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vSphere 7 Content libraries – Part 2: creating Subscribed library and Deployment models?


In my previous post part-1, we discussed the reasons behind using Content libraries and how to create local content library at Control site (HQ) and populating the content. In this post we will continue further with discussion on remaining configuration of subscribed library at remote sites. I just have 2 vCenter Servers, so will use that to demonstrate for two site scenario.

Subscribed libraries being read only instances of content library, users using subscribed library at remote site cannot import, add or modify content into it. The content in subscribed library is populated by means of replication from local content library (read/write instance) created on main site.

In continuation with our discussion of data duplication and modification in this post, subscribed library really overcomes the challenges we discussed about Centralized control, Secure Access and efficient storage utilzation. With content libraries, we are also creating copy (one copy per content per site) across locations and this can be justified as we really don’t want people accessing your data from main site over WAN. Local copies at each site ensures local, faster access to content. Ok enough talking, let’s test it.

Let us see step by step procedure of creating subscribed library.

Review your libraries in content library pane. We should have two content libraries across two sites and vCenter Servers.

If you notice, subscribed library does not have any template replicated as yet. That is because It is not synchronised yet.

All seems to be great. However, if you notice the size of replicated template is 0 B. That is because I selected download content when needed while creating subscribed library. We will talk about that in next post on replication so hold your horses till then 🙂

Is Subscribe library really what we discussed to be i.e. Read Only?

That completes the step by step procedure to create content libraries. So let’s discuss now about the Deployment models for content libraries.

Deployment Models for Content libraries

There are two deployment models available for content libraries as listed below.

Single vCenter Server

Image: VirtuallyGhetto

This deployment model is mostly used by small organisations where only single vCenter is deployed in main site that manages multiple remote locations which has ESXi hosts and storage units but no additional vCenter Server. Steps required to set up this type of deployment for content libraries would include.

Notice that I have used same vC as my primary library
Here Pasted the published URL of primary library and added other details like we did for Subscribed library
Select Datastore from remote site and complete the library creation. Once done, Synchronize the libraries

And here we are with the result as shown below. I have my subscribed library on same vCenter where primary library is also created but they do differ in where they are stored.

In this deployment model, using only single vCenter server instance may result in single point of failure (SPF) for content libraries as well as other services. As we do have vCHA feature available after vSphere 6.5, same can be leveraged to achieve high availability for vCenter Server instance to avoid SPF.

Multi vCenter Server Deployment

Image: VMware

In this deployment model, each location has its own vCenter Server and local resources such as ESXi host, Datastore respectively. vCenter servers are configured in linked mode (Enhanced since 6.0). The advantage of this deployment model is that even if primary vCenter Server is unavailable, remote location is unaffected.

I will not walk through the steps for this model as that is what we have deployed before we talked about deployment models.

Let’s take a pause here. In upcoming posts we will discuss about Content library synchronization, access management, and using templates from library. Check Part-3 where we will talk about content library permission management.

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