An image is a complete copy of the file system structure and data on a disk.
It is designed to quickly create a data disk, primarily a VM's boot disk. Images can be used for distributing software, such as OS distributions or disks with pre-installed software.
To regularly back up your data on disks, use snapshots.
You can create an image from a disk, snapshot, or other image. If you have an image, you can import it to Yandex Cloud. You can't import Windows boot disk images.
When you create a Windows boot disk image, indicate this in the operating system type. This is important for proper CPU emulation and billing.
If you regularly update your images, you can group them into families. You can use the family name to find the latest image in the family.
All images belonging to the same family must be in the same folder.
Let's say you want to upload an image of your operating system to Yandex Cloud. When creating an image, specify a family, like
best-linux-distro. This lets other users get the latest version of your operating system by specifying the family and image folder ID in the query.
You can grant public access to your image by assigning the
compute.images.user role to the
allAuthenticatedUsers system group. Then other Yandex Cloud users will be able to use your image to create their own disks and VMs. However, the
compute.images.user role doesn't grant permission to delete or edit your image.
An example of public images are OS distributions provided by Yandex Cloud.
Images optimized for deployment
An image can be optimized for deploying a large number of VMs. You can create VMs from optimized images much faster than from conventional ones: this enables you to instantly expand your computing power and use tools from your own image on them.
Fast deployment is achieved by using multiple layers for storing data in storage. The first layer stores the image source data, and the second layer stores user data. When creating VM disks from optimized images, the first layer is reused and not copied to a new storage location each time. Disks created from optimized images run on VMs the same way as disks created from standard images: they can be used as boot disks and are fully available for data storage. The performance of these disks does not differ from regular disks.
Standard images from the Marketplace are already optimized for deployment. To optimize your image, select the Optimize for deployment option when uploading the image.