You may remember a very popular feature that was part of vCloud Director. It was called fast provisioning and when it was enabled it allowed your cloud consumers to provision vAPP VM’s within seconds as opposed to over 24 minutes using traditional cloning in vSphere. While technically not the same as Fast Provisioning, in vCAC this feature is referred to as “linked clones”. A linked clone is a snapshot of a replica disk that is accessed by vCAC when provisioning new VM’s. This snapshot only consumes the storage resources as it is used. A full sized clone would take the same amount of storage as the original. There are storage savings as well as very fast speed of provisioning.
Let’s walk through how to set this up. First off you will need to create your template in vSphere, only it is not going to be a vSphere template. You will need to be sure it is in vSphere as a powered off VM. Install and configure the base operating system and any configuration or apps and shut it down. Then take a snapshot of it.
Now you will need to name that snapshot. I use Base so I know it is the base for a Linked Clone in vCAC.
Now we go back to vCAC and create the linked clone blue print. But first we need to make sure vCAC knows about the changes we made in vCenter. Go to the Infrastructure tab and then to Compute resources and hover over your vCenter resources and select data collection
Now click to start an inventory scan. NOTE: This will automatically happen daily by default, we are just speeding it up.
Ok, now that vCAC knows what inventory vCenter has we can create the blue print. Navigate back to infrastrcuture then blueprints and create a new vSphere blue print. On the build information tab enter information as shown below and then click the browse tab to locate your VM we configured earlier.
Now select your VM that you want to use and click next
Now select the snapshot we created and click finish
Finish configuring the blueprint and publish it to the catalog and entitle it. Now when your cloud consumers request this blueprint, the provisioning time will be seconds not minutes. Enjoy!