Development

pyVmomi 6.0.0, vSphere 6.0 and SSL

VMware released a new version of pyVmomi to better integrate with vSphere 6.0. This release introduces a change on the creation of an SSL connection. After struggling with some issues on this change, I wanted to write something down for future reference.

On the GitHub documentation it says pyVmomi 6.0.0 supports python 2.7, but it would be more accurate to say pyVmomi 6.0.0 supports python 2.7.9+, as in python 2.7.9 the ssl.SSLContext object has been introduced. This object allows you to specify a verification mode and a SSL Protocol. This object is needed if you want to connect correctly to the vSphere API.

You can check your python version with  python --version

Workaround for python versions below 2.7.9

To get everything working in python versions below 2.7.9, the easiest way is to downgrade pyvmomi to 5.5.0.2014.1.1. To achieve this, do the following:

This will downgrade your pyvmomi to a workable version. This version also doesn’t force SSL certificate verification, so your code can be very simple:

Working with untrusted SSL connections with pyVmomi 6.0.0 and python 2.7.9+

If you want to connect to a vSphere 6.0 API without certificate verification using pyVmomi 6.0.0 and python 2.7.9+, you will have to create a new SSLContext which disables the certificate verification. Using pyVmomi’s  SmartConnect() , there is now a new attribute you can pass, called  sslContext . Below is an example on how to achieve this.

Support for both versions

If you write scripts which can run on different python and pyVmomi versions and you want to keep supporting both, you could do so by looking at the following example:

I have updated all my pyVmomi scripts on my GitHub repository to start working with both version with the above fix.

 

 

Nuage Networks releases its Virtual Service Platform SDK

Nuage Networks releases its Virtual Service Platform SDK

About five months ago, I decided to make a big change in my professional career and join Nuage Networks (a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent) as a New Product Introduction Engineer. In the past four months, I realised that this might have been one of the best decisions i made in my life. I’ve been working with extremely intelligent and hard working people who are all very friendly and understanding of the new guy. I learned a lot, and still have a whole lot more to learn!

On thursday, Nuage Networks CEO Sunil Khandekar announced the release of the VSPK or Virtual Service Platform SDK at Network Field Day 10. This SDK allows anybody to access the full Nuage Virtual Service Platform using Python.

As it stands, the Nuage VSP already had a rich set of management tools, including a great web interface and an OpenStack integration. This however opens the doors to a completely new set of possibilities. It makes it easy to integrate your own Cloud Management System with Nuage VSP, or build your toolset to automate certain tasks in your datacenter, or write your own reporting tool which gathers information, or …

Take a look at the great documentation and the examples!

(And no, i had nothing to do with this, these are all those intelligent and hard working people I was talking about earlier ;))

multi-clone.py improvements & random-vmotion.py

multi-clone.py improvements & random-vmotion.py

For a project i needed a couple of tools, so i improved my multi-clone.py script and created a new script: random-vmotion.py

multi-clone.py: setting advanced configuration parameters

The multi-clone.py script is improved so you are able to set advanced configuration parameters of the created VMs, this can be used if you have other tools that need some metadata or configuration.

To accomplish this, you have to use the CSV feature. The fields in the CSV have been changed slightly in comparison with the previous version:

Fields indicated with <> are mandatory, fields indicated with [] can be left empty.

For a full documentation, you can visit the GitHub repository.

random-vmotion.py

For some testing i needed a script which would be able to vMotion a set of VMs randomly to a set of Hosts. This script does exactly that.

The script accepts a file which contains the names of the VMs to move, one per line:

It also accepts a file which contains the names of the Hosts to randomly move to, one per line:

In the default way of working, it will continue to vMotion the VMs to a random host over and over again. For example: if you use the files above with the command:

It will start moving the first VM to one of the two hosts, wait 30 seconds and do the same for the second VM, and so on. Once it moved the fourth VM, it will start again with the first one.

There are more options which provide extra functionality:

  • Option to move each VM only once
  • Option to work in threads
  • Option to decrease the interval

The full documentation can be found on the GitHub page and an overview of the options can be found below:

 

multi-clone.py: CSV import and MAC customization

multi-clone.py: CSV import and MAC customization

After a very busy year, I finally came around to improving my multi-clone.py pyVmomi script. I have added a minor improvement, being able to disable SSL certificate warnings, and two major improvements: CSV import and MAC customization

CSV Import

There is a new command line flag, -C, which allows you to specify a CSV file. This CSV file provides multi-clone.py with the necessary information to clone the template into a VM for each line. The fields in the CSV should be:

  • VM Name (mandatory)
  • Resource Pool (can be empty)
  • Folder (can be empty)
  • MAC address (can be empty)
  • Post-processing script (can be empty)

A line should look like this:

If one of the fields is empty, but the command line flag is provided, the value from the command line is used. For instance, if you started the script with the following command line:

and used the following CSV:

What would happen is:

  • VM01 is created in the Resource Pool ‘Testing’, in the folder ‘Tools’ and the post-processing script ‘/tmp/tools.sh’ will run
  • VM02 is created in the Resource Pool ‘Development’, in the folder ‘Linux’ and the post-processing script ‘/tmp/script.sh’ will run

So, the command line values are only used if no values in the CSV are provided.

Mac customization

In the CSV, you can provide a MAC address for each VM. This MAC address will be assigned to the first NIC the script finds on the new VM before powering it on (if that is not disabled).

Two warnings:

  • It is your responsibility to provide MAC addresses that are not in use on your network
  • The order in which the NICs are presented to the script when there are more than one, is not always the same. In all my tests it seems it will provide the first one that has been added as the first, but i can not guarantee that.

Overview

As always, you can find the script on my GitHub pagehttps://github.com/pdellaert/vSphere-Python/blob/master/multi-clone.py

For more documentation: https://github.com/pdellaert/vSphere-Python/blob/master/docs/multi-clone.md

And just for good measure, the full description of all flags as presented by the -h flag:

 

multi-clone.py: Multi-threaded cloning of a template to multiple VMs

multi-clone.py: Multi-threaded cloning of a template to multiple VMs

In december, VMware released pyVmomi, a Python SDK for the vSphere API. In the past I have created a script to clone virtual machines using pySphere. This script has helped me (and others, if the mails I received were any indication), but i haven’t updated or improved it in a while.

So I decided this was a good moment to revisit the script and recreate it completely using pyVmomi. And not just recreate it, but improve a lot on it as well. The result is an all new multi-clone.py script which allows for the following list of capabilities:

  • Deploy a specified amount of virtual machines
  • Deploy in a specified folder
  • Deploy in a specified resource pool
  • Specify if the cloned virtual machines need to be powered on
  • Print out information of the main network interface (mac and ip, either IPv4 or IPv6)
  • Run a post-processing script with 3 parameters (virtual machine name, mac and ip)
  • Print logging to a log file or stdout
  • Do this in a threaded way

Threads

The previous version only allowed a sequential way of working, which meant the clone task had to complete, network information gathered and post-processing finished before the next deployment could start. Combined with pySphere, which could be rather slow in gathering information, made the old script slow and sluggish.

Using pyVmomi improved the speed of the script from the start, it’s a lot quicker in gathering information and executing commands. By adding the possibility to use threads, the speed is improved even more, altho this will depend on the IOPS of your datastore.

If the you specify the amount of threads, both the creation of the virtual machines and gathering the mac and ip information are threaded separately. To explain how this works, an example works best:

Imagine you want to create 4 virtual machines from a template and you specify the amount of threads to 2. At start, two clone tasks will start at about the same time. When a clone task is done, another is started. While this third clone task is started in a new thread (to replace the thread that finished), a first information gathering (mac,ip) and post-processing thread is started for the clone task that has finished. This all runs at the same time, so at this point two clone tasks are running, each in a thread, and one information gathering and post-processing thread is running. Once the second clone task is finished, two clone tasks threads are running and two information gathering and post-processing threads are running. If the two information gathering and post-processing threads aren’t finished when the two final clone tasks finish, two new information gathering and post-processing threads are put in the queue, but not started as only two threads can be running in that pool.

Deciding how many threads is the best for your case, will require a bit of experimenting and greatly depends on the IOPS of your datastore. The clone tasks takes the most time because it needs to copy the virtual disks to the newly created virtual machine.

Remember that vCenter, by default, will place any clone tasks in queue if more than 8 are started. So setting the amount of threads above 8 won’t really help, altho you are always able to do so.

Usage

Here is the output of the -h option, which provides an overview of the possible arguments and what they do:

Issues and feature requests

Feel free to use the Github issue tracker of the repository to post issues and feature requests.

Documentation

You can find all the documentation on GitHub.