There are long, exhaustive lists of best practices for creating master images. In this post, I have compressed them down to three major areas.  So sit back, fiddle with that fancy fob watch, and read about a couple of things to consider before creating master images.

 

Storage

 

While storage space is fairly cheap now, it's still a commodity. Do you really want to waste storage space that can be used elsewhere? Moreover, do you want to waste time searching through fifty images?

 

When you create the master images, it is easy to go overboard and make too many images.  Try to create a basic master image and then a couple of images based on the number of users per software package, frequency of requests, or the difficulty level of an install.

 

For example, most users need some sort of office suite, but if a significant number of users need a specific piece of specialty software, then you should probably make a master image for them. if you support a department with a lot of turnover, you might want to create an image specifically for that department. If you support software engineers, you might want to create an image for them so you don't have to waste time installing and configuring the development environment, version control software, and so forth.

 

Image Optimization

 

Optimization goes hand in hand with storage restrictions. You want the image as trimmed as possible but have all of the appropriate patches, service releases, and software. Most vendors recommend that you uninstall any unnecessary programs and disable unnecessary services. On a VDI platform, you should probably disable automatic updates from the virtual desktop and manage updates yourself to prevent performance and network hits.

 

When building your images, don't forget to add trusted sites and intranet links, map printers or other shared network devices, install drivers and virus scanners, and apply all approved software updates.

 

Clean Up

 

This is the part that I usually forget about and then pat myself on the back when I remember it. After you have created your lovely new master images, remember to remove all the installers, empty the trash, and defrag the hard drive. You should probably check the hard drive for errors and run the virus scanner before making the image.