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Abiquo 2.6


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This section describes the main concepts related to the Apps Library in a datacenter. Note that there are some differences of terminology between the Abiquo API and the GUI.

For information about the managing the Apps Library in a public datacenter, see the provider documentation. For example, for Amazon EC2, see http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/AMIs.html.

Virtual Machine Template

A virtual machine template is used to deploy a virtual machine. A virtual machine template consists of:

  • a virtual machine template definition
  • virtual machine template disk files, which include the system disk and icon files

A virtual machine template may be downloaded from a remote template repository or uploaded by a user from their local filesystem. When a Template Definition is available in a datacenter's NFS repository, it is logically represented in the appliance library as a Virtual Machine Template . This was previously known as a  virtual image .

The following are also virtual machine templates:

API Documentation

For the Abiquo API documentation of this feature, see Abiquo API Resources and the page for this resource VirtualMachineTemplateResource.

Virtual machine templates are represented by VM template icons in the appliance library view. 

Virtual Machine Template Definition

A template definition contains all the essential information for creating a virtual machine. It is a simplified version of the .ovf descriptor. If you load the .ovf descriptor and the associated disk files into the Apps Library, Abiquo will create a virtual machine template definition. 

 Click here to expand an example template definition
  <templateDefinition>
    <link title="OS" rel="category"
    type="application/vnd.abiquo.category+xml"
    href="http://localhost:80/api/config/categories/9" />
    <link rel="edit"
    type="application/vnd.abiquo.templatedefinition+xml"
    href="http://localhost:80/api/admin/enterprises/1/appslib/templateDefinitions/111" />
    <link rel="enterprise"
    type="application/vnd.abiquo.enterprise+xml"
    href="http://localhost:80/api/admin/enterprises/1" />
    <id>111</id>
    <url>
    http://abiquo-repository.abiquo.com/ubuntu-9.04/ubuntu-9.04-i386-sparse.1.5.ovf</url>
    <name>Ubuntu Linux 9.04 32 bits</name>
    <description>Ubuntu is a computer operating system based on the
    Debian Linux distribution. Ubuntu provides an up-to-date,
    stable operating system for the average user, with a strong
    focus on usability and ease-of-installation. Log in as 'root'
    with password 'abiquo'</description>
    <productName>Ubuntu Linux 9.04 32 bits</productName>
    <iconUrl>
    http://abiquo-repository.abiquo.com/s3direct/ubuntu-9.04/ubuntu_logo.png</iconUrl>
    <diskFormatType>VMDK_SPARSE</diskFormatType>
    <diskFileSize>764</diskFileSize>
    <osType>UBUNTU</osType>
    <ethernetDriverType>E1000</ethernetDriverType>
    <diskControllerType>IDE</diskControllerType>
  </templateDefinition> 

The template definition includes the following essential information:

  • Disk template (including a link to the disk, and provisioned size, format, etc.)
  • Hardware (CPU, RAM)
  • Product (additional metadata: name, description, icon, category, installed software)

Notes:

  • A template definition can only include one virtual system; you can create systems with multiple virtual machines using virtual appliances within Abiquo.
  • A template definition can only include one virtual disk; you can add more disks using External Storage or by creating hard disks, see Configure Virtual Machines
  • In general, Abiquo will automatically create a hard disk controller based on the hypervisor configuration; by default this is usually a SCSI adapter. See VM Disk Controllers in Abiquo
  • If no network adapter is specified in the .ovf descriptor, Abiquo will automatically create an E1000 network adapter. See Extended OVF Support and Template Definition. You can create complex network configurations within Abiquo.

The template definition is stored in a template repository. After a template definition is loaded into the appliance library, it is known as a virtual machine template. Abiquo generates a virtual machine template based on information provided when the template definition is loaded into Abiquo. This information can be supplied in an .ovf descriptor file or it can be entered in a popup in the Abiquo GUI.

Abiquo OVF Package is now Template Definition

In Abiquo, the OVF Package is now known as a Template Definition. In the OVF Standard, the term OVF Package refers to multiple files: an OVF descriptor (.ovf) that is linked to a virtual disk file (e.g. vmdk). It can also refer to a .ova file, which is a RAR compressed archive of these files.

API Documentation

For the Abiquo API documentation of this feature, see Abiquo API Resources and the page for this resource TemplateDefinitionResource.

For information about which elements of the .ovf descriptor are used by Abiquo, see OVF Reference

Remote Template Repository

A remote template repository organizes lists of virtual machine template definitions outside of the Abiquo platform. Users can download virtual machine templates from the remote template repository.

A remote template repository is an external provider of virtual machine template definitions and disk files under the OVF standard and it is available from another physical location. It is not part of a datacenter. Templates in a remote repository template will be stored and configured to be used directly in the Abiquo infrastructure.

Access to template repositories is managed by enterprise and all the users of the enterprise can access the enterprise's repositories, regardless of which datacenter they are working in.

Create your own sources

Remote Repository is now called Remote Template Repository

In Abiquo, a Remote Repository is now known as a Remote Template Repository. It has been renamed to distinguish it from the NFS repository (appliance library), which is a separate part of each datacenter in the Abiquo platform.

Appliance Library

The Appliance Library view displays the virtual machine templates available for the current enterprise in the selected datacenter. The appliance library is stored in the "NFS repository", which by default uses NFS but may also use CIFS or some other protocol.

Each datacenter works with the NFS repository configured for its Appliance Manager remote service.

Datacenters Cannot Share an Appliance Library or NFS Repository

Multiple Datacenters cannot work with the same repository export location (NFS address), so you cannot create a datacenter using the same Appliance Manager or a different Appliance Manager configured with the same abiquo.appliancemanager.repositoryLocation

Users can see the Appliance Library for their enterprise in the datacenter, which is the Enterprise Appliance Library.

Screenshot: an enterprise has one Apps Library for each datacenter.

Appliance Library

An enterprise repository contains all template definitions available for the selected datacenter, organized by categories and either shared or private.

Instance of Virtual Machine Template

Instances are copies of virtual machine template disks that are stored in the appliance library. You can use instances for creating new virtual machines.

Instances are marked with a triangular blue "S" symbol. By definition an instance has a master template that it was copied from. Master templates are marked with a triangular yellow "M" symbol.

You cannot delete a master template if there are instances of this template used in deployed virtual machines. However, you can delete the template disk file and make the template unavailable to users.

Virtual-to-Virtual Conversion

The Abiquo Virtual-to-Virtual or V2V converts templates to the different virtual disk formats for deployment on different hypervisors. This conversion is a background process that runs every time a user downloads a virtual machine template or creates an instance of a virtual machine.

The Abiquo V2V process will convert into the default disk format for each hypervisor in the platform. If there are no hypervisors present, it will convert into the default format for all hypervisors. 

If a hypervisor supports more than one format, then templates that are not supported by Abiquo for this hypervisor will be converted to the default format. Other formats will not be converted. For example, the default format for ESX/ESXi is VMDK Fixed Disk, so templates downloaded in formats not supported for ESX/ESXi will be converted to VMDK fixed disk for ESX/ESXi. Images downloaded in VMDK Sparse Disk will not be converted. 

After the conversion process completes, the template will be ready for deployment in any hypervisor on the system. The V2V conversion process depends on the Business Process Manager (BPM) Remote Service and the Appliance Manager (AM) Remote Service.

Template conversions are listed on the Edit virtual machine template popup.

Template Best Practices

Add your physical machines with your hypervisors before downloading templates in order to optimize your NFS repository space.

  • When creating a datacenter, the cloud administrator should add at least one machine with the desired hypervisor type. For example, to offer VMware and XenServer capabilities in a datacenter, the cloud administrator should add at least two machines, one with XenServer and one with VMware.
  • When a user downloads a template to the local repository of a datacenter (Appliance Library), the process will automatically convert it to run on all hypervisors in the datacenter. By default, the process will convert to all hypervisor types if there is no physical machine in the datacenter.
  • Finally, when adding a new hypervisor type to the datacenter, the administrator will be able to update the conversions to include the new hypervisor type.

Apps Library Symbols

The template icons in the appliance library are marked with the following symbols.

Symbol

Description

Indicates a shared template that may be used by all enterprises. Only a user with the "Administer all enterprises" privilege (by default Cloud Admin) can enable and manage sharing. See Share Virtual Machine Templates

Indicates a master template with instances created of machines using this template. Click on the template to open the instance view

The Chef template icon used by the administrator to indicate to Abiquo which templates are Chef-enabled

Indicates a secondary template that is an instance of a master template. If Abiquo displays a secondary template in the main Apps Library view, this means that the master template is unavailable. Click the checkbox to display Deleted Masters to display the master template in the main view and the instances in the instance view
This symbol is only visible when the checkbox to display Deleted Masters is selected. It indicates that a template is unavailable. This means that the template disk file has been deleted but the template definition is still in the Apps Library. You can restore the template by replacing the disk file. When the template is no longer in use in virtual machines and has no dependent instances, you can delete the template.

The Shared and Chef parameters and other characteristics can be set when you Modify a VM Template.