A template is a master copy of a virtual machine that can be used to create and provision new virtual machines. This image typically includes a specified operating system and configuration that provides virtual counterparts to hardware components. Typically, a template includes an installed guest operating system and a set of applications.

Templates coexist with virtual machines at any level within the template and virtual machine domain. You can order collections of virtual machines and templates into arbitrary folders and apply a variety of permissions to both virtual machines and templates. Virtual machines can be transformed into templates without requiring a full copy of the virtual machine files and the creation of a new object.

You can use templates to create new virtual machines by deploying the template as a virtual machine. When complete, the deployed virtual machine is added to the folder chosen by the user.

To view templates, select the datacenter and click the Virtual Machines tab. All virtual machines and templates for the datacenter are visible from here. Virtual machines and templates have different icons.