The vCenter content library has been around for a while, since vsphere 6.0 to be precise. However, in recent times, features have been added to the content library, which would greatly increase the utility of the content library. This is especially true for development teams and environments where you would want a direct connect between development environment and production environment. Note: the scope of this post is limited to vCenter version 7 only.
Let's take a closer look at how to create a content library and some features that might come in handy for development teams.
1. On your vCenter webclient, click on "Menu" and select "Content Libraries".
2. The content libraries page opens. Click on the '+ Create ' button, in order to create a new content library:
3. The "New Content Library" wizard opens. In "Name and Location" enter your preferred content library name. You also have the option of selecting the vCenter server on which you would want to create the content library. This would come in handy in environments with connected vCenter servers.
4. In the "Configure Content Library" select the radio button "Local content library" and select enable publishing ( we will discuss on the uses of this in the next blog post).
5. In the "Add storage" select your desired datastore. I have selected my iSCSIDatastore, since this my go to datastore for my homelab experiments.
6. Review your configurations in the "Ready to complete" window and click on "Finish".
Your vCenter Content Library is created!!
Adding content from your local datacenter to the content library is pretty straight forward, let's take a look at that:
1. Right-click on the VM whose template you would want to create in the content library, select clone and then select "clone to library"
The Clone virtual machine to template window opens. In the template type drop-down, select 'VM Template'. Enter you desired template name:
2. In location, select the radio button corresponding to the name of your content library and click next.
3. Select the compute resource, storage for your template and review your settings, then click on Finish. You have successfully added a template VM to your content library.
Now, onto two important feature of content libraries:
1. When you click on your VM template in the content library, you will notice something new introduced in vCenter 7 i.e. "Versioning". We will look into this in more details in my next blog post. This feature would allows us to maintain VM versions in production and development environments.
2. Published content libraries. Again, this we will discuss in more details in a later post, for now, for now we just take note that this allows us to subscribe to this content library from another vCenter, which would allows us to transfer content between vCenter in different environments.