VMware vSphere® is both a product and a platform that offers value to IT administrators and developers. The platform capability enables the VMware partner ecosystem to build solutions. vSphere exposes several APIs that range from tight hypervisor kernel-level integration to loosely coupled management interfaces. Partners whose solutions integrate with the vSphere platform include network interface card and host bus adapter vendors, as well as network and storage infrastructure providers.
Vendors must consider several factors when integrating with the vSphere platform. Partners should use published interfaces; ensure that correct diagnostics and management information are provided; and be able to troubleshoot issues with their code integration. In addition, joint innovations with partners can be provided as value addition to the platform for specific use cases.
In this section of the VMware Technical Journal, we present some interesting areas in which the VMware Ecosystem and Solutions Engineering (EASE) team has been innovating for and with the partner ecosystem. Arun Mahajan et al., outline how, using vProbes technology (described earlier in this issue), they built a packettracing tool that can be used for troubleshooting network service insertion offerings by partners. Bo Chen provides details of a dynamic driver-verification system built with vProbes technology. Kwan Ma et al., outline an approach for data tracing that can potentially be used to track the code path for data. Paul Willmann digs deep into the VMware® ESXi™ kernel to highlight a new API definition and callback mechanism for the bidirectional user/kernel interface that third-party (partner) code can use. Finally, Samdeep Nayak et al., detail an application-aware storage platform that uses I/O hinting and tagging in the host-to-storage context across a fabric.
These papers provide a brief overview of some innovations and related work accomplished during integration with the partner ecosystem. VMware and its partners continue to work on several other areas with the vSphere platform. I hope you will enjoy reading these papers.
T. Sridhar is Chief Technologist and Architect in the VMware Ecosystem and Solutions Engineering group in Palo Alto, CA.