Ravello: My Intro to Oracle’s IaaS

I really like VM technology. Whether it be a Windows VM on my MacBook or a Linux VM on my Windows machine, I enjoy the flexibility of options. Particularly having a VM that mimics a large environment, like Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE) and their SampleApp VM for learning. (Note: You can also add a sample EPM environment to learn Essbase and Planning.)

About a year ago Oracle purchased Ravello Systems, a product that allows you to run VM’s in the public cloud. Why is this important? Think about the space required for a VM. The main one I use on my machine is around 50GB. I would gain a lot more space by offloading this VM to a cloud. Also, sharing, copying, creating, and deleting VMs in Ravello is very, very simple. Much simpler than traditional methods. I wanted to take today and show two options available to Ravello users. (Note: As with all Oracle Cloud products, you can request a free trial by going to www.ravellosystems.com or cloud.oracle.com.)

The first option I’m going to show is uploading a VM from your machine to the Ravello VM cloud.

1. Once logged into Ravello, click on the “Library” tab on the left side of the screen. Next, choose “Import VM”.

2. If you do not have the Ravello Import Tool installed on your machine, you will be prompted to download the exe and install the tool. Once installed, you will be brought to a browser tab that is actually addressed to your machine. Enter your credentials and login to Ravello.

3. You will be brought to the upload screen.

4. Depending on your VM file type, choose the correct option. I am loading a VMDK, so I’ll select that option.

5. Click “Start”.

6. Migrate to the directory where your VM’s are saved and select the items you would like imported into the cloud.

7. Once you have selected your files, choose “Upload”.

8. Depending on how large your VM is and your internet connection speed (mine is turtle in peanut butter slow), it may take a while to upload the VM. However, you will get a live feed of the progress.

9. Once finished, you will not get a confirmation other than the “Status” being “Completed”.

10. The VM will now be available in the Library. A note that you can view/add notes about the VM by clicking on the icon shown below.

11. Here is an example of what the inside of that note looks like. You can enter whatever details you would like and is particularly useful if you plan to share or copy this VM for others to use. A good use of this space is to relay usernames, passwords, port details, etc.

12. Once your VM is loaded, you can start editing details and connection options.

13. Here are the options for “General”:

14. Here is the “System” tab:

15. “Disks” tab:

16. “NICs” tab:

17. “Services” tab (Note: This is where you set your ports for the VM.):

18. To be able to access and start the VM, you first need to create an “Application”. Go to that tab and choose “Create Application”.

19. Give the new application a name.

20. From the VM list, drag and drop the VM onto the canvas.

21. Once on the canvas, click “Publish”.

22. A screen will show with some of the VM details. You have the option to optimize the VM for Cost or Performance. I have shown Performance as an example.

23. To show how the “Detailed Pricing” looks, I’ve expanded the section.

24. The VM is now starting. Below I have highlighted the upper right-hand corner where it shows how much time is left in the session (you can configure the default time a VM is up, including to not turn off) and where the cloud instance is located (this case is US East).

25. Once started, you can view your VM via VNC if you have configured the ports on the “Services” tab, OR you can click “Console”, shown below, and see your VM in a web browswer.

26. Here is the browser console showing the VM starting up.

27. Now the browser console is showing the VM desktop.

28. To stop the VM, click the “Stop” button in the lower right-hand corner. Once done, you will get a screen asking for a confirmation of the stop.

29. To show how a fully configured VM looks, here is an example. This one has ports enabled and shows the list of them on the lower right-hand corner, as well as what looks like connectors sticking out on the canvas from the VM.

30. Once the VM is started, you will get an IP address (dynamic each time the VM is started) for that VM.

31. Scrolling through the services list, I see that port 5902 has been configured for VNC.

32. Using VNC Viewer, I enter in the IP address followed by the VNC port.

33. Enter the password:

34. And now I have VNC’ed into my VM.

Going forward, I plan to use Ravello heavily for my VMs as it’s much easier than loading and unloading VMs from my external TB hard drive. IMO, Ravello is a great resource for individuals and companies to utilize VMs without having the huge overhead of machines required to host the VMs. …And I promise, I’m not being paid to promote Ravello. J I truly believe in this product and wanted to share my (great) experience so far!

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