Monthly Archives: May 2011

Time to Defocus!

In business world, we hear frequently the word “focus.” To achieve business goals, for example, deliver software, it’s absolutely necessary to focus on the projects and priorities. Teams that focus on execution typically perform better than others that don’t.

It’s, however, not a good idea to focus all the time. In fact, human beings have limited period of attention. Passing that period hurts one’s effectiveness – one explanation, perhaps, for why long working hours don’t deliver proportional results – not to mention the detrimental effects on one’s health.

Moreover, focusing really narrows

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Tech Talk: Reflections on the vSphere Management API – Ease of Use and Consistency

This is the wrapping tech talk at our last community meetup by Jeff Hu who is the tech lead on vSphere APIs. Based on his 7 years of experience since the inception of vSphere API, Jeff shared his insights on the design of vSphere API, and what can be done for better ease of use and consistency. In my opinion, this is a must read for anyone who is interested in VMware management APIs.

Disclaimer: The presentation contains forwardlooking, exploratory ideas and should not be interpreted as a statement of official product direction by VMware.

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Tech Talk: vGhetto

This talk is by William Lam (@lamw) regarding his famous vGhetto project at our community meetup. Check out what vGhetto project is and what it means to you:

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Tech Talk: Using VI Java from Scala

This talk is by Dave Briccetti (@dcbriccetti) who is an independent consultant working at VMware on vCloud related project. He is also a committer on the Lift framework for building Web applications in Scala.

Here is his slides:

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Tech Talk: Accessing the Vsphere API from C/C++

This talk is by Steven Wong who is an architect working at EMC on various backup and virtualization projects. If you are using C or C++ with gSOAP to manage vSphere, this talk is for you.

Check it out below:

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Tech Talk: Secure Multi Tenancy In the Cloud

This is by Boris Strongin, VP Engineering and Co-founder, Hytrust Inc at our first community meetup on May 18. He reviews new security, auditing, and compliance challenges coming with cloud multi-tenancy, and approaches to address them.

Check out these slides for his insights:

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Tech Talk: Automating Security in Dynamic Virtual Environments

This is the tech talk by Elsa Bignoli, who is now a Software Engineer at Altor Networks (part of Juniper now). Elsa is one of the contributors to our open source vSphere (VI) Java API.

Check out her presentation slides below:

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Tech Talk: Massive VM Provisioning in the Cloud

This is the tech talk by Giridhar Padmanabh(@girip26), who is now a Sr. Manager at Cisco. He joined Cisco not long ago with the newScale acquisition. This tech talk draws on his 7 years of experience at newScale building industry leading software for delivering private cloud as a service.

Check out the slides below:

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Tech Talk: Open Source VI Java API – State of the Union

We had a great community meetup last Wednesday. Check out this post for the photos. Thanks to the speakers, we have the tech talks slides ready for you. If you have missed the event last week, just check out these slides in PDF format. At the same time, we are working to make the recording available. So stay tuned for announcement.

Here is the talk is by me. I reviewed the history, current state, and future road map of the open source vSphere Java API. In the end, I also shared 3 success factors for

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IT Automation, What Does It Mean To You?

Weeks ago I had a great conversation with Vanessa Alvarez (@VanessaAlvarez1) who is an analyst with Forrest Research. Among other topics, we discussed datacenter automation because we’re both interested in it. After Vanessa tweeted about her automation dream, several follow-up tweets came up.

In general, I think automation is a vague word in IT world, and it mostly means different things to different people. This is especially true when we talk about automation together with integration. This article tries to define automation from my understanding and perspective. Please feel free to share your thoughts in comments.

From high level, automation is the opposite to

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VMware APIs & SDKs at VMware Communities Roundtable

My colleague John Troyer (@jtroyer), who hosts VMware Communities Roundtable, has posted an interview with Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf) and me about our thoughts on VMware SDKs, APIs, and CLIs on May 18. During the interview, I answered questions about the open source vSphere Java APIs, the themes of my blogs (why it’s called doubecloud), what I am doing now at VMware, and of course our first community meetup event on the same day. If you have missed the session, you can listen to it now: , or here.

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Our First Community Meetup Event

Our first community meetup event on Wednesday night was a great success. It attracted about 200 developers/QAs and administrators globally either on site or online with live streaming. An EMC development team flied all the way from Irvine to join us; so did Huawei Symantec from Chengdu of China.

At the end of the meetup, we gave way 20 copies of these books: VMware VI and vSphere SDK by me, VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical deepdive (Volume 1) by Duncan Epping, VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration by Luc Dekens and Alan Renouf, and VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment of Virtualization Servers (2nd Edition) by Edward Haletky; and many gadgets.

We know our attendees took their personal time mainly not

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It’s today!

After preparing the event for almost two months, we are finally ready. If you join us onsite, here is direction to our venue. We have free food/drinks, and many books/gifts waiting for you, thanks to our sponsors and 12 volunteers. :-)

If you join us online, we have a great news for you. Instead of WebEx, we will have a live broadcasting. Here is the URL: http://bit.ly/osvimeetup, courtesy of @lkilpatrick. You can enter as a Guest on 7PM (Pacific Time) for tech talks.

Here are the 8 tech talks we pulled together. A bit long but

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Software Processes: Should You Pick One?

While we in software industry debating which process to adopt for development, I found something in manufacturing very intriguing. On a recent article of Business Week The Case for Making It in the USA, it mentioned a GE factory in South Carolina where aircraft jet engines are made. What struck me is the following:

“Teams can adjust the line operation as they see fit to remove bottlenecks and maximize productivity. Recently, two teams came up with different ways to speed up the washing of turbine blades. The plant leader, rather than picking one way as the winner, approved buying equipment for each team to wash the blades its own way.“

I would say it’s pretty

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ESX and ESXi: What Google Says About Them?

Yesterday the VMware community noticed that the direct ESX download links were removed from vSphere download page. When I checked the download page, the ESX link is not with the bundles but at the end of the page in its own section.

To my own curiosity, I wonder what the adoption ratio of these two hypervisors is today. As an engineer, I don’t have sales data in front of me. Even I have, I am sure if I can share it here.

Instead, I tried

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Managing vSphere on Android using VI Java API

It’s been a while since I checked the VI Java API fling at VMware Lab last time. When I checked it again yesterday, I found something new and exciting – VI Java API on Google Android. The following comment was posted there by a gentleman called Bob:

Great framework, I used it on a recently published android application (avmcontrol – vsphere client for android), I had to tweak it a bit, however developing for android using vijava was much easier then the same for iOS4 devices.

Following the link, I found

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New Licensing APIs Since VMware vSphere 4: Swap Licenses

Days ago I introduced the new licensing APIs since vSphere 4 and a sample that prints license expiration dates. Here is yet another sample that replaces an old license with a new license.

You may be wondering why anyone would do this. This is in fact not a typical use case. You probably know that vSphere Client does not treat license keys like passwords which are not visually displayed as dots or asterisks. As a result, anyone who can access a vSphere Client can write down license keys and use them elsewhere.

Normally this is not an issue at all. What about

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vCenter Server Linked Mode: An API Perspective

A new feature called vCenter Linked Mode has been introduced in vSphere 4. It allows several vCenter servers to form a linked mode group. When you connect to any of the vCenter server via vSphere Client, you see all of them behind a single pane of glass.

I got questions from time to time, “what does it mean for vSphere API?” More specifically, if you connect to one vCenter in a linked mode group, will you “see” all of them? If not, how can vSphere Client achieve that?

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New Licensing APIs Since VMware vSphere 4: Check License Expiration

In my previous blog, I introduced the new licensing APIs since vSphere 4. As promised, I will write samples showing how to use the APIs.

Here is the first sample (stay tuned to next one, coming soon). What it does is to check the licenses in vCenter server for their expiration dates, and print them out in the console. You can of course save them into other format, say an CSV file so that you can use Excel to further analyze it. To run the sample, you must change the IP address to the vCenter server, the username/password, as would with most VI Java API samples.

Note that a license could be an

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Cloud Computing Reversed

I always believe cloud computing is a computing, not the computing of the future. Its elastic and centralized nature allows greater level of sharing that was otherwise impossible within single organizations. It works great for anyone who has dramatic workloads and other cases. But it doesn’t work in all the cases.

Recently a new use case comes to my attention. It actually requires opposite way to cloud computing. You may have known recent developments in bioinformatics. With human genes are sequenced and analyzed, we can

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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.