Hi Josh,

Thanks again for taking the time to provide me a detailed explanation of the 
steps remaining to integrate vcl with
our vmware esx 4.1 host & vm's.  Andy Kurth has also offered to have a telecon 
with me next week sometime to do
the final vmware integration, should I need that extra help.  I'm grateful to 
you and your team for supporting me
as I work towards deploying vcl at UCSB in a very practical way.  The project 
here is part of a student-fee funded
initiative called "Collaborate", of which I was their first technical hire..

It would be extremely useful and helpful to get the documentation shaped-up 
into better alignment with the current 
version of the system, which it's obviously not in many areas.  Having started 
my career as a database programmer
over 25-yrs. ago, I understand how much everyone dislikes that task - as it's 
the least personally rewarding of all that
could be assigned, yet it's the most visible to the customer - therefore, a 
little love here goes a long way!  Requiring 
users to manually tweak hash values and input contents into vcl tables outside 
of the vcl system is a pain and adds
unnecessary complexity to what seems an already daunting installation task, 
IMHO.  Each of those manual-intervention 
steps within the installation, creates a 'customer fail opportunity' which only 
adds to the team's workload.  

A few words which may be of interest to your team...
We at UCSB are definitely in that camp of new vcl adopters who find the only 
acceptable-use model of the
system for our campus lies in integrating vcl with existing VMWare ESX 4.1 host 
& vm's.  I went through
a fairly comprehensive evaluation of several software & hardware vendors 
virtualization engines, including 
Citrix / Xen, Virtual Iron (now Oracle and deprecated to non-supported status), 
KVM (a promising but not-yet-
ready-for-primetime player) and we finally settled on vmware.  I'd managed a
number of server farms containing dozens of vmware hosts and 
too-many-vm's-to-count for about 
10-yrs., so I had plenty of vmware background to fall back upon.

FYI, we had seriously considered vmware view as an alternative to vcl, but view 
clearly lacks the rich 
scheduling and bare-metal provisioning capabilities your team has built into 
vcl.  When push came to
shove, vcl came out on the top of the heap for several reasons, including cost 
& flexibility.  

Those factors collectively made vcl the only valid choice for UCSB's VLAB 
project, of which I am both
the lead programmer, sysadmin and 'lone evangelist' if you will.  The deans are 
listening very closely
because this project will save them a lot of money over other available 
solution sets aimed at the
same problem.  Over the span of a couple of years, that alone will talk louder 
than anything else we do.

Ultimately, I'll be deploying this and integrating it with student roles and 
class lists from campus LDAP servers.  
We'll be providing the capabilities for 25 simultaneous off-campus students to 
access the same software resources 
they'd normally have to drive to a campus computer lab to access, namely 
Windows XP workstation vm's with 
SPSS+ / SAS / MatLab and other special statistical, linguistic and analytical 
software installed and configured.  

I'm quite certain that there are universities and colleges all across the 
country who would benefit from using vcl
and could make a serious dent in completing otherwise budget-starved 
initiatives to improve online and off-campus
educational opportunities for their students, as we at UCSB intend to do.

Anything you and your team can do to help me succeed, ultimately reflects 
positively on the vcl team and project
as a whole, and I assure you that we will do all we can to promote it to our 
colleagues in the industry.

All the best,

Randy Sprague,
Instructional SysAdmin
College of Letters & Sciences
UC Santa Barbara
(805) 722-4996

On Aug 13, 2010, at 5:53 AM, Josh Thompson wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Randy,
> You need to add the host itself.  After adding it, you will need to manually 
> put the computer in the vmhostinuse state by modifying the computer table.  
> You'll need to set the stateid of the computer to 20.  Next, you'll need to 
> go 
> to "Virtual Hosts" and modify the VM Host Profile that matches your ESX setup 
> the best so that the settings match your setup (ask on the list if your are 
> unsure of any of the settings).  Then, you will need to manually create an 
> entry in the vmhost table.
> After that, you need to add the VMs.  It is best to do this using the the 
> "Add 
> Multiple" checkbox.  Note that there is a bug in the 2.1 code that keeps you 
> from adding the computers in the maintenance state; so, make sure you select 
> "available" as the state when you add them.  After adding them, you can go to 
> computer utilities and change the state to maintenance.
> Finally, you should be able to go to "Virtual Hosts" and add the VMs to the 
> ESX host.
> The reason for having to do the manual entries in the database is that VM 
> support in VCL was added with the assumption that the VM host servers would 
> be 
> deployed with a bare metal provisioning engine such as xCAT, in which case 
> the 
> manual interaction with the database is not needed.  We're hearing more and 
> more that people are wanting to take VCL and use it with existing VM host 
> servers.  So, we will be making it possible to easily do that through the web 
> interface.  However, that probably won't make it into the 2.2 release.
> Josh
> On Thursday August 12, 2010, Randy Sprague wrote:
>> Do I need to add the ESX 4.1 host itself in the managment node->Add
>> Computer->Add Single Computer screen, or just the vm's by name & IP?
>> Thanks,
>> Randy.
> - -- 
> - -------------------------------
> Josh Thompson
> Systems Programmer
> Advanced Computing | VCL Developer
> North Carolina State University
> josh_thomp...@ncsu.edu
> 919-515-5323
> my GPG/PGP key can be found at pgp.mit.edu
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> NRsAnAxppufW2KDxwOsXsb+Z+m6bLTfX
> =qW5D

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