linked clones have some advantages:
- New virtual machines are rapidly deployed. The initial task is only to reference to a snapshot of an existing virtual machine. No virtual disk file(s) will be copied at this time.
- They save disk space. Because only the space difference to the origin snapshot is allocated.
I found no option in the vSphere respective the Webclient to create one, but PowerCli provides this. Lets do it.
Connect to vCenter
Define the virtual machine which is the origin of the linked clone, and the Snapshotname on which the linked clone based.
Name of the new virtual machine
In which logical vSphere folder should the vm placed. In this example the same folder as origin VM.
Create a snapshot of the source VM
$oSnapShot=New-Snapshot -VM $sOriginVM -Name $sOriginVMSnapshotName -Description "Snapshot for linked clones" -Memory -Quiesce
Define the datastore where the linked clone will be stored
$oESXDatastore=Get-Datastore -Name "esxdatastore1"
Create the linked clone. For Windows system also Customisation makes sence(New SID, New Computername) these parameters are the same like a “normal” clone.
$oLinkedClone=New-VM -Name $sNewVMName -VM $sOriginVM -Location $oVCenterFolder -Datastore $oESXDatastore -ResourcePool Resources -LinkedClone -ReferenceSnapshot $oSnapShot
Thats it. Start the VM
Make some things in the VM and stop it
Stop-VM $oLinkedClone -Confirm:$false
Delete the linked clone and remove the snapshot at the origin VM
Remove-VM -DeletePermanently $oLinkedClone -Confirm:$false Remove-Snapshot -Snapshot $oSnapShot -Confirm:$false