VMware vCloud Director 101: Catalog Management

September 3, 2014
Applications, Cloud

Welcome back to US Signal’s vCloud Director 101 series. This post discusses what Catalogs are and cover the basics of Catalog organization. We will also cover the process for uploading media and templates as well as the deployment of Virtual Machine templates in VMware vCloud Director.

By managing your catalog well you can ensure that the media and templates you rely on are available to you whenever you need them. Using templates for virtual machine deployment into your environment can be a fast and easy way to quickly bring necessary services into production.

What are Catalogs?

In VMware vCloud Director Catalogs are a content repository and can be used to store vApp Templates and media files. vApp templates can be created in your environment by following the steps outlined in Part 2 of this series. vApp templates can also be imported to your environment and we will touch on that later in this post.

Once you have created at least one Catalog you will be able to upload and store media files such as .ISO (CD/DVD), .IMG, .VFD, and .FLP (Floppy). These media files will then be available for use by your Virtual Machines. Any uploaded Templates will need to be in .OVF or .OVA format for import into vCloud Director.

Available to you in your US Signal resource pool are the Public Catalog which is published and managed by US Signal, and any private Catalogs that are created and managed by your team. You can view them by selecting Catalogs in the navigation bar along the top of the screen in vCloud Director.

In order to upload any media or add any new templates to your environment, you will need to first create a new catalog. You can do so by clicking the green plus button for "Add Catalog…"

You will then need to choose a name for your new Catalog and may provide a description if you wish to.

Next, you will need to choose a storage profile for your new Catalog. Any files stored in your Private Catalogs will take up storage space on whichever Storage Profile you assign the Catalog to. You can choose to have vCloud Director automatically use any available storage or you can specifically choose a Storage Policy.

Your next two steps will involve choosing which users to grant access to this new Catalog and determining what level of administrative rights they will have.

You will be able to grant access to everyone in the organization or to specific individual users or groups.

The next dialog will have you choose what access level to provide the users and groups you have chosen to give access to this new Catalog.

You will now see your new Catalog under the Catalogs tab of My Organization’s Catalogs.

Adding Media to Catalogs

Now that you have a Catalog, you’ll want to populate it with useful Media. For the purposes of the illustrations, we have created two Catalogs, one named Template Catalog and the other Media Catalog.

Begin by navigating to the Catalog you intend to upload your Media to and select the "Media & Other" tab as shown in the illustration below. Then click on the "Upload…" button.

The first time you perform this action you will next see a dialog requesting permission for the Client Integration Plug-In to access your operating system.

You can uncheck the box for “Always ask…” to prevent this dialog from appearing each time you attempt to upload or download media or templates. 

In the next dialog, you will need to select either the remote URL or Local file location of the ISO image you intend to upload. The Destination name will automatically populate with the file name of the media you are uploading, but you can change this name as you choose to. You may also provide a description of the file if you choose.

When you click Upload, you will see a dialog box indicating the transfer status of the media you are uploading.

Once the transfer dialog indicates 100% you will see that the file is being imported by vCloud Director. Depending on the size of the file this may take some time.

Your media file will be ready for your use when the import process is complete!

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