How to upload a template to your VDC

Introduction
Managing templates in your VDC
What templates can I upload?
How to register (upload) a template
Using an uploaded template to create a VM
Using OVA files that contain images for a multi-disk VM

 

Introduction

A template is a source 'image' for a virtual machine. Essentially it consists of the root disk of a virtual machine, with a base operating system and applications software. A template can be an unmodified operating system from a software provider (Ubuntu Linux, for example), or it can be an image of a virtual machine that you have created and customised.

This document describes how to upload and register a template. As well as uploading templates, you can create templates from VMs in your VDC, by using a snapshot of a root disk. See How to create a template from a volume snapshot.

You may store a maximum of 20 uploaded or created templates in your VDC.

Important

You must ensure that your use of any template 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 template. 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.

 

Managing templates in your VDC

To see and manage the templates in your VDC, login to the Control Centre and click Templates on the left-hand menu. Make sure the Select view drop-down is set to Templates.

The VDC Control Centre organises templates into different categories, which are viewed separately using the Filter by drop-down. All of the templates uploaded or created by you will be located in the Mine category.

For templates that are owned by you, it is possible to delete them. Note that deletion is immediate and there is no recovery backup.

What templates can I upload?

Template formats are specific to each type of hypervisor. For the ESXi hypervisor in VDC, the required format is 'OVA'.

An OVA template should preferably include a 'VMware tools' package. This enables VMs deployed from the template to be dynamically scalable (that is, the number of CPUs and RAM memory can be altered while the VM is running).

VM images in OVA templates need to be single-disk to be uploaded to VDC (that is, only containing a root disk). However, it is possible to use a multi-disk OVA file by editing it into several image files.

How to register (upload) a template

You can upload a template from any Internet static URL. A URL containing '?' or any active code (for example, 'php' or 'js') will not work.

A temporary website can be easily created in Interoute Object Storage by uploading your OVA file and activating the function Static website hosting. (Note: you don't need to include any index or error files; all you need is the temporary URL to access the OVA file.)

Here is a URL for a sample template (CentOS linux version 6.4, 64-bit), stored in Object Storage, that you can use for testing purposes:

http://vdcexamples.s3-website-eu.object.vdc.interoute.com/CentOS64-template-121213.ova

To begin uploading, click Templates in the left-hand menu and click the Add Template button.

The following dialog box should appear:

You must complete the following inputs (the others are optional):

  • URL: The source location of the template to be uploaded

  • Name: Insert any text for a template name

  • Description: Insert any text for a template description

  • Zone: Select the VDC zone where the template will be available; each registration applies to only one zone (but you can use the Copy Template function later to copy the template to other zones)

  • Hypervisor: Choose 'VMware' for ESXi

  • Format: Choose 'OVA' for hypervisor 'VMware/ESXi'

  • OS Type: Choose the OS Type of your template (this information is used by the hypervisor to tune the deployment for optimum VM performance); if the exact type is not listed choose 'Other'

  • Extractable: Tick this box if you want the uploaded template to be downloadable from VDC (however, downloads are not possible under user control and you need to submit a Request Ticket)

  • Password Enabled: Tick this box if your OVA file contains programs to support this VM function

  • Dynamically scalable: Tick this box if your OVA file contains programs to support this VM function

The first stage of the upload should complete within a few seconds (which means that the URL is resolved and an OVA file has been found): the new template name will be added to the list, and a 'Task success' pop-up box will appear in the bottom part of the screen. Since templates are large files they will typically take several minutes to upload. Click the name of the new template to display its status information. Check for the attribute 'Ready' being 'Yes' and 'Status' being 'Download Complete'.

It is possible that the upload may fail if an OVA file cannot be found at the given URL, or if the OVA file is not readable; any errors will be indicated in the 'Status' attribute.

Using an uploaded template to create a VM

Your uploaded template can be used in the same way as any of the standard templates to deploy a VM.

At the template selection step of the Add Virtual Machine procedure (see How to create a virtual machine), click the My templates tab to see the list of your own uploaded or created templates.

You need to test your new template with a full deployment, and login to the console, as failures due to incompatibility with the hypervisor virtual hardware are possible. Note that VMX-9 is the virtual hardware version that is currently supported by the ESXi hypervisor in VDC.

Using OVA files that contain images for a multi-disk VM

An OVA file containing mutiple disk images cannot be used directly in VDC. However the OVA can be manually opened up and re-arranged into several image files, which can then be imported into VDC to rebuild the VM. Please contact VDC LiveChat for assistance.

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