How to import licensed Red Hat virtual machine templates to Interoute VDC

Introduction
Prerequisites
Uploading and deploying Red Hat virtual machines from an ISO image
Uploading and deploying Red Hat virtual machines from an exported 'OVA' image

 

Introduction

This document describes importing Red Hat virtual machine images into Interoute Virtual Data Centre, which are to be licensed under the Red Hat® Cloud Access program.

Do not follow this document if you wish to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) machines on a pay-as-you-go license basis in VDC. You should use the CloudStore product pages for RHEL version 6 or RHEL version 7 to deploy virtual machines.

There are two types of image import: importing Red Hat ISO images to deploy new virtual machines, or importing the 'exported' images of your existing virtual machines, in which case your machines can be deployed into VDC with their installed applications and data ready to run. Exported images need to be created in a particular format ('OVA file') in order to be compatible with VDC.

Prerequisites

Uploading and deploying Red Hat virtual machines from an ISO image

You should use a 'bootable' ISO image of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), as provided by Red Hat.

For the upload, VDC needs to be able to access the ISO file at a permanent Internet URL. A URL containing '?' or any active code, for example 'php' or 'js', will not work.

For step-by-step instructions see the following documents:

For an ISO-derived virtual machine, 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 a virtual 'drive'. To finish the installation you will have to start the VM console and work through the OS installation procedure. After running an OS update (for bug fixes, 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 private VM template which will allow you in future to deploy a new VM in ready-to-run state.

For a VM to be able to access Red Hat's software repositories for installation and updating, you need to attach the VM to a 'Local with Internet Gateway' network with egress rules defined.

Uploading and deploying Red Hat virtual machines from an exported 'OVA' image

VDC uses 'template' files as sources for deploying virtual machines. To upload a template containing an image of your existing Red Hat virtual machine, you must 'export' the machine in the specific format of a 'VMDK' disk image contained inside an 'OVA' archive file. Only this format is compatible with the VMware 'ESXi' hypervisor used in VDC.

For the upload, VDC needs to be able to access the OVA file at a static Internet 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.)

The upload ('register template') process creates a private template (you can store up to 20 of these in a VDC account) which you can use in the same way as any of the standard VDC templates. For step-by-step instructions, see the document How to upload a template to your VDC.

Note for the 'Dynamically scalable' option in the 'Register template' dialog: Dynamic scaling of a VM is only possible if the OVA machine image contains appropriate software for the VMware hypervisor.

For a VM to be able to access Red Hat's software repositories for updating, you need to attach the VM to a 'Local with Internet Gateway' network with egress rules defined. You can do this during the VM deployment.

Important

Template uploads are only possible for OVA files containing single disks (i.e., one VMDK file). OVA files containing mutiple disk images cannot be used directly with VDC. However the OVA can be opened up and re-arranged into several image files, which can then be imported into VDC to rebuild the VM. For advice about this, please contact the VDC LiveChat service (see How to get support).

 

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