Archive

Archive for the ‘Virtualization’ Category

A Tiny Tool to Ease the Use of VMware vSphere Web Client

October 14th, 2012 11 comments

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. :-)

Why Web is Not Good as Primary GUI for vSphere

October 9th, 2012 11 comments

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.

XML APIs to Manage Cisco Nexus 1000V

September 30th, 2012 5 comments

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.

Categories: Virtualization Tags: ,

Announcing Public Beta of VI Java API 5.1 Supporting vSphere 5.1

September 23rd, 2012 6 comments

After VMware released the vSphere 5.1 on the night of September 10, I finally got a chance to look at the new vSphere API, including the API reference and more important to me the WSDL files.

I was relieved to find out that there weren’t many changes. No single managed object is added to the vSphere 5.1 API, meaning a lot less work than I thought for vijava API to support the latest vSphere 5.1.

Categories: vSphere API Tags: ,

Behind vRAM – What’s VMware’s Deepest Fear?

September 5th, 2012 4 comments

The vRAM was the license model VMware used in vSphere 5.0. It basically limits the usage of virtual memory, which is different from physical memory, per license. When first announced last year, it created a lot of angry customers overnight even though VMware estimated that the license scheme wouldn’t affect most of the existing customers. Later on, VMware doubled the amount of virtual memory and implemented a cap per license, and insisted to roll out the modified license model despite strong objections from customers.

Why VMware Needs A New Direction

August 12th, 2012 2 comments

In my last article, I analyzed the real motivation behind the VMware’s recent intention to acquire Nicira. In this article, I am going to review VMware’s past strategies and predict its long term strategies. In short, VMware’s past growth strategy is “vertical,” and its future growth strategy should be “horizontal.”

Past Strategy Review

What Are Cisco’s Options to VMware’s Nicira Deal?

August 5th, 2012 No comments

VMware’s acquisition of Nicira posted a big risk on Cisco’s future control of networking market. The risk was in fact there from day one of VMware ESX with virtual switches and then distributed virtual switches, which reduces the need for customers to buy physical geeks from Cisco because virtual machines use “free” virtual ports. For the inter-physical server communication, customers still need Cisco and other vendors even though the volume is not as high as otherwise. That is why Cisco quickly came up with its own distributed virtual switch Nexus 1000v to stay relevant in the virtualization market.

What VMware Didn’t Tell You About Nicira Deal

July 29th, 2012 1 comment

On this past Monday VMware announced to buy Nicira for $1.26 billion. Congratulations to many of my former VMware colleagues who joined Nicira and will return back to VMware soon.

Overall this deal aligns well with VMware’s newly found vision on software defined data center. You must have read many of similar explanations and comments from various sources including this one from VMware CTO Steve Herrod, and this one by Nicira cofounder and CTO Martin Casado.

VMware Serengeti: A Perfect Match of Hadoop and vSphere

July 19th, 2012 No comments

During the Hadoop Summit 2012 last month, I learned the release of the open source (Apache license) Serengeti project from VMware. The week after, I downloaded the OVA file from VMware site, and gave my first try with a development environment after browsing through the user guide which introduces a fairly easy process to get a Hadoop cluster to run on vSphere.

Categories: Big Data, Virtualization Tags: ,

Support Next vSphere Release in VI Java API: The Plan and Work Around

June 25th, 2012 No comments

Recently I got several questions and even a bug on supporting the next release of vSphere in the open source VI Java API. The questions are mostly from VMware partners who have early access of the private beta of next release of vSphere and want to ship their own products at the same time of vSphere GA. I figure more partners may have the same question, therefore decide to answer it all here with a possible work around.

Categories: vSphere API Tags: ,

Best Tool to Compress Virtual Machines

June 11th, 2012 12 comments

While working in virtualized environments, we need to pass around virtual machines (a.k.a. virtual appliances) from time to time. Most of the virtual machines I’ve seen for downloading are compressed to save storage and network bandwidth.

Not all the compression algorithms are created equal in terms of compression ratio, compressing speed, and decompressing speed. In most cases, it doesn’t really matter that much with documents and small programs. But it matters a lot with virtual machines whose virtual disk files are much larger than normal files. Any small percentage improvement can result in significant saving on storage and bandwidth.

Open Source VI Java API 5.0.1 Released

May 18th, 2012 21 comments

While preparing this annoucement, I realize that on the same day last year we had a very successful community event with several techtalks to celebrate the 3 year of vijava open source project. Today it’s the 4th year of this project!

Since VI Java API 5.0 GAed last October, there have been some changes, one of which is that I left VMware and joined VCE the same month. On the project side, there are several new bugs opened with the forum. These bugs do not affect most developers. But still I fixed them quickly in the code repository so that anyone who was affected could get the fixes from there.

Categories: vSphere API Tags:

Common Pitfalls When Developing Virtual Appliances

April 25th, 2012 No comments

A virtual appliance is a virtual machine preinstalled with operating system, middleware, and applications. It’s ready to run after a few configurations after powering up.

The benefit of delivering a virtual appliance is obvious – it offers better out of box experience due to simplified installation/configuration and complete isolation from other applications. The disadvantage is also obvious in that it potentially uses much more system resources than sharing a virtual machine with other applications. Like any solution, it’s all about when and how you use it with what for best results. This can be a long discussion by itself.

Cisco Nexus 1000V in VMware vSphere API

April 23rd, 2012 4 comments

While working at VMware, I always wondered what Cisco Nexus 1000V looked like from VMware vSphere API. Because I didn’t have access to such a system, I had no way to investigate further. This remained a myth to me until I joined VCE where I found many Vblock systems with Cisco Nexus 1000V as part of standard configuration.

Within VMware vSphere API, there are two managed object types defined related to distributed virtual switch:  DistributedVirtualSwitch, and VmwareDistributedVirtualSwitch. As you can guess, the latter type is a subtype of the first one.

IT Infrastructure: A Software Perspective

April 8th, 2012 No comments

Weeks ago, ThoughtWorks published a new issue of Technology Radar compiled by its senior tech leaders. It has done a great job to track latest technology and market trends since 2010 (for archives, scroll to the bottom of this page).

Hypervisor is Containership

March 27th, 2012 4 comments

There are a few metaphors that help explain what virtualization is. Some suggested virtualization is like people (virtual machines) sharing a bus (physical machine) for efficiency and consolidation.

While the bus sample well explains the benefit of consolidation. It does not explain well isolation. Here I make up a new one: a hypervisor is like a containership, and a virtual machine is like a container that is stacked on the ship.

Virtualization Matters Except When It Doesn’t

March 26th, 2012 No comments

In my previous post “Physical is New Virtual,” I mentioned that I would talk about when you will need virtualization and when you don’t. This topic could be a little controversial as we at virtualization community all assume that virtualization is the way to go, which is true in general.

There are however use cases in which virtualization doesn’t make much sense. In the following, I will detail some of these use cases and explain why it doesn’t make much sense to use virtualization. Like everything else, virtualization doesn’t fit all.

Easy Switching RDP and PCoIP Protocol with VMware View

March 23rd, 2012 1 comment

I recently use quite a lot of VMware View because my development environment is a VDI desktop. By default, the PCoIP protocol is used and things just work as expected.

As a power user, I didn’t find PCoIP convenient sometimes, especially when copying files between my physical desktop and my virtual desktop. I ended up using a FTP server instead of drag and drop. It worked but not as quite convenient as I expected it to be.

Categories: Virtualization Tags: , , ,

vSphere APIs for Guest Operating System Management: What’s Special and When to Use It?

March 19th, 2012 13 comments

This is a wrap-up post of recent series on vSphere guest operating system management APIs. If you missed them, here are a few links to related posts: [Note: these are not related to the vSphere Guest API.]

How to Upload File to Guest Operating System on VMware

March 12th, 2012 31 comments

My last post explained how to download file from a guest operating system. Naturally this post is about how to upload file. After a quick sample code, I will discuss how to extend the capability of existing APIs that run program inside guest operating system. My next post will wrap up this series of guest related APIs in vSphere API.

Let’s take a look at a sample code: (To run it, first check out the simple prerequisites in a previous post)