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4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Golden Image

By Rob Waggoner

If you have ever built a standard image for your user-base, you understand the need for consistency and ease of deployment. A Golden Image gives you that consistency and ease of a deployment for a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) deployment. Whether you want to give your users a full desktop experience, or just a Remote App experience, the Golden Image streamlines the creation and management process of your RDS deployment. 

What is a Golden Image?   
It is a pre-configured image for your users. In a RDS environment, we advocate using multiple session hosts for your users, as opposed to one or two large session hosts because we also offer auto-scaling. Auto-scaling will start additional VMs as needed and can take your VMs offline after hours as people log out. This helps reduce costs by as much as 50% of your overall session host costs.  Since we advocate creating multiple smaller session hosts, the tradeoff is that there are multiple session hosts to create and manage. Using a Golden Image ensures you only configure the session host image once, then use our platform to deploy that image to create as many session hosts as necessary.   

So why use a Golden Image? 
1. Save time building an image once, rather than configuring multiple VMs. 
A Golden Image means that whether you deploy 5, 10 or 1,000 session hosts, they are all consistent.  As your user-base grows and you need to add additional session hosts, the new session hosts will be created from the same base image. 

2. Manually configuring multiple VMs introduces additional opportunities for error. 
When you try to manually configure 2 or more session hosts with the identical applications and patches, you are introducing the opportunity for operator error. Let automation take care of the redundant tasks and let your people focus on the plan. 

3. Build a consistent update cycle for patches and software upgrades. 
By having a Golden Image, you can build an update and software upgrade cycle. We have found that a common best practice is to build a new Golden Image with the current updates every few months, then deploy one VM to your existing collection. Better yet, first deploy your new image to a QA collection so that a few users can test the new image before deploying to your user community. Once QA has signed off on the new image, you can then deploy the image to the existing collection. 

4. What if I didn’t use a Golden Image? 
If you didn’t start with a Golden Image, all is not lost. The great part about our platform is that if you created your initial session host manually, you can open a support ticket within our portal and ask our support team to clone your existing session hostWe can make clone of your session host, a new Golden Image, for your deployment.  This way as you add additional session hosts, or need to update the session hosts going forward, you will have a consistent starting point. Our support team will give you the details on how to take advantage of Golden Images going forward. You can get in touch at

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Tags: MyCloudIT Best Practices, Best Practices

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