Integrating VIX API into vSphere API is a great decision VMware made for its vSphere 5.0 release. Instead of working on two separate APIs, you now have one to deal with. It also solves the portability issue of VIX APIs which is tied to a specific platform – VIX has three versions for Windows, 32-bit Linux, and 64-bit Linux.
Thanks to John Troyer and VMware community managers, I successfully changed my email for login with the community recently. During this long weekend I spent a little time checking out the developer community.
I found that the static contents out there are largely outdated. In my estimation, it hasn’t been actively maintained for more than one year. Listing outdated contents not only confuses the community, but also lets go a great opportunity to educate and influence developers.
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.
Same as yesterday, the conference started with keynotes. The first one was by Carl Eschenbach, VMware Co-President of Customer Operations, followed by a motivational keynote by Bill Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company Magazine. As a technical professional, I always try my best to get more business insights and perspectives therefore I attend business related keynotes whenever possible.
Today is the first day of VMware Partner Exchange 2012 in Las Vegas. As usual, it started with keynotes, presented by Scott Aronson (Senior Vice President, Global Channels and Alliances), Paul Maritz (CEO), and Steve Herrod (CTO & SVP, R&D) consecutively. I personally didn’t find a lot new but mostly rehashed from previous keynotes. Nevertheless, there were several interesting numbers from the three keynotes:
- $41.5 billion: private cloud opportunity by 2015.
- 350,000: VMware customer base.
Today I read an interesting article “The Efficiency Paradox” in latest Business Week magazine. It reviews the book Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intention Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problem Worse by David Owen. I haven’t read the book but got the main idea of the book from the article.
The first part of the title of this article may seem like mathematics, but it’s really not. This is just about software packaging – a topic not so often discussed. In plain English, it basically says something like: one application with N features vs. N applications, each of which has one feature. More generally speaking, it can describe software entity with sub-elements. I will discuss it in the contexts of mobile/desktop, and virtual/physical.
As I tweeted last week, there would be a big announcement when the open source VI Java API gets 20,000 downloads. It hit target yesterday. To celebrate it, I decide to release the code generator for the API, which William (@lamw) rated as “awesome.”
While installing and configuring vCloud Director recently, I kept thinking how to simplify it by removing un-necessary concepts and steps. To be fair, vCloud Director as of version 1.5 does a decent job to provide a high level abstraction for cloud infrastructure. Still it can be significantly improved just like every other new technology. Note that I pick vCloud Director as an example for the following discussion simply because VMware is the leader in virtualization space and what it does has ripple effects on other vendors.
If you’ve had a chance to use vSphere Web Service SDK, you must know the PropertyCollector is very hard to use. It takes a newcomer quite some time to learn how to use it, and even more time to learn to use it effectively. Luckily, you no longer have to if you use the open source vSphere Java API (a.k.a. vijava) because it has encapsulated the PropertyCollector behind these newly added getter methods of the managed object types.
I went to EMC office at Milford, MA last week for a 5 day training class on Vblock Administration. As you may have known, VCE Vblock is the industry’s first and leading converged infrastructure with compute, network, and storage from industry leaders. For the compute, it uses Cisco UCS. If you have followed my blog, you should know that I have blogged about the UCS emulator and XML management APIs.
Even if you haven’t heard about BusyBox, you may have used it. It runs in every ESXi, which doesn’t have a full OS as console like classic ESX. Still, you need an easy way to interact the hypervisor directly. So the ESXi includes a tiny console that uses BusyBox (reduced version) due to its small size.
The BusyBox has been ported to Windows as well. You can download the 600+K executable here. It’s really a simple exe file and you can place it anywhere.
DSL is an overloaded acronym standing for many different things. I first knew it as Digital Subscriber Line for Internet connection, and then Domain Specific Language. Recently I learnt a new one: Damn Small Linux. As you see the word small, you may think it’s for embedded system. It’s not.
In a recent experiment, I needed to get the VMware Tools installer. Somehow after searching many different places, I couldn’t find it. While writing this article, I found a link to all the installers organized per ESX versions and CPU architectures. The installers are single files, different from an installable CD which I hacked.
If you have read my previous article on vSphere security model, you know how it works. Still, you may wonder what roles a particular user may have, as asked in a recent email from one of my former VMware colleagues.
In an operating system, a user is assigned to a group or multiple groups therefore granted a certain permissions. In vSphere, a role is simply a set of privileges and that is it. It’s natural to think of a role as a group sometimes, but it’s really not.
Last month a question was raised in our open source vSphere Java API forum regarding an exception during HostSystem.getSummary() method call. As you can see from the stack trace, the actual exception was “org.dom4j.DocumentException.”
While checking out the exhibitions at CloudExpo weeks ago, I learned about the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.0. Due to my interest in virtualization APIs, I started to look into its management APIs. With no surprise these days, it’s a REST API.
After installing the UCS emulator, I started to read and try UCS management APIs. I found the following two documents very helpful: Cisco UCS Manager API Management Information Model, and Cisco UCS Manager XML API Programmer’s Guide.
The key concepts of the APIs are pretty similar to VMware vSphere API. For example, it has managed objects which represent UCS resources like chassis, blades, fabric interconnects, etc. They contain administrative states and operational state.
Recently I started to learn Cisco UCS because VCE uses it in Vblock. I thought I would need a real server like Vblock, but to my surprise Cisco has a pretty nice emulator there, meaning anyone can play with it without a real physical server in place.
Here is the download link for the emulator. You will be asked for Cisco.com user id. Just fill an online form if you don’t have it yet. It’s fairly straightforward and quick, and I got mine within one minute.
My former colleague Emad Benjamin at VMware has just published a new book on running Java on vSphere. When I was still there, I had the opportunity to review the Chapter 5 of his book.
As many of you know, Emad is a well-known expert on this subject who has spoken at various events like VMworld and helped numerous customers. You can buy his book at Amazon or from publisher directly. Remember to bring it to next year’s VMworld for his autograph.:-)