Configure Content Library in vSphere 6.5

Content libraries are container objects for VM templates, vApp templates, and other types of files. vSphere administrators can use the templates in the library to deploy virtual machines and vApps in the vSphere inventory. Sharing templates and files across multiple vCenter Server instances in same or different locations brings out consistency, compliance, efficiency, and automation in deploying workloads at scale.

You create and manage a content library from a single vCenter Server instance, but you can share the library items to other vCenter Server instances if HTTP(S) traffic is allowed between them.


Content Library with vSphere 6.5 includes some notable usability improvements. Administrators can now mount an ISO directly from the Content Library,  apply a guest OS customization specification during VM deployment, and update existing templates. Performance, recoverability, and scalability have also been improved. The new Optimized HTTP Sync option controls how a published library stores and syncs content. Because Content Library is part of vCenter Server, it leverages the new features included with vCenter Server 6.5, including vCenter HA and vSphere 6.5 Backup/Restore Service offered by vCenter Server Appliance.

First we will create a local Content Library. Open your vSphere web client, login with your credentials and go to Home > Content Library.

You must have privileges: Content library > Create local library or Content library > Create subscribed library on the vCenter Server instance where you want to create the library.

Click the Objects tab and Create a new content library button.


Next enter a name for the content library, and in the Notes text box, enter a description for the library and click Next.


Then you must select the type of content library that you want to create. You can create two types of libraries: local or subscribed library.

Local library used to store items in a single vCenter Server instance. You can publish the local library so that users from other vCenter Server systems can subscribe to it.

Subscribed content library is a content library that is subscribed to a published content library. You can sync the subscribed library with the published library to see up-to-date content, but you cannot add or remove content from the subscribed library.


Next screen you have to select a datastore from your vSphere inventory and click Next.


Review the information you enter and click Finish.


Now we have created a Local Content Library on our vCenter Server instance. We can start now add content to the library.

Templates can be imported or created from an existing virtual machine or template in the inventory. To create a template from a virtual machine right click and select Clone, Clone to Template in Library.


Or if it is already a Template created on the vCenter, just right-click and Clone to Library option.


In next screen, select clone as New Template, select Content Library, give a name to template and click OK.


Now from the Content Library we can right click the template and select New VM from This Template.


Give a name to new virtual machine and location on vCenter. You can also choose to costumize the operating system. Click Next to continue.


Here as I specified, you can choose a Customization Specification if you have one, or you can create a new by clicking + green icon.


Select a resource where to deploy the new virtual machine. Click Next also on Review details screen.


Now select a datastore where you will store the VM. Here you can also specify any storage policy for VM or change disk format. Click Next.


Select destination network for the deployed VM. Click Next to review the settings.


In ready to complete screen see all the configuration made and click Finish to deploy new VM from content library template.


You can also populate a content library with OVF templates that you can use to provision new virtual machines. You can also add other files to a content library such as ISO images, scripts, and text files. Content Libraries is nice feature, very useful and easy to use as you see it in this article.

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