Thursday, February 28, 2013

The fine art of SmartOS image creation in SDC

I suspect many organizations that run Joyent's Smart Data Center have them operated by Joyent staff themselves. Template creation of SmartOS images is something any private cloud operator will need to do, and Joyent has basic information on how to do so. However, certain steps require tools and code generally only available or known to Joyent staff. I wanted to impart my knowledge on how to go about doing this here for my own notes and for others.

First, one can follow the instructions at

I found that creating the snapshot locally to the compute node, as mentioned near the bottom, was insufficient, but your mileage may vary. I used the UI to snapshot the templated VM. In my case, I used the Smart64 image as my base OS image to then customize as mentioned, such as adding tomcat, services, and configurations.

One step that I found problematic is the meta data creation. The commands for doing this were found only in Smart64 or similar instances, and not the underlying nodes or SDC head node zones. I created a new Smart64 instance for template manipulation, pointed it to my cloudapi host using the "sdc-setup" command, and after configuration, used sdc-updatemachinemetadata from /opt/local/bin. The specific command I used for my meta data example was:

sdc-updatemachinemetadata -m image_name="tomcat" -m image_version="1.0.1" -m image_description="tomcat appserver" 99199472-bae6-4c89-a7ef-d6d4cf736feb

The final part of that line is the zone uuid after it has been shutdown. The final step is to run sdc-create-image, a script that is only available internal to Joyent. Please contact your team rep to get this. Once you have it, your image publishing is a trivial command, run from the head node:

./sdc-create-image 99199472-bae6-4c89-a7ef-d6d4cf73757

With that, your new template is created, and your users can not pick your new application image to instantiate.

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