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Creating and managing a virtual machine

1

Creating a virtual machine

A virtual machine (VM) can be created in the Cloud Director using different ways: from our ready-made templates or from ISO and OVA/OVF images.
The most convenient one is the first option: creating VM-s from templates.
In this case, all VM resources can be set up immediately and there is a smaller chance for error.
Our templates are built following best practices and are periodically updated.
In addition, Linux templates have built-in capabilities to automatically increase disk space and file system.
Disk upgrades for Windows Servers must be done by using the disk manager.

1.  VM from our installation template :  Libraries -> vApp Templates -> Create vApp

When using wizard, you can set all the appropriate VM parameters immediately, so you don't need to take any actions later.

2.  VM from our installation template:  Data Centers -> Compute -> vApps -> Add vApp from Catalog

All the same as point one.

3.  VM from ISO image  or from our template      Data Centers -> Compute -> Virtual Machines -> New  VM

A) When creating a VM using the “New” option, you can perform a manual installation by using a bootable ISO file. To use the ISO file, you must first create a new folder in “Libraries -> Catalogs” and then upload the ISO file to “Libraries -> Media & Others” from your computer. By creating a VM from an ISO file, you can immediately configure the necessary resources in the wizard.

B) When creating a VM by using the “New” option and then “From Template” type, you cannot immediately add resources (CPU and RAM), this must be done later. We do not recommend this option, because it's timeworthy and error-prone.

4. vApp from ISO image or our installation template:  Data Centers -> Compute -> vApps -> New vApp

All the same as in the previous point, but when creating a VM, a vApp is created in both cases.

5. VMware virtual machine from OVA/OVF file -  Data Centers -> Compute -> vApps -> Add vApp from OVF 

Suitable if you want to transfer the machine from another environment or use a machine shared by someone else. When creating a VM, a vApp is also created.

 

2

Managing a virtual machine ("Actions" option)

Data Centers -> Virtual Machines -> Actions ->

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Power -> "Shut Down Guest OS" is a procedural shutdown of the VM. It is reasonable to use "Power Off" if, for example, you want to delete the VM or the operating system crashes.

"Power on, Force Recustomization" is needed to be used if you've changed the admin/root password or network and IP address. The VM must be stopped before starting. Explanations of the recustomization settings are below!

"Snapshot" could be used if you wish to save the state of the VM at some particular moment. Keep in mind that you have to have at least twice as much space in your hard disk as the size of your VM, otherwise snapshot will not be created. It is recommended to use snapshots before software updates and deleting them later on, because keeping a snapshot for already more than few days, will make the disk system slower. For example, a month-old snapshot can make the disk system four times slower. In the Cloud Director platform it's possible to create only one snapshot per VM. And if you make a template out of VM, the snapshot will not be included.

"VM Console" can be used depending on habits: it's possible to choose from “Launch Web Console” ja “Launch Remote Console”. Keep in mind that if you close the web console and want to reopen it, you will need to refresh the page. You can restart the operating system from the web console by using the "Ctrl + Alt + Del" button.

"Media" option "Insert Media" allows you to mount an ISO image from "Libraries -> Media & Others" to the VM. You can use it for installing operating systems, drivers and/or other applications. Do not leave ISO image mounted for too long, just as long as needed for the installation. To boot the ISO image, it is necessary to configure the boot sequence in the BIOS. You can enter the BIOS by checking the box "Enter BIOS Setup" in "VM Details -> General -> Edit" and restarting the VM.

"Install VMware Tools" is an essential and mandatory set of utilities for operating systems such as Windows, BSD, etc. It should be installed to every operating system that doesn't have VMware tools (open-vm-tools) preinstalled by default.
At startup the ISO image with utilities installer is mounted to the VM but further installation must be done independently. Without VMware Tools, the VMXNET network and many other functions, such as the mouse in the Windows console, will not work. Especially a necessary choice if you have installed the server yourself from an ISO image or moved the machine from elsewhere.

"Upgrade Virtual Hardware Version" is for upgrading the virtual machine's hardware version (if available). To do this, the VM must be first switched off. The upgrade is recommended and provides additional functionality.

"Move" is for moving a VM to another vApp.

"Copy" is for copying a VM to another vApp.

"Convert to vApp" -> If needed, you can convert the VM to vApp. To do this, the VM must first be switched off.

"Edit Badges" helps to tag VMs with different colors. Useful when you need to navigate between a large number of VMs.

"Delete" option is for deleting a VM but  it must be turned off before. Sometimes it is necessary to do PowerOff if vCloud is not aware of the VM status.

 

3

Managing a virtual machine ("Details" option)

Data Centers -> Virtual Machines -> clicking on the name of the VM or the button "Details"

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"General"

Information about the VM. By pressing "Edit" it will be possible to change the name and the operating system. You can also change the storage location of the VM. Changing the location also requires changing the location of the Hard Disk, which must be done separately. "Enter BIOS Setup" allows you to access the BIOS settings menu during the next boot.

"Hardware"

"Removable media" -> Information on whether something is mounted.

"Hard disks" -> Here you can increase the disk size. It's important to keep in mind: not to exceed the ordered resources; after increase you must increase the file system as well; disk size cannot be reduced later; disk can be increased while being "hot" (not turning off the VM).
Instruction how to increase the file system.. You can also change the disk storage policy, ie the VM is moved to another storage "hot" real time without interruption using VMware storage vMotion technology. Be sure to change the policy from the General menu as well. This moves the other files in the VM to the same location as the disk.

"Compute" -> Here you can add CPU or RAM but do not exceed the ordered resources. If the "Virtual CPU Hot add" is switched off, the machine is about 7% faster. Nevertheless, if you want to enable "Virtual CPU Hot add", the machine must be switched off first. For memory, we recommend keeping "Memory hot add" enabled. Due to the limitations of the Linux kernel, no more than 3GB of memory can be added to a running VM. To get rid of the limitation, you need to turn off the VM and increase the memory beyond 3GB. After that, the memory can be increased without any problems with a running VM.

"NICs" -> If you need to change, add or delete a network or IP address.

We recommend that you select “IP Pool” and the VM is given the first free IP out of the IP range assigned to you. You can also select “Manual IP” and set it yourself. In both cases, the automation configures the network settings in the operating system, and the network is operational when the machine is started using option "Power on, Force Recustomization". If you select DHCP, the DHCP service must be set up in advance, otherwise the VM network will not start. Can be used, for example, for an isolated network, which must be defined in advance under "Networking -> Networks". If you select “Internet” or “Public” under “Network”, then there is no DHCP support. If there is a routed network, DHCP must be configured in “Data Centers -> Networking -> Edge Gateways”. We don´t recommend using DHCP.

"Guest OS Customization"-> here you can enable/disable guest customization, which allows you to view and change admin account passwords. You can also put Windows Servers in a domain or run shell scripts on the machine.

"Metadata" badges help to tag virtual machines with different colors. Useful when you need to navigate between a large number of VMs. Additional information (metadata) can also be added to the VMs, making it easier, for example, through an API query to find specific VMs with similar characteristics.

"Monitor"

"Tasks" -> Log of procedures and changes

"Events"-> Log of past events

 

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