This tutorial will walk you through using VMBC and the Metaswitch Rhino VM automation solution to create, deploy, and test a simple VM.

It uses an example to guide you through developing your own VMs with Rhino TAS and VMBC and deploying/managing the VMs in a production environment with automation tools.

Overview of the tutorial

VMBC is a tool in the Rhino VM automation solution for producing automated VMs that run your Rhino application.

Before starting to use the tool, learn about how the solution works at a high level by reading through the Rhino VM Automation solution documentation.

What is covered

This tutorial takes you through:

  • Compiling a very simple Rhino service.

  • Using VMBC to build a virtual appliance image that contains a Rhino application based on this service.

  • Deploying a SIMPL VM.

  • Using the SIMPL VM to deploy three VMs from the image.

  • Configuring and testing the VMs.

What is not covered

Detailed instructions on using SIMPL VM

This is covered in the SIMPL VM manuals. When you need instructions for performing operations on the SIMPL VM, this document links to relevant places in the SIMPL VM manuals on the Metaswitch manuals site.

Upgrades, including use of Metaswitch Deployment Manager (MDM)

A standard production deployment always includes MDM to manage lifecycle operations (upgrade, rollback, heal, and scale). For simplicity however, MDM is omitted from this tutorial.

Clustered nodes

Rhino can run in either clustered or pooled mode. In the clustered mode, multiple nodes share a management database and hence all operational state, whereas in the pooled mode, each node is independent of the others, and must be configured separately. Pooled is the preferred and simpler mode, and is used in this tutorial.

Building the VM from a Rhino export or Sentinel package

Apart from a directory of DUs, VMBC can also build images from a Rhino export (generated using the rhino-export tool) or a Sentinel package. Since the tutorial application is very simple, these options are not covered here.

See Preparing your application for more details on the application packaging methods supported by VMBC.

Use of SAS or SNMP

The VMs' configuration files contain options for configuring MetaView Service Assurance Server (SAS) tracing and SNMP alarms and notifications. For this tutorial, these are all left disabled, and verification will be done using manual steps.

Configuration options for SAS and SNMP are detailed in the Custom VM Install Guide:

Note If you have a Rhino Element Manager (REM) installation already set up, you can use it to view Rhino’s state and alarms on the tutorial VMs. Setting up REM is not covered by this tutorial.

Next steps

To begin the tutorial, ensure you have your development environment set up and all required files downloaded, as per the Prerequisites and preparation page. Then proceed to Building the VM.

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