This section describes the main concepts related to the Appliance Library. Note that there are some differences of terminology between the Abiquo API and the GUI.
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.
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)
- 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.
- In general, Abiquo will automatically create a hard disk controller based on the hypervisor configuration; by default this is usually a SCSI adapter.
- In general, Abiquo will automatically create an E1000 network adapter; 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.
This feature is available in the API. See TemplateDefinitionResource.
Remote Template Repository
A remote template repository organizes lists of virtual machine template definitions outside of the Abiquo platform.
A remote template repository belongs to an external provider of virtual machine template definitions and disk files under the OVF standard and it is available from another physical location. The idea is that independent software vendors and virtual machine template providers will offer their own template repositories so users can download their virtual machines. These 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 also "outside" the Abiquo platform.
The Appliance Library view displays the virtual machine templates available for 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, which is the Enterprise Appliance Library.
An enterprise repository contains all template definitions available for the selected datacenter, organized by categories and either shared or private.
Virtual Machine Template
When a Template Definition is available in a datacenter's NFS repository, it is logically represented in the appliance library as a single Virtual Machine Template.
The following are also virtual machine templates:
The Virtual Image is now known as a Virtual Machine Template or Template.
This feature is available in the API. See VirtualMachineTemplateResource.
Instance of Virtual Machine Template
Instances of virtual machine templates are stored in the appliance library. By definition an instance has a master template that it was copied from. You may not delete the master template if there are instances of this template used in deployed virtual machines.
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.
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.