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Extensibility project for cloud management tool

Pyxis Comunicación

Wednesday June 17th, 2020

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Pyxis Research, the space that generates synergy between Industry and Academia, continues to promote valuable research and development projects in different technological branches. In this case, we invite you to know a project that aims at extensibility for cloud management tools. It is led by Aldo Díaz and Marcelo Sureda, engineering students at the Fing of the University of the Republic, with the support of our Undergraduate Project Promotion Program.

“The promotion of undergraduate projects has multiple objectives, including promoting integration with the academy and improving the acquisition of cutting-edge knowledge by the entire Pyxian ecosystem,” explains Ignacio Duarte, head of Pyxis Research and client in this project.

The support provided consists of providing the necessary information about the project for its research and development, participation in follow-up and advisory meetings.

“This Cloud management tool was an idea that we had been talking to for a long time with Ignacio Duarte based on the use that vCloud Director is given to our clients. We did a beta of the new versions on a client and saw some new integration capabilities. So in February we saw it as an opportunity to present it as a Faculty degree project. In the latest versions of the product we saw it mature enough to work on it. Trying to understand the mechanism and define an architecture and implementation that validates it to facilitate the integration of new functionalities appeared as an opportunity ”, says Gustavo Vázquez, tutor and supervisor teacher at FIng, as well as Project Manager at Pyxis.

The teacher understood, in turn, that it was an area that had a lot to contribute in the academy since infrastructure within the FIng “is not the center of the curriculum.” So they published a call and Aldo and Marcelo approached.

“I found it super interesting to be able to participate in such a robust product with a lot of technologies and a programming language like Python that allows you a world of possibilities. Also, I was trying to get closer to that infrastructure / cloud area for my work. I approached from the Openshift, AWS, and then Azure side. There was a lot to investigate and learn. Many related technologies ”, adds the student Marcelo Sureda.

Investigation opportunity

The use of cloud services (and in particular of Infrastructure As A Service or IaaS) is becoming more and more popular. It implies that there is not only a greater number of users, but also a greater number of providers and offer. For this reason, for providers, it is not only important to provide better quality in the base service (virtualization, networks, availability), but it is also important to provide better aggregate services that allow users to control, ancillary services, information and other aspects that are relevant when making the most of the contracted cloud resources.

For this reason, providers bet on a single service portal, where users can not only perform the tasks expected on an IaaS platform (turn on / off a VM, connect a network, access a console) but also manage all the annex services without having to access several systems alternately.

The IaaS platforms managed by Pyxis are based on VMWare technologies and their management for end customers in the vCloud Director product. The different APIs of the product are at different levels of maturity, with very low interface coherence and with a disjoint vision of the different programmatic accesses. The project consists of developing a higher-level intermediate API that interacts with the different APIs of the product, providing a single programmatic entry point to the different capabilities of the product.

The purpose of this API is to facilitate the construction of new functionalities and the integration of other systems with the vCloud Director portal in order to expand the offer of Cloud providers with a unified vision of use to their users.Work methodology

“The degree project as such has to go through a series of stages of a research project. It starts with the study of the state of the art and research. This includes, in this particular case, the survey of the product’s APIs, other similar products on the market, possible architectures for the solution and APIs that may exist similar to the one sought, ”explains Gustavo.

First architectural proposal presented to Pyxis

Asked about the work dynamics, Marcelo says that every week he meets with his partner Aldo to share what each one investigated and establish how to continue. “We seek to develop use cases to understand more in depth what we are going to do. We found complementary vCloud Director products that can cover some of the required functionality. From that point on, we raised our concern with Gustavo and he gave us a move on. Pyxis offers them a datacenter as a test infrastructure. “For example, implementing use case to test it with vRealize Orchestrator, among others. We are working on that, testing the technology. We seek to formalize all this knowledge and generate a SWOT analysis to validate which is the best solution ”, explains the student.

“This project is of great value for all the knowledge that will be generated. It will be very useful along the way to create new products ”, appreciates Gustavo.


Pyxis Comunicación

Wednesday June 17th, 2020

Tech blog