IA LAB: Accessing vCloud Director

Accessing vCloud Director

The DSU IA lab uses vCloud for creating hands on labs with virtual machines. vCloud Director can be accessed from both on campus and off campus, there are no location restrictions. Windows, Linux, and Mac are all supported, however Mac users cannot use Safari. Firefox works best for all operating systems, Chrome does work, but keyboard shortcuts may have problems.


Logging In:

To log in, browse to the website. https://ialab.dsu.edu For the learn environment (where you would do labs for a class you are enrolled in) click on the link to the learn interface. To work on your own projects, click projects.

We now have two different interface options Flash (same as it has always been) or HTML5 (flashy and new but limited functionally currently) 

 The logon page should look similar to the following depending on if you choose Flash or HTML5 and the chosen ORG 


From here, log in with your username and password DSU Network Password.

Special Notes: If you receive “Authentication Error” Make sure that you have access (i.e.: you will receive this error logging into the Learn environment if you are not in any classes). Make sure you are using your DSU username to log in not your email. If you are unsure of your username you can find it by logging in here using your email address (https://apps.dsu.edu/dsu-account/login.aspx)


##The following guides are using the Flash Interface##

HTML5 Guides will be added as the interface reaches full functionality

Checking out a vApp (Lab):

Checking out a lab will give you an exact copy of the virtual machines needed to complete your lab. This may have already been done for you automatically!

Once logged into vCloud Director:

From the Home tab, click the Add vApp from Catalog button

If you are in the My Cloud tab, simply click the green plus

The Add vApp from Catalog wizard opens. To add a lab for class, make sure that the Look In drop down reads My Organization’s Catalogs and All Templates is selected.

Select the lab you wish to check out and click Next.

The next screen will allow minor customizations to your vApp.

Give your vApp a unique name, such as YourLastName_Lab01. The default must be changed.


Runtime Lease: The runtime lease states how long your virtual machines will be allowed to run before they are suspended. Suspending the VMs allows the resources to be used by other machines. Suspending will stop any activity you have going on in your machine, but it will NOT reset (or power cycle) your VM. The maximum value is 3 hours.

Storage lease: The storage lease states how long your VM may be left unattended before being deleted automatically. The maximum value is 30 days.

Once you have customized your settings, click Finish.

Your vApp will be checked out and ready soon after clicking Finish.


Using your VM:

Your virtual machine’s console is where you will probably do the most of your work.

From this window, you can:

  Power on your virtual machine (if it is off)
  Suspend (hibernate) your virtual machine
  Power off your virtual machine
  Reset or power cycle your VM. This does NOT reset your VM to its initial state.
  This button allows you to mount a virtual CD. If you need to insert a virtual CD, see the section describing the Virtual Machines Tab
  Insert a virtual floppy disk
  View your VM in full screen mode
  Press Control + Alt + Delete inside of your VM.


Using vApps in vCloud Director:

This section describes basic operations once your vApp has been checked out.

From the Home tab, click Open on your vApp.


Virtual Machines Tab:



Powering On:

You may individually select a VM from inside the vApp if you wish to power on a specific VM without starting both. If you wish to power cycle to suspend the same applies.



If your machines are powered on, you may select the thumbnail under the Console heading to open and interact with your VM. You may also right click and select Popout Console.


Insert a CD:

To insert a virtual CD into your VM, right click on the virtual machine and select Insert CD/DVD from Catalog… 

vApp Diagram Tab:

The vApp Diagram tab shows the network configuration of your vApp. In this case, we can see that both of the virtual machines are connected to a single virtual switch called Isolate.

Networking Tab:

The networking tab has no settings that should be modified.



I am using Internet Explorer 10.  The site says my browser in incompatible.
Easy answer: use Firefox instead. Harder answer: Enable Compatibility Mode for the site. Additionally, add https://vcloud.ialab.dsu.edu to your trusted sites to resolve any permission issues. Ensure your popup blocker is disabled for https://vcloud.ialab.dsu.edu and ensure that you allow the plugin to operate when you try to open a VM’s console.

What is the best browser to use?
Firefox and Chrome are the best browsers for use. Internet Explorer works, but you may run into issues or limitations. Safari is unsupported (even if you are on a Mac).  

I am using a Mac and it tells me my browser is unsupported!
Use Firefox for Mac.

Chrome keeps flashing the screen of my VM.
Use Firefox.

I get the message “Power on VM “VM Name” to interact with it”.
You will generally get this error if you accidently click on the thumbnail of a VM that is not powered on.

It keeps telling me I need to install the plugin, but I already have!
Make sure the plugin is enabled in your browser. You can usually pull this list up by typing “about:plugins” in the address bar. Make sure the VMware and Adobe Flash plugins are enabled.

With the release of Firefox 53 Mozilla disabled support for NPAPI plugins. To work around this limitation, we need to use Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release). Firefox ESR is available for download here (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/) Windows and Linux users make sure and select the 32bit download as the 64bit release does NOT support VMware Plugins.


Article ID: 38885
Mon 9/11/17 12:17 PM
Thu 5/21/20 2:09 PM