vCloud Director - Managing vApps

Before starting this chapter, please make sure you're on My Cloud section of vCloud Director.

My Cloud section welcome screen will look something like this (once you have vApps and Virtual Machines).

Managing vApps

The initial view of My Cloud will show you a list of vApps.

The top menu of vApp section contains a couple of useful options:

Some of them may seem redundant, but it is important to fully understand them so that you can get most out of vCloud Director.

Deploying vApps from Catalogs

allows you to deploy vApps from Catalogs. Once you create your own vApp Templates, this will become a useful option, but initially, you can use it to deploy Cloud Propeller's Public Templates.

We have pre-built images images of most common Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, etc.) and vApps (OpenVPN, Vyatta, etc.) ready to deploy, which can save you a decent amount of time.

To deploy an image from Public Catalog, click the , and choose to look in

then choose All Templates option

and, finally, choose the vApp you wish to deploy

The configuration wizard screens that follow are absolutely self explanatory. They'll guide you through choosing virtual machine resources, networks, and the chosen vApp will be deployed into your Virtual Datacenter.

Deploy vApp from OVF

OVF stands for Open VM Format, and just about any vApp publicly available for download (like OpenVPN, firewalls, load balancers, etc.) comes in this format by default. Underneath it all, OVF is just a ZIP archive of a Virtual Machine Configuration File (vmx), and Virtual Disk Images (VMDK files).

option will allow you to deploy an OVF-wrapped Appliance (vApp) by either specifying it directly on your local machine's hard drive, or by entering a direct URL to an OVF file available somewhere on the Internet.

Creating New vApp From Scratch

While vApp Templates and OVFs are great for some things, at times you'll want to deploy your own vApp (and Virtual Machines) from scratch (as in, blank VMs on which you can install your own Operating System).

option allows you to do just that. The Setup Wizard will guide you though creating a new vApp, and will allow you to actually combine VMs within it, by both being able to (1) add existing ones from vApp Templates in Catalogs as well as (2) create your own fresh VMs.

This is actually a very powerful tool for deploying Virtual Machines, and the most commonly used one. We will go into details in the next chapter.

Managing vApp Power States

These options are straight forward. You can Start (Power On) vApps that are either Powered Off (or Suspended). Note that Powering On a vApp means that all Virtual Machines within it (as many as there are) will also be powered on.

Stopping vApps will in turn Power Off all Virtual Machines within it.

If you recall from earlier in this chapter, in vApp Option (right click on vApp, choose Properties) you can actually set the Start and Stop order of VMs within a vApp. Another thing you can also do is set exactly what action clicking Power On and Power Off does.

While Powering On action is not all that interesting (you can either Power On or Not Power On a VM when vApp Power On button is pressed), the Power Off ation is.

By default, Powering Off a vApp will not initiate a Graceful Shutdown of your Virtual Machine, rather, it will perform an equivalent of pulling a plug on physical hardware. As you can guess, this may not always be the best option, especially for say - Database Servers, as it may at rare instances cause loss of uncommited data.

In vApp Properties pane you can choose, per VM, which VMs are OK to Power Off, and which should initiate a Graceful Shutdown through VMware Tools. Do note that if you set an option to Shut Down instead of Power Off you should make sure your VM has latest VMware Tools (or Open VM Tools) installed, otherwise Graceful Shutdown will not work. In such case, VM will stay powered on and your vApp Power Off action will hang and ultimately fail.

Creating vApp Templates

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