ISO files enable you to back up optical disks or store your data in a more functional way. CloudShare enables you to import a prepared ISO file and connect to it from any VM in your environment.
An ISO file stores a complete CD or DVD image, which means that you can run software or read data from a virtual CD drive. CloudShare also supports booting automatically from a virtual CD when needed.
Using a virtual CD drive makes it possible to enhance any VM with data, program software, or operating systems that may only be available on a CD, providing you with maximum flexibility when creating and configuring environments.
Installing Aspera Connect
In order to import an ISO drive, you will first need to ensure that Aspera Connect is installed. Before you can import assets (i.e., a VM or an ISO file) to your VM, you will need to install IBM Aspera components on both your web browser and computer.
CloudShare asset imports require two separate Aspera components:
- The Aspera Connect browser plugin, installed directly from the browser; and
- The Aspera Connect application, downloaded from the Aspera website.
To ensure maximum robustness and resilience of the asset import process, the latest versions of both Aspera Connect components must be used.
- In CloudShare, select VM Import or Import ISO File from the Assets Import menu, depending on the asset type you want to import. CloudShare detects and notifies you when one or both of the Aspera Connect components are not installed on your computer. For example:
This notice also appears when only one of the two Aspera Connect components is found on your computer. You should ensure that the latest version of both components is installed.
- Click Install to install the Aspera Connect plugin on your browser. Follow your browser's instructions to complete the process. In case a problem occurs, refer to the Aspera Support Site.
- Click Download to download the Aspera Client application. Follow the instruc- tions provided by the application wizard to complete the process. In case a problem occurs, refer to the Aspera Support Site.
- When you have completed the setup wizard, open your browser and click either the CloudShare VM Import or ISO Import File option again. If the page still displays the Aspera prerequisites message, try refreshing the page.
Note: If you do not have permission to download or install an Aspera Connect component, you can still perform a VM Import using the manual process supported by CloudShare. For more information, see Uploading VMs Manually via Cloud Folders.
Importing ISO Files to CloudShare
Adding an ISO file to your CloudShare account makes it possible to mount it as a virtual CD/DVD from any VM.
You can import and manage ISO files from the Assets Import menu.
Note: Before you can import an ISO file, IBM Aspera Connect needs to be installed on the local machine, as discussed above.
- Select Assets Import > Import ISO File. The Import New ISO File dialog is displayed:
- Click Browse ISO Files and select the ISO file to upload from the file browser that is displayed. The name of the selected file will appear in the ISO File Name field, and its size will appear in the ISO File Size (MB) field.
- Optionally, you can add helpful details about the new import to the ISO File Description text box.
- From the Associated Projects dropdown, select one or more CloudShare projects that will be able to use the ISO file. Any environment that uses an associated project will be able to connect to the imported ISO drive.
- Click Import. The dialog will close and the IBM Aspera Connect popup dialog will be displayed, showing the progress of the import:
You can control the progress of your current ISO file import using the buttons located to the right of the progress bar.
The import process is asynchronous, so you can continue working on other CloudShare activities while the import is running. A notification will be displayed when the import completes successfully.
You can also see the status of the current ISO file upload, along with a complete list of ISO files imported to the account, on the ISO Files page.
Using an ISO Image
After an ISO file has been successfully imported to CloudShare, it will be available as an ISO image to any project that was associated with it during the import.
To enable access to the ISO image, a user can assign the image to a VM in the desired environment. The VM will show the image as a virtual CD drive when the environment is running.
Any user with a role enabling them to edit an environment can assign the ISO image.
- From the Environments List, click the name of the environment where you want to use an ISO image. The Environment Details page for the selected environment will be displayed.
- From the VMs List, locate the VM where you want to assign an ISO image. From the actions list at the bottom of the VM, click Connect ISO File.
Note that once you connect, you will see an additional option called Edit ISO Options. This option enables you to change the connect properties when the ISO is already connected.
Once you’ve connected, the Connection dialog will be displayed:
- From the Choose Connection Mode area at the top of the dialog, Connect Now immediately connects to the ISO image. You can optionally activate Connect at Power On - which connects to the ISO image whenever the VM is initialized.
- From the Choose File to Connect dropdown list, select the ISO image that will be accessed by the VM. The ISO image description is included next to the file name to help make the selection easier.
- From the Boot Order area, optionally activate the Boot from ISO checkbox to enable the VM to use the ISO image as a bootable CD.
- Click Connect. The connection details will be saved with the selected VM and the dialog will close.
When the environment runs, the selected VM will be enabled with a virtual CD drive (using your chosen ISO image), according to the options you have chosen above.
When the VM uses a Windows-based OS, the virtual CD drive will be instantly available upon VM startup. When the VM uses a Linux or AIX-based OS, the virtual CD drive will need to be mounted before it is available for use.
Disconnecting an ISO Image
To remove an existing virtual CD drive from a VM, go to the VM details as described in the initial steps above and click Disconnect ISO File. The ISO image will no longer be associated with the selected VM.
Mounting an ISO Drive (Linux/AIX Only)
When the VM uses a Linux or AIX-based OS, you will need to issue a manual mount command before a virtual CD drive can be connected and made available for use.
The command will vary, depending on the OS type.
The following is a manual command example for Ubunti:
mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
The following is a manual command example for AIX:
cfgmgr -l vscsi0 lsdev -Cc cdrom
crfs -v cdrfs -p ro -d cd0 -m /cdrom -An mount /cdrom
In both of these scenarios, in order to use the CD after mounting, you will also need to change to the relevant CD-ROM directory.
Viewing and Managing Imported ISO Files
You can see a complete list of ISO files imported to the account - along with the status of each - on the ISO Files page.
Select Assets Import > ISO Files List. The ISO Files page is displayed:
Each listed ISO file is shown together with the following data:
- File Name - The name of the imported ISO file.
- Description - The description that was provided for the file when it was imported to CloudShare.
- Status - The current status of the ISO file: Uploading, Ready, Pending Delete, or Deleted.
- Size - The storage size of the imported ISO file, in MB.
- Create Time - The date and local time that the upload finished successfully for the ISO file.
- Creator - The name of the user who imported the ISO file to the account.
- Project - The names of all CloudShare projects that are associated with the imported ISO file.
- Regions Data - The CloudShare region(s) where the ISO file can be accessed. While the file is uploading, this data will show the percent imported for each region. Following import, this data will indicate region availability. This data will also indicate when an ISO file is pending deletion.
The ISO Files list can be searched, filtered, and sorted like other CloudShare list pages.
Deleting an ISO File
To delete an imported ISO file:
- Activate the checkbox located next to its name in the ISO Files list:
- At the top of the list, click Delete. A warning popup will be displayed.
- Click OK. The status of the selected ISO file will be changed to Pending Delete.