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.
I flew to Vegas this week for Microsoft Management Summit 2013, which happens to be in the same hotel (Mandalay Bay) as VMware Partner Exchange one and half months ago. The organizations and activities of both conferences are pretty similar – keynotes, breakout sessions, hands on labs (HOL). It’s pretty exciting to learn new technologies and meet new people.
Hands On Labs
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.
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.
In one of my previous posts, I introduced the Remote Desktop Connection Manager. Here is yet another must-have tool: ZoomIt. If you frequently present technical contents on Windows, you will find it very useful, especially when you want to show source code or screen details to your audience.
I’ve found many cases in which presenters had trouble to walk through source code because the font was too small for audience to see clearly. Instead of using this tool, they often tried to change IDE editor settings for a larger font, which worked but not nearly convenient.
I think most of us have used Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe), which is used to connect to a remote server using RDP protocol. If you have more than several remote servers to connect, it can be very inconvenient to navigator through them. Microsoft knew that and created a new tool called Remote Desktop Connection Manager. You can download it for free at Microsoft site here.
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.
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.
Yesterday I went to Microsoft Azure DevCamp in its Silicon Valley office. Like other developer events organized by Microsoft, it featured awesome presentations with nice overviews and demos by top evangelists like James Conard, Wade Wegner, Nick Harris, etc.
As you’ve probably known, Microsoft has been betting heavily on cloud computing. Anyone who is interested in cloud computing simply cannot ignore its Windows Azure, which is a comprehensive platform for developing cloud applications. Note that, the focus is applications, not virtual machines as offered by Amazon and other IaaS providers.