tools 10.1 or newer, customers now have a way to immediate initiate a refresh of the networking info, directly from within the guest. This is perfect for the Instant Clone use case where network configuration is applied through a customization script and you can then run the update command afterwards to ensure the GuestInfo data is immediately reflected. Below are the respective commands for each OS type and you will need to have administrator privileges to perform this operation.
C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Tools\VMwareToolboxCmd.exe info update network
/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd info update network
/Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Tools/vmware-tools-cli info update network