8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2008 2:21 PM by adolopo

    Please explain the difference

    timcwhite Enthusiast


      Can someone please explain the difference between a clone and a template. Also which option should I use in order to roll out new windows 2003 server machines. I could simply clone an existing machine rename it and give it a new IP address but wouldn't that pose a problem with duplicate SID's.



      I can't seem to figure out this cloning thing either. I'm running ESX 3.0.2 and VirtualCenter 2.5












        • 1. Re: Please explain the difference
          jjohnston1127 Hot Shot


          A clone is a powered off virtual machine that you use to create new VM's from.  It consumes disk resources.  If you have hard drives on the clone machine of 10gb, and 20gb, it will consume 30gb of space on your storage.






          A template is a file much smaller in size. I wanna say they're around 300kb?  It simply contains all of the necessary information related to the virtual machine hardware, configuration, etc and will create the hard disks on the fly when a virtual machine is created from it.



          • 2. Re: Please explain the difference
            timcwhite Enthusiast


            THANKS! I've been searching for a simple answer for the last few hours.



            Can you assist me with my next question. Which one of the two removes all unique identifiers the clones or templates? I hope its a clone because that works well for me but judging by the name, I doubt it.  I'm having the hardest time creating a template.



            • 3. Re: Please explain the difference
              jjohnston1127 Hot Shot


              I believe you have to use the sysprep tools in coordination with cloning/creating from template to completely remote the unique identifiers and generate new ones.






              I am not 100% sure about which one does that though, so you might want to let someone else answer too.



              • 4. Re: Please explain the difference
                adolopo Hot Shot





                Clone is a copy, Template's are for provisioning.



                If you're having problems with templates, all is not lost. In the end, you can Sysprep the clone.



                • 5. Re: Please explain the difference
                  mcowger Champion

                  Template is what you want, which you can ionly use if you have VirtualCenter


                  BTW, templates can have disks attached to them...




                  • 6. Re: Please explain the difference
                    weinstein5 Guru

                    tim you have pieces of the answer -


                    Clone - will make an exact copy of an existing VM - the vm needs to be powered down - so if your VM is in use every time you need to duplicate it you will need to power down the vm



                    Tamplate - is actually a VM marked not to power on with virtual disks so it can be big if there is a virtual disk that is 40 GB in size that means there will be a VMDK file that is 40 GB as part of the template but you do have the option of storing the virtuals disks in compact format which means if that only 2 GB of the 40 GB virtual disk is used then it will take 2 GB - to update the template you simply conver to a VM apply any updates and convert back to a template



                    Both of these require Virtual Center - Virtual Center can customize the guest O/S - the standard includes open source tools for Linux based VMs and you will need to extract MS Sysprep files in an appropriate directly - VC will then give you option to customize the guest O/S when you clone or deploy form template which will give you ability ot set networking informaiton, SID etc -



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                    • 7. Re: Please explain the difference
                      Troy Clavell Guru

                      try this.. it may help shed a little light.

                      • 8. Re: Please explain the difference
                        adolopo Hot Shot


                        If you're rolling ghetto, you can hop on the CLI and clone with "vmkfstools -i". And since it's on the CLI, this opens up possiblities for scripting.