The power of VMware vApps is something that I think most VMware Admins still overlook simply because they haven’t taken the time to learn more. I believe that once you learn more about vApps, you’ll see that they offer amazing portability and power which you’ll want to use in your VMware infrastructure.
In the past, I have created a couple of videos on vApps. They are Great New vApp / OVF 1.0 Features in vSphere 4 and What are VMware vApps?. These videos offer good information on the concept of a vApp but they are also based on vSphere 4 and there have been a number of improvements since then. Thus, let’s start from the beginning on what a vApp is and how the latest features can help you, in vSphere 5.
What is a VMware vApp?
A vApp is a container for virtual machines that offers resource controls and management for the virtual machines that are inside. Think of a vApp as a portable, self-contained box that holds multiple virtual machines that make up a multi-tiered application (like a web server, database, and security server), including all custom network configurations.
- Container for multiple virtual machines
- Resource controls for the VMs inside the container
- Network configurations contained inside
- Portability of the vApp such that everything can be contained and transferred to another virtual infrastructure
- Entire vApps can be powered on, powered off, suspended, or shutdown
- Entire vApps can be cloned
Probably the best way to understand vApps is to create one so let’s learn how.
Creating a vApp
Creating a vApp is easy. To do it, in your vSphere client (connected to vCenter), click on File, go to New, and click on vApp, as you see in Figure 1. Alternately, you can press Control-A.
This will bring up the New vApp Wizard. The first thing you need to do in this wizard is to create a name for the vApp In my case, I simply called it “Client-Server-App” and clicked Next.
Next, you need to configure the resource allocation for the vApp. At this point, the only resource allocations available are either CPU or memory. The resource configurations are just like a resource pool as a vApp really contains a resource pool. vApp resources use the same shares, reservations, and limits that regular resource pools use. Notice how I went ahead and reserved 4000Mhz of vCPU and 6000MB (6GB) of vRAM for the VMs that will be inside the vApp resource pool.
Finally, a review before creating the vApp, as shown in Figure 4. After reviewing, click Finish.