Today is the last day of VMware Partner Exchange 2012. There’s no keynote, therefore I went directly to breakout sessions.
The first one I attended was “SRM 5.0 and vSphere Replication – Understanding the Use Cases and Implementation Options.” The SRM used to manage the storage array that actually replicate LUNs to pair arrays in remote sites. This results in a restriction that the storage arrays must be compatible, which means they must come from same vendor and probably same model. When I was at VMware, I helped several partners with their storage array adapters for SRM. With vSphere replication, the replication happens at higher level thus the restriction goes away. Coming with the flexibility is slightly slower performance. Like anything else, you simply cannot have all the best but you can apply right technology for certain use case, for example, use vSphere replication for ROBO (remote office, branch office) use case.
The second one was “Unleash the Power of the New vSphere Web Client SDK.” Unlike the vCenter Protect SDK, it covered a lot of details with three pre-recorded demos with lots of code. After the presentation I think I know how to get started with the plug-in development. The pre-requisites for the development is not low though – you have to know Java, ActionScript (the new client is based on Adobe FLEX), Eclipse or SpringSource Tool Suite (rebranded from Eclipse), Eclipse extension concepts, etc. I know pretty much all of these technologies therefore the learning curve for me is low.
Although I like the presentation and the look and feel of the new Flex based vSphere Client, I am not sure about it’s the way to go. I will explain why in a separate article.
The third one was “vSphere Single Sign-On.” This technology addresses the issue with user authentication with multiple VMware products like vCenter and several solutions built on top of it. With VMware’s focus on management, it’s reasonable to expect more similar solutions coming up in the future. The single sign-on can be backed up by Active Directory, local, etc. This covers only the authentication that validates the user is who she claims to be, not the authorization that assigns what the user can do. Authorization is a larger thus more challenging issue than authentication.
The last one was “Make Customer’s Business Fly With PowerCLI,” whose title sounds like a sales presentation. It’s indeed pretty technical with many lines of code covered with a few interesting use cases like cloning a virtual machine to be a honey pot for hackers, suspending virtual machines for one hour to be employment law which mandates companies offer one hour break after 4 hours.
During this conference, I mainly attended sessions, quite different from previous conferences during which I mostly spent time in the exhibition hall besides my speech duties. While continuing to be interested in VMware APIs, I start to pay more attention on VMware products and how to use them to address customers’ problems in solutions. That is why you find me mostly in product related sessions.