vSphere Plugin


The vSphere plugin allows users to use a vSphere based infrastructure for deploying services and applications.

This page relates to a commercial add-on to Cloudify which is not open source. If you’d like to give it a test drive contact us using the feedback button on the right. The vSphere plugin.yaml configuration file can be found in this link.

Plugin Requirements:

  • Python Versions:
    • 2.7.x
  • User Permissions:
    • To create and destroy virtual machines and storage:
      • On the datacenter:
        • Datastore/Allocate Space
        • Network/Assign Network
        • Virtual Machine/Configuration/Add or remove device
        • Virtual Machine/Configuration/Change CPU count
        • Virtual Machine/Configuration/Memory
        • Virtual Machine/Interaction/Power On
        • Virtual Machine/Inventory/Create from existing
      • On the specific resource pool:
        • Full permissions recommended.
      • On the template(s) to be used:
        • Virtual Machine/Provisioning/Customize
        • Virtual Machine/Provisioning/Deploy template
    • To create and destroy port groups:
      • On the datacenter:
        • Host/Configuration/Network configuration
    • To create and destroy distributed port groups:
      • On the datacenter:
        • dvPort group/Create
        • dvPort group/Delete

vSphere Environment

  • You will require a working vSphere environment. The plugin was tested with version 5.5, with updates 1 and 2 installed.

SSH Keys

  • You will need SSH keys generated for both the manager and the application VM’s. If you are using the default key locations in the inputs, these can be created with the following commands:
ssh-keygen -b2048 -N "" -q -f ~/.ssh/cloudify-manager-kp.pem
ssh-keygen -b2048 -N "" -q -f ~/.ssh/cloudify-agent-kp.pem

OS Templates

  • You need OS templates of your preferred operating systems (e.g. Ubuntu Trusty) within the vSphere datastores.
  • The cloudify manager must meet the manager requirements.
  • Linux templates must:
    • Have SSH activated and open on the firewall.
    • Have a user account with the agent key trusted as an authorized key for application VM templates.
    • Have a user account with the master key trusted as an authorized key for the manager VM template.
    • A single template can be used with both sets of keys trusted to act as both the manager VM template and the application VM template.
    • The user account must have passwordless sudo access. e.g. if the user is a member of the sudo group then /etc/sudoers should contain the line: ‘%sudo ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL’
  • VM tools deploypkg must be installed on both templates:
  • Windows servers should be configured to support winrm scripting.
  • It is also necessary to install the deployPkg plugin on the VM according to VMWare documentation
  • The template should not have any network interfaces attached.
  • vSphere must be of an appropriate version with any required updates to support customization of your chosen OS. Compatibility matrix



Each type has property connection_config. It can be used to pass parameters for authenticating. Overriding of this property is not required, and by default the authentication will take place with the same credentials that were used for the Cloudify bootstrap process.


Derived From: cloudify.nodes.Compute


  • server key-value server configuration.
    • name server name. These must be unique within the vSphere environment.
    • template virtual machine template from which server will be spawned. For more information, see the Misc section - Virtual machine template.
    • cpus number of cpus.
    • memory amount of RAM, in MB.
  • networking key-value server networking configuration.
    • domain the fully qualified domain name.
    • dns_servers list of DNS servers. These will be added to the interface configuration.
    • connected_networks list of existing networks to which server will be connected, described as key-value objects. Network will be described as:
      • name network name.
      • management signifies if it’s a management network (false by default). Only one connected network can be management.
      • external signifies if it’s an external network (false by default). Only one connected network can be external.
      • switch_distributed signifies if network is connected to a distributed vswitch (false by default).
      • use_dhcp use DHCP to obtain an ip address (true by default).
      • network network cidr (for example, It will be used by the plugin only when use_dhcp is false.
      • gateway network gateway ip. It will be used by the plugin only when use_dhcp is false.
      • ip server ip address. It will be used by the plugin only when use_dhcp is false.
  • connection_config key-value authentication configuration. If not specified, values that were used for Cloudify bootstrap process will be used.
    • username vSphere user name.
    • password vSphere user password.
    • url vSphere url.
    • port vCenter API port for SDK clients (443 by default)
    • datacenter_name datacenter name.
    • resource_pool_name name of a resource pool.
    • auto_placement Whether to use vSphere’s auto placement algorithms to place the host. Defaults to false. If false, the plugin will select which host to use for deployment.


Derived From: cloudify.nodes.Network


  • network key-value network configuration. Used to create port groups.
    • name port group name
    • vlan_id VLAN identifier which will be assign to the network.
    • vswitch_name vswitch name to which the port group will be connected.
    • switch_distributed True if the port group is on a dvSwitch, False otherwise.
  • connection_config key-value authentication configuration. Same as for cloudify.vsphere.server type.


Derived From: cloudify.nodes.Volume


  • storage key-value storage disk configuration.
    • storage_size disk size in GB.
  • connection_config key-value authentication configuration. Same as for cloudify.vsphere.server type.


Example I

This example will show how to use all of the types in this plugin.

The following is an excerpt from the blueprint’s blueprint.node_templates section:

type: cloudify.vsphere.nodes.Server
        domain: example.com
        dns_servers: ['']
                name: example_management_network
                management: true
                switch_distributed: false
                use_dhcp: true
                name: example_external_network
                external: true
                switch_distributed: true
                use_dhcp: false
                name: example_other_network
                switch_distributed: true
                use_dhcp: true
        name: example_server
        template: example_server_template
        cpus: 1
        memory: 512

type: cloudify.vsphere.nodes.Network
        name: example_network
        vlan_id: 101
        vswitch_name: example_vswitch

type: cloudify.vsphere.nodes.Storage
        storage_size: 1
        - target: example_server
          type: cloudify.vsphere.storage_connected_to_server

Node by node explanation:

  1. Creates a server from the example_server_template. This server will have 1 CPU and 512MB of RAM and be attached to the three networks (example_management_network, example_external_network, and example_other_network). The IP on the example_external_network will be statically assigned. The DNS server will be assigned as a DNS server.

  2. Creates a network. We specified the network name as example_network, with network VLAN ID as 101, and an existing vswitch name we want to connect to as example_vswitch. This results in us creating a port group called ‘example_network’ on the ‘example_vswitch’ vswitch, tagged with VLAN ID 101.

  3. Creates a new virtual hard disk (storage). We specified desired storage size as 1 GB and wish to add this storage to example_server vm.


Resources prefix support

This plugin supports transformation of resource names according to the resources prefix feature. For more information on this feature, visit the CLI guide.