Deploy Instance from Image

Having a virtual machine for testing purposes on your workstation is very common nowadays. Once the virtual machine is ready to be imported to the ITS Private Cloud, we provide a method to do so. This example, describes basic steps to import a virtual machine OVF with disks or an OVA appliance to our environment.

Please, refer to the official documentation for your virtualization software to produce a virtual machine export in OVF or OVA. If you happen to be using VMware workstation or fusion, please refer to the following links:

The ITS Private Cloud virtualization platform is VMware vSphere 7.0, and the maximum VMX hardware version is 19. If you have the latest VMware Fusion or Workstation, update VM compatibility settings to version 19.

As a best practice, we recommend to remove unused devices such as sound cards, printer ports, USB and other unused devices, prior exporting the virtual machine.

Source Image

Once you have exported your virtual machine in OVA or OVF, you can either login to VSKEY-STOR with your VSS credentials or vss-cli stor to upload the OVA or OVF (including vmdk disks) to deploy.

Use vss-cli stor ul <file_path> to upload OVF and disk files to VSKEY-STOR from command line as follows:

vss-cli stor ul ~/Downloads/CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf
vss-cli stor ul ~/Downloads/disk-0.vmdk

Verify files were uploaded successfully with vss-cli stor ls :

vss-cli stor ls images/centos

items               : disk-0.vmdk, CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf

At this point, your image is almost ready to be deployed. Sync your images with vss-cli compute image personal sync in order to make them available in the API. You can verify if the task has successfully completed by issuing the command vss-cli request image ls as follows:

vss-cli request image ls -s created_on desc

  id  created_on                   updated_on                   status     type
----  ---------------------------  ---------------------------  ---------  ------
  68  2018-07-18 Wed 15:36:49 EDT  2018-07-18 Wed 15:36:50 EDT  Processed  VM

Verify its availability by running vss-cli compute image personal ls as follows:

vss-cli compute image personal ls
path                                                                 name
-------------------------------------------------------------------  -------------------------------------
[vssUser-xfers] vss-ci/Images/CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf             CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf

This version of the VSS CLI supports providing image reference not only using the path, but also using name or Id. In case of multiple results, the CLI prompts to select the right instance.

Save the path in SIMAGE environment variable.

export SIMAGE="[vssUser-xfers] vss-ci/Images/CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf"

Launch Instance

Use vss-cli compute vm mk from-image to deploy a virtual machine from OVA/OVF and provide the options and arguments specified in the command, as follows:

Usage: vss-cli compute vm mk from-image [OPTIONS] [NAME]

  Deploy virtual machine from image.

  -s, --source TEXT               Source Virtual Machine OVA/OVF id, name or
                                  path.  [required]
  -d, --description TEXT          A brief description.  [required]
  -b, --client TEXT               Client department.  [required]
  -a, --admin TEXT                Admin name, phone number and email separated
                                  by `:` i.e. "John
  -r, --inform TEXT               Informational contact emails in comma
  -u, --usage [Test|Prod|Dev|QA]  Vm usage.
  -o, --os TEXT                   Guest operating system id.  [required]
  -m, --memory INTEGER            Memory in GB.
  -c, --cpu INTEGER               Cpu count.
  --cores-per-socket INTEGER      Cores per socket.
  -f, --folder TEXT               Logical folder moref name or path.
  --scsi TEXT                     SCSI Controller Spec <type>=<sharing>.
  -i, --disk TEXT                 Disk spec
                                  optional: backing_mode, backing_sharing
  -n, --net TEXT                  Network adapter <moref-or-name>=<nic-type>.
  -t, --domain TEXT               Target fault domain name or moref.
  --notes TEXT                    Custom notes.
  -p, --custom-spec TEXT          Guest OS custom specification in JSON
  -e, --extra-config TEXT         Extra configuration key=value format.
  --power-on                      Power on after successful deployment.
  --template                      Mark the VM as template after deployment.
  --user-data TEXT                Cloud-init user_data YAML file path to pre-
                                  configure guest os upon first boot.
  --network-config TEXT           Cloud-init network-config YAML file path to
                                  pre-configure guest os upon first boot.
  --vss-service TEXT              VSS Service related to VM
  -w, --firmware TEXT             Firmware type.
  --tpm                           Add Trusted Platform Module device.
  --storage-type TEXT             Storage type.
  --retire-type [timedelta|datetime]
                                  Retirement request type.
  --retire-warning INTEGER        Days before retirement date to notify
  --retire-value TEXT             Value for given retirement type. i.e.
  --help                          Show this message and exit.

Operating system

Run vss-cli compute os ls to display the list of supported operating systems in the ITS Private Cloud. In order to narrow down the list to only CentOS operating systems, use the --filter-by/-f option which is structured <field_name>=<operator>,<value> and available operators are eq, ne, lt, le, gt, ge, like, in. So, to limit results to just CentOS, use the following filter:

This version of the VSS CLI supports providing OS reference not only using the guest_id, but also the full_name or Id. In case of multiple results, the CLI prompts to select the right instance.

vss-cli compute os ls --filter-by full_name=CentOS

  id  guest_id         full_name            family
----  ---------------  -------------------  ----------
  24  centos64Guest    CentOS 4/5 (64-bit)  linuxGuest
  70  centos6_64Guest  CentOS 6 (64-bit)    linuxGuest
  26  centos6Guest     CentOS 6             linuxGuest
  15  centos7_64Guest  CentOS 7 (64-bit)    linuxGuest
  78  centos7Guest     CentOS 7             linuxGuest
  95  centos8_64Guest  CentOS 8 (64-bit)    linuxGuest
   2  centosGuest      CentOS 4/5           linuxGuest

Set the OS environment variable to centos64Guest to save the guest_id:

export OS=centos64Guest


Run vss-cli compute net ls to list available network segments to your account. You must have at least VL-1584-VSS-PUBLIC which is our public network.

This version of the VSS CLI supports managing networks not only using the moref, but also using names. In case of multiple results, the CLI prompts to select the right instance.

vss-cli compute net ls
moref             name                description
-----------------  ------------------  ----------------------------------------
dvportgroup-11052  VL-1584-VSS-PUBLIC  VSS Public network

Save dvportgroup-11052 in NET environment variable:

export NET=dvportgroup-11052

By default, the network adapter will use vmxnet3 which provides ideal performance, however a few legacy operating systems does not have the drivers. In such case, you can specify which adapter type between: e1000e*, e1000, vmxnet2 or vmxnet3. To do so, append the adapter type to the network adapter network as follows:

export NET=dvportgroup-11052=e1000e


Logical folders can be listed by running vss-cli compute folder ls. Select the target moref folder to store the virtual machine on:

This version of the VSS CLI supports managing logical folders not only using the moref, but also using name or path. In case of multiple results, the CLI prompts to select the right instance.

vss-cli compute folder ls -f name=like,API%

moref        name     parent    path
-----------  -------  --------  ----------------------------
group-v6736  APIDemo  jm        jm > APIDemo

Set the FOLDER environment variable to the target folder (the folder moref may vary):

export FOLDER=group-v6736


At this point, we have all requirements to run vss-cli compute vm mk from-image command to submit a deployment request. For this example, the request is made for 2GB of memory, 2 vCPU, 2x40GB disks.

vss-cli compute vm mk from-image --source $SIMAGE --client EIS --memory 2 --cpu 2 \
--folder $FOLDER --disk 40 --disk 40 --net $NET  --os $OS \
--description "CentOS virtual machine from OVF" CENTOS_1

The following command should work as well:

vss-cli compute vm mk --wait from-image --power-on --source CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf \
--client EIS --folder APIDemo \
--memory 2 --cpu 2  --disk 40 --disk 40 --net PUBLIC  --os centos \
--storage-type ssd \
--description "CentOS virtual machine from OVF" CENTOS-1

A confirmation email will be sent and the command will return the request id and task_id as follows:

id                  : 77
status              : IN_PROGRESS
task_id             : c62e579d-240b-4e1d-8b5d-0c643bfd72f5
message             : Request has been accepted for processing
⏳ Waiting for request 77 to complete...
🎉 Request 77 completed successfully:
warnings            : Image file(s) transferred: CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf, disk-0.vmdk, VM 2004T-CENTOS-1 has been successfully
                      deployed from {'name': 'CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf', 'path': '[vssUser-xfers] vskey/jm/501264bc-5d2d-3330-e0d9-562309e33331/CentOS-7-x86_64-VMware.ovf'},
                      Error while updating Memory: Target memory is equals to current memory.
                      Successfully powered on.,
                      Fault Domain: Cluster1 (domain-cXX) , Created in: VSS > Development > APIDemo (group-XXX),
                      Network adapter 1 (vmxnet3): 00:50:56:b0:a8:6c: Quarantine
errors              :

Wait a few minutes until the virtual machine is deployed.

 vss-cli request new ls -s created_on=desc -c 1

  id  created_on                   updated_on                   status     vm_moref    vm_name          approval.approved    built_from
----  ---------------------------  ---------------------------  ---------  ----------  ---------------  -------------------  ------------
  77  2020-04-24 Fri 16:49:28 EDT  2020-04-24 Fri 16:50:06 EDT  PROCESSED  vm-2184     2004T-CENTOS-1   True                 image

Access Virtual Machine

Since we added the --power-on option, the virtual machine should have been powered on right after the Guest Operating System Customization task completed.

In a few minutes the virtual machine will show the hostname and ip configuration by running vss-cli compute vm get <name-or-vm-id> guest:

vss-cli compute vm get docker-node1 guest

hostname            : fe2
ip_address          :, fe80::250:56ff:fe92:323f
full_name           : CentOS 8 (64-bit)
guest_id            : centos8_64Guest
running_status      : guestToolsRunning

The Guest Host Name shows that the hostname has been changed, and now you will be able to access via either ssh or the virtual machine console:

ssh username@<ip-address>
vss-cli compute vm get Frontend2 vsphere-link -l

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