StratoGen goes all in @ Kaseya Connect 2014!

The StratoGen team are gearing up for Kaseya Connect 2014, for what should be one of the best Connect events ever. With over 500 Kaseya peers, all under one famous Las Vegas roof, the conference kicks off on April 14th at the Mandalay Bay.

This is our first year attending as a Silver Partner and we are really excited about connecting with other members of the Kaseya community.

We host and manage Kaseya’s cloud infrastructure through VMware cloud technology, so sponsoring the event and tying in with this year’s theme, “Take Control of the Cloud” seemed a perfect fit. We would be keen to demonstrate how we help Kaseya benefit from a 500% increase in capacity and performance by simply switching to a VMware cloud infrastructure with StratoGen.

If you are attending, then make sure you come and say hello! We are located at Booth 10 and we have some cool prizes to give away. When you get your Kaseya Connect 2014, conference bag check inside for the StratoGen “Buck” $100 dollar bill, for your chance to win.

Dollar Bill Bag Drog Final x1

Dollar Bill Bag Drop Finalx2

We also offer some cool hosting discounts for Kaseya Connect 2014 peers.

See you in Vegas.

 

vCloud API sample

This sample code shows step–by-step  how to use the vCloud API to deploy a new vApp from a template.  Our template vApp in this example contains a single linux (CentOS) virtual machine.

We are going to be making calls to the API directly using ‘curl’. Please note that VMware provide language specific wrappers for the API which simplify the process of using it. Wrappers are available for Java, PHP and .net.

This example is working with the StratoGen UK cloud. The organization name is called ‘test’ and I have a user called ‘user1’ with a password of ‘password’.

Let’s get started…

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is login and get our ‘authentication token’. The username and password are passed in the format user@organization:password.

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -u "user1@test:password" -X POST  https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/sessions

1 login

The authentication token is found in the first response header. We need to use this authentication token as a header in all our subsequent API calls.

Step 2

The response body contains links that provide access to our org. We are going to use the link provided as a http GET as follows:

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -H "x-vcloud-authorization: 2cdWzuFRvuyZVnpD9GFRn5GSIosmfRzRgqNjZKT5+mw=" -X GET https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/org/45410774-1e62-40bb-9832-8980b54644fa

2 get org

The response provides links to various attributes and actions to do with the org.

Step 3

The first thing we will need to do is find the ID of our template vapp. This is achieved by locating the catalog first and then the vApp template within it. We need the ID of the template as it is used when we deploy our new vApp later in this guide.

Our catalog is called “testcatalog” so we use the appropriate link from the previous step.

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -H "x-vcloud-authorization: 2cdWzuFRvuyZVnpD9GFRn5GSIosmfRzRgqNjZKT5+mw=" -X GET https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/catalog/fc227f0d-7440-4c84-a1c5-42c1e20e035e

3 get catalog

The output lists the items within the catalog.

Step 4

The catalog item that we are going to use in this example is “centostemplate” listed as https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/catalogItem/5fe25d90-d941-44c8-bcc9-c474e3e54b39

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -H "x-vcloud-authorization: 2cdWzuFRvuyZVnpD9GFRn5GSIosmfRzRgqNjZKT5+mw=" -X GET https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/catalogItem/5fe25d90-d941-44c8-bcc9-c474e3e54b39

3b get vapp template

The vApp template we are going to use is thus https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/vAppTemplate/vappTemplate-04207cb9-9e34-4e2c-b163-72f8028b4e8c

Make a note of the reference as we will use it in the following steps.

Step 5

We are now ready to deploy a new vApp based on our template. The action to deploy a vApp from a template can be found in the virtual datacenter (vDC). The link to the vDC can be found in the response to our ORG query in Step 2.

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -H "x-vcloud-authorization: 2cdWzuFRvuyZVnpD9GFRn5GSIosmfRzRgqNjZKT5+mw=" -X GET https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/vdc/58c49b3e-f228-4cdf-a031-bec4c218d6c4

4 get vdc

The response lists various actions that are available to us. The one we will be using is called instantiateVAppTemplate.

Step 6

We need to pass some parameters regarding the vApp we want to create. In the API these are known as InstantiateVAppTemplateParams.

<InstantiateVAppTemplateParams
 xmlns=http://www.vmware.com/vcloud/v1.5
 xmlns:ovf=http://schemas.dmtf.org/ovf/envelope/1
 name="new one"
 deploy="true"
 powerOn="true">
 <Description>New vApp</Description>
 <Source
 href="https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/vAppTemplate/vappTemplate-04207cb9-9e34-4e2c-b163-72f8028b4e8c" />
 </InstantiateVAppTemplateParams>

The important bit here is the Source field which was found in step 4. The name and Description fields should be what you wish to call your new vApp. I have set deploy and powerOn to “true” which means the vApp will be powered on as soon as it is deployed.

I have created a small text file called “instantiate-params” so that we can pass this information using curl.

5 instant params

 

Step 7

We are now ready to deploy our new vApp. We use the POST method to call the API and pass our “instantiate-params” file using the –d option. Note that we include a Content-Type header.

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -H "x-vcloud-authorization: 2cdWzuFRvuyZVnpD9GFRn5GSIosmfRzRgqNjZKT5+mw="  -H "Content-Type:application/vnd.vmware.vcloud.instantiateVAppTemplateParams+xml" -X POST https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/vdc/58c49b3e-f228-4cdf-a031-bec4c218d6c4/action/instantiateVAppTemplate -d @instantiate-params

6 deploy vapp

Step 8

The response shows us that the vApp is being deployed. We can use the <task> link to check when the process has completed but in the case of the StratoGen cloud this is usually just a couple of seconds.

If we log on to vCloud Director at this point we can see the vApp being created.

portal creating

The response from the API call also passes us a link to the newly created vApp. Using this we can get information such as IPs of VM:

curl -i -k -H "Accept:application/*+xml;version=5.1" -H "x-vcloud-authorization: 2cdWzuFRvuyZVnpD9GFRn5GSIosmfRzRgqNjZKT5+mw=" -X GET https://mycloud.stratogen.net/api/vApp/vapp-e7d299ed-b3b0-411d-b59e-8bebe8c1aafc

There is a lot of information in this response. A snippet showing the IP address of the new VM is shown here:

7 response

A final look at vCloud Director shows our new vApp has been deployed and is running.

portal deployed

At this stage we can log on to the virtual machine and start using it.

VMworld 2013 – San Francisco

2013-08-26 12.25.15

Danny, James & Charlie at VMworld 2013

August 25-29th saw the 10th Annual VMworld conference hosted at the Moscone Centre in San Franciso, USA.  StratoGen sent a delegation from our UK and USA offices to find out what VMware had to say this year.

The Day 1 Keynote was packed with over 20,000 delegates and there was standing room only for the StratoGen guys!  Proceedings were kicked off by CMO Robin Matlock who set the scene for CEO Pat Gelsinger to come on stage and make the event’s big announcements.

The biggest announcement was the latest version of vSphere – vSphere 5.5, and the latest version of vCloud, also numbered 5.5.

2013-08-26 09.18.24

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger on stage

Pat boasted that vSphere 5.5 now supports ‘2x everything‘ – double the cores supported, double the RAM and now a whopping 64TB virtual hard disk support, thus matching one of Hyper V’s big selling points.

App aware HA was announced, along with the VMware vSAN which could potentially shake up the storage industry particularly in the SMB space.  Pat also announced the availability of Cloud Foundry, VMware’s PaaS on vSphere.

Pat then welcomed new VMware CTO Martin Casado on stage, who heralded the launch of ‘NSX’  – VMware’s network virtualisation offering.  According to VMware, NSX will do for networks what ESX did for Servers – a pretty bold claim, but backed by some pretty serious case studies of major organisations who have already embraced NSX network virtualisation – Citigroup, eBay and GE.

Following Martin was the new head of the vCloud Hybrid Service, former Savvis CEO Bill Fathers who took the stage to announce the latest developments with the vCloud Hybrid Service – VMware’s own Public Cloud offering.  New services will be rolled out including Desktop as a Service and DR as a Service, and the USA datacentre footprint will increase.  As yet no plans were announced for international expansion but maybe this news is being saved for VMworld Europe?

The announcements have been 2013-08-26 12.12.03met with some criticism from the existing service provider community – VMware always said they would never compete with their partners – they would support them to build out their own clouds, but now they are competing head to head – will be interesting to see how many partners stick with vCloud and2013-08-26 10.47.42 how many choose to switch to a different platform.  We did note the presence of more hosting companies in the Solutions Exchange this year, which clearly shows that the industry is booming.

No conference would be complete without swag – here’s James from StratoGen’s engineering team modelling the VMworld 2013 backpack, which can also be worn as a courier bag!  James & Charlie  also managed to pick up these lovely Hawaiian Hula Leis which fortunately co-ordinated well with their chosen outfits for the day!

2013-08-26 18.08.08The geeky highlight of the conference was meeting VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at the VMware Service Provider provider drinks reception at the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company.  StratoGen had invited 2 of our key clients to the event so they were most impressed that we were able to introduce them to Mr Gelsinger!

Finally this year’s VMworld Party was immense!  The entire San Francisco Giant’s stadium was taken over by VMware, with a huge stage for bands Imagine Dragons and Train, fairground rides, side shows, and as much free food and beer as you could consume in 3 hours!

2013-08-28 19.43.30

VMworld 2013 Party – San Franciso Giants Stadium