August 19 2011
While the virtualisation has greatly enhanced the deployment time for new servers, it is still time consuming to deploy new VMs when a new OS or a new OS version is needed. Going through the tedious tasks of creating the VM, set up the HW, installing the OS, the packages, customize the whole thing…. Is long and boring…. For 1 VM! It’s even worst when you need to deploy a multi tier App since each tier would need a similar amount of work.
If you are in a great company which gives you a catalog of vApps or VMs, then it helps… but there are still a number of situations (OS not in the catalog, latest version, etc...) where we still need to create our own VM.
Setting up the base OS is one thing but then you need to install the different packages needed to make your app. It can be on 1 VM, or across several VMs.
In any case, it ‘s good to automate the building process and have the app ready to use without losing time on the building and internal plumbing.
Having said that, I would like to show you how great is the combination of 2 different Vmware products: Vmware Studio and vCloud Director 1.5.
By using those 2 products, we will see how to automate the overall building process starting from scratch and finishing with the app "ready to run" and fully customized.
There are quite a number of challenges to do that.
The First one is to create the VM with all the necessary packages. Vmware Studio will help us doing that.
Second one is to find a place to build the VM. Vmware Studio will use vCloud Director in an “automagical” way to do that.
Once done, we will deploy the “ready to run” app in vCloud Director and customize the app on the fly. This will be done with the vCloud Director and the vApp Custome properties and a little "glue code" which were setup during the first step.
For this POC example, we will create a LAMP VM (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) and set up the Apache Welcome message from whatever input the user give us.
I divided the video in 2 parts.
First part shows the Applications settings in Vmware Studio and the automatic build in vCloud Director
Second part shows how the use the newly created and ready to be used OVF to deploy the application in the Cloud and customize the Apache Welcome message
I hope you enjoyed these 2 videos and see the number of opportunities it gives to automate your application provisioning.
One use case is the ability to have your application deployed automatically and only ask the user which back end database he would use. Another possibility would be to setup a multi tier SharePoint application and just ask the user the administrator password.
Another use case is for ISV looking for a way to make their historical application ready for the cloud. By leveraging vCloud Director vApp Custom properties we showed how you can easily move your existing application on a multi tenant platform and deploy the application on the fly with the correct settings for each tenant.
If you enjoyed this article so far you can have a look at this great demo from the vAPP Blog showing the deployment of a 2 tier vApp with Vmware Studio.
For those of you interested to look deeper into all of this, you can install the virtual appliance Vmware studio in a matter of minutes from here.
Thanks to the vApp developer blog with all the useful articles:
For information, the different technology used here are:
For the French speaker, you can read my previous article showing Suse Studio Lab which is another great way to create new VMs from scratch.