A machine blueprint is the complete specification for a virtual, cloud, or physical machine and is used to determine a machine’s attributes and how it is provisioned.

When a business group member requests a machine, the machine is provisioned according to the specifications in the blueprint, such as CPU, memory, and storage. Blueprints specify the workflow used to provision a machine and include additional provisioning information such as the locations of required disk images or virtualization platform objects. Finally, blueprints specify policies such as the lease period and which operations are supported on machines provisioned from the blueprint.

An example of a virtual blueprint might be one that specifies a Windows 7 developer workstation with one CPU, 2GB of memory, and a 30GB hard disk. A cloud blueprint might specify a Red Hat Linux web server image in a small instance type with one CPU, 2GB of memory, and 160GB of storage. A physical blueprint might specify Windows Server 2008 R2 installed on a server with exactly two CPUs and at least 4GB of memory.

Machine blueprints can be either specific to a business group or shared among groups in a tenant.

Business group managers can create group blueprints that can only be entitled to users in a specific business group. A business group manager cannot modify or delete shared blueprints.

Tenant administrators can create shared blueprints that can be entitled to users in any business group in the tenant. Tenant administrators cannot view or modify group blueprints unless they also have the business group manager role for the appropriate group.

If a tenant administrator sets the shared blueprint as copyable, the business group manager can also copy it to use as a starting point to create a new group blueprint.

You can add custom properties to a blueprint to specify attributes of a machine or to override default specifications. You can also add build profiles to a blueprint as a convenience for specifying multiple custom properties.