How to create a VM by booting from an ISO

Introduction
Steps to create a VM from an ISO image file
Step 1: Select the zone and hypervisor
Step 2: Select the ISO
Step 3: Configure the compute offering
Step 4: Configure the root disk offering
Step 5: Set the membership of affinity groups (optional)
Step 6: Configure networks
Step 7: Review and launch the VM
Completing the OS installation

 

Introduction

This document describes how to create (deploy) a new VM from an operating system that is stored as a 'bootable' ISO image file.

An 'ISO image file' is a general-purpose file format that traditionally has been used to copy software or data to CD-ROM or DVD-ROM optical media. In cloud computing an ISO file is used as a virtual equivalent to a physical CD or DVD.

This document assumes that you have already uploaded an appropriate ISO image to your VDC. See How to upload an ISO to your VDC.

You must ensure that your use of any ISO is compliant with the licensing requirements and the terms and conditions of the owners of any operating system or applications software that is contained in the ISO. Particular rules apply to the use of Microsoft products in a cloud environment; for more information see VDC Windows licensing. Please contact the Interoute licensing team, , if you have any questions.

Deployment does not finish the installation process for your VM. What you will have is effectively an 'empty' VM with an operating system that boots from an external drive. To finish the installation you will have to start the VM console and use the installation program in the ISO to install the operating system to the VM root disk. After running an OS update (for important bugfixes, etc), you might at that point want to create a 'volume snapshot' of the VM root disk. From the snapshot you can create and store a VM template which will allow you in future to deploy a new VM in ready-to-run state. See How to take a snapshot of a volume.

Steps to create a VM from an ISO image file

To create a virtual machine, login to the VDC Control Centre and click Virtual Machines in the left-hand menu. Then click the Add Virtual Machine button at the top right.

To create a VM requires you to select the following:

  • The VDC zone and hypervisor where the VM will run.

  • The ISO image file.

  • The ‘compute offering’: the number of CPUs and the internal RAM memory.

  • The ‘disk offering’: the size of the VM root disk.

  • The affinity groups to which the VM will belong (optional).

  • The network(s) to be connected to the VM.

The VM root disk will be deployed using SSD physical media, sized according to your choice of disk offering. The size of the root disk can be increased at any time (but not decreased) for a deployed virtual machine, so long as the VM is in a 'stopped' state.

Important

You must have at least one network in place in a zone before starting to create a VM. New VDC user accounts are provided with a default 'Local with Internet Gateway' network in each Zone.

 

The Add Virtual Machine wizard leads you through the creation procedure in seven steps. A visual progress indicator is displayed in the form of a picture of a physical desktop PC case into which the hardware and operating system components are slotted as you progress. You can use the Next and Previous buttons to move through the steps and make changes before you are finished.

Step 1: Select the zone and hypervisor

Select your desired zone and hypervisor from the drop-down list. 'ESX' means the VMWare ESXi hypervisor.

Click the ISO button to set the basis for the operating system.

Click Next.

Step 2: Select the ISO

Click the My ISOs tab to show the ISOs that you have uploaded (in the selected zone).

Select the ISO image you wish to use. You also need to tick the 'agree to terms and conditions' box at the bottom.

Click Next.

Step 3: Configure the compute offering

Use the sliders to select the desired amount of RAM (in Gigabytes) and the number of CPUs for the VM. Note that these are independent choices, there are no restrictions on the CPU/RAM combinations available.

You can modify these settings at any time for a VM that is stopped.

Click Next.

Step 4: Configure the root disk offering

Select one of the 'root disk' options in the list of offerings: 10GB VM, 20GB VM, 40GB VM, 60GB VM, 80GB VM, 100GB VM.

It is recommended not to use the root disk to hold application or user data, and therefore the root disk should be deployed at a size sufficient to accommodate only the operating system and essential applications software. Application data and user data should preferably be stored on 'data disk' volumes; see How to add a volume to your VM. The root disk can be resized at any time if more space is required.

Click Next.

Step 5: Set the membership of affinity groups (optional)

As an option, if you have any affinity groups defined they will be displayed here and one or more can be selected.

See How to use affinity groups to create resilient VM solutions.

Click Next.

Step 6: Configure networks

The Networks list will show the existing networks in the zone that you may use.

The network marked Default must be used, and others can be added. To change which is the Default network, click the appropriate radio button.

Specify the local IP address for the VM: If you click the cog wheel button for a network then you can specify the local IP address for the VM in the network (otherwise it will be chosen randomly from the unassigned addresses). You will need to know the CIDR address range for the selected network: to find it, you need to click Network on the left-hand menu and look for the CIDR range next to the network name. But note you cannot do this while the Add Virtual Machine dialog is active.

Click Next.

Step 7: Review and launch the VM

The VM configuration that you have entered is shown for you to review. To make changes, the Edit links will take you directly to the indicated step. Or use the Previous and Next buttons to move through the different steps.

A Name for the VM is optional but recommended (otherwise the name will contain the VM's UUID).

When you are ready, click the Launch VM button. The setup dialog will close and the name of the new VM will appear in your virtual machines list.

In the 'State' column of the list you will see an indicator of the VM being in state 'Starting'. If you are creating a VM on a new or empty network, it may take slightly longer for the VM to deploy because a virtual router has to be created for the network services. You may need to refresh your view of the Control Centre to see the current VM status: that is, click to any different panel, then re-click the Virtual Machines button.

Once the VM deployment has completed, the State will show 'Running' with a green indicator dot. Your 'Running' and 'Total VMs' numbers in the Dashboard will also be updated.

Completing the OS installation

To finish the OS installation for your VM, you must connect to the VM console (see How to access your VM using the console) and use the installation program contained in the ISO.

It is usual to have the VM connected to the Internet during the installation procedure. A new VM has no network connections set up by default, inbound or outbound. To make an outbound Internet connection by setting the network egress rules, see How to allow your VM to access the public Internet network.

To set up the network egress, you will need to find out the local IP address of the VM, in case you did not specify it above, at deploy step 6. To do this, click the VM name in the Virtual Machines panel, then click the NICs tab. Alternatively, simply set '0.0.0.0/0' as the CIDR for the egress rule so that all of the VMs in the network can use that egress. Set Protocol to All initially, and you can make the egress more restricted later when the VM is configured and running.