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.
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.
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.
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.
Template is what you want, which you can ionly use if you have VirtualCenter
BTW, templates can have disks attached to them...
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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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.