Archive for November, 2006

Setup VLans and Portgroups automatically

Finally I am not the only one writing applications using the SDK :-) Flores Eken from ITQ Consultancy in the Netherlands is also an enthausiast VMware SDK programmer. He wrote this application in C# based on the new ESX3.x /VC2.x SDK. It allows you to easily manage all portgroups and VLan IDs on all your ESX Servers.

ITQ is nice enough to share their application with the world, let this be an good example! If you have made some cool applications yourself, share it! run-virtual.com will host it for you if you want.

Download the ITQ VLan and Portgroup manager

To VMotion or Not? (update)

Ok, well a day after the initial release, version 2 is ready :-) VMotion Info now reports about the actual CPU features instead of just providing the raw data. Now it will be easy to tell if you can Vmotion across boxes by default and if not, if you can fix it.

Download VMotion Info

OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) now available as Virtual Appliance

OLPC

Well the machines just started rolling out of the factories, but if you are interested to know what the childeren in the poor african countries will have to their disposal, you can check out the OLPC as a virtual appliance. Tom Hoffman has made the OLPC images available on his blog.

The OLPC Image for VMware
Read more about the OLPC project

To VMotion or Not?

Well I finished fase one of my first VB application that can talk to VI3. This application gathers information from all physical hosts about the CPUs installed and what features they have. This is then reported in one single overview (that you can copy-and-paste into excel) and know easily if you have any vmotion problems.

Next step is to put some more intelligence in the program by actually understand what bitmasks do what (VT, SSE, SSSe, NE.. ) and tell you what problems can be fixed and which are more of a risk… Step 3 will be that the program will auto apply an bitmask filter to all your virtual machines.

Have a play with it and please report any bugs :-)

You can download the VMotionInfo application here

hackers avoid Virtual Machines

Well that Virtual Machines are stable and proper isolated i know, but hackers are now-a-days even avoiding them as they are scared of getting caught :-) One more score for a Virtual Machine against physical boxes, hoera!

Read the whole article in information week

p.s. Thanks john.

HOWTO: Install VI Perl Toolkit on Windows

I have just posted a manual on how to install perl and the VI3 perl toolkit on windows, so you can run some of these cool scripts on you VirtualCenter Server (or any other windows box).

The Install Manual

Yippie!!

Well normally i try to keep my posts serieus, but sorry I have to express myself tonight. For months I have been wresteling with the VI3 SDK and was only able to write my own apps using PHP and Perl. Which is great, but does also limit what apps I can write for you guys (and girls?).

At VMworld I went to the session “vmotion – apples and oranges” or some thing like that where an engineer explained what features can be an issue for vmotion between boxes. So I asked what is the easiest was to find out what CPU features your actual servers support. The answer was disappointing, some story about inserting a floppy of cdrom in your physical server, rebooting????? and the small app will tell you. So they actually do expect you to go to all your servers with a actual physical notepad and write all those bits and bytes down and then later compare them. Yeah right.

Well I am finding out more and more that the VirtualCenter client is by far not using all the actual functionality of the VI3 product. One of the things the SDK does expose is for every physical server what kind of CPU it has and what features are available. You can even compare if one physical server might have different cpus. So, yes I could write a very easy application in Perl (using the perl toolkit) that shows you all the servers and their cpu features, high light the differences and asking you if you want to set a specific cpu feature mask for a group of selected virtual machines. All automated. Writing that application should take me about one hour. But then all you people need to be able to run that application, meaning you need to have perl installed, add some extra needed modules to perl, download the VI perl toolkit, compile the toolkit and run my small perl app. MMmmmm, far from user friendly. One other option would be to create a Virtual Appliance with linux, all modules installed, and you can just run that. That is easy, but come on, for a simple app, you need to download an entire Virtual Appliance?? mmm. a bit of over kill.

So I have been troubeling with this delimma and every time I think, let’s just write it in Visual Basic. A simple application environment to write win32 application (sorry C#, java, etc all to complicated for me). But how the freak do you program a soap webservice client in VB???? Well no help from VMware, as there are no VB samples and all VMware engineers are diehard C++ programmers, so forget about them touching a low live like Basic. For months I have been trying to get VB using a proper WSDL to work, with no luck…… (even google let me down)

til now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yippie, I can not express how happy I am. For 3 nights in a row I have been limiting my sleeping time on trying this challange. But I have done it. I have a working VB application running, where I actually understand the source code and wrote every single line of it myself, I have no slow delay problems (as many other people have using the WSDL file). WOW! Why did no one do this before??

So soon, on www.run-virtual.com, a new application “VmotionIT”, an application that will check physical server diffenrences and automates setting CPU bit mask on all your virtual machines :-)

I can finally go to sleep now, with a big smile on my face :-)

Now I can dream of all the other cool win32 apps I can write:

  • EasyESXSetup – An application that allows you to automate adding ESX servers in your VC environment, configure the right network settings, including enabling vmotion networks, nfs setup profiles, etc.
  • VM_DiskReporter – a win32 service that places and updates actual Virtual Machine disk information into VirtualCenter
  • wmkusage – but then win32 :-)
  • mmmm much to do… need to request a holiday i think :-)

    Sweet dreams.

    Webinar: Learn how to program

    Just a reminder about the upcoming webcast about the VI API. The second in the series will be held November 15 at 11:00 AM PST. You will get an in-depth review of the performance functionality for the API toolkit.

    If you haven’t downloaded the toolkit, you can do so at:
    http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/viperltoolkit

    Title: Using the VI API for Enhanced Performance Management
    Date/Time: November 15 – 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PST (1 hour)
    Register Here

    Abstract: Learn how to use The VMware Virtual Infrastructure API’s new technology to retrieve performance information from Virtual Center and ESX Server. The Webinar will discuss the overall architecture of the VI Performance Manager, techniques to retrieve ESX and VM performance statistics. The Webinar will guide the audience using a sample script using the VI Perl Toolkit.

    Title: The VI Object Model
    Date/Time: December 6, 2006 – 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PST (1 hour)
    Register Here

    Abstract: The VMware Virtual Infrastructure provides a powerful object model for the description/management of the Virtual Infrastructure. This Webinar will discuss the model and provide information about its overal organization, and differences when viewed through Virtual Center and ESX. The Webinar will make extensive use of the Managed Object Browser, available through any VirtualCenter or ESX Server 3.0 node.

    If you haven’t done so, you can replay the VI Perl Toolkit introduction. It can be found at: here

    Adding Functionality to VMware Virtual Center

    Programming with the new VI3 Perl Toolkit it is really a breeze to write your own code. Have a look at my example that will allow Virtual Center to also report information about Disk Usage within the Virtual Machines.

    Disk Usage within Virtual Machines

    Video Report from VMworld 2006

    Well here it is, my first Tech Video recorded at VMworld 2006.

    Watch the VMworld 2006 – Tech Video

    In this video:

  • Kidaro – An addon product for desktop virtualization that provides central management and intelligent update capabilities for virtual machines. Plus an amazing technology that allows you to integrate applications run in a virtual machine with the actual local desktop. Very simulair to the seamless windows technology from Citrix but then not for a remote session, but for an local isolated session (a VM).
  • VMware Fusion – a demonstration of the new upcomming product for the Mac. With VMware Fusion you can run any kind of VM including 64 bit operating systems, have USB 2 support so you can access the iSight camera in your VM and use the bluetooth within any VM to connect to other devices. Can’t wait to have the product released and run it on my Mac.
  • Dunes VS-O – Demonstration of the power of Dunes Virtual Service Orchestrator. A powerfull graphical programming interface to write your own applications or buy existing Templates like their Desktop Orchestrator to manage VDI (centrally hosted desktop clients) environments. Dunes also just released special pricing for independent developers that want to use their technology.
  • Microsoft Virtual Appliance Initiative – An interview with Tony Bailey, the senior product manager of Server Virtualization at Microsoft explaining the new Virtual Appliance Test Drive program from Microsoft. The Test Drive program allows Software Vendors to use the Microsoft Windows operating system in their virtual appliances that they can redistribute to potential customers for evaluation purpose.
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