A software depot is a collection of VIBs and image profiles. The software depot is a hierarchy of files and folders and can be available through an HTTP URL (online depot) or a ZIP file (offline depot). VMware and VMware partners make depots available. Companies with large VMware installations might create internal depots to provision ESXi hosts with vSphere Auto Deploy, or to export an ISO for ESXi installation. VIB is comprised of three parts:
- A file archive - contains the files that make up the VIB.
- An XML descriptor file - describes the contents of the VIB.
- A signature file - is an electronic signature used to verify the level of trust associated with the VIB. There are four acceptance levels:
- VMwareCertified: VIBs created and tested by VMware.
- VMwareAccepted: VIBs created by a VMware partners that are approved by VMware.
- PartnerSupported: VIBs created and tested by a trusted VMware partner.
- CommunitySupported: VIBs created by individuals or partners outside of the VMware partner program.