Once we have our SDDC deployed and vCenter is reachable, the next step is deciding how you want to begin consuming your cloud resources. This can be done a number of different ways, some of which include:
- Cold Migration using a Layer 3 IPSEC VPN
- Direct Connect and Layer-2 Stretched network for vMotion
- VMware HCX for bulk migration
- Net-new workloads from templates or ISO
- Content Library Synchronization
This post focuses on the Content Library synchronization as it is one of the fastest and easiest ways to share templates and other files between multiple vCenter servers. When working on a cloud-readiness assessment, or determining how to architect your hybrid environment, one of the easiest ways to onboard is to share your on-premises vCenter’s Content Library as a ‘Publisher’ so that any future vCenter servers (on-prem or in the cloud) can take advantage of your Gold Builds and only need to update them from one location.
Whether you are using a supported Content Library housed in vCenter on-premises, or you are using a third-party content library stored somewhere else like AWS S3, you can share the link to the content library to your VMware Cloud on AWS vCenter and add it as a ‘Subscriber’ library. Let’s walk through the steps! (note: if you are adding an on-prem content library, you will need to establish a VPN connection between VMware Cloud on AWS and your on-prem environment):
- Within vCenter, click ‘MENU > CONTENT LIBRARIES’, then click the ‘+’ button. Give the Content Library a name and click ‘NEXT’
2. Click on ‘Subscribed content library’ and enter the URL of the on-premises Content Library. Choose whether the content library will download the objects immediately or when they are needed (at the time of VM deployment). Click ‘NEXT’
3. Select the datastore where the Content Library will reside. Currently in VMware Cloud on AWS, the usable datastore is the WorkloadDatastore. Select this and click ‘NEXT’
4. Next, review your configuration and click ‘FINISH’
5. Once your Content Library has been created, you will see objects begin syncing, starting with the metadata of each file followed by the data of each object.
6. Refreshing your browser will continue to show the progress of each Content Library item. I tend to sync the entire library every time I deploy a new SDDC, this helps with speed and agility as I begin to populate my cloud resources with workloads while maintaining the operational consistency and secured builds that have been used in our on-premises environment.
7. If you chose to only synchronize on-demand, only the metadata will show up and each object will be fully downloaded as you create new Virtual Machines from them.
Although a Content Library on S3 is not currently supported, one of the benefits to having a Content Library in S3 is that the S3 traffic can be routed over the Elastic Network Interface (ENI), meaning you will not incur AWS egress charges on content library syncing between the Content Library and your Cloud SDDC.