To share the contents of a local library with users from other vCenter Server instances, enable publishing for the library. If publishing is enabled, other users can subscribe to the published library and use its contents. As an administrator, you can also create subscriptions for the library to gain control over the distribution of content.

A publisher library is a local library with subscriptions.

Note: You cannot create subscriptions to a local library that does not have publishing enabled. You also cannot disable publishing for a library that already has subscriptions. To disable publishing for a local library, you must first delete all of its subscriptions.

To avoid name collisions and failures when you publish content from the publisher library, the publisher and subscriber libraries must have unique folders dedicated to them.

Local Libraries

You use a local library to store and manage items in a single vCenter Server instance. When you enable publishing for the library, users from other vCenter Server instances can subscribe to it and gain access to the library items. In this case, only the subscriber initiates and controls the synchronization of content between the published library and the subscribed library.

If publishing is enabled, you can also create subscriptions to the local library. Creating a subscription creates a new subscribed library or links the publisher library to an existing subscriber. Unlike regular subscribed libraries, subscriptions give the administrator of the local library control over the distribution of content library items.

Using Subscriptions

When you create a subscription for a local library, the result is a subscribed library. A publisher library is aware of its subscriptions. Subscriptions enable the administrator of the publisher library to control the content distribution. With subscriptions, content is distributed either when the subscriber initiates synchronization, or when the administrator of the local library publishes the library items to one or more of the existing subscriptions.

When you use subscriptions, you have the flexibility to decide how much of the library content you want to share with the subscribers. For example, you can publish some or all library items. You can also publish content to selected subscribers or to all subscribers.

The use of subscriptions allows content distribution between a publisher and a subscriber in the following scenarios.
  • The publisher and subscriber are in the same vCenter Server instance.
  • The publisher and subscriber are in vCenter Server instances that are in Enhanced Linked Mode.
  • The publisher and subscriber are in vCenter Server instances that are in Hybrid Linked Mode. For more information about Hybrid Linked Mode, see the VMware Cloud on AWS documentation.
    Note: Publishing content is possible only from an on-premises publisher to a cloud subscriber, and not in the reverse scenario.

Limitations in Content Distribution

Content is distributed when a publisher library publishes content to its subscribers or when a subscriber synchronizes the content in the respective subscribed library with the published library. You can publish and synchronize a single content library item or an entire library. The following limitations exist in the distribution of content between a published and a subscribed library.
  • You can publish only VM templates. If you publish an entire library that contains both VM templates and OVF templates, only the VM templates are replicated to the subscriber. To synchronize OVF templates and other types of files, the subscriber must initiate the synchronization.
  • You can synchronize only OVF templates. If a subscriber initiates synchronization with a published library that contains both VM templates and OVF templates, only the OVF templates are synchronized in the subscribed library. VM templates are synchronized when a publisher library publishes them to its subscribers.