VMware PEX 2010 – Day Four

After my presentation yesterday, I had more time on the break-out sessions and self paced lab today.

Accelerate Your Services With VMware Services Automation Tools

Lost VMs or Containers? Too Many Consoles? Too Slow GUI? Time to learn how to "Google" and manage your VMware and clouds in a fast and secure HTML5 App.

This session is by Budianto Bong, VMware Sr. Product Manager. He demoed three tools from VMware PSO that help consulting partners: Migration Manager, Desktop Reference Architecture Workload Simulator, and HealthAnalyzer. The first one is not the P2V converter, but a management tool that tracks, manages, and reports large scale migration projects.

Using the VMware vSphere PowerCLI for Automated Installation And Configuration of ESXi and vCenter for ISV Partners

This is a joint presentation by VMware TAM Ken Brady, and CareFusion network engineer Fisk Shogren. Ken introduced the basics of PowerCLI and VMware TAP programs. Fish showed off his PowerShell code that is used to set up the environment, which took 2 days, if lucky, of manual work before. It’s a great example on how much you can get by automating vSphere API, particularly with PowerCLI. I handed over my business card so that Fisk can show more of his code later.

Getting Stoned With “Project Onyx

This is presented by Carter Shanklin as I advertised before. If you are like me sometimes not sure what arguments to pass into vSphere API calls, Onyx is a saver. Carter demoed how to it to “record” the vSphere Client operations to PowerCLI code, which is then used as a reference to write VI Java API code. The first case was relatively simple – it changed the memory allocation. The “recorded” code was just about 3 lines, the conversion to Java wasn’t a big deal at all.

The second case was a lot more complicated even though it didn’t seem like so from vSphere Client, which just changed the port group of a virtual machine. The PowerCLI code was more than 20 lines. Carter summarized four rules of conversion. So it wasn’t a big deal neither, except that it took longer time than the first case. On the survey sheet, I wrote, “I am stoned!”

The open source VI Java API has solved two major issues with programming vSphere API in Java: version 1.0 for ease of use with full managed object model; version 2.0 for high performance and easy setup. One problem still remains there, which is the complicated arguments. One method is vSphere API, for example reconfigVM_Task, is a lot harder than it appears. The embedded data objects within the parameters make it very hard to use. Although the API reference has done a fairly good job, it’s still hard to come up with right arguments. It’s just the nature of complexity of platform management.

Although Oynx can only generate PowerCLI code but the code is pretty clear on the what arguments and what methods to call. It’s definitely doable to generate Java code directly so that you can copy code from Onyx to your code. Please voice your requests for Java support in the Oynx forum.

All being introduced, let’s wait for Carter to post more about his 4 rules and code samples. Once I hear from him, I will post a link here. Please subscribe the RSS feed.

Self Paced Labs: VMware View Base Install and Config

After lunch, I got chance to do another self-paced lab after my Nexus 1000 lab. The process is as smooth as my last one. Because I opened several RDP sessions, I happened to close all of them by a random click on the top bar. Later, I tried not to maximize the remote windows. Then it works better. I also find it’s easier to construct an overall picture on what servers are involved with several smaller windows representing them all.

I found yet another cool thing about the lab hall. On the front wall there is a big screen with four bar charts with a pie chart in the middle. The four bar charts are for accumulated VMs and labs, and active VMs and labs. The center pie shows the current percentages of different labs ongoing. When I was there, the most popular labs were the View and the Nexus 1000. The setting reminds of the control room I saw at Kennedy space center. Great job folks who made it happen!

After I was done with my lab, I got a chance to talk to Scott Lowe the author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4. It was a great chat on various topics and I really enjoyed the conversation. This is another benefit of attending the partner exchange.

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    My company has created products like vSearch ("Super vCenter"), vijavaNG APIs, EAM APIs, ICE tool. We also help clients with virtualization and cloud computing on customized development, training. Should you, or someone you know, need these products and services, please feel free to contact me: steve __AT__ doublecloud.org.

    Me: Steve Jin, VMware vExpert who authored the VMware VI and vSphere SDK by Prentice Hall, and created the de factor open source vSphere Java API while working at VMware engineering. Companies like Cisco, EMC, NetApp, HP, Dell, VMware, are among the users of the API and other tools I developed for their products, internal IT orchestration, and test automation.