VMware Studio 2.0 - GA

Release Notes

General Availability Release | 31 August 2009 | Build 1017

Last document update: 25 August 2009

New Features in VMware Studio 2.0

The following features were added between VMware Studio 1.0 and 2.0:

  • Ability to create multiple-VM appliances, or vApps, to run on VMware vSphere.
  • More provisioning engines including ESX/ESXi 3.5 and 4, VMware Workstation 6.5.1, and VMware Server 2.0.
  • Build support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit) virtual appliances.
  • Build support for 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Enterprise Linux Server (SLES).
  • Build support new Linux distributions RHEL 5.3, CentOS 5.3, and Ubuntu 8.04.1.
  • Extensible management services allow you to customize an interface into a new tab.
  • An Eclipse plug-in helps you package applications and create management services.
  • Automatic dependency resolution for application packages installed on Linux-based virtual appliances.
  • Existing VM build (input-as-VM) for Linux virtual appliances.
  • DMTF standard OVF 1.0 and open virtual appliance (OVA) packaging. VMware Studio 1.0 supported OVF 0.9.

Can be downloaded from this link

Cloud API Technology Preview

This was from an announcement from John Troyer

I saw a demo of a plug-in that utilizes this a while ago

The forum is now live


From the Q&A

vCloud API General Description
What is the vCloud API?
The vCloud API is an interface for providing and consuming virtual resources in the cloud. It enables deploying and managing virtualized workloads in internal and external clouds as well as interoperability between clouds. The vCloud API enables the upload, download, instantiation, deployment and operation of vApps, networks and Virtual Datacenters.

What are networks in this case?
These are virtual L2 networks in the cloud that enable flexible model for establishing connectivity between vApps in the cloud and connecting them to external networks outside the cloud.

What is a Virtual Datacenter?
A virtual Datacenter (vDC) is a new construct in the VMware vocabulary that contains storage, networking and compute capacity in which vApps are deployed.

What are vApps?
vApps are software solutions optimized for the cloud, consisting of one or more virtual machines, packaged and maintained as a single entity in OVF format. Just like the UPC bar code contains all information about a product, the vApp gives application owners a standard way to describe operational policies for an application which VMware vSphere (cloud OS) can automatically interpret and execute. Therefore, vApps are self-describing to and self-managing on the platform they run.

What is OVF?
Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a platform independent, efficient, extensible, and open packaging and distribution format for virtual machines. OVF enables efficient, flexible, and secure distribution of software, facilitating the mobility of virtual machines and giving customers vendor and platform independence. Customers can deploy an OVF formatted vApp on the virtualization platform or cloud of choice. Learn more about OVF.

What version of the vCloud API was announced at VMWorld 2009?
This is the alpha version (0.8) – Technology Preview - of the API

Do I have to pay a royalty to VMware to use the API?

If I build a product using this API is there some claim I can make about being VMware compatible?
Not at this time.

Key Features & Technical Details
What are the key characteristics of the API?
The vCloud API is an open, RESTful API. It is a standards-based, platform independent, pure virtual API compatible with a broad and diverse range of applications.

What is REST?
It is very common for a compute cloud to have programmatic control.  In working with customers a common request was to use REST. Representational State Transfer (REST) is an architectural style characteristic of programs that rely on the inherent properties of hypermedia and HTTP to create and modify the state of an object that is accessible at a URL.

What do you mean by “pure virtual”?
The API does not expose any aspect of the physical infrastructure (servers, storage, networks) or how the physical infrastructure is virtualized. In a cloud service only virtual forms of the infrastructure can be exposed through the API. The pure virtual nature of the API also helps make the API simple to use and implement

How does this API support multi-tenancy?
For a cloud service to be multi-tenant, both its API and its implementation must support multi-tenancy. The pure virtual nature of the vCloud API enables it to be multi-tenant. Each cloud customer, or tentant, can only see its own set of virtual resources while having no means to address the shared underlying physical resources. This kind of isolation between tenants is analogous to the isolation between processes in a conventional OS achieved through the use of  virtual memory: each process sees a continuous memory address space for its own use, but cannot directly address the underlying physical memory or the virtual memory of another process. Just like the virtual memory sub-system of a conventional OS in cooperation with its platform APIs works to achieve isolation between processes, in the same manner the cloud service implementation together with the vCloud API can support multi-tenancy.

How does the VMware implementation of the vCloud API allow for scalability?
VMware vSphere aggregates industry standard devices, storage and networking systems into unified logical resource pools to provide the highest level of reliability with the lowest cost of running applications. Such resource pools are managed by vCenter Server. The VMware implementation of the vCloud API spans multiple vCenter Servers to provide available virtual resources. This offers improved scalability needed  a cloud service.

Is the vCloud API extensible?
Yes, it is possible for implementers to add links to new features and functions as well as extend the request and response schemas for defined API functions.

Is the vCloud API an extension of the vSphere/VIM API?
No, the vCloud API is not an extension, replacement or a subset of the vSphere/VIM API. The vSphere API remains unchanged. The two APIs serve different roles. While the vSphere API focuses on providing programmatic control for the creation and configuration of virtual resources based on physical resources, the vCloud API is focused on the use of these virtual resources while completely hiding the underlying physical resources. In other words, while the vSphere API is a virtualization API, the vCloud API is a pure-virtual API. The two do not mix: each represents a different plane of abstraction onto which subject entities are projected.

Documentation and Availability
What is currently available as part of the vCloud API launch?
At VMWorld 2009, VMware released the API as a Technology Preview. The API Programming Guide, API Specification and schema definition files are available for download from the vCloud API developer community. These documents will enable developers to write code to the API specification.

When will the vCloud API be available?
VMware is working towards releasing the API in beta form.  We will inform interested developers and IT Admins as we approach our beta availability. We look forward to receiving your feedback. Share your thoughts and comments.

How can I participate in the vCloud API beta?
If you are interested in participating in the vCloud beta and wish to be informed on updates.

Audience use cases
Who is the vCloud API targeted towards?

The vCloud API is targeted towards developers and IT Admins across our service provider, ISV and enterprise customer community

What are some key distinguishing characteristics of the vCloud API?

  • Pure virtual nature makes it very easy to use and implement
  • Supports the industry standard OVF 1.0 format.
  • It is designed to support existing customers as well as enterprise still running applications on physical hardware to move their legacy applications into the cloud.
  • Developing an application to the vCloud API, makes it compatible with a large number of VMware-based internal clouds or external service provider clouds à broad application compatibility and choice of SPs (no lock in)

How can service providers use the API?
As part of their external cloud offerings, Service Providers can build “Infrastructure as a Service” portals with a standard, consistent programmatic interface. They can also use existing portals to orchestrate cloud functions through the API. 

How can ISVs use the API?
ISVs can extend their existing software to make use of cloud services that present the vCloud API or build entirely new applications that make use of the API.

How can enterprises use the API?
The vCloud API enables enterprises to build internal clouds based on the VMware technology stack. They can extend their workflow automation and provisioning to make use of vCloud services that implement the vCloud API.

Licensing, Implementations
What licensing terms govern usage of the vCloud API?
The vCloud API Specification and schema definition files are being released under a permissive (MIT like) license. Developers and service providers are free to make use of the API under a royalty free license that allows for extension.  See specific details on the license terms.


F5 Live App Migration Between Clouds Demo

F5 Announced today that they were providing with their BIG-IP can VMotion from one site to another without downtime.

First the VM is sVmotioned from one storage to another, and then Vmotioned, F5 BIG-IP will redirect the to the remote site, including live sessions that are currently in progress.

Taken from the Demo on their Site

In this webcast we will demonstrate how to perform a secure live migration of a VM from one cloud to another, without downtime, and without user disruption using LTM, GTM and vCenter APIs. Until now, it has been difficult if not impossible to accomplish this. VMotion is today limited to a single L2 broadcast domain, and Storage VMotions are even more restrictive. IP address space limitations make management cumbersome at best.

F5 will be demonstrating this capability on Wednesday, September 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. at the VMware vCloud Pavilion at VMworld 2009. Come visit F5 Networks at Booth #2302

Demo You can download the webcast video here


Useful VMWorld 2009 info

  • Wifi
    Complimentary wireless access is available to all conference attendees in specific areas. Look for “VMworld2009” in your list of available wireless networks. The wireless network supports 802.11 a/b/g protocols and there is no WEP key. Once you connect to the network, just launch your Internet
    browser to gain access. If you need help connecting, please see the conference staff at the information desks located throughout the conference.
  • Email stations
    Sponsored by HP, where you can check email, confirm and print your schedule, and fill out overall conference surveys, are located throughout the VMworld conference venue. VMworld email stations are located in the Moscone South Lobby, Concourse Level and at the Marriott Hotel, Yerba Buena Ballroom.
  • Meals
    • Breakfast and Lunch are served in the Moscone Center, Hall A.
      Lunch will also be served in The Forum, with additional seating in
      Yerba Buena Gardens.
    • Continental Breakfast
      Tuesday & Wednesday: 6:30 am – 8:00 am
      Thursday: 7:30 am – 9:00 am
      Tuesday through Thursday: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • VMWorld Alumni
    Have you attended two previous VMworld conferences as a general attendee? If yes, you’re a VMworld Alumnus! We want to recognize and thank you for your continued support of VMworld, so be sure to take advantage of the many special alumni activities and opportunities during the conference. Drop by the exclusive Alumni Lounge, located in Room 105 of the Moscone Center, to hang out, get online, have a snack or simply rejuvenate. You can pick up your exclusive alumni button here, too. Alumni also get 10% off VMware merchandise during VMworld 2009, redeemable at the VMware Company Store, located in the South Lobby.

VMWorld Conferences 2010

I know we are all busy with next weeks VMworld 2009 in San Francisco but a small heads-up for next year

Next year  the conferences will be back-to-back

VMworld US 2010 – Aug 30-Sep 02 in Moscone Center, San Francisco

Vmworld Europe 2010 - Oct 11-14, Bella Centre, Copenhagen


Mark your Calendars!!!!


One Simultaneous Live Migration

For those of you who have not heard yet, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager R2 was RTM a few days ago.

One thing I noticed on a post on the Microsoft Virtualization Blog was a reference to some of the details that are in the upcoming release (granted this is for the RC and I cannot attest to this being the same for the RTM version) and found these little points of interest.


  1. I wonder where Microsoft got this "need" from? Perhaps because it is a feature that has been around in ESX 3.5 since January 2008?
  2. Downtime of less than 2 minutes? (need I say more?)
  3. True by default you can only perform 2 simultaneous vmotions, but this is not a hard limit and can be changed - you can see a good review of the her from Simon Long and Jason Boche in this post.
    I dread to even think if this is true - how long it will take to evacuate a Hyper-V host if they have to be done one by one. At least now you don't have wait for each one to finish before starting the other - Thanks Microsoft for fixing that one!
  4. For full disclosure - granted Storage vMotion is now only available in the Enterprise Plus version of vSphere (which is not something I am very pleased about) and Microsoft claims that this is completely free (I have yet to confirm this)

On a personal note a small message to Microsoft (and their supporters).

Dear Microsoft,

You have come a long way since Hyper-V version 1. Hyper-V R2 is a great product. I personally use both - and will continue to do so. Each one has their use-cases and their appropriate time and place to be used.

There are a number of features that you still have a lot of catching up to do to get to where VMware is today, but I gather you will get there.

The competition is healthy, and welcomed and me as the customer will benefit from it without a doubt.

I personally have a favorite - but that does not mean that I will not continue to explore new and emerging technologies, be it VMware, Hyper-V, Xen or KVM

Hope you enjoyed the ride!


What Happened to Export a VM in ESX4i?

I have been meaning to blog about this for a while so hear it is.

One of the features I used in ESX3i was the option to export a VM once it was powered off. This made the option of moving a VM off a stand-alone host to different Storage on different hosts a very easy process.

In ESXi 3.5


And save it anywhere on your local Drive


But for some reason this has disappeared from ESX4i.


The option is grayed out.

The only way to export a VM from a standalone host is to use VMware Converter.

This was done on a stand-alone host - without vCenter, virtual machine was powered off using a free license.

Anyone know why this was removed?

So Easy - PowerCLI Storage VMotion

I had to to migrate 43 Virtual Machines today, from one Datastore to another.

The environment is still not upgraded to vSphere yet.

Options I had:

I found the most efficient to be the following

Get-Folder "<Folder Name>" | get-vm | Move-Vm -Datastore <New_DataStoreName> -RunAsync


The plug-in was too many mouse clicks, and the command line - I have never tried - so I do not know if you can run it against multiple machines

The command completed within 3 minutes - and the storage VMotion was queued for all Virtual
Machines - it did take a bit longer

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

The first PhD in Virtualization History (1708)

Well I am back from vacation - I was in Europe and also spent two wonderful days in Prague.

I came across a small piece of history there and think I found the first ever Doctor that used Virtualization, and it was way way back in 1708.

This comes from a statue that is located on the Charles Bridge in Prague, and no I did not touch the photo in any way



Seriously though, this is on the bottom of a statue of St. Nicholas on the bridge. more photos

Strange how different people see things differently.

Vacation was nice, and now back to serious blog posts


ESXi patches - My Response to Jeff Woolsey

Jeff Woolsey posted a comparison of disk footprint of ESXi and Windows 2008 Hyper-V server. Not getting into what I think of it yet, just a few facts and misconceptions before I start.

Since then these patches have been released for Windows 2008. I could not find a list of specific patches for Microsoft Hyper-V server 2008 R1 - because it is not listed as a product under Microsoft's Security site - not under Microsoft Hyper-v Server, Hyper-V, Windows Hyper-V, the only thing that I could find which was remotely was for Windows Server 2008.

image image image image

I assume that the security patches that Jeff spoke about here in this paragraph were patches that were released for Windows 2008, seeing the lack of anything else that Microsoft defines as a product called Microsoft Hyper-V server 2008 R1 I looked for patches that released for Windows Server 2008 and that were applicable to Core Edition (because as I understand, Hyper-v runs on a version of Core edition). So if Hyper-V server is a product - then define it as such, if not then it is still windows and need to be patched like windows


It is very nice that Jeff started to compare all patches from January 1, 2008 for both Systems but he forgot to mention that Hyper-V RTM'ed on June 26, 2008. Seeing that So I think it should be fair that you should start comparing from July 1, 2008 for both products.

Below is a list of patches that were released for Windows 2008 and were applicable to core Edition.

MS08-040 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 39.8 MB - 82.3 MB

MS08-038 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 7.1 MB

MS08-037 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 428 KB

MS08-047 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 447 KB

MS08-049 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update. 330 KB

MS08-067 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 417 KB

MS08-061 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.2 MB

MS08-062 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 475 KB

MS08-063 - This update does not require a restart. 375 KB

MS08-064 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 2.4 MB

MS08-068 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 327 KB

MS09-001- Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 371 KB

MS09-004 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 39.8 MB

MS09-006 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.2 MB

MS09-007 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 363 KB

MS09-013 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 427 KB

MS09-012 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 3.7 MB

MS09-015 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.9 MB

MS09-022 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 612 KB

MS09-026 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 768 KB

MS09-025 - Yes, you must restart your system after you apply this security update 1.2 MB

And let us not forget Windows Server 2008 SP2 with the size of 577.4 MB

Below on are the Patches released for ESX3i Starting from February 2008 (Yes I gave ESX and extra month)

ESXe350-200904401-O-SG   Download Size: 221M    System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200904201-O-SG     Download Size: 221M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200901401-O-SG -Download Size: 212M    System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200811401-O-SG - Download Size: 213M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200810401-O-UG - Download Size: 211M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200809401-O-SG - Download Size: 203M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200808501-O-SG - Download Size: 203M   System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200805501-O-SG - Download Size: 192MB System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

ESXe350-200907401-O-SG Download Size: 223M     System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

ESXe350-200906401-O-BG - Download Size: 222M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot

ESXe350-200905401-O-BG - Download Size: 221M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200903201-O-UG - Download Size: 221M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200903411-O-BG - Download Size: 212M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown &  Host Reboot

ESXe350-200807812-O-BG - Download Size: 209M  System Impact :  VM Shutdown & Host Reboot


So here is what I found:

  • 22 Patches for Windows 2008 (including Service Pack 2) - totaling a size of 0.722 GB
  • 14 patches VMware ESXi 3.5 - totaling a size of  2.984 GB


According to my math - ESXi 3.5 has a 4.13 greater patch footprint - nowhere near anything you posted above


That could be but it does not change the fact that the size of the installation base is still practically the same and has not grown by 3.3 GB, as it is replaced each time with the patch that is installed.


Hmm. Why did you neglect to mention the reboots needed for the Hyper-v patches. Ah! I know why!

If you look at the list above you will see that out of the 22 Microsoft patches that were released - 21 of them needed a reboot.

So according to my math Microsoft Hyper-v Server was rebooted 7 times more over the past 12 Months, a 50% increase in comparison to ESX3i

I am pretty sure that some of these could be consolidated into one reboot, but for arguments sake, let us say each one was installed separately

And yes, until now Hyper-V did not have this functionality - it is only available in R2 which is not completely publicly available yet (we have to wait until October 22, 2009)


And yes muck-ups happen - even with Microsoft as you can see here 

Enough with details. Microsoft has developed a strategy. Since Hyper-v cannot compare with ESX regarding maturity, Market Share, complimentary products and feature set, they are continuously trying to find small little points and Magnify them out of all proportion.

Patches, Core Tax, Pricing, Extra Layer, VMware Myths

It is my personal opinion that they are succeeding in certain markets, because not everyone needs all these features, but that is a whole different post.

And Jeff, if you compare something - compare it correctly!

This was not posted on your blog as a comment, because they are moderated, and I did not know if this would show up as a comment on your blog.

I hope you enjoyed the ride, I am going on vacation!


Storage DRS and New things at VMWorld 2009

It is less than 1 month to VMWorld 2009 in the Moscone Center in San Francisco (August 31-September 3, 2009). A great conference to start with, and picking up more and more momentum as we draw closer.

This is the main Virtualization Event of the year, and the only one for another 14 months - seeing that VMware has decided to "consolidate" the European and US events back-to-back, which I personally think is not a good idea (but enough has been said on the blogosphere about this subject)

What I would like to discuss is what we can expect at this conference. vSphere was released less than 3 months ago - and the latest family of product, including AppSpeed, Lab Manager, and Chargeback were announced just 3 weeks ago.

Speculation from Sven Huisman about releasing vCenter for free was and interesting one that came up not long ago.

I will add some speculations of my own of one of the features that I think will be announced in the upcoming conference.

Well it is not actually a new product, but more of a feature that will be supported by at least two of the big Storage Vendors, EMC and NetApp.

I am talking about Storage DRS.

Storage vendors today are incorporate the usage of SSD (Solid State Disks) into their products. The benefits of SSD disks are not a small thing. In a presentation I saw last week from EMC, I was shown a graph of the comparison of what was needed to achieve a level of Disk I/O from a storage array. The ratio of the amount of disks Solid State:Conventional was approximately 1:10 to achieve the same performance. True - at the moment you would not save that much on pricing at the moment because SSD disk are much more expensive, but on power, cooling, space, and other overhead, I am sure you can see where the savings will come from.

DRS - is a built in feature (now only available from Enterprise Plus versions and up) that balances your virtual machines according to the load on the ESX host, allowing for overall better performance for all you VM's and your clusters. The benefits and increase (15%-47%) in performance can be seen for example in this article on VROOM. The variables that are taken into account are only RAM and CPU.

Back to Storage DRS, what if you could, on a defined schedule/policy, Storage vMotion your VM's to faster storage to allow for better performance during peak times, and when the peak was over move them back to slower storage?

Let us take for the following scenario for example. I have a storage array with 3 different kinds of disks, SATA 7200 RPM, Fiber Disks, and Solid State drives. These drives are layered at 3 different tiers: Budget, Standard and Premium (SATA, Fiber and SSD - accordingly).

VM1 runs a front-end application that needs x amount of I/O. Your client comes and tells you that during the day, between peak hours of 12.00-16.00 the application is slow. After testing and monitoring the performance, you see that during those peak hours the amount of disk I/O that this VM needs increase by 200%. and your lower end storage is the bottleneck.

You now have two options:

  1. Move the VM to faster storage - and therefore solve your bottleneck problem, but in doing that you are allocating the VM faster storage which it does not need for 20 out of 24 hours in the day.
  2. Use the built in tools - to set a policy that sVmotion's the VM at when the I/O to the disk becomes the bottleneck to Premium Tier and move it back again when things calm down back to Budget Tier.

In the EMC presentation I saw, this concept was presented as being a feature which is soon to be released. I received an additional hint to confirm this from Vaughn Stewart from NetApp on the last VMTN Communities Roundtable Podcast last Wednesday night. It will most probably be as a plug-in to vCenter which will allow proper integration

This is most probably one feature/announcement that we should expect during VMworld 2009 later this month. I do truly hope that the vendors will continue to develop tools like this which will enable us to provide better performance, better control, and better management of our resources in our virtual Infrastructures.

Please keep up the good work.

What other products/features do you think will be get during the conference?

I was also pointed to this post by Daniel Eason, which discusses the same subject, Thanks Daniel!

Your comments are always welcome.