I have been asked by many of my friends, colleagues and also during interviews “What is the difference between Clone and Template?”. Many times I was searching for the resource or content to answer the question raised by others. So Now, I decided to put some posts on this topic which i have understood to help the people to answer this particular question during their interviews.
Clone creates an exact copy of a running Virtual Machine at the time of cloning process
Template acts as a baseline image with the predefined configuration as per organization standards
Cloning a virtual machine creates a exact duplicate copy of the virtual machine with the same configuration and installed software without performing any additional settings.
Create a template to create a master image of a
virtual machine from which you can deploy multiple virtual machines
You can create a clone of existing installed and Configured running virtual machine by right clicking the VM and Clone.
You can create a template by converting a virtual machine
to a template, cloning a virtual machine to a template, or cloning another template
VM clones are best suited in test and development environments where you want to create, test and work with exact copies of production servers without disturbing production servers by creating clone of the production virtual machine.
Templates are best suited for production environments where you want the mass deployment of virtual machines along with the installed OS and basic software, configured policy as per the security policy of your organization as a base Machine. Once template is deployed, you can install software depend on the role of the server like IIS,Database
VM Clones are not suited for mass deployment of Virtual Machines
Templates are best suited for Mass Deployment of Virtual
We Cannot Convert back the Cloned Machine
You can convert the template back to virtual machine to update the base template with the latest released patches and updates and to install or upgrade any software and again convert back to template to be used for deployment of virtual machines with latest patches.
Cloned Virtual Machine Can be powered on
Templates cannot be powered on
You cannot Clone a Virtual Machine if you have connected directly to ESX/ESXi host using vSphere Client
You cannot create a template of a Virtual Machine if you have connected directly
to ESX/ESXi host using vSphere Client
You can customize the guest operating system of the clone to change the virtual machine name, network settings, and other properties. This prevents conflicts that can occur if a virtual machine and a clone with identical guest operating system settings are deployed simultaneously.
You can also Customize the guest operating system while deploying from template
Clone of a virtual machine can be created when the virtual machine is powered on
Convert virtual Machine to template cannot be performed, when Virtual machine is powered on. Only Clone to Template can be performed when VM is powered on
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