Shells Overview

A shell enables CloudShell users to interact with different sandbox elements, like physical devices and virtual appliances. A shell models the sandbox element in CloudShell and provides commands that CloudShell users and automation processes can run on it, like Power On and Health Check.

Shells can be downloaded from Quali's Community’s Integrations page and have different levels - Certified, Preview & Community grade. Each shell is based on a standard, which defines the shell's data model and functions. Can't find the shell you're looking for in Quali Community’s Integrations page? You can extend an existing shell, create a new Shell based on one of our Shell standards, or suggest a new standard in our Idea Box. For more information, visit the The CloudShell DevGuide or ask a question in our Community Forum.

Our shells

CloudShell shells can be thought of as either 1st Generation shells (1st Gen) or 2nd Generation shells (2nd Gen). Both types of shells can coexist inside the same CloudShell sandbox, but they differ in their structure and in the way that they are managed.

  • 1st Gen Shells are imported as CloudShell packages that contain the data model and driver for the intended sandbox element. 1st Gen shells allow extensive control of the family and model, and therefore are not standardized. While they allow maximal flexibility, when using them, some shell management capabilities may not be available. 1st Gen Shells use the blueprint packaging mechanism - see Import a Blueprint Package into CloudShell.

  • 2nd Gen Shells are imported through CloudShell Portal’s Shells management page. 2nd Gen shells are based on standardized models and attributes, which streamlines the creation, maintenance and sharing of shells. Unlike 1st Gen shells, which can be modified from Resource Manager Client, 2nd Gen shells cannot be altered, ensuring their integrity. For details, see Managing Shells.

Both 1st and 2nd shells can coexist with each other in the same CloudShell sandbox. However, it is strongly recommended to migrate any 1st Gen shells to 2nd Gen. Today all shells released by Quali are 2nd Gen.

How to use shells in CloudShell

Note: Depending on your organization, the system administrator and domain administrator may be the same employee.

  1. The system administrator imports the shell into CloudShell, as explained in Importing Shells.
  2. In the Inventory dashboard, the domain administrator creates a resource based on the shell. For additional information, see Adding Inventory Resources.

    The resource is available for the domain’s users.

    Note: This step does not apply to shells that create services. If the shell creates services, the service is created in CloudShell when you import the shell and is available in the domains defined in the shell's service category.

  3. Blueprint designers add the resource to the blueprint, and if needed, configure connectivity to other elements in the blueprint. For additional information, see Add Connectivity.

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