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Changes to Import and Capture in Abiquo 3.8

Since Abiquo 3.8, you can import and capture virtual machines that are running on datastores that are not enabled in Abiquo.

Capture from datacenters only

Capture of individual virtual machines is only available in private cloud.

Capture of virtual machines from public cloud regions is now supported with the onboard virtual datacenters from public cloud functionality that synchronizes existing virtual resources in public cloud. See Manage Virtual Datacenters#Onboardavirtualdatacenterfrompubliccloud

Introduction to the Import and Capture Process

When you add a physical machine to Abiquo, it may already have virtual machines running on it that were created outside of Abiquo. By default, when you create a physical machine, the virtual machines already running on it are imported into Abiquo. When you  import virtual machines, they are considered by Abiquo scheduling as reducing the number of available resources for scheduling, but they are not counted in platform statistics.

After the machines are imported, you can capture them, which means they will behave as Abiquo virtual machines. However, the captured virtual machine will not have a template in the Apps Library, so you should make an instance to back up or store the virtual machine disk if you wish to undeploy and redeploy the virtual machine. Abiquo cannot capture external storage volumes but you can add these later as Generic iSCSI volumes.

After you have captured all of the virtual machines you require, you can delete unmanaged virtual machines.  And if you wish to undo the capture process, release the virtual machines to the imported state.

Import and Capture Operations
ButtonNameLocationDescription
ImportPhysical machineAll the virtual machines that were already running on the physical machine when it was added to Abiquo will be retrieved and listed in Abiquo. They will now be listed and counted by Abiquo statistics and scheduling but they are not managed by Abiquo, which means that Abiquo cannot control these virtual machines. Valid operations are capture VMs or remove unmanaged VMs.
Remove unmanagedPhysical machineThe imported virtual machines that have not been captured will be removed from Abiquo, which means that they will no longer be counted by Abiquo statistics and scheduling and they will not be listed by Abiquo.
CaptureImported virtual machineThe imported virtual machine that is selected when you press this button will be captured and if the capture is successful, it will be managed by Abiquo. Valid operations are now release the VM and Abiquo VM operations for example, power on, power off, reconfigure to add a new NIC, create an instance.
ReleaseCaptured virtual machineThe captured virtual machine is now released into the imported state, meaning that it is not managed by Abiquo but it is counted by Abiquo statistics and scheduling.

 

This diagram shows the possible steps to import and capture virtual machines that were created outside of Abiquo.

Prerequisites to import virtual machines

Import virtual machines to get information about the virtual machines running on the hypervisor but not yet managed by the Abiquo platform. The import methods are as follows.

Import methodNotes
AutomaticYou can automatically import machines when you add a physical machine to Abiquo
ManualClick the import button on the physical machine control panel

To import a virtual machine from a physical machine in Abiquo, the phyiscal machine must be in an Abiquo private cloud datacenter, or in the process of being added to one.

Retrieve Once

Virtual machines that are already registered as retrieved or captured by Abiquo will not be retrieved again EXCEPT when the automatic import process is not complete and the user starts a manual import.

Prerequisites to capture virtual machines

To capture a virtual machine Abiquo already discovered, the prerequisites are as follows.

Element typeElementNotes
AbiquoVirtual datacenter

Create a virtual datacenter to hold the captured virtual machines before you capture them

 NetworksCreate Abiquo networks matching the networks that the virtual machines are attached to before you capture them. Abiquo will get the hypervisor VLAN tag and show you a list of compatible networks on the platform. You will need to get an IP address from the virtual machine itself because the hypervisor does not provide it to Abiquo.
 Virtual applianceCreate virtual appliances to hold the captured virtual machines before or during the capture 
Virtual machine compatibilityHard disk format

The format of the virtual machine hard disk must be compatible. See Template Compatibility Table

 NIC

The virtual machine must contain at least one compatible NIC with a MAC addresss configured

 Other virtual hardwareAll virtual hardware components should be compatible with Abiquo. See  Compatibility Tables.

Abiquo will skip incompatible virtual machines and incompatible virtual hardware components

Capture process

When capturing a VM, as part of the capture process:

  • Abiquo adds the VM to the Abiquo database as a captured machine
  • Abiquo Captures:


    • CPU and RAM
    • remote access configuration
      • Password is captured
      • If there is no password, remote access is disabled
      • Remote access can also be enabled when you reconfigure the VM after capture
    • Networks
      • Abiquo captures MAC addresses of compatible network cards
      • Abiquo lists the MAC addresses as NICs with the VLAN tags of the networks
        • IPs cannot be captured because hypervisors do not provide IPs
      • User assigns NICs to compatible networks available to the VDC in the DC with the same VLAN tags as the networks the VM is attached to
        • Public network
          • IPs must be purchased by the VDC
        • External network
        • Private network
          • User selects IP address
        • Unmanaged network
          • User optionally enters IPs
    • Hard Disks
      • Hard disks on the hypervisor datastore are captured
        • Hard disks can be attached to more than one controller, but Abiquo only supports one controller of each kind
    • External Storage
      • Volumes of external storage are NOT captured

If you imported a VM from a datastore that was then disabled, you can still capture it without problems. The capture process checks if the machine exists in the hypervisor and if it has been changed. Remember that Abiquo does not have a copy of the virtual machine system disk until you create an instance.

Captured VMs

When the VM is captured, it is essentially very similar to a VM created in Abiquo. Abiquo high availability supports captured virtual machines with an appropriate physical machine configuration (i.e. shared datastores, IPMI, etc.)

Undeploy Destroys the Captured Virtual Machine on the Hypervisor

If you undeploy the virtual machine, this will destroy the virtual machine on the hypervisor

  • Before you undeploy, create an instance to back up the virtual machine as a template in the Apps library

Differences from Abiquo VMs:

  • Undeploy 
    • Destroys the virtual machine on the hypervisor 
      • Create an instance before you undeploy the VM 
        • The instance will become a master VM template
  • Release 
    • Captured VMs can be released so they are no longer managed by Abiquo
    • These VMs will not be modified on the hypervisor

Capture limitations

  • You cannot capture NICs of virtual machines on IPv6 strict networks
  • External storage volumes are not imported
    • Persistent virtual machines will not be retrieved because their system disks are located on external volumes
    • External iSCSI storage volumes can be added as generic iSCSI volumes
  • Auxiliary hard disks can be attached to more than one controller, but Abiquo only supports one controller of each kind

Capture virtual machines

Step 1: Prepare network configuration

Abiquo can manage network connections when capturing virtual machines. Create Abiquo networks for the virtual datacenter where you will capture the virtual machines.

Step 2: Add the physical machine in Abiquo
  1. Add the physical machine
    1. Optional: enable the datastore(s) containing the virtual machines to import

Automatically import virtual machines when you create a physical machine

Click the checkbox to enable or disable the automatic import.

If you press the retrieve button before the import process is completed, you may see duplicate machines. Or one set of machines for each time you press the retrieve button. If this occurs:

  • Remove unmanaged machines
  • Retrieve virtual machines again using the manual import process described below

Step 3: Manually import virtual machines running on the physical machine

If you did not automatically import existing virtual machines when you added the physical machine to Abiquo, you can import them manually now.

Click the   Import button.  All the virtual machines found will appear in the Virtual Machine list with the imported icon .

These machines have been imported but not captured so they are known as unmanaged virtual machines .

Abiquo will:

  • refresh the state of these VMs as part of the VM health check
  • include these VMs in resource usage statistics, improving accuracy of physical machine statistics
  • take into account the resources used by the virtual machines when scheduling and allocating resources
Step 4: Capture a retrieved virtual machine

To onboard a retrieved virtual machine into Abiquo, select a virtual machine and press the Capture button  which is on the left of the Virtual Machine detail pane.

The Capture virtual machine screen will open, listing all the virtual appliances into which you can onboard the virtual machine.

Select a virtual appliance or create a new one by pressing the  Create button. The form to create a new virtual appliance is the same as the Create Virtual Appliance form.

When you have selected the virtual appliance where you want to put the virtual machine, click Accept to capture the virtual machine. The state of the virtual machine will be the same as in the hypervisor before the capture (powered on or powered off).

Step 5: Review General Information

Abiquo will show the General Information it has captured from the virtual machine. After the capture is complete, you can reconfigure the virtual machine. For example, when you reconfigure, you can enable remote access if it is not already enabled. 

Step 6: Configure Network

Abiquo will detect the MAC addresses of the NICs in your virtual machine. 

  • For each NIC
    • Select network type 
      • Unmanaged networks
        • Optionally enter IP address
      • Private networks, external networks and public networks
        • Select IP address

Step 7: Review Hard Disks

Abiquo will detect the hard disks created on the hypervisor datastore.

After reviewing the virtual machine configuration, click Accept to continue. Abiquo will capture the virtual machine.

State of the Virtual Appliance and Virtual Machines After Capture

If the virtual appliance was deployed before the capture, the new virtual machine will be added to the virtual appliance but no other changes will be made.

If the virtual appliance was undeployed (and contained VMs) before the capture, afterwards it will be deployed and Needs sync. The VM state of "Needs Sync" means the Synchronize virtual appliance button will display on the Virtual Appliance Detail Screen . When you click Synchronize virtual appliance, any machines that were not deployed before the capture will be deployed.

View Captured Virtual Machines

Captured virtual machines are indicated on the virtual machines pane with the capture icon beside the virtual machine.

 

Save a Template for a Captured Machine

After you capture a virtual machine, it is similar to an Abiquo virtual machine. However, this machine was not created from an Abiquo template, so the virtual machine will be destroyed if it is undeployed. To save a template for this virtual machine, create an instance. The instance will be stored as a master template. From this template, you can redeploy the virtual machine or create a persistent virtual machine.

Remove Unmanaged Virtual Machines

API Documentation

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

You can remove all unmanaged virtual machines from the platform. Unmanaged virtual machines are ones that were imported but not captured. The unmanaged machines are identified by the (warning) icon. Select the physical machine, and press the button to delete unmanaged machines.

The unmanaged virtual machines will no longer be displayed on the screen. Remember you can retrieve them again at any time.

Reconfigure Captured Virtual Machines

To reconfigure captured virtual machines, follow the same procedure as for virtual machines created in Abiquo. See Configure Virtual Machines.

Release Captured Virtual Machines

Captured virtual machines can be released so that they are no longer managed by Abiquo. Released machines are not modified or destroyed in the hypervisor. A captured virtual machine must be deployed in order for Abiquo to release it.

To release a captured virtual machine, click the release button on the virtual machine control panel.

Administrators should be aware of the implications of changes made in Abiquo for released machines. For example, users may have reconfigured the virtual machine to enable VNC.