Just seeking clarification on the nosamplecontent runmode. Is this is one-time runmode used for the initial installation only? Or, in order to maintain the "production ready" status, should it be used on every start of AEM for the lifetime of the instance? If it varies by AEM version it would be helpful to know . In this particular case I am asking for AEM 6.4.8. Hopefully a simple question with a simple answer.
The effects of a specific runmode are not really good covered in the AEM documentation. Anyway, it's always advisable to define all product-related runmodes (author, publish, crx3tar, ..., samplecontent, nosamplecontent) before the first startup and then let them configured.
With your own runmodes the situation is of course different, because you hopefully know the impact of them regarding your application.
(In case of the nosamplecontent runmode: as already said it has an effect only during the initial installation, afterwards it shouldn't have one. If you are interested in the details, start to unpack the quickstart jar ...)
With AEM 6.1, Adobe introduces the new "nosamplecontent" runmode aimed at automating the steps required to prepare an AEM instance for deployment in a production environment.
The new runmode will not only automatically configure the instance to adhere to the security best practices described in the security checklist, but will also remove all the sample geometrixx applications and configurations in the process.
When you start AEM without the "nosamplecontent" run mode, your AEM instance will include project example, unwanted non-production ready configurations, etc... The non-production build of AEM can help developers understand how AEM sites, content fragments, experience fragments, etc... are configured, or how scripts are implemented, so it can provide some solutions as inspiration.
When you first initialise AEM with the "nosamplecontent" on startup, this will pre-set your AEM instance with the production-ready resources & environment configurations. After the initiate startup, when you stop AEM and remove "nosamplecontent" run mode, this will not have any effect of the resources that were initialised in the first startup of AEM; the resources & configs from the first startup will still exist.
For AEM author or publish production environments, its recommended to startup AEM, on the first-time of the startup, to use the "nosamplecontent" run mode, as Adobe has set up rules to assist us in setting up a production-ready environment.