With specs, you can save the configuration of virtual appliances including VMs, storage, networks, monitoring, Chef, firewalls, and load balancers. When users create a new virtual appliance based on a spec (also referred to as to "materialize" a spec), the platform will automatically use existing virtual resources or create new ones for this virtual appliance.
The limitations of specs are as follows:
Users should also be aware of differences in features between private and public cloud environments.
To create a version of a spec, log in to the owner enterprise (that created the spec). Then go to Virtual datacenters and open a virtual appliance created from the spec
From the Virtual appliance spec button, select Create new spec version
Screenshot: create a spec or spec version
To create a virtual appliance based on a spec, go to Virtual datacenters → V. Appliances list → select Create virtual appliance based on spec.
Screenshot: create a virtual appliance based on a spec
To manage specs, go to the owner enterprise → Apps library → Virtual appliance specs.
Screenshot: Apps library specs tab
When creating the new virtual appliance based on the spec, the platform will:
The following VM configuration elements are saved and created by virtual appliance specs. Support for elements is marked for datacenters (DC) and public cloud regions (PCR). When creating a virtual appliance from a spec, the platform will assign the spec icon to the virtual appliance.
|Element||Save in Spec||Create in VApp from saved configuration|
|General information: hardware profiles, CPU, RAM, remote access and description||Same. If a matching hardware profile is not found, the platform will activate or create one, or the user can select another available hardware profile|
|Anti-affinity layers||VMs in layers||Same|
|Scaling groups||Scaling groups are not supported|
|VM templates||Template name is saved|
The system matches the spec template name against the Apps library template name. The user selects from a list of templates with names that contain the spec template name. The match is done with an SQL %LIKE% command from the spec to the template, so spec template "m0n0" will match with "m0n0" and "m0n0wall" in the Apps library. But spec template "m0n0wall" will not match with "m0n0" in the Apps library
|Template auxiliary hard disks|
Template system disks and other datastore hard disks and their tiers are saved
The platform will create template disks in order as in the template with no gaps in the sequence. Then empty additional hard drives and volumes will be added in the same order as in the base virtual appliance. The platform will search for datastore tiers by name, as for templates
|Persistent VMs||Persistent VMs are not supported. To create a spec from a persistent VM, first create an instance, which is a non-persistent template|
|Private network, Private IPs||Save private network characteristics: network address and mask only. Save private IPs|
The materialize process will present the addresses of the spec private networks. Abiquo will display matching networks in the virtual datacenter in green text, and ones that are not present in red text. Abiquo will display the number of private IPs to use in each network.
The user can choose to change any private network, even if it matches the spec network. The user can choose to create a new network (specifying the IP address, mask and gateway), or replace the network with an existing VDC network.
|Network gateways||Abiquo will determine if a NIC has a gateway IP address and save this information in the spec|
|Public network||Number of public IPs is saved|
The materialize process will try to use public IPs that were already purchased by the enterprise. These public IPs will be momentarily quarantined during the materialization process. If not, the materialize process will purchase new public IPs. The public networks will be used in the order returned by the API. In public cloud, the platform will use floating IPs
|External IPs||Not supported, except for basic support in vCloud|
If you create a spec containing an external IP, the materialize process will fail because the external IP is unsupported.
In vCloud, specs have basic support for external networks. The validation process will list the network, and you can select it and then continue with the process. The platform will create the VApp correctly. Remember to ensure that there are enough external IP addresses available for the new virtual appliance
|Unmanaged IPs||Not supported||If you create a spec containing an unmanaged IP, the materialize process will fail because the unmanaged IP is unsupported.|
Data on external storage volumes is not included. To use data on a volume, create an instance to save it to a template disk
The specifications, disk controller types, and tiers of the volumes are saved in private cloud
|Hard disk (data)|
Data on hard disks attached to the VM is not included. To use data on a hard disk, create an instance to save it to the template
|Empty hard disks with the same specifications as the attached hard disks are created. Empty disks are named Empty disk-UUID|
|Hard disk (specifications)|
The specifications, disk controller types and tiers of the hard disks are saved in private cloud
|Backup configuration||Configured backups are stored in private cloud||Backups are configured|
Firewalls attached to VMs or load balancers are saved
|Load balancers||Load balancers attached to VMs are saved, including health checks and so on|
|Alarms and Alerts|
Alarms and alerts are saved
The materialize process creates all existing alarms and alerts, regardless of the existence of their corresponding metrics
|VM variables||VM variables are saved|
Chef status, runlist and attributes are stored
To display Vapp specs
The platform will display all the specs available in the platform.
To display details of a VApp spec, hover over its icon.
To display the details of a VApp spec's Versions, click the options button on the icon and select Versions. The Manage spec versions dialog will open. Click on a Version to display its details.
Screenshot: Virtual appliance specs tab and Details panel
To modify a VApp spec, on its icon click from the options menu, and select Edit
A short name to identify the VApp spec. This will be the default name of a VM created from this template.
A description of the configuration of the virtual appliance spec
Enter the URL for the template's icon. This must be a URL with a public IP address, not localhost or 127.0.0.1. It may be the URL of the Abiquo Server. A default icon is assigned if the spec does not have one. Abiquo recommends that you use square icon images with a size of 128x128 pixels. A transparent background also makes icons look better. The compatible image formats are PNG, JPG and GIF.
If the spec is shared with other enterprises, then all users will see the icon. Changing the icon of the original spec will not change the icon of virtual appliances you previously created from the spec
When you have finished working with the spec, click Accept
To manage allowed locations:
Troubleshooting spec locations
When designing a virtual appliance for use in more than one location, please consider the following:
When you create a virtual appliance spec, the platform automatically sets this first version as the default version.
When you create another version you can choose to make this version the default.
To change the default version of a spec:
To unset the default, so that users will always work with the latest version:
To delete a version of a spec, select it and click the Delete button. If you delete the default version, then the platform will return the latest version to users.
You can delete spec versions or the entire spec. When you delete a virtual appliance spec, the platform will also delete all its versions, even shared versions. When you delete an enterprise, the platform will delete all its specs, even shared specs and shared versions.