What is a golden image?
A golden image is a template for a virtual machine, virtual desktop, server or hard disk drive. Golden images are also known as ghost images, clones, master images or base images.
To create a golden image, an administrator first sets up the computing environment with the exact specifications needed and then saves the disk image as a pattern for future copies. Using golden images can save time and ensure consistency by eliminating the need for repetitive configuration changes and performance tweaks.
This approach can be compared with automated replication, which requires a configuration management tool such as Puppet to build new images on demand.
In an automated provisioning environment, a collection of golden images might be referred to as a golden repository or golden image library.