How to provision a VM in VMware vCac and edit settings
I been working with a couple of other team members as we rebuild the lab at work. We have added a lot of capcity to the lab that will be used to demo and test all the products that we sell. This week we stood up vCloud Automation Center (vCac) and I was kicking the tires and thought it would be good to show off the nice looking customer side portal that it offers compared to the vCloud Director portal.
This walk through is the process a user would follow to provision a new VM from a blueprint from the portal. Nothing crazy here just a simple demo on what things would look like.
The main portal page shown below in Image 1 is what you will see when first logging into the portal. From this view the user gets a summary of the VMs they have running or powered off, along with info about VMs that are expiring and reclaim requests. To start the process I will click on the Blueprints button shown in blue below, for this demo we created a blue print with a basic Linux VM template.
Next you are presented with the list of Blueprints available, there is just one in this example. You can see basic information about the Blueprint here. I can see the name and a daily cost estimate for this if I deploy it. The cost figure is set when the Blueprint is created by the admin. I will click on the Blueprint name to get the process started.
When deploying a VM from a Blueprint you will first be prompted with a form like the one shown in Image 3 below. Depending on your access rights you can edit some of the settings of the VM being deployed. This is a different approach than what vCloud Director used, which was tied directly to templates that were built with fixed hardware settings. You could always go back and modify the settings of a VM in VCD once deployed. With vCac it allows these choices up front and approvals and limits can be configured to build rules around what your users are allowed to provision.
For this example I did not modify any of the hardware settings of the VM, I just added a description and a reason for the request. The request field is there to offer some text that can be referenced if there is an approval tied to this action. The approver will see your request text so that it just wont be a request with no context around it.
In the next couple of steps I will move through the options on the left of this request form. In Image 5 below its just showing me who will be the owner of this machine.
On the Storage tab shown in Image 6 you can see the size of the disk that will be provisioned to this VM. You also have the option to edit settings here.
Here in Image 7 you can edit or add custom properties to the VM you are provisioning.
The Cost Summary tab shown in Image 8 just shows in cleaner terms what the potential costs of this VM would be. I then clicked Submit to start the provisioning process.
Next up in Image 9 I am looking at the My Machines view within the portal, you can reach this page from a button on the main page or the drop down option under “My Resources” at the top of the page. We can now see that my VM is being created and the status tells me what step is being executed.
In Image 10 we can see that the process is moving forward and my new VM is now being customized.
My new VM is now done and being powered on as shown in Image 11 below.
Now that my VM is ready to use I have clicked on it to get a look at the Actions menu shown below in Image 12. From this area you can see what actions I can perform on the VM now that its ready to use.
In Image 13 I click the home but to get back to the main screen. If you compare this to what we saw in the Image 1 above there is now more info being shown to me. I now have more tiles displaying information to me. From the calendar below I can see by the date in Yellow that my VM will expire on that date and the Red date shows me the date that it will be destroyed.
Image 14 is just showing the drop down menu for My Resources. I’m going to select Expiring Machines to get a look at when the VM that I provisioned will expire.
Now in Image 15 I can see a list of my VMs that will be expiring. I have highlighted the field that shows me the date and time.
Up last is what it looks like when I choose to edit the properties of the VM after it was created. From here I am presented with many fields that can be edited to change size or settings of the VM.
I hope that this walk through was helpful and you now have a better idea of what the portal and process will be like for vCac compared to vCloud Directors portal. I plan on writing up another post about the admin side portal. If there are other vCac topics you would like to read more details on drop me a comment and I will do my best to write about it.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design