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About bare metal custom image templates

About bare metal custom image templates

Image templates provide an imaging option for IBM Cloud® Bare Metal Servers. With Bare Metal Servers custom image templates, you can capture an image of a bare metal server to replicate its configuration with minimal changes in the order process.

Image templates are not intended for backing up your data.

How bare metal custom image templates work

The two main actions for any image template are create and deploy. When you request to create an image, a compressed backup of your data is created. The configuration information is recorded and the image template is stored on the IBM Cloud. During the deployment stage of the image template, the automated system constructs a new server that is based on the data that is gathered from the selected image. The deployment process makes adjustments for volume, restores the copied data, and then makes final configuration changes (for example, network configurations) for the new host.

Make sure that your image works fine during deployment before you reclaim the source server.

Compatible system configurations

The following features and configurations are supported when you create an image template.

  • Full traditional BIOS boot mode support and limited UEFI boot mode support (images must be deployed on their respective servers)
  • Only available for X10, X11, and Lenovo systems
  • vGPU support
  • RAID 0, 1, 10

Supported operating systems

The following operating systems are supported when you create an image template.

  • CentOS 7.x
  • RHEL 7.x, 8.x
  • Ubuntu 18, 20
  • Windows 2012 R2, 2016, 2019

Supported add-ons

The following add-ons are compatible with image templates.

  • McAfee (free license add-on)
  • MySQL (free license add-on)
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • R1Soft client

If your bare metal server has add-on software such as cPanel, MS SQL Server, Plesk, or R1Soft Backup Agent, you need to follow the vendor migration guidelines instead of capturing and deploying a custom image. For more information, see Migrating bare metal servers with add-on software.

Notes for add-ons

Keep the following notes in mind when you capture an image and deploy a server from an image.

  • When a MySQL server is deployed from an image, the administrator user keeps the same password as the original server when the image was captured.
  • If an R1soft client is installed and you capture and deploy an image and deploy a new server from that image, you need to reinstall, configure, and add the client again to the R1soft server because the new server has a different IP address.


Customs images have some limitations that you need to be aware of before you create an image template.

  • You can't create custom images on servers that are on a private network
  • No multiple RAID configurations
  • No RAID 5 and 6
  • No Trusted Platform Module (TPM) encryption support
  • Logical Volume Management (LVM) isn't supported
  • Custom and non-IBM kernels aren't supported
  • Control panels (for example cPanel and Plesk) aren't supported
  • R1Soft Backup Agent isn't supported for image capture

Any software (for example MySQL) that maintains its own internal password files and database stays unmodified on provision. Access to the software on a provisioned server from the image uses the same username and passwords as the source server that the image was created from.

Next steps