Chapter 23. Virtual Machine Naming During Provisioning

When we provision a virtual machine using the native provider manager—VMware vSphere or the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager, for example—we must provide the name of the new virtual machine to be created. One of the benefits of a cloud management platform like CloudForms is that we can partially or fully automate the creation of virtual machine names as part of the provisioning workflow.

CloudForms has a very flexible way of letting us assign names to virtual machines at provisioning time, in a process known as naming. It allows us to explicitly name the VM (fine for single-VM provisioning operations) or to auto-append a zero-padded number for multi-VM provisioning requests. It also allows us to use or create a custom naming policy whereby CloudForms autogenerates VM names based on a number of factors, including a common prefix, tags, or group membership, for example.

VM Name-Related Provisioning Options

The naming process has several inputs and usually two outputs. The inputs to the naming process are a number of variables and symbols that are set (and we can customize) during the provisioning dialog, or defined in the Naming class schema. The outputs from the naming process are the VM name and optionally the hostname (i.e., fully qualified domain name [FQDN] first part) to be applied to the VM’s operating system.

Inputs to the Naming Process

The following subsections detail the variables and symbols used as inputs ...

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