After you create a virtual machine, you can clone it to a template. Templates are master copies of virtual machines that let you create ready-for-use virtual machines. You can make changes to the template, such as installing additional software in the guest operating system, while preserving the original virtual machine.

You cannot modify templates after you create them. To alter an existing template, you must convert it to a virtual machine, make the required changes, and convert the virtual machine back to a template. To preserve the original state of a template, clone the template to a template.


If a load generator is running in the virtual machine, stop it before you perform the clone operation.


  1. Open a wizard to start the cloning a virtual machine procedure:



    Open the New Virtual Machine wizard from an object in the inventory

    1. Right-click any inventory object that is a valid parent object of a virtual machine, and select New Virtual Machine.

    2. On the Select a creation type page, select Clone virtual machine to template and click Next.

    3. On the Select a virtual machine page, select the virtual machine that you want to clone.

    Open the Clone Virtual Machine To Template wizard from a template

    Right-click the virtual machine and select Clone > Clone to Template.

  2. On the Select a name and folder page, enter a name for the template and select a folder in which to deploy it.

    The template name determines the name of the files and folder on the disk. For example, if you name the template win10tmp, the template files are named win10tmp.vmdk, win10tmp.nvram, and so on. If you change the template name, the names of the files on the datastore do not change.

    Folders provide a way to store virtual machines and templates for different groups in an organization and you can set permissions on them. If you prefer a flatter hierarchy, you can put all virtual machines and templates in a datacenter and organize them a different way.

  3. On the Select a compute resource page, select Compute-ResourcePool or a child resource pool.

    The Compatibility pane shows the result from the compatibility checks.


    If the virtual machine that you clone has an NVDIMM device and uses PMem storage, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource.

    If the virtual machine that you clone does not have an NVDIMM device but it uses PMem storage, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource. Otherwise, all the hard disk of the template will use the storage policy and datastore selected for the configuration files of the source virtual machine.

  4. On the Select storage page, select the datastore or datastore cluster in which to store the template configuration files and all of the virtual disks and click Next.
    1. Choose the type of storage for the template by selecting the Standard, the PMem, or the Hybrid radio button.

      If you choose the Hybrid mode, all Pmem virtual disks will remain stored on a Pmem database. Non-Pmem disks are affected by your choice of a VM storage policy and datastore or datastore cluster.

    2. (Optional) From the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu, select a virtual machine storage policy or leave the default.
    3. Select a datastore or a datastore cluster.
    4. (Optional) Select the Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine check box if you do not want to use storage DRS with the virtual machine.
    5. (Optional) Select the Configure per disk option if you need a separate datastore or a datastor cluster for the template configuration file and for each virtual disk.
  5. On the Ready to complete page, review the template settings and click Finish.

    The progress of the clone task appears in the Recent Tasks pane. When the task completes, the template appears in the inventory.