This topic explains how to take .pva files (which contain Responder suites including Message Responder and/or SQL Responder tools) and deploy them to a local or remote server, where they can serve as Virtual Assets.
Understanding Deployment Options
Dedicated (Remote) Virtualize Servers vs. The Local Virtualize Server
Virtualize allows you to configure dedicated Virtualize servers—always-running machines that host the specified virtual assets in order to provide the appropriate team members and project stakeholders continuous, stable access to virtualized resources. With such a server, the team gains centralized virtual asset access and management. Such Virtualize servers can be accessed and managed remotely from your team’s various Virtualize desktop installations.
Virtualize also can provide a local Virtualize server when you are creating virtual assets directly on the Virtualize server machine via the Virtualize GUI.
For details on starting, stopping, and interacting with remote and local severs, see:
The recommended workflow is to first use the Virtualize Desktop GUI to deploy a newly-created virtual asset to a "staging" remote server in order to validate that it works as expected and to fine-tune its behavior. You can think of this as your dedicated staging server for testing newly-created virtual assets.
Then, once the virtual asset is operating properly, you can use the Virtualize Desktop GUI to move it to a "production" Virtualize server for centralized, team-wide access. You can think of this as your dedicated "Production" server where your created virtual assets are actually consumed. This re-deployment can be done by simply dragging the related .pva file from the remote "Staging" server to the remote "Production" server host (in the Virtualize Server view).
Deployment in the VirtualAssets Project
As of Virtualize 9.6, virtual assets must be deployed in the VirtualAssets project. If you have any existing assets deployed in other projects, they will be represented in the Virtualize Server view in the Virtual Assets (other projects) folder:
These assets can remain deployed in the current location until you start updating them. When you are ready to modify them, move the virtual assets (and any dependent files) to the VirtualAssets project.
Deploying Virtual Assets
There are several ways to deploy virtual assets:
- Drag and drop (or copy/paste) already-deployed virtual assets from one Virtualize server to another.
- Drag and drop (or copy/paste) .pva files to the Virtualize Server view node representing the desired Virtualize server.
- Create projects within the VirtualAssets project.
- Drag and drop (or copy/paste) .pva files to the VirtualAssets project.
- Use the Add Virtual Assets wizard.
More specifically, here is an overview of the deployment options available for the local Virtualize server and for remote Virtualize servers:
|Local Virtualize Server||Remote Virtualize Server|
Detailed instructions are provided in the following sections.
Using Drag/Drop or Copy/Paste
The fastest way to deploy a virtual asset to a local or remote server or to move virtual assets from one server to another is as follows:
- In the Virtualize Server view, find the node representing the local or remote server to which you want to deploy the virtual assets.
- Drag (or copy/paste) the virtual asset to that node. You can drag or copy virtual assets from other servers, or .pva files from the Virtual Asset Explorer or Navigator. Additionally, you can drag or copy related assets (such as a .csv or .xls/.xlsx data source used by the virtual asset) from the Virtual Asset Explorer or Navigator.
You can use this procedure for a variety of purposes, including:
- To deploy a newly-created virtual asset to the local server in order to validate and fine-tune its operation.
- To move a properly-functioning virtual asset from the local server to a remote server for team-wide use.
- To move a virtual asset from the remote server to a local server for editing, then re-deploy the modified virtual asset to the remote server.
- To update the .pva file used by any already-deployed virtual asset.
Alternatively, you can deploy virtual assets to the local server by adding the related .pva file to the VirtualAssets project (through drag and drop, copy/paste, or a source control update).
Using the Add Virtual Asset Wizard
If you want additional control over the deployment process (e.g., if you want to modify the default endpoint), you can deploy virtual assets to the local server as follows:
- In the Virtualize Server view, right-click the node indicating where you want to deploy the virtual asset, then choose Add Virtual Asset.
- Specify the path to the Responder suite that contains your Responder tools, then click Next.
- Modify the endpoint if desired, then click Finish.
Customizing Virtual Asset Deployment
For details on how to customize advanced options for virtual asset deployment, see Configuring Server and Deployment Settings.
Re-Deploying Modified Virtual Assets
Virtual Assets get redeployed automatically whenever you make a change in the asset and save the change. Any time that you open an already deployed .pva on the local server, modify it, then save the editor, it will redeploy automatically. Automatic redeployment of all virtual assets also takes place when a data source file (Excel spreadsheet [.xls or .xlsx] or CSV) is modified.
If you want to prompt Virtualize to re-deploy all assets:
- In the Virtualize Server view, right-click the appropriate machine node, then choose Re-Deploy All Virtual Assets from the shortcut menu.
Organizing Deployed Virtual Assets
If you want to organize the deployed virtual assets in the VirtualAssets project into logical groupings, you can specify a hierarchical structure. For instance, if you wanted to organize virtual assets into 4 projects, each which is organized by project components, you might create the following structure:
You can specify a hierarchical structure from the:
- Virtualize Server view (as described below).
- VirtualAssets project in the Navigator view (using Eclipse controls, such as File> New> ...).
- Workspace’s VirtualAssets folder in the file system (using file system controls, such as those provided by Windows Explorer).
Any changes made in one area will be automatically reflected in the others.
Organizing Virtual Assets from the Virtualize Server View
From the Virtualize Server view, you can perform the following actions to organize virtual assets:
- Add folders and subfolders (via right-click commands)
- Rename folders and subfolders (via right-click commands)
- Copy and paste virtual assets, folders, and subfolders (via right-click commands)
- Drag and drop virtual assets, folders, and subfolders
- Delete virtual assets, folders, and subfolders (via right-click commands)
- If you delete a virtual asset from the Virtualize Server view, you will be given the option to remove the corresponding .pva from the server.
- Folders with deployed assets will be marked with a special icon.
- (For users migrating from version 9.5 and earlier) If you have assets that were previously deployed in projects other than the Virtual Assets project, the Virtualize Server view display them in under a folder with the name of their respective project. No folder hierarchies will be reflected in such assets.