Virtual infrastructure consists of virtual machines, virtualized host systems and a set of core cross-host virtualization services. The scope of this standardization effort includes the full range of virtual infrastructure capabilities. To accelerate these efforts, VMware is making available its experience and expertise in developing APIs for virtual infrastructure.
Working through technical committees and working groups from leading standards bodies and using established protocols and languages such as SOAP, WSDL, CIM and MOF, VMware and its industry partners are driving open, cross-platform management standards that facilitate interoperability and accelerate the development of higher-level solutions that realize the potential of virtualization technology.
The dynamic and flexible nature of virtual infrastructure leads customers to demand new levels of sophistication from their virtual machine inventory, alerting, capacity planning, configuration tracking and other systems. These systems in turn depend on underlying monitoring APIs for virtual infrastructure including:
- Discovery and inventory of virtual machines and host operating systems
- Associations between entities
- Synchronous and asynchronous performance monitoring
Virtual Machine Lifecycle
The range of states and operations possible for virtual machines makes automating management workflows inherently more feasible in virtualized environments than in traditional physical environments. The following is a partial list of the virtual machine lifecycle operations needed to realize this potential.
- Configure (assign virtual devices, setup networks, assign resources, etc.)
- Clone (create a copy of an existing virtual machine or virtual machine template)
- Migrate (move a virtual machine from one host to another)
- Snapshot/revert (checkpoint of virtual machine/revert to checkpoint)
- Power operations (on/off/suspend)
Virtual infrastructure is the ideal foundation on which to build 'utility' or 'adaptive' solutions. Thus, models for virtual infrastructure must address questions such as how to represent a collection of physical servers acting as a single compute resource and how to understand resource allocation in the form of flexible and hierarchical resource pools.
Storage and Networking
It is important that management solutions not break into incompatible silos of storage, network, and server. To this end, emerging standards for managing virtualized servers need to leverage and interface with existing work on network and storage management.
As new hardware devices are developed and introduced to virtual infrastructure, the relation of those devices to other components - both virtual and physical - must be clarified and the models for virtual infrastructure extended accordingly.