Just wanted to share our trip report on our first ever Workshop in London. A huge thanks to Alan R. and Paul N. for helping us put this together. Please visit http://www.virtu-al.net/ for presentations and MP3 recordings.
Theme: Managing Large Scale vSphere environments using APIs / PowerCLI.
We wanted to maximize our Engineering and PM time out of office by visiting strategic locations en-route to VMworld EMEA. London / Financial sector has a very high rate of PowerCLI user base.
Goals / Objective:
Share best practices when managing large scale vSphere environments using the vSphere APIs / PowerCLI
vSphere Administrators, Architects managing large vSphere environments in London
Some comments from our attendees
“I like the technical depth of the presenters. Being able to put questions directly to the chaps involved in product development was a great opportunity and I learnt a lot. Could we have more sessions like this?
“A useful and well balanced set of sessions. Even though I then went to VMworld, Copenhagen and could have seen most of these sessions, having them in a package was really good.
“Really impressive day – for those of not able/willing to attend vmworld it was a great taster
“Great to see some relevant technical content being advocated by VMware – more please!”
60 – 70 attendees – (Pretty impressive on such short notice – 10 days)
Key Take Aways –
Overall event ran without a hitch. We had some great interaction with our users and were very impressed by the questions posed to our engineering teams. In the future we need to perhaps allocate more time to the ESX TOP session and have more hands on demos. We should also better plan on food / snacks – we missed the morning Coffee.
Chamber of Commerce Central London
Alan R with some last minute changes to his presentation
This is the first ever PowerCLI Sticker released.
Ravi describes event
Questions and Answers during sessions
Agenda and Speakers
Exploring VMware APIs
Length: 60 minutes
Developers have a broad set of options to integrate with VMware platforms to monitor and manage virtualization. This session will provide the overall direction of VMware APIs, describe opportunities for tighter integration with vSphere 4.1 and vCenter 4.1. This is a must-attend session for new product managers or developers to VMware platforms. For those familiar with VMware platforms, the session will provide a refresher course as well as a summary of enhancements to the APIs in the 4.1 release.
Speaker: Preetham Gopalaswamy
vSphere APIs for Performance Monitoring
Length: 60 minutes
Building on the initial knowledge of vSphere APIs, learn about the features available to developers via vSphere Web Services APIs to collect performance statistics. We will also discuss the best practices in collecting performance data when using these APIs. This presentation is a must-attend for any developer that retrieves performance information from the vSphere platform in any large environment. While the content is advanced, developers new to the platform will find it useful as well.
Speaker: Balaji Parimi, Ravi Soundararajan
<BYO> Lunch Break 12:30 – 1:00>
Automating vSphere Management Using PowerCLI & Onyx
Length: 60 minutes
This two-part session focuses on PowerCLI and Onyx. VMware vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command line tool that lets you automate all aspects of vSphere management, including network, storage, VM, guest OS and more. PowerCLI is distributed as a Windows PowerShell snap-in, and includes more than 230 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and samples. Onyx is a standalone application that serves as a proxy between the vSphere Client and the vCenter Server. It monitors the network communication between them and translates it into an executable PowerShell code. Later this code could be modified and saved into a reusable function or script. The audience will walk away with deeper understanding of how and when to use PowerCLI and Onyx.
Speaker: Vladimir Goranov, Yavor Boychev
Advanced performance troubleshooting using esxtop
Length: 60 minutes
This talk will teach you how to spot tricky performance issues using the various counters in esxtop.
Speaker: Krishna Raj Raja, Staff Engineer, Performance Team
I get a lot of questions about what students should expect when taking the vSphere Automation Course (PowerCLI) and thought it would be good to interview one of our top course instructors. So please meet Mr. Joe Christie.
PR: Joe thanks for taking the time to participate in this interview. Can you tell us about your Professional background, how long have you been with VMware?
JC: I've been a trainer since 1992-1993 and I've been with VMware since Dec of 2005.
PR: Can you tell us about your first experience with PowerCLI, what did you like about ?
JC: I gave a presentation and worked in the lab for the PERL Toolkit at VMworld2007. When the Powershell Toolkit first came out I was interested because as a Microsoft trainer, I had some exposure to PowerShell. I was impressed with the language and how quickly people seemed to get up to speed producing useable code.
PR: Can you tell us about the vSphere Automation Course you teach (PowerCLI)? What types of students is this course for?
JC: Students who are familiar with vSphere as administrators with knowledge equal to our Install, Configure and Manage course and also have some familiarity with simple scripting like vbscript, PERL or even advanced batch file creation.
PR: What should students expect to get out of course?
JC: An understanding of how PowerCLI works interactively, how to navigate the provided help utilities and the ability take existing scripts or pieces of code and use them with little or no modification in their environment.
PR: What materials do you recommend people read before attending this course ?
JC: there are a lot of tutorials on PowerShell on the internet but if someone wants to purchase a book then "Powershell in Action" by Bruce Payette is a good place to start learning PowerShell. The second edition was recently released. .Students might also consider Hal Rottenbergs book Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell.
PR: How will students considering migrating to ESXi benefit from this course ?
JC: This course will help users who have built COS based scripts create new scripts for the ESXi environment. As you know PowerCLI and can be an extremely powerful automation tool when used properly.
PR: How can students sign up for the course ?
JC: They can enroll online have them visit http://vmware.com/go/vsphereautomation. Students should also know that course is available worldwide directly from VMware and through our partners.
PR: Can students use their PSO Credits towards this course ?
JC: Yes, just like any other VMware Course. Please work with your local representative for more information.
PR: Any other words for users out there who are considering using PowerCLI ?
JC: Anyone who has done the same task in the vSphere client more than once should take this class. Creating objects, managing objects, retrieving information about objects these can all be automated with PowerCLI and also creating custom Reports which is really easy to do using PowerCLI. Take a look at Yavor Boychev's video. A nice one about Getting Started and about Reporting.
If you are attending VMworld Copenhagen and wanted to learn more about PowerCLI this post is for you. If you already know about the PowerCLI please forward this post to your newbie friends.
What is vSphere PowerCLI ? vSphere PowerCLI is a set of snapins based on Windows PowerShell that provide administration and automation for VMware vSphere. vSphere PowerCLI ships with over 200 commandlets (pre-built commands) to help administrators manage vSphere.
What can you do with vSphere PowerCLI ? vSphere PowerCLI is built on the vSphere API. As a general rule you can do most things with PowerCLI than you can with the vSphere Client. This means that you can script common tasks to help you save time.
What sessions should I attend if you are attending VMworld 2010 Copenhagen ?
We strongly recommend you attend "vSphere PowerCLI is for Administrators" by Luc Dekens and Alan Renouf. TA 6944 (HURRY THE SESSIONS FILL UP EARLY)
You should also take the PowerCLI Lab 26 (If you hurry you can also get our very cool PowerCLI Poster at our Lab)
Is there someone that I talk to about PowerCLI and get more information ?
YES – We have flown our top POWERCLI engineers to VMworld to meet our customers to answer questions get your feedback. Please come and visit us at the VMware PowerCLI Booth
Vitali – PowerCLI Engineering Team – ready to answer your questions
Lots of customers coming by for the FREE poster and very cool Bumber Sticker
I was lucky to catch up with Alton Yu – our VMworld 2010 Lab Captain for PowerCLI and get some insight into what he does and the PowerCLI labs. Alton is a really cool guy – if you happen to run into him during VMworld say hello.
Q. What do you do at VMware ? A. I've been with VMware for over 4 years and have a deep technical background with VMware products having worked in technical support. I'm currently engaged with systems management and security partners in guiding implementations, aligning roadmaps, and troubleshooting API issues.
Q. What got you into PowerCLI, what was your first impression ? A. I actually came from a Unix scripting background, so I didn't have high expectations for PowerCLI, but after installing it once and reviewing some of the cmdlets, I was instantly impressed with what the VMware PowerCLI development team had built. Having worked with the vSphere API for a year, I knew how much code it would take to do certain things. The lines of code needed to accomplish the same tasks in PowerCLI are so much less that I found myself using a PowerCLI window for many of the things I would normally open up a GUI to do.
Q. How did you become the VMworld PowerCLI Lab Captain ? A. When David Deeths, the former lab captain decided that he was planning to transition into a new role, I just jumped at the opportunity. I'd been working with VMware labs for a couple of shows under him and he was an excellent mentor. I followed his guidance in doing the lab since '09 and repeated the same success formula ever since.
Q. What should our Lab users expect when attending the PowerCLI Lab ? A The PowerCLI labs will provide hands on training for scripting a VMware environment. The goal is to provide all the tools needed to automate, integrate, and extend vSphere. Attendees will walk away from the lab with a better understanding of VMware Infrastructure, resources for using PowerCLI.
Q. Do users have to be programmers to take the lab ? A. Not at all, PowerCLI is very easy to read and write. Of course, programmers will have an easier time, but anyone who has a little bit of experience with VMware and using the vSphere client will see that they can read the code and follow it and most will take it back with them and use it!
Q. What is next for your Lab ? We hear this was met with tremendous success during VMworld A. We'll see. There are several ideas we have been throwing around. Perhaps we can see what the kind of response we get here. Some have asked for a perl lab to come back. Other ideas I've thought about were using the REST API for a vShield lab, using PowerCLI for View, or doing some cool things with Hyperic like HA or auto-scaling.
Q. What do you plan on doing after Copenhagen, are you planning on resting after a incredible year? A. Just for a week. 😉 I'm planning to knock out the year with a bang!
We invite you to come by our PowerCLI Booth at VMworld Copenhagen and meet our PowerCLI Product Management and PowerCLI Engineering Teams. We also plan on distributing some of our PowerCLI posters as well as other goodies our marketing department has put together.
Come with all your PowerCLI questions and feedback ! We look forward to meeting our European PowerCLI fans !