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Posts Tagged ‘bluebear’

Bluebear Kodiak 0.0.3 – Reviewed

May 18th, 2009

So I had the chance to play about with the latest version of Bluebear Kodiak the other day,  I just hadn’t had the chance to put some of my findings and thoughts down on the blog.

This release has been a long time in coming,  so much so that I’d almost forgotten what was in 0.0.2.  I often found myself looking at 0.0.3 and asking myself, “was that in it already or is that new?”

Most of the changes that have occured appear to be under the hood, one of these changes is the introduction of a Lua scripting engine.  I had never heard of Lua as a scripting language before this release,  however following a bit of reading it appears to be a very lightweight and fast scripting language that is highly customisable to requirements.  To be honest I have no idea what this will mean for Kodiak from an operational perspective,  it doesn’t appear to be any faster than the previous version but I was only testing this against a single ESX server.  The release notes hint that each server gets it’s own independent Lua script which may indicate that the benefits only appear when using Kodiak against multiple hosts.

I notice that support for Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V are still missing in this release,  with no real indication as yet of a timeline for support of these mainstream hypervisors.  I’m very interested to see if and how it would handle managing multiple hypervisors within the same application window,  I’m presuming that it’s what they’re working towards and it would be a masterstroke if they can pull it off.  Microsoft have obviously tried something similar by managing VMware hosts within System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) with mixed results,  lets hope the guys at BlueBear have more joy in their attempts of building a management tool to bridge all mainstream hypervisors.

So,  lets get down to the nice bits.  First off the map, a great interface and easy to use, move about and navigate.  This release sees the addition of a new map connection node and link display control which allows you to customise what’s shown on the map to good effect.  It can get very busy on screen sometimes and this feature allows you to control exactly what you do and don’t display in a very granular way.  I believe the scripts window is a new edition,  when a machine is selected you are presented with an array of scripts to use including defragment vm disks and migrate reboot to BIOS. From the release notes it appears that users will be able to create their own scripts however a user interface / script builder still needs to be added

 

I must admit I did have the occasional bit of trouble when navigating round the interface.  I seemed to be able to open the console window without issue by clicking on the appropriate button when a host was selected.  However I was having issues opening the configuration screen in that sometimes it just did not respond at all.  I also saw issues with VM status refresh as well,  I powered down a linux box by issuing a shutdown within the OS. However Kodiak still reported it as switched on within the map section,  a minor annoyance of course but a core feature has to be the accurate reporting of virtual machine status.

It looks like the guys at Bluebear have been working hard on changing some of the core fundamentals in the background,  as such there aren’t maybe as many differences on top as you might expect.  What I’m hoping is that the work done between 0.0.2 and 0.0.3 underpins their master plan and that we’ll start to see development pick up. We hope to see the additional hypervisor support, the continued fine tuning of the interface and of course delivery of features to meet the requirements people will undoubtedly have in their virtualisation management tool of choice.

I don’t have any invites left but Gerald Bunch over at Professionalvmware.com has quite a few left

ESX, ESXi, New Products ,

Bluebear Kodiak 0.0.3 “boisterous bruin” Released

May 15th, 2009

The guys over at Bluebear have released version 0.0.3 of their Kodiak management tool, aptly named the boisterous bruin.  You can download your copy here if your a member of the private beta program and you can view the full release notes here

I’ve installed it and had a quick look, appears to be a lot of new additions so will wade through them all and post back with a more detailed update later tonight.

This version of Kodiak represents a significant change in our server-communication architecture.

We’ve added a schema-compliant request/argument builder engine that populates requests based on known information. This makes building requests much easier.

A lua scripting engine. Each server connection gets its own independent Lua script.

Independent object pools.

Improved mapping response and control.

Map connection node & link display control.

We’ve created a “plugin api” where a user may build a plugin to communicate with any kind of data service. We’ll be publishing information on this on our wiki.

We’ve added a number of “boilerplate” features that will become more apparent in the next few releases as we push Kodiak towards our goal of creating an “IT IDE”.

Access for users to create their own scripts. Kodiak’s UI/inspector controls are driven by a “global schema” that allows a user to create their own customized scripts for management. Please visit the bluebear wiki for further information regarding customizing the script engine. As yet, we don’t have a full UI for managing user scripts, but we will shortly.

The remote event log has been removed for this release.

For Windows users who experience the dreaded “SSL certificate bug”, we’ve added a preferences option to bypass the windows SSL stack. This option is accessible from the Preferences menu.

Password vault & credentials storage. Kodiak now has the ability to save username/password pairs in an encrypted password vault, locked with a master password.

Server object creation is disabled while we migrate the control components into the VMWare plugin, we will re-enable these in a couple of days.

ESX, New Products , ,

Bluebear Kodiak – New Version

April 24th, 2009

I was reading through my google reader this morning on the way to work and noticed the excellent Duncan Epping over at Yellow Bricks blogging about the next incarnation of the Blue Bear Kodiak software.

I still get a lot of interest in the Beta Invites for bluebear (I’ve got 4 left) and the stats show that it’s a popular page.  So I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who’ll be pleased to hear there is a new version on the way.  Check out Matt Millar’s (Papa Bear) video which provides a great overview of the kodiak product and a sneak preview of some of the new features.

Soon as I get my hands on the latest version, I’ll post a review.  If anyone wants one of the few remaining Beta invites which should cover you for the existing and new version,  please just comment on this post.

General ,

Popular Posts – BlueBear and vmware-vmrc

November 25th, 2008

I wrote a post about bluebear 0.0.2 beta invites back in October and still have about 30 beta invites left if people are still interested.  This beta invite will allow you access to all the future beta releases from Bluebear and allow you 5 invites to send out yourself.

vmware-vmrc remote console has been a very popular post,  lots of people seem to be landing on it from Google. It’s obviously stirred up interest out there and I hope people are getting good use out of it,  I have to say I always like this feature in ESX 2.5 and am glad to see that they’re planning to incorporate it into VI4. when it comes out.

General , , , ,

BlueBear and the windows certificate issue

October 21st, 2008

Well I finally overcame the Windows certificate issue that occurs with Adobe Air and BlueBear Kodiak. I thought I should reshare this seeing as everyone wants to have a play with this new ESX management tool.

Step 1

Ensure your ESX server has a valid hostname on it’s certificate by connecting to it through a web browser and viewing the certificate. Certificates are usually not a problem with ESX 3.0 or ESX 3.5.  ESX 3.5i on the other hand is a completely different story.  See my blog post on how to sort this problem out Regenerating SSL Certificates in ESX 3.5i

Step 2

Follow Bluebear’s updated instructions on how to install the certifcate and workaround the trust issue. http://www.bluebear.org/wiki/display/pub/Windows+trust+work-around

Step 3

When logging on to Bluebear Kodiak,  don’t make the same mistake I did.  Log on with the FQDN name of the ESX host,  I was using the shortname which works fine for most things but obviously does not match the certificate that’s been installed.  Once you’ve done all that you should have no issues using this great program on a windows machine.

 

Citrix, New Products , , ,

BlueBear – The Curious Cub 0.02 – Beta Invites

October 21st, 2008

Well BlueBear have kindly given me another 47 beta invites to give away to coincide with the release of the second beta version of the software , Interestingly named “Curious Cub”.

I haven’t had a chance to take a look at it myself but have had a good look at Duncan Epping’s article over at Yellow Bricks which you can read by clicking here

If you’d like a beta invite just drop me a comment on this post and I will do my best to process them all tomorrow.  Might be after the day job has finished though :o )

Beta Release Documentation

New functionality

We have added support for configuring existing virtual machines. All the expected functions are available. Configuration for a Virtual Machine is accessible via the configure button attached to a given VM object on the screen (Inspector Panels / Map)

Configuration of all standard resources is available, e.g. Memory Size, CPU allocation/shares, virtual disks, virtual NICs, and removable devices. Usage Notes

Virtual disks are of the “preallocated/thick” type, support for all disk types will be available in the next release.

‘Host-device-backed’ virtual devices (e.g. floppy/cdrom/raw) are not supported, but will be available in a future release.

‘Remote-backed’ virtual devices (e.g. floppy/cdrom/ISO images on the client) are not supported, but will be available in a future release.

VMs must be powered off for configuration. While it is possible to reconfigure a running VM, it may result in a host fault that will cause your changes to be discarded.

If you make changes to a VM that you don’t want to commit, simply close the configure window and the changes will be discarded, (or hit the discard button).

Support for VM Creation will be available in the next release.

Known Issues

Untrusted certificates on windows may cause an authorization dialog to continually appear. The certificate must be added to the local store, please see this page for a work-around.

License keycodes are case sensitive, please ensure you enter them exactly.

VirtualCenter is not yet fully supported. While it might work, functionality is not guaranteed to give predictable results. We are currently adapting Kodiak’s back-end data model to more effectively handle VirtualCenter’s data structures.

Support / Bug Reports

We’re working on enhancing our support wiki, bug reporting and additional content are almost ready.

ESX, General, New Products ,

Bluebear Kodiak beta invites available

October 3rd, 2008

I’ve got a few invites available for the private beta version of bluebear kodiak which I’ve been blogging about this week.

If you’d like an invite to the beta program just respond to this post and I’ll get it sorted out for you as soon as I can. Numbers are limited so it’s a first come first served basis I’m afraid.
Bluebear Kodiak Screenshots

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Bluebear Kodiak, Looking Good!!!!

Bluebear Kodiak Screenshots
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It looks better and better the more you look at it

New Products , , ,

BlueBear Kodiak – Continued

September 30th, 2008

Duncan Epping over at Yellow Bricks has done a great review of Bluebear Kodiak which I blogged about last week.  The general impression is that it looks nice but is obviously still in Beta and therefore lacks a number of features that would most likely make the final version.  Interestingly someone has commented on the article indicating that because Bluebear Kodiak uses the SDK it’s limited to read only operations with the free version of ESX 3.5i.  If that is the case that could be bad news for what I saw as one of it’s main uses,  centralised management without having to invest in Virtual Center.

You can read the full review by following this link.

New Products , , ,

Bluebear Kodiak

September 24th, 2008

Just been having a little look at a product called Kodiak by a company called BlueBear

http://www.bluebearllc.net/

It’s a hypervisor-agnostic, cross platform virtualisation management tool which currently supports ESX but they have plans to support Citrix XenServer very soon and Windows Hyper V in due course.  The best thing about it is its going to be free.

This could be very good for small businesses looking to get into virtualisation without inccuring the usual costs.  a couple of ESX 3.5i servers and BlueBear Kodiak and you’ve got yourself a nice little setup. Graphically it looks stunning and they appear to be suggesting that it will be a lot faster and more fluid than the clunky virtual center interface we’ve all come to know and … well love, only because there is no  alternative.

You can see some screenshots at the link below

http://www.bluebearllc.net/kodiak/screenshots/ 

I’ve put my name down for a beta key as I’d like to look at it a bit more in depth,  when / if I get it and have had a look I’ll post back to give some feedback.

New Products , ,