Nov 032010
 

Today I heard something about Project Onyx from VMware. Although I just started playing with it today, I thought it was so interesting that I needed to write something about it.

First of all, Project Onyx is a little tool which can help you to automate certain processes without having a large amount of PowerCLI or SOAP knowledge. Of course, if you want to edit the script you need some knowledge about those things.

Anyhow, first things first. VMware Project Onyx can be found here. A second URL of Project Onyx can be found here. It’s a new tool from VMware which can generate code based on the mouse clicks you make in the VMware vSphere Client. At the URL I just provided you can also find the download link to the product. You don’t need to register or login to get it. Also there is no installation required for Project Onyx. Just download it, unzip it and start it up.

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Once launched you will see the above window. Just enter your vCenter server name, your ESX hostname or IP address. Before pressing the start button, it’s handy to the tick the checkmark by “Launch a client after connected”.  If you do you can choose to start the VMware PowerCLI or the VMware VI Client.

When starting the VMware VI Client or as in my case the VMware vSphere client, you will get a warning message that you are connecting to the vCenter Server without encryption. However the traffic isn’t encrypted but tunneled trough the Onyx application which will be connected on SSL or port 443. One of the other things you will notice is that you are connecting to a different port of your vCenter Server. This is port number 1545.

Launching the vSphere Client:

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Warning message about the unencrypted traffic:

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Once the client is connected to vCenter server you can browse to one of your VM’s. Once you’re there switch back to the “black screen” of Onyx.

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The little play button on the top left starts the logging of your mouse clicks within the vSphere Client. The output mode is also interesting. Right now the output mode is PowerCLI.NET. This creates an output script in PowerCLI from your actions. However there are a couple of other possible actions including Raw SOAP Messages, C#.NET 2.0 and VCO JavaScript. Choose the language you need and press the little play button.

So what happens if I want to make sure that a VM boots into its BIOS at the next startup? This is a little and very handy option in the advanced properties of a VM, showed in the screenshot below.

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If I enable the option: “The next time the Virtual Machine boots, force entry into the BIOS setup screen”, what is it that is actually happening? Well Check the screenshot below and this is how you could do it into PowerCLI:

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Doesn’t this look awesome? Ok what happens then if I change the memory settings from my UDA machine from 512 MB to 1 GB?

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At the third line from above you see the newly allocated memory to my Virtual Machine. Ok, I have to admit, I’m not such a scripter anymore as I used to be. However I truly believe that scripting is important and in the future scripting will become even more important then it currently is. In the meanwhile, this awesome application can help me out by creating scripts. 🙂

I think this tool is really awesome and I recommend that you check it out yourself! So check out the website and the YouTube videos that they have posted on their pages.