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March of the plugins

When we last left our adventurers, Andrew Kutz had launched viplugins.com with his (unsupported, reverse-engineered) plugins for VI3 VirtualCenter.

In the interim, he now has:

Name Version Free Open Source Description
SVMotion 0.4.4 Yes Yes The plugin that started it all. This VI plugin allows VMware administrators to invoke storage VMotion (SVMotion) events.
Add Port Groups 0.1.0 Yes Yes This plugin enables the creation of multiple port groups of any type on
an number of ESX servers and virtual switches at once. This makes
adding a trunked VLAN to 25 ESX servers at once a snap!
RDP 1.0.1 Yes No Allows for RDP from VMWare Virtual Infrastructure client right click menu.
Console 0.1.5 Yes Yes Adds an SSH-enabled tab named ‘Console’ when a host system is selected.
KeySniffer 0.1.0 Yes Yes KeySniffer is an example of how VI 2.5 client plugins can be abused.
This plugin sniffs all key strokes that occur within the VI 2.5 client
and outputs them to C:\viclientkeystrokes.txt.
Invoke 0.1.7 Yes Yes Allows third-party applications to be launched from within the VI 2.5 client using an existing, authenticated session cookie.
37migrations 0.1.0 Yes Yes The 37migrations plugin was developed in conjunction with
37migrations.com. It increments your VMotion count on the 37migrations
server every time a migration event occurs.

As well as Visual Studio .NET templates  and version 1.2 of his VMware Infrastructure 3.5 Plugin and Extension Programming Guide.

Scott Lowe says of the open-ended Invoke:

Invoke opens the door to allow VI Client users to create unique and
personalized solutions by coupling scripts with the VI Client. This is
particularly interested when combined with the VI PowerShell stuff
that’s being worked on at VMware; Invoke would allow custom PowerShell
scripts to be easily launched from within the VI Client. Useful stuff!

I think that 37migrations is one of those simple things — like VMjuggler — that might be genius, and is certainly a lot of fun. Sign up to show the world how many virtual live migrations are going on in your data center every day. The location data seems to be a bit sparse right now — Andrew has it set to daily counts — maybe we need to start with weekly numbers? In any case, check it out. Its fun.

All these are unsupported, so as Sgt Phil Esterhaus used to say in the 80’s on Hill Street Blues, "Let’s be careful out there."

Also check out BEA’s LiquidVM VI Client Extension (VICE) plugin, created from a different path than Andrew’s. I think the whole LiquidVM concept — runnng the Java VM directly on VI — is a great, real-world example of JeOS (Just enough OS). And in some ways it’s a lot simpler than carefully tuning a Linux kernel and the OS components and packages you need to run an appliance. I’d love to hear about your experiences with it.

2 thoughts on “March of the plugins

  1. Andrew Kutz

    Some people have been asking me if they can write VI plugins with Java or Google Web Toolkit (GWT). The strict answer is “no”, but the loose answer is “sure”. Simply create a VI plugin project from the templates I provide and have it load a JAR file that implements a Swing or AWT interface, or use a View to display a web page that implements GWT. The potential is limitless (within limits) ; ).

  2. Jamie Pratt

    The svmotion plugin 1.0 is now available at:

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