Ravello Systems kindly provide vExpert’s with 1000 hours per month of usage. This is great for building almost no holds barred environments within the cloud for labbing etc.

However for me it does have one huge drawback, there are no available windows OS’s to choose from. With the Ravello system you can upload your own ISO files or vm files to the cloud system for use which is great except I have a 1.5Mbps upload on my broadband connection (on a good day). This is also if you can believe it on a fibre line where my download maxes out a 17Mbps.

As you can see that uploading any content will be a time consuming excersice and as my line also suffers from dropouts can also be frustrating.

So I’m using the Ravello cloud to perform all this intial ISO seeding function for me by utilising a Xubuntu desktop as my download and importing tool.

Creating a Ravello application

1/ Login to the ravello cloud and select the applications node on the left hand side. Create a new application (or if you already have one you can use that as well).


2/ Give the application a name and click Create.


3/ You will then be directed straight to the import VM screen, click and drag the Xubuntu Desktop vm to the main visio type design page.


4/ You’ll get a design error straight away which in a new application will be the key pair request, so you can resolve that by clicking on the general tab and either creating and downloading a new keypair or selecting an existing one if you have one. The click Save on the bottom right hand side of the screen.

 

5/ The last step of the application creation is publishing the application which is the step where all the cloudy backend gubbins kicks off so this could take 5 minutes or so to complete. So hit publish and grab a quick cup of tea!

 

Configuring Xubuntu

6/ Once the environment is ready you’ll notice a nice green play button on the vm when its running click on the console button on the bottom right hand side which will launch the vnc connection.


7/ To login to the desktop at present the default password is “ravelloCloud”


8/ Use the web browser in the vm to login to your ravellosystems.com account and then select Library\Disk Images and then click the import disk image button.


9/ The browser will redirect you to the import tool detector which of course at the moment will fail. Click the link to download the GUI version (or the CLI version if your feeling saucy). The browser will ask you which program you want to use with the download so just select the default archive program and extract the downloaded files to a specific location (I’ve put mine in a desktop/install folder).


10/ Launch the terminal CLI and navigate to your downloaded files.
The import tool requires python to be installed so first you’ll need to grab those by typing:

sudo apt-get install -y python-setuptools

Once python is installed follow on that by typing which will install the import tool:

sudo ./installer.sh

11/ Now all you need to do is start the service by typing in ravello_vm_import_server which will then also launch a browser. You can use that browser to log back into your ravellosystems account.

12/ Finally you can navigate back through your Library\Disk Image and Upload image as in step 8 however this time it will work and ask you to login using your ravellosystems credentials.


With all these steps in place you can login to your various partner portals and download the iso’s to the vm for importing into your ravello cloud account.

Couple of points that i have noticed when using this method though:

  • Upload speed varies wildly during an import
  • The import tool will only recognise ISO files if the the file extention is in lowercase (iso not ISO)
  • By default applications have a two hour limited before shutting down so you can reset or extend that by clicking the hyperlink

 

 

I know that it seems a bit of a long way round to do this but as I mentioned at the top of the blog my fibre connection isn’t the most reliable in the world and is probably the best and quickest way for me to get up and running.
Author: Dale Scriven

 

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