A conceptual representation of CloudMan’s architectural components that facilitate customization and sharing of instances. Each instance is self-contained by keeping track of the configuration components that make up the deployment. As a result, it is possible to create custom versions of the default set of tools or indices. For example, instance A is using the default configuration (EBS snapshots colored in blue) while instance B has been customized (colored in yellow and orange). Once customizations are created, they can be shared with specific users (denoted with ‘S’) or made public (denoted with ‘P’). Instances are shared as point in time data and configuration. In the shown example, instance B has been shared at two time points. Any derived instances (instance C) will use the shared instance configuration settings upon startup. Each instance has its own user data; derived instances use the shared instance’s data and build on top of it.