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Re: [libvirt] VMware ESX driver announcement

On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 04:52:04PM +0200, Matthias Bolte wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm participate in a project of the Paderborn Center for Parallel
> Computing, an institute of the University of Paderborn:
> http://pc2.uni-paderborn.de
> The project's goal is to use virtualization in a supercomputer
> environment. We've decided to use libvirt to manage different
> hypervisor. A subgoal is to extend the driver base of libvirt. We've
> started an VMware ESX driver and are investigating Hyper-V support
> (see next mail).

This is great news - VMWare support is one of our top wish-list 
items !

> The ESX driver isn't complete yet, currently it supports:
> - domain lookup by ID, UUID and name
> - domain listing
> - domain suspend and resume
> - domain reboot, if the VMware tools are installed inside the domain
> - domain start and shutdown
> - domain migration

As DV mentions, if we can get support for 'dumpxml' API on a guest
then that would be sufficient to make it worth including this new

> The driver uses the SOAP based VMware VI API. We've tried to generate
> SOAP client code with gSOAP and looked at other SOAP libraries, but
> the VI API uses inheritance in a way that gSOAP fails to generate C
> code for. Because of this we wrote a minimal SOAP client based on
> libcurl and libxml2 that can handle this inheritance problem in C.

This sounds like a good idea. I had a look at code auto-generated from
the WSDL definition for ESX and it was pretty horrific, and enourmous
code. Writing a minimal  client for the APIs you need to use looks
like a reasonable  approach to me - a little more work but nicer code.

> The next item on the todo list is domain creation, because currently
> the driver can only deal with prior existing domains.

I'd suggest doing a 'virDomainDumpXML' API first, because with that
plus the APIs you have already done, you'd have a good enough API
coverage for day-to-day read-only  monitoring / query tasks.   Of
course if you do domain creation, I won't complain either :-)

Not had time to review the actual code yet - will get back to you with
feedback on the code itself later...

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