What are content libraries? ^
Content libraries are container objects for VM and vApp templates and other file types like ISO files. The content library helps to maintain centralized VM templates, vApp templates, and ISO images for consistent VM deployment across the VMware virtualized infrastructure.
You can share the templates and ISO files across multiple vCenter Servers, whether they are located in the same or different datacenters. vSphere administrators can use the VM templates in the content library to deploy VMs into the vSphere inventory. Let's discuss some new features available with content libraries in vSphere 7.0.
VM template versioning ^
In the previous version of vSphere, maintaining and updating the VM template versions was a manual task. Managing multiple copies after updating the templates resulted in serious management overhead. Frequent changes to the templates were needed to apply the latest security patches and software updates. VM versioning was a must-have feature to keep track of VM template versions. vSphere 7 introduces VM template versioning.
Template versioning is only available with the templates that are stored in content libraries. The new Versioning tab provides a quick historical view of edits. You can easily identify the changes made to each version of the templates, which is very helpful when you are making changes or updating the templates.
VM template versions
Checking out templates ^
You can perform the Check Out operation to update a virtual machine from the VM template. During this process, the VM template is not available for checkout by other users, but they can deploy a virtual machine from the VM template without any disruptions. After you check out a virtual machine from a template and update the virtual machine, you must convert the virtual machine back into the VM template.
To check out the template to VM for editing, select the VM template in the VM and Templates view and click theCheck out VM from this template button.
Specify the VM name and location along with compute resource information to check out the VM from the VM template.
Checking in templates ^
After checking out the VM from the VM template, you can make the necessary changes, such as modifying the VM configuration or applying the security patches to the operating systems. Once the changes are applied to the virtual machine, you check in the VM to a template. When you do so, you create a new version of the VM template (VMTX) containing the updated state of the virtual machine. Check in the templates to save the changes made to the VM templates.
When you check in the VM, you can use the check in notes to specify the changes that were made to the VM after checkout. After the VM has been checked in, you can see these notes in the template versioning information.
Reverting to previous versions ^
If the latest VM template contains changes that you no longer want to keep, or you made a mistake during your last check-in, you can revert the VM template to the previous version. Select the previous template and select the Revert to This Version option to revert the snapshot to the previous state.
Advanced configuration and optimization of the content library ^
In vCenter Server 7, the Content Libraries screen now has an Advanced button for accessing advanced configuration and optimization for the content library. You can now edit the Auto-Sync Frequency and Performance Optimization options for the content library from the vCenter server.
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I hope this article will help you to understand the new features available with content libraries in VMware vSphere 7.