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A New Strategy for Creating Golden Images

Rob Waggoner

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Originally, we recommended that you create your Golden Image before you create your RDS deployment, as seen here with the original instructions. For some customers, this plan worked well, for others, it was a struggle. The people that struggled the most with this were the people who weren’t completely sure what applications needed to be installed in the Golden Image. For most customers, they don’t know what they want until they see it… Right?

So, we created a new process that makes it very straight forward to take an existing session host and turn it into a Golden Image. This has really benefited customers in several ways:

  1. Setting up a Proof of Concept (POC). Since you are trying to prove out a solution, sometimes you are not aware of the little tweaks that must be incorporated into the solution. When you have a single session host you can modify as you go. Once you solidify your image, you can then scale out your session host server count and move to production.
  2. Handling the normal patch and update process. This new process lets you update one session host, clone it, then provision new session hosts from the clone. Once everything is ready, you can then remove the old, outdated session hosts.
  3. Make it easier to QA upcoming changes or updates. You can clone an existing session host server, then update it with the newest updates. Once updated you can then create a new collection from this new clone. By putting the new image in a new collection, you can have some people test the new image and applications without impacting production. This process makes it easy to test during business hours, again, without impacting the normal workday.

You can find documentation for the new process here. The thing I like about the new process is that it makes it easy to start with a single session host server for your deployment, or a new collection. Then you can do all the integration and testing in that single session host server. Once you are ready to scale the solution up to support all your users, you just clone your session host, then use that cloned image as your new Golden Image to create additional session host servers in your existing collection, or even a new collection.

This new cloning process has changed the way we guide customers in the construction of their new deployments and makes the update process much easier.

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