VCAP6-DCV Deployment – Objective 5.4 – Configure and Manage Content Library

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Objectives 5.4 are broke down as the following

  • Create a Global User
  • Create a Content Library
  • Subscribe to a Content Library
  • Configure a Content Library for space efficiency
  • Synchronize a subscribed Content Library

Content Libraries are container objects that can be used for VM templates, ISO files or vApp templates.  These can be shared across multiple vCenters and in different locations.  A new feature introduced to vSphere 6 so I suspect this to be on the exam in some respect.

Create a Global User

Content libraries are not direct children of a vCenter system from an inventory perspective and do not inherited vCenter permissions.  The direct parent for a Content Library is the global root, meaning an administrator must grant permissions to the user as a global permission.

To let a user manage a content library and its items, an administrator can assign the Content Library Administrator role to that user as a global permission. The Content Library Administrator role is a sample role in the vSphere Web Client.  Users who are administrators can also manage libraries and their contents. If a user is an administrator at a vCenter Server level, they have sufficient privileges to manage the libraries that belong to this vCenter Server instance, but cannot see the libraries unless they have a Read-Only role as a global permission.

To add a new global user I go to Web Client – Administration – Global Permissions – Manage – Add.  First I add the user from the relevant domain.


I then add the user to the Content Library Administrator role


Create a Content Library

To create a new Content Library I go to Web Client – Content Library – Create New Content Library.  I first need to enter a name for the library and select which vCenter I will be creating it on.


Configure the library to either be a Local Content Library or a Subscribed Content Library.  Local libraries are stored on storage local the vCenter, this can be directly on the vCenter server or on a shared datastore.  Local libraries can be configured to be published externally should it need to be accessed by another vCenter and authentication can be configured to connect to the published content in the form of a password.  Subscribed libraries are libraries published externally on another vCenter, you must enter a URL and enter the authentication password should it be setup.  You can also select to download the content immediately or as it is accessed to save on disk space.

I will pick local content library and publish externally with authentication.


As it is a local library i must select what storage to use.  Enter a remote file system path or an NFS URL is used to point directly to a vCenter server either a Windows box or the appliance.  I will select a VMFS datastore that is presented to vCenter.


Review and confirm.


Once created if I right click the library I can import data such as ISO files directly to the library.


To browse to where these files are saved first browse the configured location and find the folder created with the content library identifier.  The folder starts with contentlib followed by the identifier.


To clone a VM to a content library I right click a VM and choose Clone to Template in Library.  I then need to pick the newly created local library.


Subscribe to a Content Library

As well as creating a local library you can also create a subscribed library and point it to another library, this can be the same vCenter, another vCenter or to a remote library offsite.  This allows the potential to share ISO images or templates remotely.  To subscribe to a library it must use a Subscription URL.  To get a subscription URL from another vCenter you can get this from the settings of the local library.  To continue my example I can find the URL from the recently created local library.  Web Client – Content Libraries – Objects – Content Library – Manage – Settings – Edit.  Find the link and copy it.


Once copied I need to create a new library Web Client – Content Library – Create New Content Library.  I give it a name and this time use my other vCenter.


Now I point to the copied URL and add the password I previously set.  Depending on the size of the library I can choose whether to download the content immediately or as it is needed.


Add the storage for this library.


Review and complete.

Configure a Content Library for space efficiency

Synchronisation of a subscribed library that is set with the option to download contents only when needed synchronises only the metadata for the library items from the published library, and does not download the contents of the items. This saves storage space. If you need to use a library item you need to synchronise that item. After you are done using the item, you can delete the item contents to free space on the storage.

When configuring a subscribed library choose to either Download all library content immediately or Download library content only when needed.


Synchronize a subscribed Content Library

To ensure the contents of a subscribed library are up-to-date, the subscribed library automatically synchronises to the source published library on regular intervals. You can also manually synchronise subscribed libraries.

For subscribed libraries that are set with the option to download contents only when needed, synchronising the subscribed library downloads only the metadata of all the items in the source published library, while synchronising a library item downloads the full content of that item to your storage.  If you use a subscribed library, you can only utilise the content, but cannot contribute with content. Only the administrator of the published library can manage the templates and files.

Once the subscribed library has been configured I can synchronise manually by right clicking the library and choosing Synchronize Library.


By default a synchronised library will be configured to automatically synchronise.


To change this automatic synchronisation from being enabled by default I need to change the settings for the Content Library Service.  To change this I go to Web Client – System Configuration – Services – Objects – Services – Content Library Service – Edit.  From here I can also change the auto sync refresh intervals and start and stop times for the automatic synchronisation.



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