Manage OVAs

Starting from OnApp 5.2, you can import virtual servers created at other virtualization platforms into OnApp, using the OVA functionality. OVA is a file with the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) package contents all zipped into a single archive. OVF is an open-source standard for packaging and distributing software applications for virtual servers. 

The OVA import procedure involves uploading the OVA file to CP, converting it into a KVM and/or vCenter template, adding the template to the template store and building a virtual server from the template. This procedure consists of the following steps:

  1. Uploading OVA 
    To start with, you need to upload the OVA archive to your OnApp CP.

  2. Converting OVA 
    Next, you can convert OVA into a KVM-based and/or vCenter-based template with the VS configuration predefined in the OVA file. 

  3. Adding Template to Template Store
    After converting OVA, you need to add the template to any group in the template store so that it would be possible to build VSs from the template. 

  4. Configuring Billing
    Also, you can add a template group created during the previous step to a bucket in order to provide different levels of accessibility to the template group for different users.

  5. Building VS from Template
    Finally, you can build a virtual server based on the OVA template.

Before you proceed to uploading OVA, take into account Limitations and Prerequisites and learn how to Convert OVF to OVA.

Limitations and Prerequisites



  • OVA functionality is supported for KVM and vCenter compute resources.
  • It is required to have at least one backup server running on CentOS6 or CentOS 7 in the cloud to import from OVA.
  • Ext3, Ext4 and XFS file systems are supported for OVAs. The XFS file system is supported for Linux OSs imported from OVA, both for primary and secondary disks.
  • XFS partitions created on CentOS 7 cannot be mounted on CentOS 6, so it is recommended to use a CentOS7 backup server.
  • If your cloud deployment is not a fresh installation, make sure that permissions on OVAs are enabled. For more info, refer to List of all OnApp Permissions.
  • OVAs based on Windows 10 can be supported if the required CPU flags are enabled on the compute resource where the OVA virtual server will be built.
  • It is not possible to create a VS based on OVA using instance packages at this time. 
  • Be aware, that when the backup server and OVA use default CentOS, the volume group names are identical and this can cause a conflict.
  • Currently, the following file formats are supported for virtual hard disk drives: VMDK, VHD, RAW, IMG, VDI.
  • Be aware that files inside OVA should not be archived, otherwise OVA upload will fail.
  • Recipes and backups are not compatible with VSs built from Windows OVA.

  • Ensure that there is enough free space in the /tmp directory in CP since Apache uses this directory to temporarily store files while uploading OVA to CP.

  • The size of the OVA that could be uploaded to CP depends on the browser settings, Apache configurations and amount of free space available on CP. 

  • To increase the upload size, in the /onapp/onapp-cp.conf file, set the LimitRequestBody and MAX_UPLOAD_SIZE parameters to 0 (unlimited). The LimitRequestBody parameter restricts the total size of the HTTP request body sent from the client and can be set (in bytes) from 0 (unlimited) to 2147483647 (2GB). The MAX_UPLOAD_SIZE parameter indicates the maximum file size allowed for uploading (in bytes) from 0 (unlimited) to 2147483647 (2GB). 

    To apply changes committed to the LimitRequestBody and MAX_UPLOAD_SIZE parameters in the /onapp/onapp-cp.conf file, you should edit the file before installing or upgrading the Control Panel server.

  • The limits on OVAs are configured within the Backup Server Zone Limits resource type in the Access Control of the bucket. You can set the maximum amount of OVAs users can create in a backup server zone under the bucket and the maximum amount of disk space (GB) users get for storing their OVAs in this backup server zone under the bucket. 

    The limits on the number of OVAs and disk space allocated for storing OVAs are bound to a user who uploaded an OVA file. Therefore, when the OVA file is being converted, the bucket limits are checked for the user who uploaded OVA and not for the user who converts it.

Convert OVF to OVA



You can import virtual servers only from OVA. If you want to import from OVF, you should create an OVA file from OVF. The OVA file is a TAR archive, containing the .ovf and .vmdk files. Below you can find an example:

[root@OVA ~]# file /OVA/centos6default.ova
/OVA/centos6default.ova: POSIX tar archive (GNU)
[root@OVA ~]# tar -tf /OVA/centos6default.ova
centos6ovalvm.ovf
centos6ovalvm-disk1.vmdk

To create an OVA file (called centos6.ova for example) on Linux via command line, run the following:

[root@OVA OVA]#  tar -cvf centos6.ova centos6ovalvm-disk1.vmdk centos6ovalvm.ovf
centos6ovalvm-disk1.vmdk
centos6ovalvm.ovf

View OVAs



To view the OVAs available to you:

  1. Go to Control Panel and click Templates.
  2. Click OVA List on the menu. 
  3. The open page shows the list of available OVAs separated into four tabs:
    • All OVAs - the list of all OVAs available on your system
    • System OVAs - the list of the OVAs that are publicly available to all users
    • My OVAs - the list of custom OVAs uploaded by the user who is currently logged in
    • User OVAs - the list of  the OVAs uploaded by your users

For each OVA listed, you see the following details displayed:

  • Log status - the icon that indicates the status of the last log item of the OVA (complete/pending/failed). Click the status to view the log details for the OVA (available to the OVAs that were uploaded through the URL).

  • OS - the icon that indicates the operating system of the OVA (Linux, Windows or Other)
  • Label - the name of the OVA
  • Min memory size - the minimum RAM size required for the OVA
  • Operating system - the operating system of the OVA
  • Backup server - the backup server where the OVA is stored
  • Virtualization - the virtualization type (KVM or vCenter). For the non-converted OVA files, no virtualization is specified in this column. 
  • Actions - click the Actions icon to perform the following procedures with the OVA:


Upload OVAs



The OVA upload is the first step of the OVA import. When OVA is uploaded, you can convert it into a KVM-based or vCenter-based template and add this template to the template store. When the template is available in the template store, then you will be able to build OVA-based VS from this template.

To upload OVA into your cloud:

  1. Go to your Control Panel and click the Templates menu from the left navigation pane.
  2. Click OVA List on the menu. 
  3. On the page that loads, click the Upload OVA button under the OVAs list.
  4. Fill in the following details:
    • Label - enter a name for OVA
    • Backup server - select the backup server where OVA will be stored

      It is required to select a backup server where the OVA template should be stored. If the backup server is not selected, it will not be possible to upload OVA.

    • Version - fill in the version of OVA

    • Min memory size - specify the minimum required RAM for the OVA (128 MB by default). If you set the RAM value that is smaller than in the OVA file, this amount will be overwritten by real memory size from the OVA file after upload. If you set the value that is bigger than RAM in the OVA file, the settings will be applied.

  5. Click Next. On the page that appears, click File or File URL tab depending on the upload method:
    • File - click Choose File to select the required OVA file from your file system. The yellow infobox will show the maximum file size for OVAs. The maximum upload size is pre-configured at Settings > Configuration (the Max upload size field). Click the Upload OVA button.
    • File URL - select this tab if you want to upload OVA from URL and specify the link from which the OVA archive will be uploaded. 
  6. Click Save to upload the OVA archive. 
If an operating system of OVA is Linux and incremental backups are activated on your CP, you will not be able to upload the OVA file. To solve this issue, go to your Control Panel's  Settings menu > Configuration > Backups/Templates tab and enable the Store extended attributes slider.

After you upload OVA to the cloud, it can be found at Templates > OVA List > My OVAs tab. The OVAs uploaded by your users are under the User OVAs tab. 

To use the OVA to build virtual server next you need to convert the uploaded OVA into a KVM-based and/or vCenter-based template.


Convert OVAs



The uploaded OVA file is saved without the attached virtualization so that you can convert it more than once into both virtualization formats.To convert the uploaded OVA archive into a template: 

  1. Go to your Control Panel and click the Templates menu from the left navigation panel.
  2. Click the OVA List link in the menu. 
  3. Click the Actions icon > Convert next to the required OVA file.
  4. In the pop-up window, select the Virtualization format (KVM or vCenter) and fill in other fields depending on the selected virtualization: 

    KVM Virtualization 

    • Label - enter a name for a new OVA file that will be created on the basis of the initially-uploaded one

    • Operating system - select the operating system of the OVA (Linux, Windows or Other). Choose the Other operating system if you want to convert the OVA with any other operating system (FreeBSD, Debian, etc) besides Windows and Linux.

    • Operating system distro - select the operating system distribution of the OVA

    • Architecture - select the architecture of the OVA (x86 or x64) 

    • Edition - select the edition of the OVA (for Windows-based OVAs only)

    • R2 - move the slider to the right if you want to use the updated release of Windows OS distribution (for Windows-based OVAs only)
    • Allowed hot migrate - move the slider to the right if you want to be able to run hot migration of the VSs created from this OVA

    • Make public - move the slider to the right if you want to make the OVA available to all users in the cloud

    vCenter Virtualization 

    If you select the vCenter virtualization type, the additional fields will appear. For more information on how to convert OVA into a vCenter-based template, refer to the vCenter OVA Import to OnApp section.

  5. Click Save to convert the OVA into the selected virtualization format.

    • The OVA file is locked for the time period while it is being converted. You can unlock the OVA file to make the following actions instantly available: edit OVA and delete OVA. To unlock OVA, click the Actions button and select the Unlock option.
    • The limits on the number of OVAs and disk space allocated for storing OVAs are bound to a user who uploaded an OVA file. Therefore, when the OVA file is being converted, the bucket limits are checked for the user who uploaded OVA and not for the user who converts it.

When the uploaded OVA file is converted into a template, you can proceed to add this template to the template store and then build a VS from this template.


Make OVAs Public



It is possible to make the OVA template public after converting. To make OVA public: 

  1. Go to Control Panel and click Templates.
  2. Click OVA List on the menu. The page that loads shows the list of OVAs available to you.
  3. Click the Actions button next to the required converted OVA and click the Make public button.
  4. Click the OK button in the pop-up box to confirm the action. 


Edit OVAs



To edit the OVAs available to you:

  1. Go to Control Panel and click Templates.
  2. Click OVA List on the menu. The page that loads shows the list of OVAs available to you.
  3. Click the Actions button next to the required OVA and click the Edit button.
  4. On the page that loads, you can edit the following OVA details:

    No Virtualization

      • Label - specify the name for OVA
      • Version - fill in the version of OVA
      • Min memory size - specify the minimum required RAM for OVA (128 MB by default). If you set smaller amount than in OVA file, this amount will be overwritten by real memory size from the OVA file after upload. If you set bigger amount than in the OVA file, the settings will be applied.


    KVM Virtualization 

      • Allowed hot migrate - move the slider to the right if you want to be able to run hot migration of VS created from this OVA
      • Label - specify the name for OVA
      • Version - fill in the version of OVA
      • Min memory size - specify the minimum required RAM for OVA (128 MB by default). If you set smaller amount than in OVA file, this amount will be overwritten by real memory size from the OVA file after upload. If you set bigger amount than in the OVA file, the settings will be applied.

    vCenter Virtualization

      • Allowed hot migrate - move the slider to the right if you want to be able to run hot migration of VS created from this OVA
      • Label - specify the name for OVA
      • Version - fill in the version of OVA
      • Min memory size - specify the minimum required RAM for OVA (128 MB by default). If you set smaller amount than in OVA file, this amount will be overwritten by real memory size from the OVA file after upload. If you set bigger amount than in the OVA file, the settings will be applied.
      • Initial username - the initial vCenter username
      • Initial password - the initial vCenter password

  5. Click Save when you are finished.


Delete OVAs



You can delete uploaded OVA files of a converted template, so that the billing will not be calculated for the storage space. The files will be deleted, but the reсord in a database will be left. On the other hand, you can totally delete OVA (both converted and initially-uploaded). 

If you delete the initially-uploaded OVA file, templates converted from this file are not deleted.


Delete OVA Files

To delete the OVA files:

  1. Go to Control Panel and click Templates.
  2. Click OVA List on the menu. The page that loads shows the list of OVAs available to you.
  3. Click the Actions button next to the required converted OVA and click the Delete files button.

    When deleting OVA files, the OVA disk size (backup server limits section of buckets) will not be calculated, but the OVAs limit will be still charged.

Delete OVA

To delete OVA:

  1. Go to Control Panel and click Templates.
  2. Click OVA List on the menu. The page that loads shows the list of OVAs available to you.
  3. Click the Actions button next to the required OVA (converted or initially-uploaded) and click the Delete button.

    You can delete a converted OVA template only if there are no VSs running on it.

Use OVA on CloudBoot Backup Server



To use OVA functionality on a Cloudboot Backup Server, take the following steps:

  1. Log in via SSH to the Control Panel Server
  2. Edit the '/etc/exports' file, on the line  " /data X.X.X.X/YY(ro,no_root_squash)" - where X.X.X.X/YY is  your network/subnet. Change the "ro," to "rw," and save the file.
  3. Restart the NFS service

    "/etc/init.d/nfs restart"

    Please note that restarting NFS server at the same time when files are in use from the NFS share may cause issues.

  4. Share the /data directory among all servers in OnApp.
  5. Go to Control Panel > Settings > Compute Resources Label of the required CloudBoot compute resource.
  6. Click the Actions icon > Edit next to the Cloudboot Backup Server.

  7. Add the following to the Custom Config field:

    cp /etc/lvm/lvm.conf /etc/lvm/lvm.conf.orig
    sed -i 's/^[[:space:]]*filter = .*$/filter = \[ "r\|\/dev\/nbd\|" \]/g' /etc/lvm/lvm.conf
  8. Click Save.
  9. Reboot your Cloudboot Backup Server

    You can also execute the custom config command directly on the Backup Server to apply it withoutreboot.