4.7 How are Assemblies Managed?

Assemblies can be described as a template of a group of virtual machines, or a collection of multiple virtual machine templates. An assembly is a kind of infrastructure template containing a configuration of one or more virtual machines with their virtual disks and even the inter connectivity between them. In the Oracle VM Manager Web Interface, templates and assemblies appear in different tabs of the storage repository, but their virtual machine configuration files and disk images are stored in the same location as those of other virtual machines and templates.

Assemblies can be created as a set of .ovf (Open Virtualization Format) and .img (disk image) files, or may all be contained in a single .ova (Open Virtualization Format Archive) file. Disk image files can be different formats such as VMDK, VHD, VDI in addition to raw disk images. After the assemblies are imported, the disk images are converted into raw disk images used by Oracle VM templates and virtual machines.

To use an assembly, you must first import it into a repository, then create one or more templates from the assembly. You create one virtual machine template for each virtual machine in the assembly. You can then use the template(s) to deploy the virtual machines that originated from the assembly. You cannot deploy all virtual machines in an assembly in one step; you must deploy each virtual machine individually. To perform deployment of all virtual machines, including the associated networking configuration, you should use Oracle Enterprise Manager.

For ease of use, you should use a single .ova file when working with assemblies in Oracle VM. You can also use the .ovf format with the associated disk image files, but you must import all the disk files individually as virtual disks, then import the .ovf file as an assembly before you can use the assembly to create a template.

An assembly can contain a virtual machine from another virtualization software vendor, such as VMware. This enables you to import virtual machines from other virtualization software providers. Just make sure the virtual machine to be imported is correctly saved or created using the OVF standards and all files are saved in an assembly file using the OVF archive file format, then import the .ova file into Oracle VM Manager as you would any other assembly file.


OVF files in the version 0.9 format (as used by VMware ESX 3.5) are not supported. If the assembly that you wish to import uses an unsupported format, you can try to use VMware's Converter or OVF Tool to convert to a newer version or you can use qemu-img to convert the vmdk files to raw disk files and recreate the VM manually.

To display the virtual machines which use an assembly, select the assembly in the management pane and expand the table row. Note that assembly contents are not automatically refreshed by a refresh operation performed on the repository where the assembly is hosted, if you want to view the contents of the assembly you may need to refresh the assembly first.

To import an assembly, see Import Assembly in the Oracle VM Manager User's Guide. To create a virtual machine template from an assembly, see Create VM Template in the Oracle VM Manager User's Guide.