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  • Writer's pictureJJC Systems

Creating a Golden Image for VMware vSphere

Objective: The objective of this SOP is to provide step-by-step instructions for creating a golden image for VMware vSphere. A golden image is a pre-configured template that can be used to rapidly deploy virtual machines (VMs) with consistent configurations. This SOP assumes you have a basic understanding of VMware vSphere and have administrative access to the vSphere environment.


1. Access to VMware vSphere environment.

2. Familiarity with creating and configuring virtual machines.

3. An understanding of the desired configuration for the golden image.


1. Plan and Prepare:

  • Identify the requirements and configurations for the golden image, including the operating system, installed applications, and any customizations.

  • Ensure that all necessary installation media, license keys, and software installers are available.

2. Create a New Virtual Machine:

  • Login into VMware vCenter.

  • Navigate to the desired location in the vSphere inventory where you want to create the golden image.

  • Right-click on the inventory object (datacenter, cluster, or folder) and select "New Virtual Machine."

  • Follow the wizard to create a new virtual machine, specifying the desired configuration, such as the name, guest OS, resource allocation, and storage.

3. Install the Operating System:

  • Power on the newly created virtual machine.

  • Mount the installation media (ISO or physical media) for the chosen operating system.

  • Follow the operating system installation prompts and provide the necessary information (e.g., language, keyboard layout, disk partitioning).

  • Complete the installation process, including setting up the administrator account and network configuration.

4. Customize the Golden Image:

  • Install any required drivers or VMware Tools for optimal performance and compatibility.

  • Install and configure the desired applications and utilities.

  • Apply any necessary updates, patches, or service packs to the operating system and installed applications.

  • Perform any additional customizations, such as setting up security configurations, disabling unnecessary services, or configuring specific settings.

5. Optimize and Harden the Golden Image:

  • Remove unnecessary files, temporary files, and logs to reduce the image size.

  • Disable or remove any unnecessary services, protocols, or components.

  • Apply security best practices, such as configuring firewall rules, enabling encryption, or implementing intrusion detection systems.

  • Perform any other optimizations or hardening steps specific to your environment and security requirements.

6. Sysprep or Generalize the Golden Image:

  • In the guest operating system, run the sysprep or generalize tool provided by the operating system.

  • Follow the prompts and select the appropriate options to generalize the image, such as removing unique identifiers, drivers, and activation information.

  • Shutdown or power off the virtual machine after the sysprep or generalize process completes.

7. Capture the Golden Image:

  • Right-click on the virtual machine in the vSphere inventory and select "Clone to Template."

  • Provide a name and optional description for the template.

  • Review the cloning options and select the appropriate customization specifications, if any.

  • Click "Finish" to start the cloning process. This will convert the virtual machine to a template and make it available for future deployment.

8. Validate the Golden Image:

  • Deploy a virtual machine from the template to ensure that it functions correctly and meets the desired configuration.

  • Verify that the necessary applications, configurations, and customizations are present.

  • Test the virtual machine thoroughly to ensure that it performs as expected and is free from any issues.

9. Document and Maintain the Golden Image:

  • Update the documentation to reflect the newly created golden image, including the version, configuration details, and any known limitations.

  • Establish a process for periodically reviewing and updating the golden image to incorporate patches, updates, and new configurations as needed.

10. Conclusion: By following this SOP, you have successfully created a golden image for VMware vSphere. The golden image can now be used as a template for deploying virtual machines with consistent configurations and reduced setup time.

Note: The specific steps and options may vary depending on the version of VMware vSphere and the operating system used. Refer to the official VMware document.

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