vApp Template Replication with VMware Cloud Director Availability

VMware Cloud Director catalogs and the vApp templates are commonly used by many organizations to streamline the vApp administration.

In VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.3.1, we already introduced the migration of vApp templates within the same or a remote VMware Cloud Director cloud. This enabled synchronizing just specific pieces instead of the whole catalog.

To further extend the usability, in VMware Cloud Director Availability 4.6, it is now possible to protect a vApp template too. 

The menu is redesigned, adding a new vApp template protection button.

The general flow follows similar steps as the migration but includes a few new settings to define how modifications to the source vApp templates will be handled.

After selecting a template to replicate and its destination cloud, VDC, and storage policy, you will be guided to the Settings page of the wizard.

These are most of the new additions:

  • Track source for changes – if enabled, VMware Cloud Director Availability checks every 5 minutes for any changes to the source template  and, if any, configures a new replication for the latest version of the template.
  • Delay start synchronization – tracking changes checks will run every 5 minutes only during the specified interval. If one is detected, VMware Cloud Director Availability will proceed with its operations. Please note that they can start only during the defined timeframe but might finish outside of it.
  • Automatic migrate behaviour – specifies whether the vApp template will be overwritten at the destination or a new copy will be added to the catalog keeping the old version unchanged. To enable the automatic migration, the initial migration should be performed manually, and the protection should be in Failed-Over recovery state.

Once a new vApp template protection is configured with the Track source for changes options activated, VMware Cloud Director Availability performs regular checks to the source template every 5 minutes. Based on the Delay start synchronization setting, these checks run 24/7 or only during the specified interval.

When a change is detected, VMware Cloud Director Availability automatically creates a new replication with the latest version of the vApp template and deletes the old one. If a manual migration of the current replication (not necessarily the initial) is performed successfully, every next one will be automatically migrated too with the specified settings (overwrite or a new copy).

vApp template replications are metered like standard vApp/VM replications via VMware vCloud Usage Meter:

  • vApp template migrations as migrations – 0 points per migrated VM.
  • vApp template protections as protections – 10 points per protected VM.

Please note the metering is done per VM and not per template. This means if you protect a vApp template that consists of 3 VMs, it will be counted as 30 points.

For more information about metering, please refer to the Product Usage Guide.

  • The recovery settings can be configured only before the initial manual migration. After that, they cannot be modified.
  • The recovery settings are applied to the automatically created (future) replications only if the names of the VM within the template are preserved.
  • The replication policy setting Custom SLA settings needs to be activated for organizations that will protect vApp templates.

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