When you log in to VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension for the first time, your inventory in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension is empty and the Getting Started pages guide you through the first steps for working with buckets, vApps, and catalogs.

Understanding Buckets

Before you start uploading files to VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension, you must create a bucket. You can then upload any number of files to the bucket. A bucket is a logical unit of storage. Buckets are the fundamental containers in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension.

You can access and manage buckets from the VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension user interface. See Working with Buckets. Alternatively, you can use the S3 API that VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension supports. See Working with VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension S3 API.

To organize and categorize your buckets, you can add multiple key-value pairs of tags to your buckets. For example, you can create a bucket to store financial reports from the financial department in your organization. You can tag this bucket with the following key-value pairs:
Key Value
Department Finance
Report Monthly

Bucket names are globally unique and the namespace is shared between all VMware Cloud Director organizations. After you create a bucket, the name of that bucket cannot be used for another bucket in any of the VMware Cloud Director organizations until the bucket is deleted. Bucket names must adhere to the S3 bucket naming requirements. See Amazon S3 Bucket Naming Requirements.

Understanding Objects

Objects in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension are the files that you upload to your buckets.

You can categorize objects within a bucket by adding key-value pairs of tags. If you are the owner of an object and have Read and Write permissions on the bucket that stores the object, you can add properties to the objects. You add the properties to the object by defining metadata in the form of a key-value pair.

Organization administrators can access and manage the objects that all users within their organization own. Organization users can access and manage the objects that they own and the objects that are shared with them.

You can preview image, text, PDF, audio, and video files directly in the user interface of VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension.

Understanding How to Work with vApps in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension

A vApp is a package/container of multiple interoperating virtual machines that communicate over a network and use resources and services in your environment. The virtual machines in the vApp are managed as a unit and distributed in OVA and OVF format. With VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension, you can store the vApps that you do not use in your VMware Cloud Director environment. When you capture a vApp from VMware Cloud Director and move it to VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension, you copy the vApp data from the VMware Cloud Director datastore to the back-end storage appliance that VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension uses. By capturing a vApp from VMware Cloud Director, you do not copy the storage reservation to VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension.

Later, if you need any of the vApps that you captured and store in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension, you can restore the vApps back to their original location. You can also download vApps as OVA files for backup and archiving purposes.

Understanding Catalogs in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension

Catalogs in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension are similar to the catalogs in VMware Cloud Director and act as containers for vApp and virtual machine templates.

You can upload ISO, OVA, OVF, and VMDK files to the VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension catalogs.

Catalogs in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension can be used as external catalogs for VMware Cloud Director. An organization administrator can subscribe a VMware Cloud Director organization to a catalog in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension. The subscription makes all files that are stored in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension available to the VMware Cloud Director organization users without consuming any of the compute resources in the VMware Cloud Director environment. For information about subscribing your VMware Cloud Director organization to an external catalog, see Subscribe to an External Catalog in the VMware Cloud Director Tenant Portal Guide.

When you create a catalog in VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension, a bucket is also created and is reserved as a system bucket. You cannot manage that bucket the way you manage buckets created by users.

Understanding Security Credentials

VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension supports S3-compatible API and the AWS Signature V4 authentication. Security credentials are used for authenticating S3 API requests and consist of an access key and a secret key. VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension supports user and application types of security credentials.

With S3 API requests authenticated with user credentials, you can access and manage buckets and objects that you own or that are shared with you.

With S3 API requests authenticated with application credentials, you can access and manage objects at the bucket level.