We imagine that many of you have been waiting eagerly for this moment when we announce the grand prize winner of our first Open Innovation Contest, where we challenged you to submit your ideas for a new VMware Fling.
Wow! You really rose to the challenge. Collectively you submitted over 120 ideas on almost every aspect of VMware’s stack. It was amazing to see the level of enthusiasm and engagement. The most prolific submitter racked up 16 ideas, with the runner up submitting 10. Several participants provided multiple submissions.
Given this impressive level of engagement and the high quality of the submissions, you won’t be surprised to learn that judging the contest wasn’t at all easy.
The “Vcenter full backup tool” idea received a large number of upvotes by contest participants:
“My idear is very simple. vcenter become more and more essential and is hosting a lot of configuration of the datacenter so how can we make a single full backup of all vcenter and vshield components. That s what my software will do. we will be able to select or unselect all vcenter configuration optiond that we want to backup and send it on a share.
This will include:
- Vcenter advanced settings
- networks configurations
- hosts profiles configuration
- customization profiles for VM
- VM Storage profile configuration
- Storage profile and cluster datastore configuration
- rights definition inside vcenter for users
- storage provider settings
- vshield configuration
- vcops configuration settings (treshold)
So we will be able to restore a config in case of DR easely. It ll also help technical support to get most of vcenter settings.”
Our judges agreed that this was a great idea… but check out this already-existing Fling:
So this one isn’t the winner.
We also saw a lot of interest in tools to help with snapshot management, with no fewer than 4 ideas falling in this general area.
Our judges recognize that managing snapshots can be hard work so tools like the VGC Fling (labs.vmware.com/flings/vgc) will be welcome news. This super-popular Fling not only helps you manage snapshots en-masse, but also provides a slew of useful VM guest automation.
So the winner was not about snapshot management either.
So really, who won? You’re killing me here!
What? After months of anticipation surely you can hold out for another minute or two? No?
With some popular suggestions already being addressed by existing Flings, our judges were on the lookout for something completely new, with excellent future potential. A Fling that we could release that could test out powerful new ideas. Something that we’ve not done before. Something like this:
“What I would like to see is some sort of appliance/script that can hook into both the vCenter Operations API’s as well as the vSphere APIs and merge these two technologies together. By interpreting vCenter Operations predictions for what is going to happen within your environment and then leveraging vMotion/DRS/DPM to prepare for this before it happens we could be left with a more proactive approach. (I.E. Historically VM1 will utilize 100% CPU at 4am in the morning, let’s be sure these resources are available on the host at 3:45 by migrating other VMs off, rather than waiting for DRS to kick in at 4:05 – At 6am everyday my workload normally increases to the point where DPM kicks in and turns on some hosts, let’s turn these on at based on the vCenter Operations stats rather than having to manually configure a setting to do so).”
Now that’s really intriguing! The software defined datacenter that learns usage patterns, anticipates demand and acts in advance. Yes, it’s a tough nut to crack, but we think it’s worth a shot. We think the software defined datacenter needs to be smart, so ideas like these fit right in with that vision.
And the submitter of this winning idea, “Proactive DRS/DPM w/ vCenter Operations” is… “mwpreston”.
CONGRATULATIONS to user “mwpreston”! We’ll be reaching out to you shortly via email.
The judges faced a challenging task of choosing just one grand prize winner from among the many excellent ideas submitted. If yours was not the winning entry, you’re still a winner in that your submissions will be shared with our product teams who will consider them for inclusion in future product releases.
We encourage you to try out any (or all) of the 44 powerful Flings available at labs.vmware.com/flings. The developers of these Flings welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement, so please feel free to leave comments on the Flings site. We keep adding new Flings, so check back regularly.
A very big thank you all of you for making our first Open Innovation Contest a resounding success. We hope to do this again soon.
All the very best.
Director, VMware Innovation
sborman at vmware dot com