On November 15, VMware offically announced the long-waited vSphere 6.5, which is a big release after 6.0 release early last year. Along with this vSphere release were a few other products like VMware vSAN 6.5, VMware vRealize Log Insight 4 and VMware vRealize Operations 6.4. According to the blog announcement, the vSphere 6.5 offers these high level features and benefits:
After more than 4 months of hard work, we are proud to announce the second major release of the product. On the high level, there are 3 major features besides many smaller improvements over the first release based on the customers’ feedback.
1. VM Actions and Group Actions
Installing Google Kubernetes does not require VMware vSphere or any other virtual machine hypervisor. However, doing that on a VM is very convenient, so it’s highly recommended especially for development and testing environment.
Regardless VM or physical machine, a Linux OS is a must. As always, I picked CentOS 7 which is a fork of RHEL. Once getting a CentOS installed, the rest is easy. If you have a CentOS template already, deploying a new one should be very fast.
VMware published a blog “Goodbye vSphere Client for Windows (C#) – Hello HTML5” with two announcements: 1. There won’t be the traditional C# based vSphere Client for the next version of vSphere (no one knows the version yet but it’s safe to call it the next version.). 2. The vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling will be supported soon (no exact timetable is given). My guess is that it will make into next release of vSphere if not earlier.
The recent release of DoubleCloud vSearch represents a paradigm shift in how we manage data center in the future. Before agreeing with me on that, let’s take a quick look at the history.
Yahoo vs. Google
When the Web first came out in the early 90s, there weren’t many Web sites and pages out there. To help us find pages of interest, a typical directory approach was used. That created the initial success for Yahoo in the first place.
While building a new server product of its own kind, we chose virtual appliance as the package. During the development phase, we configured thin disk to save space. But for our beta customers to try out, we decided to switch to thick disk for better performance as the product has to do lots of processing and heavy disk I/O. BTW, we still have a few slots for new beta customers with have large vSphere deployments. Please contact me if you are interested.
It’s an exciting news that VMware got into container business with the release of Photon. The Photon project is not container engine like Docker and Rocket, but more like the CentOS which is a bare minimum version of Linux. The idea is exactly the same as that of the ESXi – the less it does, the more secure a hypervisor or OS is. Sometimes it’s true for people in certain companies and organizations too. It’s a culture thing that is beyond this article.
Even before VMware announced the GA of vSphere 6.0, I’ve started to work on the vijavaNG making sure that vijavaNG will keep up with the latest release of vSphere. Although it may take a bit time for customers and partners to move onto this new release, we want early adopters to have the choice to use the best Java APIs for managing vSphere.
I just spent quite some time helping a friend to recover a corrupted virtual machine in VMware Fusion. It’s indeed a long and interesting (sometimes frustrating too) process that I learned quite some that I would never otherwise. I think you might find it useful as well. Hopefully, you don’t get a corrupted virtual machine, but in case you do, I am sure the post will help you.
Today is the first day of VMworld 2014 San Francisco. For the last 7 consecutive years, I have attended all the VMworld conferences in US, either as a speaker, booth duty staff, or normal attendee. This year is no exception. As always, I find the solution exchange is the best part of the conference, so I spent several hours in the reception party this afternoon. While enjoying the good food, I talked to quite a few vendors. When the party was over, I found I only finished two rows. So there are a lot more work tomorrow.
It’s not a secret that VMware has a private Python API or so called Python binding for vSphere API. If you haven’t heard about it before, no worry. Here is a link to Hostd General Architecture. Somehow it’s not publicly released as a product for customers or partners. Over the years, I only heard a big bank uses it for internal IT automation. But it’s super easy to get it if you want – it’s part of every ESXi installation. Just check it out at /lib/python26-visor.zip if you SSH to your ESXi box. Update: in ESXi 5.5, look at the /lib/python2.6/site-packages.
Last week was pretty exciting with VMworld 2013 in San Francisco. I sat through the keynotes and talked to many friends at VMware and partner community who showed up in the SolutionExchange where I spent most of my time. On Thursday I got a bit time to attend a few breakout sessions.
In first day keynote, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger laid out three imperatives for VMware: 1) Virtualization extended to ALL of IT; 2) Management gives way to automation; 3) Compatible hybrid cloud is ubiquitous. The keynote was centered around these three imperatives.
I recently spent some time on vCenter Orchestrator and really liked it with nice integration with vSphere Web Client, even though the Web Client has to improve quite some before it can overtake the standalone vSphere Client.Coming from the programming background, I find the workflow design is pretty easy to understand. Although targeted mostly for people with no programming background, workflow has in fact stronger typing than typical scripting. That may explain why having programming background helps a lot to quickly ramp up on workflow development.
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.
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
I went to the VMware Partner Exchange in Las Vegas last week. It’s always nice to see old friends and colleagues in the conference that I’ve been attending consecutively since I first joined VMware in 2007.
I spent quite some of my time in the hands on labs (codenamed Project NEE), which turned out to be a great experience. I took 7 labs covering the Nexus 1000V with VXLAN, vCenter Orchestrator(vCO), DynamicOps (now has a fancier name called vCloud Automation Center), etc. With the bundling and deep integration of the vCO into vCenter Web Client, I think the prime time for vCO as the automation tool for vSphere has finally come.
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.
Last week VMware formally announced that it would form a virtual team with EMC to take cloud service and middleware market. There was a rumor about it the week early which turned out to be mostly true. If you are in IT industry nowadays, you simply cannot under-estimate the power of rumors. I think most of the VMware and EMC employees might hear the rumor before hearing it from their management teams.
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.