I am running my lab on top of vCloud Air and I have 2 organizations created in vCloud Air, one in Australia and one in US. I have all lab components running in Australia location and was setting another environment in US which will be exact replica of Australia.

I have my vApp templates and ISO media files uploaded in catalog at Australia location, and in order to setup everything from scratch, I needed to upload everything again in US location.

I was looking for a solution where I can share resources from one location to another in vCloud Air and then came across a cool concept of “External Catalog Publishing”. This feature was introduced in vCloud Director 5.5

Let’s see how to share contents from one Datacenter to another within vCloud Air.

The very first requirement for this is that your Org should be enabled for either Publish or Subscribe to a catalog. You need this to be enabled on both org (source and destination datacenter)

To do so, login to vCloud Director and select your organization and right click on it to open the properties of the organization.

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Select the “Allow sharing catalogs” and “Allow publishing external catalogs” option and hit OK.

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Navigate to your catalogs and select the catalog which you want to share to destination location. Right click on your catalog and select Publish/Subscribe Settings.

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Go to External Publishing tab and select “Enable Publishing”. Optionally supply a password for sharing. You  need to enter this password when you will be subscribing to this catalog at the destination org. Hit OK to finish the task.

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Once again open the properties of catalog and navigate to External Publishing tab. You will see a URL generated there. Copy this URL by clicking on Copy Link. You need to supply this URL at the destination while creating a new catalog.

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on your destination datacenter, create a new catalog in your org. Go to Catalogs tab and click on green ‘+‘ button to add a new catalog.

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Provide a name for the catalog and select Subscribe to external catalog and paste the link of the URL which you copied in above steps. Also supply the password which you entered while allowing Publish Catalog at your source datacenter.

If you want all vApp templates/Iso files should be downloaded from source catalog to destination catalog, check mark the “Automatically download content” box. Hit next for remaining steps of creating catalogs.

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Now select your catalog and click on vApp Templates. You will see all your templates getting synched at your destination datacenter.

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If you have any iso files at your source catalog, those will be synch’ed too

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The only gotcha in above method is size of transfer area on vCloud’s Cells.

During the synchronization, the templates are first exported to vCloud’s Cell transfer area then copied to the datastore of the destination. Your transfer area should be big enough to accommodate all your vApp templates/ISO files.

In my case I had plenty of space available in transfer area on my vcloud cell:

[root@vcd-a transfer]# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root
12G 6.5G 4.5G 60% /
tmpfs 7.8G 0 7.8G 0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1 485M 32M 428M 7% /boot
vcd-nfs:/share/my-share 493G 8.8G 459G 2% /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to share this on social media if it is worth sharing. Be sociable:)

Posted in: vCloud Air.
Last Modified: January 12, 2017

0 thoughts on “vCloud Air: External Catalog Publishing

  1. Tomas Fojta

    Normal vCloud Air user does not have vCloud Director system administrator access and cannot enable catalog publishing.

    1. Alex Hunt Post author

      Yes absolutely correct. For this a customer has to log a support request to get this done from backend

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