Templates Best Practices

Updated by Keith Resar on Jan 19, 2015

Overview

Templates are defined virtual images and are the basis from which new servers are build. Templates should adhere to the following best practices.

Blueprints are a saved and repeatable workflow that bundles components like Templates, Packages and other Blueprints together. Blueprints should adhere to the following best practices for increased maintainability and a consistent user deployment experience.

Additional References

See also the KB articles on:

Using Templates versus Integrating with Blueprints

Templates appear easier for a successful integration but in actual experience many caveats surface making Blueprints the preferred mechanism for defining server/application end-state.

Templates

  • If designed according to a minimum supported feature set will be compatible across multiple Private/Public cloud platforms.
  • Consistent day 0 deployment but less consistency with ongoing run state if patches or other changes are required on the underlying server or software components.
  • Importing Templates from outside of the cloud process is a non-zero time commitment to cover both a large data transfer and the engineering required for successful deployment.
  • Importing Templates is considered a billable service task, whereas Blueprints are not.

Blueprints

  • Configuration driven design moves us away from the legacy "golden image" mindset.
  • Supports flexible underlying operating system versioning (multiple versions of Windows or multiple versions/distributions of Linux) for easy customer deployment.
  • Changes to underlying OS (including patching) and foundational hardware can be accomplished without rebuilding the entire solution workflow (e.g., replace just a patch or just a configuration step without disrupting the rest of the workflow).
  • Requires some engineering expertise to correctly define and package the desired end state.

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