Getting Started with a vCloud Service Provider Part 2 (a customer How-To)

In the first part of this article I showed you how to get a vApp provisioned with two virtual machines. However we did not load the operating systems in them or do anything else, this article will show you how to upload media to your vCloud and how to get some basic networking setup. Let’s start with uploading media to your vCloud.

In the last article I mentioned that there were three ways to provision virtual machines. We picked the build from scratch option, because of this we will need to upload an ISO image to our vCloud Media Catalog. Think of this as the same as uploading an ISO to a datastore… the idea is the same… the process is a little different.

Uploading ISO installation media

After logging into your vCloud you will see several tabs across the upper area of the home screen, one of them is called “Catalog”, click that tab to enter the Catalog. The catalog will list all of your vApps as well as give you the ability to upload ISO’s and FLP images into your Media Catalog.

After entering the catalog screen click on the “Media” tab, then you will see a small hard drive icon with a green up arrow. This is the icon for uploading media to your catalog, click it.

After clicking the upload icon a new box will appear and allow you to select an ISO or FLP image from your PC. You will want to upload media from a machine with a fast upload speed, or if your provider offers it… use a remote desktop, VMware View desktop located at the datacenter. (The other option would be to contact your provider and see if they will upload it for you)

On this page you also need to enter a Name for the ISO, this is just a name that is significant to you. Then click upload, after doing so you will see one (maybe two) new boxes open up. One is an upload manager, and the other (if the providers SSL certificate is self signed) is asking you to accept the SSL certificate… name sure to look for this one and click Yes if it appears.

After clicking yes the ISO or FLP will start to upload and eventually the status (which says “Ready” in the above image) will say Completed. After all uploads have completed you can close the upload manager.

After completing the upload you can click on the “My Cloud” tab and then click on your vApp on the left. In this case mine is called WebApp1. After getting to the area where you can see your VM’s inside of the vApp, click on the blank area of the VM you want to load the OS on, then click the “CD” icon in the toolbar to select an ISO image to insert.

The box that pops up should list the ISO image that you just uploaded, select it and then click Insert.

One thing that I have noticed is that after inserting media your VM will say busy. Obviously it does take some time to insert the ISO, but not as long as it sits at busy. So to manually refresh the page click the blue circle arrow icon in the upper right area of the screen. After the VM no longer reads as busy you can click the green “Play” icon to power on the VM.

After powering on the VM and letting the web interface refresh you can click on the black screen thumbnail area and the VM’s console will open and allow you to interact with your new VM, just like you would if you were working with vSphere directly.

One last note: Once you have installed your guest OS you still need to install VMware Tools just like you did with your local vSphere VM’s. To do this go back to your vApp interface and high light the VM you want to install on by clicking once on it, then click the blue gear beside of the CD icon on the toolbar. From this menu you can select the option to install VMware Tools.

On to some basic networking

By default a vCloud External network (which if you read part one in the series is what I connected my two VM’s to in this vApp) can be either directly connected to the external network… or routed with a vShield Edge router. Most of the time in the public cloud space this will be a routed network. So inside of that routed network you will have no DHCP and will need to do one of two things.

  1. Assign your IP addresses manually
  2. Enable the vShield Edge router’s DHCP service

If we want to assign our IP addresses manually to our VM we can check to see what our subnet information is by clicking on the “Administration” tab and then clicking “Networks” on the left side.

After clicking on Networks you will see a list of the networks available to you, and it will also show you what the default gateway is along with the subnet mask. From that information we can assume that we can use any address in the 192.168.0.2-254 range and we can use 192.168.0.1 as our default gateway. As for DNS we can use any public DNS server, maybe your provider has already given you their preferred DNS server IP’s too.

Now for the second thing we can do… which is to enable the DHCP service on vShield Edge. To do this make sure you are still looking at the above screen (Administration->Networks). Now right click on the external network and select “Configure Services”

After clicking on “Configure Services” a box will appear and on the first tab we have the option to enable the DHCP server. Also make note of how you got to this area because if you want to do NAT’ing or configure firewall rules this is the area where you will do that (see the other tabs?).

At this point you should be able to do the following on your new vCloud:

  • Upload new installation media to your Catalog
  • Mount media to a virtual machine
  • Configure basic vShield Edge Services
  • Install your Virtual Machine operating systems and interact with guest OS’s

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