VMworld 2017 Roundup: Day 2

Hackathon Training: Getting started with the vSphere Automation SDK for Python [VMTN6720U]

I applaud the intention here, to deliver a quick introduction and overview related to coding against VMware components, however my experience has been that these efforts are often plagued with unforeseen issues if you try to rely on attendee’s devices. Such was the case here, where I could not get the Python examples working on my laptop until near the end of the session since I ultimately discovered that my Python environment variables were not set properly.

I’d recommend providing some sort of predefined environments for attendees to try the examples in the future. With Python, for instance, Jupyter Notebooks could have been provisioned ahead of time so that the instructor had a predictable, consistent set of environments to offer. Otherwise the training went well, and I was actually able to carry out the core activity, which was retrieving information from and manipulating a vCenter environment via Python.

One small take away was the introduction of Postman, which is a graphical API development environment. This will let you easily explore an API to understand it better and test it out before incorporating it into your development.

Hackathon Event: 15 teams hack on ideas! [VMTN6722U]

The last event for the evening was the anticipated Hackathon. I participated on team 8: Need-for-Speed. Our goal was to find and make performance improvements to the vCheck-vSphere script. Unfortunately the event was plagued with wi-fi issues, so we were unable to spin up a validation environment and commit changes, however our team was not the only one affected. We did, however, manage to get some code together that should introducing parallelism to the vCheck plugin execution. In theory this should deliver a performance boost as the plugins would run in parallel, four at a time, and not run one-at-a-time serially. We hadn’t yet worked out how to find and address plugin dependencies (especially the first few plugins which set up the connection to vCenter and define some commonly referenced functions), but that can be worked on in the future. We were also able to find an inefficiency in a common function that retrieves events from vCenter. The function was not accepting an event category parameter, which some plugins were expecting. Fixing this gap and updating the relevant plugins should improve query filtering, which is much more efficient that filtering post-query.

All in all, our team had a great time together working on the project, even if our accomplishments weren’t terribly tangible. This event is still on track to remain my favourite at VMworld, and I’m looking forward to next year!

In the Can

That’s VMworld 2017 US Day 2 in the can. The Day 3 general session live blog coverage is up and a Day 3 recap on the way, stay tuned!


Dee Abson

Dee Abson is a technical architect from Alberta, Canada. He's been working in the field of technology for over 20 years and specializes in server and virtualization infrastructure. Working with VMware products since ESX 2, he holds several VMware certifications. He is a 9x VMware vExpert. You can find him on Twitter and Mastodon.

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