Abiquo 5.0

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Introduction to import and capture VMs

Privilege: Manage infrastructure elements

In a private cloud datacenter, when you add a physical machine to Abiquo, it may already have VMs running on it, and you can import (retrieve) and capture these VMs.

When you import (also called "retrieve") VMs, they are registered but not managed by Abiquo. The platform will take into account the resources they use when scheduling and allocating resources, and track their state as part of the virtual infrastructure check. The platform will also include them to improve the accuracy of resource usage statistics.

You can then capture (also called "onboard") imported VMs so they will be managed by the platform. When you capture a VM it is almost identical to a VM created in Abiquo. The main difference is that when you capture a VM, Abiquo does not have a copy of the template disks in the Apps library. This means that you cannot automatically create a fresh copy of the VM with the same configuration and the template disks, by undeploying the VM and deploying it again to copy the template from the Apps library. When you capture a VM, to store the disks in the Apps library, you can create an Abiquo instance template, which you can then use to create a fresh copy of the VM.

Importing, capturing, releasing and removing VMs from the platform does not change them in the infrastructure; these operations only determine what operations the platform can perform on them.

This diagram shows steps to import and capture VMs that were created outside of Abiquo.

What does Abiquo import?

To import VMs (also called retrieve VMs), the physical machine must be in an Abiquo private cloud datacenter, or in the process of being added to one. You do not need to enable a datastore to import VMs that are running on the datastore. You cannot import persistent VMs with system disks that are located on external volumes.

What does Abiquo capture?

Abiquo captures the following VM configuration:

  • CPU and RAM including hardware profiles
  • Remote access configuration, including the password. But if there is no password, the platform disables remote access.
    • If a user later releases a VM, the changes made in the platform will remain the VM
  • MAC addresses of compatible NICs and their VLAN tags and network details. Abiquo recommends that your VMs should have at least one NIC. Exception: Abiquo does not capture NICs on IPv6 networks
  • Hard disks in compatible formats on the hypervisor datastores. See   Template Compatibility Table

During capture the platform will skip incompatible VMs and incompatible virtual hardware components. You cannot capture external storage volumes but you can add these afterwards as Generic iSCSI volumes. The platform does not add the virtual datacenter's default firewall policy to a VM as part of the capture process.

Undeploy Destroys the Captured Virtual Machine on the Hypervisor

When you undeploy a captured VM, this will destroy the VM on the hypervisor. If you would like to be able to redeploy it, before you undeploy, create an instance to copy the VM disks as a template in the Apps library.


Capture VMs

Before you capture a VM

  1. Obtain the details of the networks that the VM belongs to (VLAN tag, network address, netmask), and the IP address(es) of the VM
  2. Identify or create these networks and IPs in Abiquo, unless the VM is only in a default private network that Abiquo will manage

     Click here to show/hide the screenshot

  3. You will need to add the captured VM to a virtual datacenter (VDC), so if necessary, create a VDC. In order to do this, you will need to have already added a hypervisor of the same type as the one you are capturing from
    1. If the VM uses a public IP, purchase the appropriate public IP in the from Virtual datacenters → select Virtual datacenter → Network → Public.

       Click here to show/hide the screenshot

  4. If you wish to add a new cost code to the VM, create the cost code in Pricing view before you capture the VM

Retrieve VMs from a physical machine

Go to Infrastructure → Private → Servers

  • Add the physical machine and to automatically import VMs, select the Retrieve existing virtual machines checkbox

  • OR for an existing physical machine, to manually import VMs, select the physical machine and click the Retrieve virtual machines button

The imported VMs will appear in the list with the imported symbol . If duplicate VMs display, you may have clicked the retrieve button while an import process was already running. To remove duplicates, click the Remove unmanaged virtual machines button and then retrieve the VMs again.

Onboard a retrieved VM into Abiquo

  1. Select the VM and press the Capture VM button on the left of the VM detail pane.
  2. The Capture virtual machine dialog will open, listing all the compatible virtual appliances

     Click here to show/hide the screenshot

    Select the virtual appliance in the VDC with the network address, or create a new one by pressing the  Create button.

  3. Click Accept  to capture the VM.

  4. Review the General Information of the captured VM

    1. Optionally select a cost code for the VM

    • After capture, you can reconfigure the VM to enable remote access. On vCenter, configure WebMKS access to enable hot reconfigure of remote access on captured VMs
  5. Configure and assign the corresponding network and IP configuration to each NIC. Select a default gateway.

  6. Review hard disks that Abiquo will capture

  7. After reviewing the VM configuration, click Accept to continue. Abiquo will now capture the VM.

Captured VMs are indicated on the VMs pane with the capture icon beside the VM.

If the virtual appliance was deployed before the capture, the new VM 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 in the Needs sync state.

Remove Unmanaged VMs

API Documentation

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

You can remove all unmanaged VMs from the platform by clicking the Remove unmanaged virtual machines button. The imported VMs will no longer be displayed on the screen. Remember you can retrieve them again at any time.

Release Captured VMs

You can release captured VMs so that Abiquo does not manage them. The platform does not make any changes to VMs when it releases them. It is only possible to release a captured VM that is deployed.

To release a captured VM, click the release button on the VM control panel. Any changes made to the VM in Abiquo will remain. For example, users may have reconfigured the VM to enable VNC.

When you release a captured VM in private cloud and a network virtualization system is in use:

  • The platform will remove the association with the VM from the firewall/s and load balancer/s in the platform
  • Firewalls and load balancers will remain in the platform
  • In the network virtualization system, the firewalls and loadbalancers will still be associated with the VM
  • If you decide to capture the VM again, you should add it to the same virtual datacenter

Recovery of captured VMs after physical machine changes

When you delete a physical machine, the platform will put all VMs in the “Not allocated” state, without changing the VMs on the hypervisor. You cannot deploy the captured VMs again unless you recreate them from an instance template.

If you later add the physical machine again or upgrade to cluster as physical machine, the platform will automatically update all VMs from the hypervisor, returning captured VMs to a deployed state. In the API these recovered VMs will have the same ID and URL as before.

Links related to import and capture