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VMware vSphere reverse engineered: News in brief

A new VMware vSphere 4 simulator enables developers to test their client applications without installing ESX Server.

New Hyper9 SimDK helps with growing virtualized environments
Hyper9's new SimDK VMware vSphere simulator enables developers to test their vSphere client applications in the absence of a VMware ESX server.

Released under open source, SimDK provides vSphere 4 application programming interface compatibility for clients and applications built with the vSphere 4 software development kit (SDK). Examples of common clients include the VMware Inc.'s vSphere Client, vSphere PowerCLI and Perl.

SimDK's creator, Hyper9 developer Andrew Kutz, said the main beneficiaries of SimDK are for developers who create software for VMware environments.

"The main reason [for SimDK] is scale," Kutz said. "As a software startup, we've got a lab, but no startup is going to be able to afford as big an environment as some of their customers. What do you do when you get to 500 hosts and 50,000 virtual machines? That's a real problem that software developers come up against today."

Another use case for SimDK might be to proxy or emulate non-VMware hypervisors, for example Xen or Microsoft Hyper-V, Kutz said. Because it is written as a middle tier web service, developers could use SimDK as a proxy between existing vSphere clients and the third-party hypervisor. That would help maintain familiarity with existing toolsets, notably the vSphere Client, Kutz said.

"Whether VMware meant to do this or not, the vSphere Client has become the standard interface for managing virtualization in the data center," Kutz said.

The SimDK beta is available for download from SourceForge, and, per developer demand, as an Ubuntu virtual appliance.

EMC adds VMware integrations to Celerra NFS arrays
EMC Corp. added new VMware-specific features for its Network File System storage system, the Celerra. The EMC Celerra Plug-in for VMware Environments, and EMC Failback Plug-in for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager. The first plug-in enables administrators to provision, manage, and extend VMware data stores directly from the VMware vCenter console, perform hardware-accelerated snapshot or clone operations on individual VMs, deduplicate VMware Virtual Machine Disk Format (orVMDK) files, and achieve more efficient capacity management with thin provisioning.

The second plug-in extends VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) integration beyond EMC's iSCSI and Fibre Channel arrays. Both plug-ins are available for Celerra systems running the DART operating system or above.

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