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Get Started with Bitnami Applications on IBM Cloud

Introduction

The IBM Cloud allows enterprises to find validated and continuously maintained infrastructure and application software.These solutions are suitable for deployment into any public, hybrid, and private cloud as well as in any Kubernetes cluster. Bitnami provides both Helm charts and OVA images for the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS) and VMware vCenter in IBM Cloud, respectively.

These application charts and templates are secure, updated and packaged according to industry best practices, and they provide a way for enterprise users to immediately become productive with the infrastructure of their choice.

This tutorial, walks you through the process of using the IBM Cloud to get a Bitnami WordPress OVA template from the IBM Cloud catalog and install it in a server configured to work with VMware vCenter in IBM Cloud. It also shows how to launch a Bitnami WordPress virtual machine using that OVA image in your VMware vCenter Server through the vSphere Client.

Overview

If you’re interested in creating a personal or small business blog, chances are that you’re going to use WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world, used on over 60 million websites (according to Wikipedia). And it is not hard to see why: WordPress is very easy to use, comes with thousands of extensions and themes, is completely free, and is open source.

In this tutorial, I’ll launch a cloud server with the Bitnami WordPress Stack, which gives you a pre-configured WordPress blog that you can start using right way. But WordPress is just an example: there are hundreds of other Bitnami applications to choose from, and they’re all equally easy to set up.

Here are the steps you’ll follow in this tutorial:

  • Install the Bitnami WordPress OVA template in your VMware vCenter in IBM Cloud
  • Launch a Bitnami WordPress virtual machine in your VMware vCenter Server
  • Obtain WordPress credentials
  • Log in and start using WordPress

Assumptions and prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that:

  • You have an account in the IBM Cloud.
  • You have a server configured to work with VMware vCenter in IBM Cloud.

NOTE: Bitnami applications typically require a network IPv4 address to be configured for their server(s). By default, the OVAs are configured to use DHCP to obtain an IP address. If an IPv4 address is not defined statically or can not be retrieved via DHCP, the initialization of the server will take more time than expected and the application might not be properly configured.

Step 1: Install the Bitnami WordPress OVA template in your VMware vCenter in IBM Cloud

At the end of this step, you will have defined the configuration for launching a virtual machine using the Bitnami WordPress OVA template.

The first step consists of searching for the application you wish to deploy (in this case, Bitnami WordPress) in the IBM Cloud and defining the deployment configuration to use it with a virtual machine. Follow these steps:

  • Log in to the IBM Cloud.
  • From the top menu, select the “Catalog” option and search for the application you wish to deploy in your VMware vCenter Server. In this case, the required application is the Bitnami WordPress image.

    Select the application from the catalog

  • On the resulting page, select the vSphere target: VMware vCenter Server. “OVA Image” will be preselected by default. Then, enter your admin password in the “vCenter Server password” and the datastore name where you want to deploy the image. The Kubernetes cluster to push this image is preselected by default.

    Select the target

TIP: You can retrieve the vSphere password by navigating to the “VMware Solutions -> Resources” section In the resource where you want to deploy the application, copy the admin password you will find under the “Access Information” panel.

Copy vCenter admin password

  • To finish the configuration, navigate to the “Configure your workspace” section. Enter a name for your OVA image, select the resource group in which the application will be stored, and add some tags to better identify it.

Configure workspace

  • On the right side of the screen, you will find a summary of the custom settings. Confirm that you have read and agree the license agreements and click “Install” to finsh the process. This will take a few minutes. You can check the status of the deployment in the “Schematics -> Workspaces” section.

    Install WordPress

Step 2: Launch a Bitnami WordPress virtual machine in your VMware vCenter Server

At the end of this step, you will have deployed a Bitnami WordPress image in your datacenter.

Once you have the WordPress OVA template available in your datacenter, you can launch it by running a virtual machine using the vSphere client. Follow the instructions below:

  • Log in to your datacenter using the vSphere client and navigate to the datastore you specified in the last step. You will see the OVA image available there and ready to be launched.

  • Select the image you wish to deploy. From the template detail page, begin the deployment by selecting “Actions -> New VM from this template” menu item.

    Create new VM from the selected template

  • Enter a name and select a location for the virtual machine within your SDDC. Click “Next” to proceed.

    Choose location for the VM

  • Select the compute resource that will be used for the deployment. Click “Next” to proceed.

    Select compute resource

  • Review the template details. Click “Next” to proceed.

    Verify template details

  • Review and accept the terms and conditions for the license agreement. Click “Next” to proceed.

    Accept licenses

  • Select a destination network for each source network. Note that the “IP Allocation Settings” display the values defined by default in your datacenter. Click “Next” to proceed.

    Select a destination network

  • Define the contents of the SSH public key that will be used to connect to the virtual machine.

    Add SSH public key

  • (Optional) Add additional user data for the VM. This is useful to execute an script at deployment time and to provide parameters to the virtual machine such as the application password. Click “Next” to proceed.

    Add custom script

  • In the “Ready to complete” screen, review the configuration summary. If correct, click “Finish” to complete the process.

    deployment summary

Once the deployment process completes, your virtual machine will appear in the list of available virtual machines for your specified datacenter location. Select it to obtain a detailed configuration summary and gain access to management options.

Virtual Machine management panel

By default, the virtual machine will be powered off, so you must power it on before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Obtain WordPress credentials

At the end of this step, you will have the credentials needed to access your WordPress blog.

You’re almost done but, before you can log in to WordPress, you need the administrator credentials and the application IP address. Follow the steps below:

  • On the virtual machine detail page in vSphere, click the “Launch Web Console” menu item:

    Access the console

  • The virtual machine console will appear with a login prompt, as shown below. The console will also display the login credentials for the application and the current IP address of the virtual machine. Make a note of these details.

    Credentials for application

You can now access WordPress by launching your Web browser and browsing to the virtual machine’s IP address. You should see the front page of your blog with a sample post, as below:

WordPress home page

Step 4: Log in and start using WordPress

At the end of this step, you will have logged in to WordPress and created a new blog post.

To log in to the WordPress dashboard, follow these steps:

  • Browse to the WordPress dashboard, usually at the URL http://SERVER-IP/wp-admin.

  • Log in with the administrator credentials from the previous step.

    WordPress credentials

You should now arrive at the WordPress dashboard, which allows you to manage posts, pages and comments; customize your blog with themes and plugins; import and export content; manage navigation menus; add or delete new user accounts; and much more.

WordPress credentials

Create your first post

You can now add a new post using the following steps:

  • Select the “Posts -> Add New” menu option to create a new post.

    Add new WordPress post

  • Enter a title and content for the post. You can use the formatting tools at the top of the content area to format your post and add hyperlinks or images.

  • Optionally, choose the format and category for your post.

  • Publish it immediately using the “Publish” button.

    Add new WordPress post

And now, when you visit your blog’s front page, you should see your new post.

WordPress post publishing

Congratulations! You now have a working, fully-functional WordPress blog in the cloud.

Keep your WordPress installation up-to-date

You can keep your WordPress installation up-to-date with the WordPress update feature. To access this:

  • Log in to WordPress using the administrator account.
  • Select the “Dashboard -> Updates” menu item.

    WordPress update

  • Review the resulting page to see if WordPress needs an update. If an update is available, you can install it by clicking the “Update Now” button. You can also re-install WordPress if needed with the “Re-install Now” button.

    WordPress update

To learn more about the topics discussed in this tutorial, use the links below:

Last modification July 30, 2020