The software-defined networking is the new buzzword for network centralization, which is also known as OpenFlow or network virtualization. The idea is to centralize the control to a server (or a cluster of servers) called controller.
With the acquisition of Nicira by VMware, the software-defined networking has caught many eyeballs from the community. From there, VMware extended it to a new vision called software-defined datacenter which includes three elements of computing: compute, network, and storage. Read more... (690 words, estimated 2:46 mins reading time)
After server virtualization took off, virtualization became a buzzword which made it easy to get attention from market, and for startup companies, to get funding. Therefore you’ve seen many technologies claiming it’s * virtualization mostly for marketing purpose. Network virtualization is such a case. The even newer term for it is called software defined network, or simply SDN.
It’s Centralization, Really! Read more... (743 words, estimated 2:58 mins reading time)
SNMP trap provides a very useful way to monitor vSphere. You can use either GUI or vSphere API to configure up to 4 trap receivers. With that I can use alarm to monitor events or state changes.
If you use vSphere API to add SNMP receivers, you will need the OptionManager managed object. The related options you want to set are: snmp.receiver.1.name, snmp.receiver.1.port, snmp.receiver.1.community, snmp.receiver.1.enabled. There are 3 more sets with similar names but different numbers (2, 3, 4). Read more... (459 words, estimated 1:50 mins reading time)
While playing vSphere API last week, I got into an issue that I cannot disable the SSH server with Firewall APIs (see HostFirewallSystem). The following call would throw an exception:
There are many other different services like “sshClient” whose ports can be enabled and disabled via the API. As a nice surprise, they all work just fine. Read more... (285 words, estimated 1:08 mins reading time)
To my curiosity, I attended the session “Building UI Add-ins for System Center 2012 SP1 Virtual Machine Manager” by Jonobie Ford, who is the program manager of the add-in SDK. As you may know, I wrote several docs on vSphere Client plug-in and helped many partners to develop their plug-ins during my days at VMware. Read more... (706 words, estimated 2:49 mins reading time)
After playing with the vCenter appliance simulator feature documented by William, I got into a show stopper that vCenter service (VPXD) could not be started. I don’t think it’s related to the simulator feature at all. My guess is that it’s caused by a sudden power off of the virtual machine but didn’t try to reproduce the problem that way – I care more to fix it than anything else. Read more... (419 words, estimated 1:41 mins reading time)
For most people who use the VMware Player, DHCP is good enough for the NAT network. That means the IP addresses of your virtual machines may change after each powering on.
What if you want to have static IP addresses? It’s pretty easy as long as it’s in the same subnet. For example, if the VMnet8 has IP address of 192.168.47.1, your virtual machines should be configured in the same network say 192.168.47.x, where X can be any value from 3 to 254 (2 reserved for gateway, 255 broadcast by default). Read more... (459 words, 1 image, estimated 1:50 mins reading time)
If you run VMware Player, you would have 3 networking options for virtual machines running there: Bridged, NAT, Host-Only. In the latest 5.0.1, I also found a new one: LAN Segment. This blog has a nice explanation on these three settings if you want to get more details.
In most of cases, I use NAT for networking because the virtual machine can have Internet access which allows me to install additional software as needed. By default, VMware Player uses DHCP to dynamically assign IP address while using NAT. So you cannot guarantee to get same IP address after each rebooting. Read more... (327 words, estimated 1:18 mins reading time)
While reading articles about Microsoft Hyper-V, I found that Hyper-V seemed to have different states for virtual machines from VMware vSphere. The virtual machine in Hyper-V is represented by the Msvm_ComputerSystem class. If you are familiar with VMware vSphere, you know the equivalent in vSphere is VirtualMachine. At first sight, the Hyper-V APIs may not look straight-forward. The Hyper-V APIs is actually based on Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), which is essentially CIM from DMTF. Read more... (519 words, estimated 2:05 mins reading time)
I just took three day Cisco Nexus 1000V training before Christmas. It’s a pretty good experience to play with the commands in the VSM appliance although I am still not quite familiar with these commands yet. Nevertheless, I managed to run through all the 9 labs thanks to the online lab that I could access even after class. To help myself to remember what I did, I listed a few commands that often needed in managing Nexus 1000V. Read more... (1110 words, estimated 4:26 mins reading time)
During the past weekend, I upgraded the vijava API project to the new Allura platform provided by Sourceforge.net. That’s really a button click and then waited for incoming emails for status updates. It went smoothly and didn’t take long before it finished.
Note that the upgrade is limited to the project hosting, not the Web site (http://vijava.sf.net) which remains the same and continues to work as before. Read more... (534 words, estimated 2:08 mins reading time)
In my previous article, I introduced the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. It’s highly recommended to use it over the virtual machine console which all goes through the ESXi management IP therefore is not good for performance especially when there are many concurrent connections to virtual machines running on a same physical host.
Even if you are convinced on connecting to virtual machines directly, you will find it’s not convenient to add many virtual machines to the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. That is why I decided to write a small tool to automate it. Read more... (402 words, 2 images, estimated 1:36 mins reading time)
It’s been two months since I announced beta of VI Java API 5.1 supporting vSphere 5.1 on September 23. I got many emails asking for the GA date from ISVs and IHVs as the API is now a corner stone in their products. With the long (could be longer, BTW) Thanksgiving holidays, I got some time to review the fixes and release the GA version. I intended to announce it yesterday but somehow extra spam comments pushed the database behind over 100MB limit thus I could not post any new article. Read more... (378 words, estimated 1:31 mins reading time)
One of the key new features in vSphere 5.1 is the Single Sign On. Because it’s new and also complicated, I’ve heard it’s not easy to get it right the first time. Experts recommend that you should play with it in a test or staging environment before upgrading your production environment. Read more... (791 words, estimated 3:10 mins reading time)
I know it’s well past the GA date of the product on September 10, but I still decide to write this what’s new for the completeness of vSphere SDK FAQs.
As I always emphasize, the SDK/APIs are “view” to the product (you can think it as “model” here). Therefore to understand a SDK/APIs, it’s important to check out the product first. No exception for the new features: what’s new in vSphere decides what’s new in vSphere SDK/APIs. For that, you want to check out the What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 at VMware website. Read more... (389 words, estimated 1:33 mins reading time)
While trying latest Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express, I also played with the C# samples of the VMware vSphere SDK. Unfortunately, there isn’t direct support for VS 2012 but for VS 2010, 2008, and 2005. However, you can easily create project files for the VS 2012 by yourself assuming you are already familiar with the Visual Studio environment. Read more... (477 words, 2 images, estimated 1:54 mins reading time)
Last week I released a tiny tool called DoubleCloud Client, which eases the usage of vSphere Web Client. I didn’t have time to add another hack which can bypass the session timeout of vSphere Web Client.
By default, vSphere Web Client times out after 30 minutes of inactivity according to VMware Doc. After timing out, you got to re-login and click back to the page you left out. It’s good for the security, but also not convenient. If you use it on your own desktop and have set up screen saver with password protection, you don’t really need this security feature. Read more... (384 words, estimated 1:32 mins reading time)
In my previous article, I talked about why Web is not a good choice as the primary GUI for vSphere. I also mentioned that I was working on Ua small app to enhance the user experience of vSphere Web Client.
Today I am happy to announce a small application I developed recently using latest Visual Studio 2012 Express which is free from Microsoft. Although known with my work on Java in the community, I am pretty open to any programming languages and tools that are best to get work done. This time it happens to be C# and .NET. Read more... (717 words, 2 images, estimated 2:52 mins reading time)
I recently started to use the new Flex based vSphere Web Client while working on the open source vijava to support vSphere 5.1. Overall I like the look and feel, and particularly the extensibility story around the new architecture. However, I am not impressed by the performance – I saw way more “loading…” and clock cursor than I expected. Technically, I don’t think that is the direction VMware wants to bet on as the primary user interface for its flagship product vSphere. Read more... (1084 words, estimated 4:20 mins reading time)
If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember I wrote Cisco Nexus 1000V in VMware vSphere API about half year ago. The Cisco Nexus 1000V actually has another APIs based on XML. Interestingly, it’s implemented over SSH, but not HTTP or HTTPS.
The Nexus 1000V APIs follows two ITEF standards: RFC 4741 NETCONF Configuration Protocol, and RFC 4742 Using the NETCONF Configuration Protocol over Secure SHell (SSH). The first one is pretty long with close to 100 pages, but fortunately Wikipedia has a much shorter introduction. The RFC 4742 is just 8 pages and pretty easy to browse through. Read more... (670 words, estimated 2:41 mins reading time)