Creating a Media Library

Service Portal and Commander users can upload ISO and FLP files to a organization-specific media library and to global media folders, depending on the their permissions. Users can then connect these files to vCenter VMs with CD drives. For example, if a user wants to install antivirus software on a vCenter VM, they can connect an ISO file on the datastore that contains installation files to a CD drive.

You can isolate the datastores and folders that organization members may browse when connecting media. For service providers, this allows you to ensure data isolation for each of your customers. You can create a media library that includes both:

  • global folders, which can be seen by all Service Portal users
  • organization-specific folders, which can be seen only by members of the assigned organization

In this topic:

See also Connecting Media to vCenter VMs.

Prerequisites

Datastore access

For users to be able to upload files to a media folder, the datastore must be mounted to the host with read/write access.

For users to be able to connect media files to a VM's virtual hardware device, the datastore where the media file is stored must be mounted to the VM's host.

Relevant Service Portal permissions

The following Service Portal Permissions control the ability to connect, upload and delete files in the media library:

Permission

Description

Default roles with this permission

Connect/Disconnect Media

Allows users to manage media for a VM

Customer, Delegated Admin, Manager

Manage Organization Media

Allows a user to manage media in their organization-specific media folder

Delegated Admin, Manager

Manage Global Media

Allows a user to manage media in the global media folder

Delegated Admin

Security

The Media Manager is a pop-up window that allows Service Portal and Commander users to upload and delete media files. The Media Manager must stay open during the Upload phase, but the user doesn't need to stay logged in while the upload is in progress. The Media Manager can be closed during the Transfer phase.

The following actions require an active (logged-in) Service Portal or Commander session:

  • Browse media folder contents
  • Upload a media file
  • Delete a media file
  • Cancel a file upload

The following actions don't require an active Service Portal or Commander session:

  • Pause, resume or retry upload for files in the upload queue
  • Clear completed or failed files from the upload queue

Quota and media management

When quota is configured for an organization, media files in an organization's media folder can be included in quota calculations. When media files are included in quota calculations, if an upload would exceed an organization's quota, the Service Portal user is prevented from uploading a file. Commander users, by contrast, are not prevented from uploading files in this situation, but files uploaded to an organization's media folder by Commander users do count towards the organization's quota.

Note that media folders assigned to multiple organizations consume quota from all assigned organizations.

Both resource quota and cost quota are supported for media files. In the case of a cost quota, costs are determined by the cost model assigned to the datacenter where the datastore is located.

If you've implemented the Cost Adjustments feature to apply markups and discounts to your costs, cost quota calculations will use adjusted costs.

Global media folders are never included in quota calculations. Member quotas are not affected by media files.

To include media files in quota calculations, make sure that the storage tier assigned to the datastore where the media files are located is included in the organization's quota. If you want Service Portal users to see their media quota separately in the Service Portal dashboard, put the media files on a separate storage tier and name the tier Media, for example.

To exclude media files from quota calculations, assign a specific storage tier to the datastore where the media files are located. Then, exclude this storage tier from the organization's quota.

See Per-tier storage quota and Setting Storage Tiers for Datastores for more information.

Creating a media library

To allow Service Portal and Commander users to upload files and connect virtual hardware, you create a media library. Commander allows you to create both global and organization-specific media locations in the media library. Organization-specific media locations ensure that you can segregate media folders and datastore files for each of your organizations.

VMs are only able to access media libraries created under the managed system on which they reside. This means that if you have a datastore available to multiple vCenters, you must create the media library under each in order for the files to be available to all VMs.

Access through:

Configuration > Media Library

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser, Enterprise Admin

Administrator, Operator with Approval, Operator Access Rights on Datastore

To create a media library:

  1. On the Media Library page, click Add.
  2. In the Media Location wizard, on the Name page, provide a name, and an optional description.
  3. On the Assignment page, choose one of the following:
    • Global to make this location available to all users
    • Assign this media location to these specific organizations, select an organization in the drop-down menu, and click Add.
  4. On the Datastore page, browse to the datastore containing the files you want to make available and select it.

    If this datastore is later deleted, the media location will have an Alert status.

  5. On the Folder page, navigate to and select the folder where you want the assigned users to upload media files.
  6. On the Summary page, review the details and click Finish.

Uploading files to the media library

Commander users can upload both .iso and .flp files to global and organization-specific media folders.

Access through:

Configuration > Media Library

Available to:

Administrator, Operator with Approval, Operator Access Rights on Datastore

To upload a file to the Media Library:

  1. On the Media Library page, select a media folder and click Manage Files.

    The Media Manager opens in a separate window. Files previously uploaded to the folder displayed in the Current field are displayed in the top portion of the window, and files that have recently been uploaded, or are queued, are displayed in the Upload Queue portion of the window.

  2. In the Media Manager, click Upload File.
  3. In the File Upload dialog, navigate to the folder containing the .iso or .flp file you want to upload.
  4. Select a file and click Open.
  5. File upload begins, and progress is displayed in the Upload Queue section of the Media Manager.

    Important: You must leave the Media Manager window open while the Upload phase is in progress. Once the Transfer phase has begun, it's safe to close the Media Manager window. See Monitoring media file uploads below for more information.

  6. While a file is being uploaded, you can:
    • Click Cancel if you made a mistake and don't want to upload this file
    • Click Pause to pause all uploads (before the status in the Upload column is Complete)
    • Upload another file

    When the Transfer column displays Complete, Service Portal users with access to the target media folder will be able to connect the media file to a VM's virtual hardware.

Monitoring media file uploads

Upload occurs in two phases: upload from the browser to a temporary location on the Commander server, and transfer from the Commander server to the target datastore. The progress of both phases is displayed in the Upload Queue, which appears at the bottom of the Media Manager window.

A task also appears in the Tasks tab at the bottom of the Commander window to indicate that the Transfer phase has begun.

When the Upload phase is complete, the Upload column in the Media Manager displays Complete. Next, the Transfer column displays Pending, and when the transfer begins, the percentage complete is displayed.

When the Transfer column displays Complete, users with access to the target media folder will be able to connect the media file to a VM's virtual hardware.

Clicking Clear in the Media Manager's Upload Queue simply removes a completed entry from the list.

Upload file

Pausing, resuming and retrying media file uploads

You can pause all in-progress and queued uploads by clicking Pause at the bottom of the Media Manager window. Note that any uploads that are in the second phase of upload (to the datastore) can't be paused, but they can be canceled (see Canceling media file uploads above).

When you're ready to resume upload, click Resume.

If a blue Retry link is displayed in the Upload Queue, clicking Retry will resume from where it left off.

If an error is displayed because an upload was interrupted, such as an interrupted network connection, closing the Media Manager window or a power interruption, you must upload the file again.

Canceling media file uploads

Access through:

Configuration > Media Library

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser, Enterprise Admin

Administrator, Operator with Approval, Operator Access Rights on Datastore

You can cancel an upload during both the Upload and Transfer phases from the Media Manager.

Upload Queue

You can also cancel a media file upload in the Transfer phase by right-clicking the task in the Tasks tab at the bottom of the Commander window and selecting Cancel.

When a media file upload is canceled, the incomplete upload and quota reservation are cleared immediately.

Refreshing the information for media folders

Access through:

Configuration > Media Library

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser, Enterprise Admin

Administrator, Operator with Approval, Operator Access Rights on Datastore

When you select a media folder in the Media Library list, information is displayed, such as its size, cost, and location. These details are refreshed nightly, as well as after a file upload or deletion. To refresh the information immediately, select a media folder in the list and click Refresh Details.

You can cancel a Refresh Media Folder Details task when it's in progress by right-clicking it in the Tasks tab at the bottom of the Commander console and selecting Cancel.

If the target datastore can't be checked, the Last Refresh property has a value of Unknown (for example, the root Fileshare datastore in a vCenter managed system can't be checked).

Deleting media folders

Access through:

Configuration > Media Library

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser, Enterprise Admin

Administrator, Operator with Approval, Operator Access Rights on Datastore

To delete a media folder, select it in the Media Library list and click Delete.

When one or more files are in the process of being transferred to the media folder, the Delete Media Folder task is queued until transfer is complete. If you need to delete a media folder immediately, cancel any Upload Media File tasks for the folder (see Canceling media file uploads below).

Deleting files from the media library

Access through:

Configuration > Media Library

Available to:

Commander Role of Superuser, Enterprise Admin

Administrator, Operator with Approval, Operator Access Rights on Datastore

Note that you can't delete a file that's currently connected to a running VM.

To remove a file from the Media Library:

  1. On the Media Library page, select a media folder and click Manage Files.

    The top portion of the Media Manager window displays a list of files in the current folder.

  2. Select a file in the list and click Delete File.

Troubleshooting

General troubleshooting information

  • The global threshold for preventing deployment to a datastore (80% by default) also controls the threshold for media files. This means that if a media file upload will exceed the global threshold, the upload won't start. See Setting the datastore threshold for more information.
  • The threshold for space consumed in the temporary upload location is controlled by an advanced system property. If the threshold is exceeded during file upload, the upload will be canceled. To learn more, see Advanced Configuration through System Properties.
  • Quota is reserved for the full size of a media file when a user starts an upload.
  • If an upload is interrupted (for example, the user closes the Media Manager when uploads are in progress) and quota is configured, the quota is not released until the regular maintenance task clears the incomplete upload.

Alert status on media folder

If the managed system, datastore or path has an alert status, this is indicated with a warning icon in the Issues column.

media-lib-alert

Conditions that can cause an alert status include:

  • the folder doesn't exist on the datastore
  • the datastore is inaccessible, has been removed, or is in maintenance mode
  • the managed system has been removed or disconnected

Users attempting to upload files in the Media Manager can't see folders with an alert status.