Any other format besides ISO for a VM to read/mount a CD/DVD ?

We have lots of customers who creates their software / codes / data
onto CDs/DVDs as iso & pass to us (as we run cloud service), then we
mount those media via vCenter for VMs to read/copy them over.

Q1:
Besides ISO, is there any other simpler way that VMs could read/
mount CDs/DVDs media?

Q2:
Be it iso or any other format, is there freeware burner that could
encrypt the information on the media just in case the media got
lost/misplaced during transit?  For USB HDD, we can create an
encrypted container (say using Truecrypt) but for CD/DVD media,
doubt this can be done as these media are write once only &
mounting/remounting/decrypting may not be permitted, right?
Or will a DVDRW (ie multi-rewritable DVD media) work with
truecrypt?
sunhuxAsked:
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Dave HoweConnect With a Mentor Software and Hardware EngineerCommented:
you can create a truecrypt encrypted container on a dvd/cd (or move one onto a cd/dvd after creation, or simply send a truecrypt container and place it in an iso file before or after) - but that would require having to mount the iso then mount the truecrypt container on the vm, from the iso.
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sunhuxAuthor Commented:
Customers complain that creating ISO images is rather
cumbersome & slow
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Q1. No.

I do not find it slow, it only has to be done once! Must distros and OS are now supplied already as an ISO. e.g. MSDN/Technet

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Part 3: HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 4: HOW TO: Upload an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.


Q2. I would stick with Truecrypt, of WinRAR/Winzip for secure password.
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sunhuxAuthor Commented:
> Q2. I would stick with Truecrypt, of WinRAR/Winzip for secure password
Did not quite understand the above;  did you mean you prefer Truecrypt
over WinRAR/Winzip?  Can Truecrypt create an encrypted container in
a CD/DVD or I'll need a CDRW/DVDRW media?
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Dave HoweConnect With a Mentor Software and Hardware EngineerCommented:
you can use truecrypt, but for transit its probably easier to:

a) make the iso (I use the free cdburnerxp or makeisofs; the latter is a command line tool suitable for batch scripting)

b) use the free 7z archive tool to compress and encrypt the iso to a .7z file

c) transfer the file to the hosting center

d) decompress and mount the iso, discarding both 7z and iso after use.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
use either Truecrypt, or Archive tools with password.
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