vCenter 7 Content Library [Part 2]

In continuation to my previous blogpost, in this post we will be looking into how to use the "versioning" feature of vCenter content libraries. This feature has been newly introduced with vCenter v7.0. Please refer to "Part 1" of this blog post in order to understand how to create content libraries and add VM templates to the content library.

Log in to your vCenter server and go to "VMs and Templates" page. Click on your VM template and select "Versioning" tab on the right hand side. The following page opens:

Follow the steps below in order to check out the VM template, Checkout the VM template, make required modifications to the VM and Check in the VM template:

1. Click on the "Check out VM From This Template"

2. The "Check out VM from VM Template" wizard opens. Enter the details in the wizard as per your environment preferences. After all the details are entered, click on "Finish":

3. This creates a new VM in the Datacenter/host that you have selected in the previous step. Notice the "blue dot" on the VM created, this indicates that the VM has version tracking enabled on it. In addition, you will see that the versioning tree automatically populates with the "checked-out" version of the VM:

4. At this point you can make modifications to your VM template. These modifications can be minor such as Hostname modifcation or something major like OS update. Once you are done with your modifications, you need to power off the template VM. Once the VM is powered off , the "Check in VM to Template" soft button becomes active. Click on this soft button to check in your VM template.

5. The VM template check-in takes few seconds to a minute (depending on the nature of the modifications). Once the VM template check in is completed you will notice that the VM created during the "check-out" is deleted automatically, and two VMs with the same name as your template is created in your VMs and templates tab.

6. You will also notice the "versioning" tree is automatically populated :

7. When you click on the orginal VM template, you will see the message "This is not the current VM Templete. Go to <current_vm_template name> to configure it.

You can also click on the 3 dots next to your template (any version), in order to revert to or delete the original template.

This is a great feature addition by VMware to the content libraries. This can come in handy in development environments as well as production environments to centrally manage VM configurations and OS versions (Think instantaneous clones!)

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