Objective 5.3 – Deploy vApps
Determine whether a vApp is appropriate for a given situation
vApps are two or more virtual machines which encompass a solution e.g. a vApp for a e-commerce solution may contain one web server, one database server and maybe a mid-tier application server. All of these virtual machines can be deployed from one package; a package may contain dependency definitions, resource requirements, network connectivity (fixed / static, dhcp or transient IP addressing), etc.
In order to create a vApp you will need a DRS cluster and hosts which are ESX 3.0 and above.
Define Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF)
The OVF file format allows for virtual machines to be packaged and exchanged between different virtualisation products. The OVF descriptor contains the name, identity and configuration. OVF files version 0.9 is used for backwards compatibility; the newer version 1.0 offers a more descriptive OVF.
Import / Export a Virtual Appliance
Importing and exporting a vApps requires a vCenter connection.
UI: File > Deploy OVF
UI: File > Export
Build a vApp
The first step to create a vApp is to create a vApp container i.e. right click on a folder or datacenter object > create vApp. One the container is created, resource allocations should be specified e.g. CPU and memory shares.
Create/Add virtual machines to a vApp
Adding virtual machines to a vApp is as simple as dragging and dropping the virtual machine or alternatively create a new virtual machines within the vApp.
Edit vApp properties
The vApp properties which are editable:
- CPU and memory resources
- Title, version and naming information
- IP allocation policies (fixed, transient and dhcp)
- advanced network settings (enable DHCP, IPv6 and IPv4)
The start order can be configured; this is very much like the boot delay feature of a virtual machine.
As per one of the above sections: File > Export – you have the option of web or physical format; web is a folder structure and physical is a .tar file.
Clone a vApp
vApps can be cloned in the same way a virtual machine can be cloned.