Will Virtualization Really Benefit Environment?

February 13th, 2012 3 comments

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.

Chasing Moving Targets

February 8th, 2012 No comments

As John F. Kennedy put it, “everything changes but change itself.” This is particularly true in computer industry where things move faster than other industries. It’s further complicated when you also have dependencies that also move fast.

A good example is that your software project depends on another product which is also under development. Sometimes we call it synchronous development. The payoff could be huge if you can ship your product at the same time as the dependent product which presumably has bigger user base. You can then leverage the go-to market opportunity as first player in the bigger community.

1xN to Nx1: The World Is Flat In Computing

February 6th, 2012 2 comments

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.

Announcing Code Generator For vSphere Java API

February 1st, 2012 12 comments

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.”

Management Middleware: The Future of Virtualization and Cloud Marketecture

January 29th, 2012 No comments

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.

Cloud Innovation: Interesting Use Cases

January 21st, 2012 1 comment

As I predicted for 2011, the cloud will be the ultimate powerhouse for mobile devices. The reason is simple: although fancy and stylish, the mobile devices typically do not have enough computing power and storage space for certain applications.

Why vSphere PropertyCollector Is Hard By Design?

January 18th, 2012 7 comments

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.

Physical is New Virtual

January 15th, 2012 No comments

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.

Categories: Virtualization Tags: , ,

Why So Many Programming Languages?

January 10th, 2012 No comments

While checking out the search engine terms to my blog, I found an interesting one there: “why so many programming languages?” A great question indeed. If you take a look at the Wikipedia page on programming languages, you will be surprised by the number of programming languages today. To give you a hint, the languages are categorized into different sections by their first letters. When I browsed the page, I found most of them were new to me and will definitely remain so in the future. :-)

Random Thoughts on IT Automation

January 6th, 2012 5 comments

IT automation is key to IT efficiency, agility and control. Here are some of my recent thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to share yours.

People and Automation

  • All automations ultimately start from people, not the other way around.
  • Although automation has a role, it never takes the place of a good system administrator.
  • Not everything can be automated, and not everything is worth being automated.
Categories: Cloud Computing Tags: ,

Top 5 Predictions on Cloud Computing for 2012

December 31st, 2011 4 comments

After finishing up my reflection of 2011 predictions , it’s time to make my predictions for 2012 as today is the last day of 2011. :-)

1. Virtualization war will be heated between VMware and Microsoft. The trigger will be the Hyper-V 3.0 which is expected to ship in the middle of 2012 with the Windows 8 server. According to many people, the 3.0 release will bring it on par or better than latest VMware hypervisor.

Reflection on My Predictions on Cloud Computing for 2011

December 27th, 2011 No comments

Last December I made top 5 predictions on cloud computing for 2011. When the year ends soon, it’s time to review them. I won’t rate their accuracy myself because I am indeed biased. You are welcome to do so in the comments though.

“1. The focus of cloud computing will gradually shift from IaaS to PaaS which becomes key differentiator in competition. Developer enablement becomes more important than ever in ecosystem evangelism, full software lifecycle integration, IDE support, API and framework, and etc.”

BusyBox on Windows

December 21st, 2011 2 comments

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.

Categories: Virtualization Tags: , , ,

Running DSL on VMware Player

December 20th, 2011 No comments

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.

Categories: Virtualization Tags: , ,

Setting Up IIS for ASP.Net Web Applications On Windows 7

December 16th, 2011 1 comment

This week I spent some time deploying a Web application I developed using Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express (it’s free). For that, I installed Microsoft Internet Information Service (IIS) on my Windows 7 enterprise edition. This turned out pretty straight-forward: Control Panel – Programs – Turn Windows Features on or off. In the Windows Features dialog box, just locate the Internet Information Service and check on it. After a click on the OK button, the IIS (version/build is IIS 7.5.7600.16385) was installed.

Categories: Software Development Tags: ,

Why Social Networks Are Monopolistic By Nature?

December 12th, 2011 No comments

Social networking has been the hottest area after the dot.com burst. User base is still a critical factor and far more sticky than before. It’s the connections among these users that differentiate social networking from other types of Internet services.

A connection is formed from one user to another. They cannot be on two different web sites, even though theoretically they can. Technically we can define protocols to link users, even groups, together from different sites. But it is not efficient and may not be fast enough to sync up states and discover new connections. Even more issues on business side, not to mention privacy policies.

Categories: Others Tags: , ,

Hacking VMware Tools ISO from vSphere

December 9th, 2011 10 comments

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.

Categories: Virtualization Tags: , ,

Book: The Art of Scalability

December 5th, 2011 5 comments

Just finished reading the book The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise by Martin Abbott, Michael Fisher. The book draws on authors’ experiences working at PayPal/eBay and other Internet companies, and covers many aspects of scalability including people, organization, process, and technology. According to Yishan Wong, who used to work under the authors and is now an engineering director at Facebook, “the opportunity to directly absorb the lessons and experiences presented in this book is invaluable to me now working at Facebook.”

Categories: Cloud Computing Tags: , ,

What Roles Does A User Have in vSphere?

November 30th, 2011 8 comments

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.

Categories: vSphere API Tags: ,

Discontinuous Response Stream from vSphere

November 28th, 2011 6 comments

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.”