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(No) Sneak Peek on upcoming vCO release :-)

UPDATE: I quickly got a lot of friendly and some not so friendly response to this post, so here the updated version only with information you already can find in the community forums, on youtube, word of mouth …

My main purpose of this article was to let the people know there will be some changes when integrating with vCO.
So, if you plan to integrate with vCO, please talk to your VMware Representative before you start in the wrong direction or learn old and outdated technologies!
So, if you are a VMware Representative: Please give the users/customers a future-proof point of view. Customizing Webviews and spending a lot of effort to dig deep into the current SOAP-API is not.

Disclaimer: The following article represents my personal point of view and the words and rumors I got. All that stuff is not official yet, the roadmap may change, do not ask for specific dates…. You got the point.
However, if you plan to leverage vCO as a partner or end customer, consider to contact your VMware representative; especially if you plan to integrate with vCO because of the changing Webservice API (details below).

Two weeks ago at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) in Las Vegas there were a couple of sessions which included vCO (compared to last year I saw an increase by  ***ERROR(DIVISION BY 0)*** :mrgreen: % from 0 to 5 sessions covering vCO)

vCenter Orchestrator Versions

vCenter Orchestrator is bundled with vCenter (and will be in future), so the platform has the same release cycle as vCenter. (Plugins are relesead independently, as you can see on the many plugins released in the last quaters)

New Features

… (stay tuned 🙂 )

New REST-based Webservice API

The current version 4.x of vCO contains an (old) SOAP-based Webservice API which allows you to call and monitors workflows from external systems (see the articles in the this category for how-tos).

This API opens vCO to be integrated as headless orchestration layer, called by external systems like a ticket-system, a nice-looking Web-Interface/Self-Service Portal (helloooooo, Wavemaker!) or a more business process focused Workflow engine. Another  great use-case for this API is to automate tests around workflows, actions and plugins.

From the numbers of requests I get related to my examples to call workflows e.g. from Powershell, this API is quite often used (and I can double this with my field experience: In every larger vCO project workflows are to be called by external systems eventually)

However, the old API is quite limited (see details in this article) right now.
With  vCO 5.1 a new REST based API will be available. Along the information I have, this API will be much more powerful and easier to use. The REST-based access strategy for instance could make it very easy to access inventory objects as input parameters for workflows, which was a real pain in the current SOAP-API.

AFAIK the old SOAP API will be marked as deprecated, but still stay available and supported “as-is”. So you have a smooth migration path if you already leverage the API.

I can’t wait to get my fingers on the new version. From my point of view this will be the biggest milestone in the history of vCO since Dunes’ aquisition by VMware back in 2007. It’s about time. :mrgreen:

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vCO @VMwarePEX 2012

In a few day VMware Partner Exchange 2012 kicks off in Las Vegas. Besides a lot of pre-conference Bootcamps, Exhibition Hall and and the party there are of course many breakout sessions.

Some of them (3 more than last year :mrgreen:) also contain vCenter Orchestrator topics, as stated in their proposal in the content catalog https://vmware.expoplanner.com/?do=cfp.sessions (on Twitter: #VMwarePEX )

  • (TEX1485) Plug & Play Automation with vCenter Orchestrator – Workflow Development Best Practices
  • (CIM1206) vCloud Director 1.5 Solution Integration
  • (CIM1338) IT Automation does not equal Cloud, but automation is critical to the success of Cloud environments

A lot more sound very interesting for vCO developers, too:

  • (TEX1454) Integrating with the Guest Operating System using the vSphere SDK
  • (TEX1533) vCloud and vSphere Roadmap and Storage Programs Overview
  • (TEX1261) Building apps on top of the vCloud API
  • (CIM1296) Cloud Integration Workflows with VMware Service Manager
  • (CIM1375) Unleash the power of the new vSphere Web Client SDK
  • (TEX1184) vSphere API Best Practices

Make sure to add them to your session planner, as I expect a huge crowd for all these sessions 😀 !

If you know more sessions containing vCO, or you as speaker are talking about vCO, feel free to increase the list with a comment…
Wir sehen uns in Las Vegas wieder 😎 !

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vCenter Orchestrator Usage survey

The vCO Team @ VMware needs your help:

As part of ongoing improvement initiatives at VMware, we would like to collect your feedback through several questions in the following areas:

 1. Your usage of vCenter Orchestrator
2. Workflow development
3. Overall feedback and needed enhancements

 Please, proceed to the following link in order to fill-out the survey:

 https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VCO-USAGE

 Thank you in advance, your input is highly appreciated.
(Original post on http://communities.vmware.com/message/1893164#1893164 )

It takes 15-25 minutes, but it’s your chance to give your input for future versions of vCenter Orchestrator!
Go vCO-Team, go Wavemaker-Team! (I mentioned that before, didn’t I?  :mrgreen: )

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4 (in words: FOUR) new Plugins for vCenter Orchestrator released

Last Friday VMware released FOUR new Plugins for vCO (read from the source here: http://blogs.vmware.com/orchestrator/2011/12/vmware-releases-four-new-vmware-vcenter-orchestrator-plug-ins.html )

  • The SQL Plugin makes it possible to access external Databases within workflows (in a much more comfortable and reusable way than the already existing plain JDBC-calls)
  • The Auto Deploy Plugin automates the new vSphere 5 Auto Deploy mechanism, which absolutely makes sence to orchestrator the deployment of ESXi hosts.
  • The vCO Multi Site Plugin allows you synchronize, execute and monitor Workflows on other vCO-hosts (this also was possible in the past via the “Nested Workflows”-Element, but now its murch more powerful and flexible). There are several use-cases for this, expect a more detailed blogentry here soon 😀
  • The PowerShell Plugin allows you to call external PowerShell Scripts on other systems, via OpenSSH or WinRM. The plugin also implements a “piping” methodology in your workflows, so if you’re familiar with PowerShell, you can build workflows in a comparable way. Calling external PowerShell scripts is very powerful, and was also available in the past (see http://www.vcoportal.de/powersshell-plugin/ and http://www.vcoportal.de/2011/03/vco-powershell/ ).
    You may ask, what’s the difference and overlapping points between VMware’s PowerShell Plugin and my PowerSSHell-Plugin for vCO… expect more details about this soon as well :mrgreen:

So, the list of available plugins for vCO gets longer and longer, it seems VMware is on the right way to establish a good ecosystem around vCO…

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December Sales on the “Eloquent JavaScript”-Book (and others…): 40% off!

No Starch Press offers a great deal for the next days: Until Dec 3rd you get 40% off all books using the code GEEKGIFT.
More details: http://nostarch.com/newsletters/2011_holiday.htm

So buy your copy of the “Eloquent JavaScript” book now 🙂
Why? http://www.vcoportal.de/2011/11/recommended-reading-eloquent-javascript/

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