7 Questions with Alan Renouf on Open Source, SDKs & Community at VMware

Alan RenoufWe sat down with Alan Renouf, VMware Senior Product Line Manager, to discuss his involvement in the evolving open source community at VMware. As part of the VMware vSphere and, more recently, VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS) teams, Alan focuses on:

  • Application programmable interfaces (APIs)
  • Software development kits (SDKs)
  • Command line interfaces (CLIs)

Alan shares his perspective on the past, present and future of open source within VMware and VMware project

1. From your perspective, what is open source, and what are its benefits?

In open source, everyone contributes to make code better, because we all work on the same things trying to solve the same problems, but have different experiences. People come together to commit to projects that others are working on and to make software better as a whole, without money necessarily being the objective.

Working at VMware, this kind of culture is enabled and encouraged as part of our EPIC2 values. These core values align nicely with the execution of open source repositories, making it possible to empower our customers to better work with VMware products.

[Related: What It Means to Be a Good Open Source Citizen]

2. What does open source mean for VMware customers?

First of all, it’s important for the visibility of our product code. From the security side of things, our customers can look through the code and scan for vulnerabilities, adding that extra layer of required compliance. Secondly, it is important for our customers to understand how our software works and why our software makes certain decisions. This is absolutely key to troubleshooting in a production environment. Thirdly, everyone contributing to open source makes VMware’s software and customer implementations better. By working directly with our teams, customers give us their direct feedback and contribute back to the project.

3. What are your accomplishments with open source?

We have always had SDKs that enable developers and automation engineers to work with our APIs and programmatic interfaces of our products. Those SDKs, however, have always been behind a gated system, where one must sign in to download and use them. Giving feedback was difficult. The samples were written by VMware and only VMware, so there was no contribution by anyone else and released on a cadence with vSphere major releases. Even if the feedback did make it back to us, the customer had to wait a long time to gain the enhancements.

My role in open sourcing the SDKs was all about making the kits available to VMware’s customers and partners. Customers should be able to go to the GitHub site, clone the project or download it and be up and running with our APIs and samples within five minutes. That was a big change from what we had before, where customers would tell me it would take two months to get to that point. Providing feedback and seeing the changes go straight back into the samples—often within days—is a huge benefit for our customers and us.

4. What was so significant about open sourcing the SDKs?

There is the aspect of being able to download VMware SDKs and run it faster, but now customers are able to contribute. They are the ones coming up with samples. We already have some contributors from our customer base that have said, “I like what you’ve done here and I’ve written something similar. I’m going to add it to your repository, so now everybody else has access to that code as well.” It is great for us to enable everybody and work on the same problems together.

Internally, open sourcing our SDKs was important, because it gives our teams a better understanding of open source and how to work with modern-day development and contribution tools. It is completely different from the old model that was mostly closed and difficult to get feedback.

[Related: Integration with vSphere Using the New Open Sourced SDKs]


Alan Renouf VR

5. Since open sourcing VMware’s SDKs, what are some things that
surprised you?

Personally, I have been surprised the effort contributors make to provide their work back with the rest of the community. Take this pull request as an example. It added a number of different Postman samples to work with the new VCSA Appliance API, which was released in 6.5 and now enables people to easily understand and view samples on working with this API in REST. Awesome work!

6. How does VMware’s commitment to open source effect VMware’s products?

Open source dramatically increases the relevance of VMware’s products. I believe open source products get much closer to a product that people want to consume, as the contributors have a hand in making the software. If they don’t like the way things work or find that it doesn’t quite fulfill their use case, customers can easily adjust the open source project to enhance it and add features or code that enable the project to meet that extra use case. VMware products can only get better for the users and more relevant to their day to day jobs because of open source.

7. Any pointers for someone trying to get involved with VMware’s open source projects?

I would say look at the VMware GitHub repositories. Become a community member. Start committing, adding and giving back to these repositories. VMware employees and customer
often have great knowledge about how our products work. If you see some code or documentation on a site that looks incorrect or could be done more efficiently, submit a change and educate the community on why you are making that change. Dip your toe in the water. Believe me, it’s warm and leads to a beautiful ocean!

Make the code better for you and the entire VMware community of people like you.


Follow Alan Renouf on Twitter @AlanRenouf

To stay up to date on the latest in the open source community and VMware, follow us on Twitter @VMWOpenSource.

More VMware Open Source blogs by Alan Renouf:

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Source: Open Source @VMware

Automating Benchmarks for Cloud Infrastructure with Open Source Project Weathervane

Open source Project Weathervane may not tell you the direction of the wind, but it is a clear indication of where the wind is blowing when it comes to open source technology. Mandy Botsko-Wilson, a consulting architect at VMware, delivered an insightful vBrownBag Tech Talk at VMworld 2017 entitled “Automating Benchmarks for Cloud Infrastructure with VMware Weathervane & vRealize Automation.”

Throughout her vBrownBag talk, Mandy addressed common questions around performance implications of moving an application to the cloud, performance trade-offs between running application services in containers vs virtual machines and hybrid approach performance by presenting Weathervane as a benchmarking tool for these needs.

Developed over five years as a project by Hal Rosenberg, a performance engineer at VMware, Project Weathervane is VMware’s open source benchmarking tool that allows you to model an enterprise application–and its workload–and then automate the repeatable execution of runs to collect performance data.

Weathervane provides application-level cloud infrastructure performance benchmarking and can help determine solutions without you having to try out a bunch of different container services in your cloud infrastructure. It’s also well poised for benchmarking hybrid apps in your cloud infrastructure and allows for the discovery management of containers.

Weathervane contains three defining components:

  1. Model Application. With a model application, you don’t have to use your production application and re-architect it in different ways. The first model application available as part of Weathervane’s open source code is Auction, a modern web application.
  2. Workload Driver. This means Weathervane can drive a realistic and repeatable load against your application. You can build in the workload driver using Auction so you don’t have to build a point-and-click system for the enterprise app you’re trying to test out.
  3. Run-harness. This automates the process of executing runs and collecting the results.

Once you’ve launched Weathervane, you can deploy the software in a flexible configuration based on the application. You do not have to use all of the Weathervane services, but you do need:

  • A workload driver;
  • A messaging server;
  • An application server;
  • A relational database; and
  • A NoSQL database.

Underneath all of those components is the run-harness automating the runs.

Weathervane is not a typical, industry-standard benchmark. It offers flexibility in configuration without strict governing rules. As a performance benchmark, Weathervane provides:

  • Model Application, which is representative of a common class of production applications.
  • Workload, which only specific operations simulated users perform.
  • Application-level Performance Metrics, which compares application performance across multiple runs and makes tweaks to configurations.
  • Quality of Service (QoS), a measure to determine whether a given run is acceptable.

As an open source project, Weathervane will continue to grow and create more model applications that you can benchmark against in your own environments. It currently supports Docker containers and virtual machines, including vSphere Integrated Containers, the latest version of which supports native Docker Container Hosts. Support for other containerized options will be added in the future. Weathervane also offers simple setup and quick deployment, support for variable loads and application elasticity.

Taking it a step further, Weathervane can be blueprinted in VMware vRealize Automation to allow your DevOps teams to deploy, scale and configure Weathervane on varying endpoints to compare the effects on application-level performance before the enterprise application goes live for that architecture. Automating this process means you don’t have to move everything around in distribution, which can get a little tedious.

To watch a complete demo of the installation and initial run of Weathervane, Auction running a test on Weathervane, a run with Docker and blueprinting of Weathervane in vRealize Automation, check out the full recording of Mandy’s vBrownBag talk here. And remember, open source project Weathervane is available as a free download on GitHub.

Stay tuned to the VMware Open Source blog for more deep dives into vBrownBag talks from VMworld 2017, and follow us on Twitter (@VMWOpenSource).

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Source: Open Source @VMware

What It Means to Be a Good Open Source Citizen

By Tim Pepper

Our team recently discussed the word choice in our VMware Open Source Technology Center (OSTC) mission statement. Our goals are to:

  • Establish VMware as a good open source citizen.
  • Build VMware’s presence and influence in relevant projects through meaningful contributions and participation.
  • Develop and promote VMware standards for best practices in open source development and engagement with external communities.
  • Mentor internal teams to increase VMware’s open source competency and expertise.

good open source citizen

It’s easy to suppose that I, as an open source contributor, share some common, implicit understanding of what it means to be a “good citizen” with the rest of the open source community. Or, as a definition by negation, that I can think in shared terms of not doing some set of obviously bad behaviors. The reality is that these concepts can vary across cultures and contexts, and the meaning of the “good citizen” phrase has been debated for years and years.

What are some of the specific behaviors I strive for when I talk of good citizenship in open source?

One might start with license compliance and the free availability of code. However, open source citizenry is about so much more than just the code. While undeniably necessary, sharing code in itself is not a sufficient enough action for one to be considered a “good citizen” in open source communities. I believe that I must do more. The spirit of open source includes an active, participatory aspect through a spirit of collaboration.

Going Beyond Open Source Code

To me, here’s what it means to be a good open source citizen:

  • Collaborate and take action.
  • Share ideas through formulation and implementation.
  • File bug reports.
  • Test.
  • Develop.
  • Maintain and support code over the long haul.
  • Constructively review others’ code.
  • Submit your code for review by others.
  • Change based on the community’s feedback.

Open source collaboration involves being a mentor, but it also means being a mentee. Collaboration and good citizenry are a two-way street, with each party perhaps changing themselves as much or more than the code and projects they seek to change.

Conflict will occur. Nevertheless, a good citizen will not simply fork when ideas diverge. A true open source community member will seek opportunities to unfork, commonize, refactor and reconverge as technology evolves.

[Related: Spork! An Open Source Fork Utensil]

A good open source citizen will not simply follow project norms or codes of conduct, but engage in their communities’ governance as an ally of peaceful, fair and inclusive norms.

All of these aspects of collaboration are about adding and sustaining value at a scale impossible individually.

What It Means to Be a Good Open Source Citizen—Plus One

While VMware aims to offer great value through its participation in open source, I am also mindful of our OSTC organization being a relative newcomer. Astronaut Chris Hadfield has a useful bit of guidance in this situation:

“Over the years, I’ve realized that in any new situation, whether it involves an elevator or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems. Or as a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn’t tip the balance one way or the other. Or you’ll be seen as a plus one: someone who actively adds value. Everyone wants to be a plus one, of course. But proclaiming your plus one-ness at the outset almost guarantees that you’ll be perceived as a minus one, regardless of the skills you bring to the table or how you actually perform.”

—Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

The VMware OSTC team continues to grow, and my goal is to share my knowledge and expertise beyond our group into all parts of VMware. It is a deliberate, thoughtful process. Over time, I hope our leadership will convince open source communities that VMware is an open source plus one.

About the Author

Tim Pepper is interested in development roles involving dynamic, sophisticated and deeply-skilled teams driving forward the state of the art in open source and Linux-based systems.

Born in California to a U.S. service member, he has had at least two dozen addresses and attended over a dozen schools, eventually settling in Oregon where he has now lived over almost 15 years, three times the length of any prior location. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Cal. Poly San Luis Obispo and an M.S. in Computer Science from Portland State University. He specializes in Linux and open source systems development and is a staff engineer with VMware’s Open Source Technology Center.

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Source: Open Source @VMware

7 of the Best Open Source Quotes from VMworld 2017

Top VMworld open source Quotes from VMworld 2017VMworld 2017 was VMware’s biggest showing of open source at VMworld to date! Here is a collection of our top seven favorite quotes from VMworld’s open source sessions.

1. Open Source at VMware: A Key Ingredient to Our Success and Yours [LDT1844BU]

“Open source is a powerful methodology for innovation and the development of APIs.”

—Dirk Hohndel, VMware Chief Open Source Officer

[Related blog: Open Source at VMworld—From Keynotes to Hackathons]

2. VMware and Open Source: Compliance, Quality, and Viability [FUT1226BU]

“Open source is mainstream. Open source is a strategic part of every company’s software portfolio.”

— Meng Chow, VMware Open Source Program Manager

[Related blog: 4 Vital Steps to Open Source Success in Your Company]


3. Open Source at VMware: A Key Ingredient to Our Success and Yours [LDT1844BU]

“[With open source], you need to think about scale. It’s easy when it’s small, but at 30 million users, things get hard.”

—Dirk Hohndel, VMware Chief Open Source Officer

[Related blog: Project, Process & Production]


4. VMware Open-Source SDKs: From Getting Started to Web App in One Hour [SER1912BU]

“VMware is finally aligned and listening to their customers and consumers of the VMware API. The improvements in their open source SDKs allow us to provide feedback and contributions, as well as a much simpler mechanism to adopt the information quicker. I wish this could have been done years ago!”

—Alan Renouf, VMware Senior Product Line Manager

[Related blog: vSphere Automation SDK for .Net Now Available in Github]


5.  Simplifying Your Open-Source Cloud with VMware [FUT3076BU]

“VMware embraces open source innovation by making it enterprise ready.”

—Edward Blackwell, VMware Global Accounts Principal Systems Engineer

“This was a tipping point in the presentation leading the audience to inquiry on previously discussed challenges with open source; thus, the audience was pleasantly intrigued and wanted to learn more,” Edward said about his experience as a presenter.

[Related blog: The Inspiration Behind Open Source Project Harbor]


6. VMware and Open Source: Compliance, Quality, and Viability [FUT1226BU]

“Security + viability = quality” Norman Scroggins,

—Senior Open Source Program Manager

[Related blog: VMware & Open Source: A Commitment to Innovation & Collaboration]


7. Women and Diversity in Tech: Disruption and Inclusion [VMinclusion]

“Inclusion, to me, means that we are innovative. Diversity requires intention. It does not happen by accident.”

— Nithya Ruff, Senior Director of Open Source Practice at Comcast.

[Related blog: Meng Chow Speaking at Women Who Code Connect 2017 on 4/29]


Looking for more VMware Open Source Content?

Watch VMworld session replays at our YouTube channel for more.

To stay up to date on the latest in the open source community and VMware, follow us on Twitter @VMWOpenSource.

The post 7 of the Best Open Source Quotes from VMworld 2017 appeared first on Open Source @VMware.

Source: Open Source @VMware

4 Vital Steps to Open Source Success in Your Company

By Meng Chow, Staff Open Source Program Manager, VMware

Open source software is gaining serious traction throughout many industries. A 2016 survey conducted by Black Duck Software found virtually all companies rely on open source software in their product development. This indicates that open source is widely adopted and is becoming a strategic part of every company’s software portfolio. As we reap the benefits of open source software and make it an essential part of our development process, what does it take to achieve production-quality, well-supported open source software?

Open Source Success

1.    Open Source Licensing

First and foremost, open source offers users the freedom to access technology tools. Because of this ease of access, there is a general misconception that open source is free. On the contrary, open source software comes with license obligations. For example, a GPL license means you have the freedom to use, copy and modify the software. However, if you sell your software or distribute it, a copy of your source code must be made available to the public under the same GPL license.

As such, choosing the right open source license that aligns with business goals is critical. At VMware, we take a proactive approach toward open source. We start out by learning and understanding the philosophy behind open source. Then, we focus on ensuring the open source license is compatible with the needs of our customers.

2.    Use Open Source Responsibly

With the freedom to access great technology tools, what obligations do we have as users of open source software? Eleanor Roosevelt has this great quote: “With freedom comes responsibility.”

By harnessing the collaborative prowess of the open source community, we don’t have to build everything from scratch. Shared development allows the community to build great solutions with shared benefits. This enables us to accelerate product time-to-market and simultaneously reduce development costs.

The responsibility hinges on having a long-term strategic plan to support and maintain the software. Besides complying to the license terms and mitigating security risks, it is essential to have a delivery infrastructure with well-documented steps to ensure software updates are deployed to customers in a reliable, repeatable fashion.

Open Source Success

3.    Open Source Community Collaboration

Since there is no formal technical support process from the open source community, and to ensure the best quality and support, VMware participates in active, vibrant open source projects that depend on a collaborative community. We have ongoing community review for projects so multiple eyeballs can look at a project’s code and provide critical peer review. This accelerates the discovery of defects, and oftentimes, issues are discovered and fixed before we know them.

Contrast this to dormant open source projects where nobody is improving and maintaining the code. Under these circumstances, you have to find and fix your own issues. This can be super challenging, especially if you were not involved in the development of the code from the beginning.

For successful open source production, think about the leap one has to take going from a developer sandbox to a production environment. At VMware, we carefully select and use the highest quality open source components at every stage of the development cycle. Augment that with the in-house expertise of a dedicated team of quality and security engineers, and this allows us to deliver the most robust software to our customers, complete with assurance of quality and reliability.

Open Source Success

4.    Open Source Compliance

From a risk mitigation standpoint, open source compliance is not just a legal exercise, nor is it just security risk management. We address open source compliance via the collaborative partnership of cross-functional teams. All facets of the company contribute to the management of open source usage to ensure proper compliance. Here’s how each team contributes to open source compliance:

  • Technical Education Team: Education is a key part of our compliance process. The Technical Education team provides online resources and classroom training to educate new employees about proper usage of open source software. In addition, ongoing training is carried out to ensure employees have a good understanding of the policies governing the use of open source software, including process updates and tool improvements.
  • Tools Engineering Team: To facilitate the open source review process, tooling is a key part of our compliance infrastructure as well, offering streamlined opportunities via integration with the software development process. The Tools Engineering team automates as much as possible to maximize developer productivity. They monitor and measure against set targets, and provide visibility and transparency of the end results, including clarity around how decisions are made. These self-checking, self-correcting mechanisms allow us to build the right mindset and culture around using open source.
  • Product Security Team: Addresses security needs in the initial product planning stages so that security is built into the product to begin with. Considering security up front is a fundamental aspect of secure development. Within each Product Team, functional groups such as Product Development, Quality Engineering, Release Engineering and Technical Support work closely with Product Management to choose the product release cadence that meets customer needs.
  • Legal: Elucidates the license obligations of open source to ensure we choose the right open source component during product development.
  • IT: Provides online resources to support the use of open source software—repositories, wikis, application frameworks and bug/issue tracking tools, to name a few.

Open Source Success


At first glance, an open source solution has the potential to reduce license costs and lower capital expense. However, the operational aspects of deploying open source software in production can be complex, with structural and strategic implications that must be factored into consideration. Once you implement a strategic, long-term support plan that mitigates risks proactively, open source software has the potential to lower your total cost of ownership and simultaneously improve business agility.

Which of these viewpoints resonates with you? What best practices come to mind when you ensure the production quality of open source software, and how you implement these four steps in your organization? Let us know in the comments!

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Source: Open Source @VMware

Watch On-Demand: Tiejun Chen Talks “Unikernels and Explorations” at Open Source Summit North America

Earlier this month, The Linux Foundation hosted Open Source Summit North America in Los Angeles. The technical conference hosted more than 2,000 technologists and open source community members who collaborated and shared insights across a wide variety of topics.

Tiejun Chen, an open source expert and VMware China staff engineer, tackled unikernels in his presentation, “Unikernels and Explorations.” Unikernels are specialized, single-address-space machine images constructed using library operating systems (OS).

Tiejun delved into the major challenges facing unikernels and explored how developers can construct the best platform for running unikernel cases—like converting Linux as unikernel—for greater performance and convenience of these specialized machine images.

Compared to the traditional virtual machine (VMs) or containers, unikernels are ideal for cloud environments because they:

  • Offer more efficiency and security
  • Leave smaller footprints
  • Enable greater optimization and faster boot times

With all these benefits, why haven’t unikernels gained wider popularity?

Watch Tiejun’s full Open Source Summit North America presentation on “Unikernels and Explorations” below, courtesy of The Linux Foundation.

Want to watch more presentations from Open Source Summit North America 2017? Click here to access the playlist.

To stay up to date on the latest around the open source community and VMware, follow us on Twitter @VMWOpenSource.

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Source: Open Source @VMware

A Maintainer’s Perspective: What Is Software Made Of?

By Darren Hart, director/open source architect, VMware Open Source Technology Center

What is a software project made of? What are the components? Ask software engineers of various disciplines and language expertise, and you’ll likely receive a fairly predictable set of responses: Software is comprised of source files, a build system and, if you’re lucky, documentation.


Digging a little deeper, one might ask: What are source files comprised of? Source files are made up of classes, methods, functions, variables, statements, etc. These are the components that make software work, but they are only sufficient descriptors when describing software at a single point in time (just barely).

Let’s expand the requirements of a software project to include the development process, release management, support and maintenance. Would that change the answer? As a maintainer of a Linux kernel subsystem, I work on one of the largest and most collaborative software projects in the world. In order to manage the rate of change, resolve code conflicts from independent contributors and identify where bugs are introduced, I rely heavily on strong change control management. If you were to ask me what software is made of, my answer would be, “commits.”

When I consider a software package, I am interested in its history, as well as its current functionality. I want to know how it became what it is. The commit log provides the origin and history of every line of code. It tells me much more about a function than just a snapshot of the statements making up that function in the latest release. A review of a snapshot of code may create a false perception that the section of code was developed intentionally all at once. In reality, it’s most likely the result of an initial implementation followed by a series of changes, possibly by multiple contributors.

Strong change control management is just as important for small, single developer projects as it is for large projects with thousands of contributors. If you’ve ever read a piece of code and thought, “Why did they do it that way?” it is very possible that they didn’t. Bugs are often introduced by changes that miss the broader context of the code developers are changing. In these cases, having the history available to compare against the current snapshot can prove enlightening for why a piece of code was written the way it was. It’s worth pointing out that this applies equally to the question, “Why did I write it that way?” After all, every developer has asked themselves that question at some point.

Consider the changes we create to be integral components to the software we are developing, and not as transient objects to be discarded once the change is incorporated. The change must justify its value; its description must match its implementation. If the change is the deliverable, it becomes more tangible, and we begin to think and talk about software with emphasis on commits as the fundamental building block. This, in turn, leads to considerably more maintainable software.

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Source: Open Source @VMware

Growing a Community for a New Open Source Project

Justin Pettit at presenting on Open vSwitch and OVN Projects at LinuxCon China earlier this year.

by Ben Pfaff,  principal engineer, and Justin Pettit, senior staff engineer, VMware Networking & Security Business Unit (NSBU) R&D

We traveled to Beijing this summer to present two talks at LinuxCon China June 19–20. Our first talk, “The Open vSwitch and OVN Projects,” was a technical talk about the work that we do on Open vSwitch (OVS), which is a familiar matter to us.

Our second talk, “The Business Reality of Building Open Source: What We Learned from OVS and OVN,” was not technical. Instead, it was primarily about our experience working on an open source project at VMware. We explained what we learned about how to create and advocate for open source within a company that has not been oriented around open source.

We aimed to dispel some of the misconceptions that we have seen managers and developers bring to open source, especially to new open source projects. A favorite example is the notion that an open source project will acquire a vibrant community of users and developers immediately upon its initial release. This is usually wrong, but the myth persists.

A specific case that often comes to mind is from a networking industry event that we attended in May 2012, where the speaker announced an open source project release for June, saying that it would grow a community by September. That project never grew beyond 20 contributors, and its last commit was in August 2015.

We used our talk at LinuxCon China to give our own tips on how to grow and promote an open source project, rooted in a few principles:

  • The leading principle is transparency, primarily by documenting the processes used to advance the project. Users and potential contributors need transparency and consistency to enable them to rely on a project to reach their own goals.
  • Another important part of growing an open source community is focusing on long-term goals. A clear plan makes it clear to potential users that the project will continue to be maintained, and contributors understand the types of features that would be useful and welcomed by the project.
  • We also discussed the importance of building a supportive and positive development culture. Some projects foster a more confrontational community that we feel can be off-putting and dissuade potential contributors from participating.

We found that by applying these principles to Open vSwitch and OVN projects, we fostered a vibrant community of both users and contributors.

What principles work for you when trying to promote a new project within your company and the open source community? And how do you encourage new and ongoing contributions? Share with us in the comments below and on Twitter @vmwopensource.

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Source: Open Source @VMware

A Look Inside the vRealize Operations Export Tool, VMware’s Latest Open Source Fling

We sat down with Principal System Engineer Pontus Rydin to discuss his open source project: the VMware vRealize Operations Export Tool. Pontus focuses on VMware’s global accounts and specializes in vRealize and other management products. Read on for his expert insights.

Q: What was your inspiration for the vRealize Operations Export Tool?

The inspiration was that, over and over again, we would get requests to export data from vRealize Operations (vROps) and we could only come up with one-off, clunky solutions. Sometimes, we simply said we just couldn’t do it. I knew there was an API for getting data out of vROps, so I figured, why don’t I write a tool that acts like a kind of Swiss Army knife for exporting data from vROps?

Q: Can you explain how the tool works?

The vROps Export Tool is a command line tool that takes some basic parameters and a definition file that describes what you want to output. You then point it toward your vROps, and it gathers big chunks of data in multiple threads. Then, it is exported into the format you selected. The data is mostly metrics and time series data, but the tool can also capture properties like AlwaysOn versions, CPU versions, hardware information and other types of similar data.

Q: What formats can the tool export your data into?

Your data can be exported into one of a few formats. The initial format was common separated files (CSV), which is very useful because you can put it into Excel easily. We then decided to add support for putting data straight into a SQL database, and we just incorporated native support for Wavefront by VMware.

Q: What types of users did you have in mind when designing this tool?

The vROps Export Tool is for everyone who has valuable monitoring data inside of vROps and who wants to export it to further process their data.

Q: Can you discuss a couple of use cases for this tool?

I can give you a few real-world examples of where we’re using this.

We have one financial customer who exports their data into a sophisticated proprietary analytic system. In this environment, they perform tasks like correlating performance of their virtual machines (VMs) to how their mutual funds are performing because of their high-frequency trading. What they learned was that there is a correlation between the response times of their VMs and how the funds are performing. This is a perfect example of taking data from vROps and then exporting said data to an environment where they can further analyze it.

Another use case is archiving. Users might not want data to sit in vROps forever, but they need to have it somewhere for audit purposes. They can use this tool to export it to some external auditing database in order to keep accurate records.

Q: Why did you decide to open source the vROps Export Tool?

The first reason was personal. I enjoy working with open source! I like the way the model works in that you can take on contributors very easily, because there’s basically no onboarding process. Anybody who wants to contribute can do so.

The other reason is that many customers will have specific requirements I might not be able to accommodate, because I have been working on this in my spare time. The open source model allows me to say, “Hey, I can’t do that right now, but here’s the core idea and codebase.” Customers can then adapt the tool to their specifications and share their contributions to the project.

The open source method gives customers more agility and allows for upstream contribution back to the original project, creating a win-win scenario.

Q: Is the vROps Export Tool available for use now?

Yes! It’s out in the wild and up as a fling on our official GitHub page. Anyone can download it now for free.

Be sure to follow Pontus on Twitter and at his blog virtualviking.net.
For more news on VMware’s open source contributions, stay tuned to the Open Source blog and follow us on Twitter @vmwopensource.

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The post A Look Inside the vRealize Operations Export Tool, VMware’s Latest Open Source Fling appeared first on Open Source @VMware.

Source: Open Source @VMware