VMware vCloud Director 101: vApps - Part 2

August 15, 2014
Applications, Cloud

Thanks for joining us again for US Signal’s vCloud Director 101: Introduction to vApps series. These series introduce vApps and exploring some of their uses in vCloud Director. In Part 1, we share what a vApp is, vApp power states, and some setting features. Part 2 discusses the basics of copying and moving vApps, as well as how to create templates from your vApps. We will also take a look at the fundamentals of vApp networks.

VMware vCloud Director 101: Copying and Moving vApps

What options exist for copying or moving a vApp in VMware vCloud Director?

While using VMware vCloud Director to manage your Resource Pool you may find that you need to make a copy of a vApp or move a vApp to a different Storage Profile or Virtual Data Ccenter.

A running or partially running vApp may be copied and this process will create a suspended duplicate of the vApp with whatever name you choose.

Stopped vApps can be either copied or moved. As the names imply, a copy of a stopped vApp will be a stopped duplicate and a moved vApp will be moved to the Virtual Data Ccenter or Storage Profile of your choosing.

VMware vCloud Director 101: Creating Templates from vApps

What is a Template, and how do they relate to vApps?

In VMware vCloud Director, a Template is a master copy of one or more Virtual Machines and can be used to save you time if your work requires you to deploy many similar Virtual Machines. In VMware vCloud Director, Templates are created by selecting "Add to Catalog…" when right-clicking on a vApp.

When adding a vApp as a Template to the Catalog, you will be provided with a number of options:

  • Catalog – Choose the Catalog where this Template will be created.
  • Name – Choose a name for your new Template
  • Description – Include any relevant information for this Template
  • Storage lease – Define the lifetime of this Template

Lastly, you will need to determine whether or not to only make identical copies of your Virtual Machines when they are deployed from the new Template, or if you will allow the use of customized settings. Please note that you will not have the option to Customize VM Settings if creating a Template from a running or partially running vApp.

VMware vCloud Director 101: vApp Networks

What is a vApp network and how can it be used in a production environment?

VMware vCloud Director allows you to create self-contained networks inside of vApps. vApp Networks are often used for replication or cluster networks that do not require visibility to the rest of the Virtual Machines in the Virtual Datacenter. vApp Networks are by default isolated from the rest of the Virtual Data Ccenter that their container vApp is a part of. However, they can be connected to another network:

A vApp network will work as an isolated network but can be connected as a routed network to another network in this Virtual Data Ccenter.

If you choose to connect your vApp network to another network, you will need to ensure that you select the appropriate checkboxes for NAT and Firewall.

Creating a new vApp Network requires that you choose a Gateway and a Network mask to define this network. These are the only required fields besides the Network name.

DNS IPs are necessary if your production scenario requires DNS assignments to Virtual Machines attached to this network.

The static IP pool is used to automatically distribute IPs from this network. Choosing a range of, say 192.168.2.100 – 192.168.2.199 will mean that VMware will automatically assign IPs in this range to Virtual Machines that request IPs from the Static Pool for this network.

Becoming familiar with these functions will allow you even more control in your Resource Pool. Understanding how to organize your vApps with copy and move functions can help you better arrange your Virtual Machines across your Virtual Datacenters and storage profiles. Learning how to leverage templates to rapidly deploy pre-configured vApps can save time and provide you with additional flexibility. Employing vApp network functionality can provide segregated or firewalled test, replication, or cluster environments within your resource pool.

Dive deeper into Networking on the vCloud Director in the next post of this series.


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