Along with full support from VMware, MHM also adds a few new features where XVM Manager left off:
- The ability to create and provision virtual machines on third-party hosts
- Providing an integrated vCenter Server authorization mechanism across ESX and third-party host inventories for privileges, roles, and users
- Improved security and HTTPS secured communication between third-party hypervisors
As further proof of VMware's commitment to Flings, the company recently finalized its first ever Open Innovation Fling Contest, which invited the virtualization community to submit their best and most innovative Fling ideas. Community members submitted more than 120 ideas, with the contest winner receiving a free pass to VMworld 2013 and the winning idea -- something called "Proactive DRS/DPM w/ vCenter Operations" -- being sent to the VMware Labs to be worked on by VMware engineers.
The winning idea shows just how valuable one of these Flings can become to a virtualized environment. The winning submission was defined as follows:
Some sort of appliance/script that can hook into both the vCenter Operations APIs 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 based on the vCenter Operations stats rather than having to manually configure a setting to do so).
VMware interprets this as "the software-defined data center that learns usage patterns, anticipates demand and acts in advance." Calling this a hard nut to crack -- rightly so -- VMware engineers are prepared to give this new Fling a shot, but make no promises as to the final result.
In the end, Flings remain a community fan favorite. They remain extremely useful and, perhaps best of all, they remain free. And judging by its latest track record, it certainly looks like VMware will keep them around for the foreseeable future.
What's the next Fling to make it into production? If VMware engineers are able to pull it off, I'd bet that contest-winning idea will be at the top of the list.