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In network virtualization, a golden image is an archetypal version of a cloned disk that can be used as a template for various kinds of virtual network hardware. Some refer to the golden image as a master image because multiple copies are used to provide a consistent process for using a disk image.
Using golden images as templates, managers can create consistent environments where the end user doesn’t have to know a lot about the technology in order to use it effectively. These kinds of systems are taking off in a big way as companies and enterprises replace old physical networks with virtual structures.
A golden image can be useful in virtual desktop infrastructure. Here, developers might start with a virtual disk image, including a template for the operating system and applications and settings on a virtual desktop. Those creating this kind of golden image need to understand any licensing requirements, as well as other considerations for the native operating system. They also need to choose which applications should be installed. Project managers need to be familiar with the underlying hardware resources, such as memory and CPU, and should understand whether any defects or glitches in the hardware may present themselves within the virtual desktop environment. Another big use of golden images is in cloud computing solutions that provide consistency across various VM or virtual machine desktops.