The Antsle is a very powerful piece of hardware that allows you to easily deploy one or even hundreds of virtual machines on your data center network (that can all run simultaneously). Out of the box, the Antsle includes a nice cross-section of available images to use for the deploying of your virtual machines. However, it is very possible you might find the list of templates somewhat limited. Fortunately, Antsle made provisions for such a case, and added the ability to upload your own ISO images, so you can use other operating systems for the deployment of virtual machines.

But how do you add your own ISO images? Although it’s not terribly challenging, it’s not nearly as intuitive as you might think. Let’s walk through the process. I’ll demonstrate adding an ISO for rockstor (a personal cloud platform).

The only thing you will need is the ability to log into a running Antsle and the downloaded ISO file for rockstor, or whatever ISO you’re looking to use.

Let’s make this happen.

Creating a new antlet

The first thing you must do is create a new antlet. I’ve already covered the creation of a new antlet in my post ” How to use Antsle to quickly deploy a virtual machine.” Walk through that process, but make sure to select Blank – KVM from the Template drop-down. Save the newly created antlet.

Uploading the ISO

Now we have to locate the area that allows us to upload the ISO image for our newly created antlet. To do this, go to the antMan main page and click on the name you gave the new antlet. This will open a popup window. Click on the Virtual Drives tab in this window ( Figure A).

Figure A

Click on the Import disk button. In the resulting window ( Figure B), click the dotted square. Navigate to the downloaded ISO and select it.

Figure B

Click Add as CDROM (otherwise the ISO won’t boot) and then once the ISO has uploaded to the device) click Import. When you are returned to the original popup window, you can then click the Close button. Your new antlet is ready to use. You can now click the Start button to launch the virtual machine.

Caveat emptor

If there’s one caveat to be found in this process, it’s that even though you’ve uploaded a new ISO for a virtual machine, it will not be available to use for other virtual machines. If you want to create another VM from the ISO you just uploaded, your best bet is to clone the antlet before you start working with it. That way you have a fresh version to use. Keep cloning that “fresh” copy, any time you need a new VM, based on the ISO. If you don’t clone the antlet, you’ll wind up having to go through the process of uploading a new ISO image to deploy the same platform.

Upload as many as you need

So long as your Antsle has the space, you can upload as many ISO images as needed to complete your stable of virtual machines. Just remember: These are not templates–only single-use ISO images.