Sunday, December 25, 2011

Some new movie reviews

My family has been away for last 2 weeks in which i had the free-time to catch up on some of the new movie releases. Here are the ones i watched this holiday season, in order:

  1. Hugo (3D) -  Throughout his extraordinary career, Academy Award-wining director Martin Scorsese has brought his unique vision and dazzling gifts to life in a series of unforgettable films. This holiday season the legendary storyteller invites you to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world with his first-ever 3-D film, based on Brian Selznick's award-winning, imaginative New York Times best-seller, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret." Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home.
  2. Sherlock Holmes 2 - A game of shadows -  Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) has always been the smartest man in the room...until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris)-and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder-a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction-all part of a greater plan that, if he succeeds, will change the course of history. 
  3. The girl with the dragon tattoo -  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.
  4. Adventures of Tintin -  Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures Present a 3D Motion Capture Film The Adventures of Tintin directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish. Starring Jamie Bell as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig as the nefarious Red Rackham.
  5. Mission Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol -  This is not just another mission. The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organization's name. No help, no contact, off the grid. You have never seen a mission grittier and more intense than this.
All were nice movies (or else i would not have gone to watch them :)) but i liked the "Adventures of Tintin" the most, followed by MI4 and Sherlock holmes, followed by Hugo and then Girl with the dragon tattoo. The problem with the GWTDT is it is not as well made as the sweedish version of the same movie (which i had watched before the english one).

Monday, December 19, 2011

VMware vSphere Performance Manager APIs


Figure 1 – PerfCounterInfo


Figure 2 - PerfInterval

Performance Provider

1. A "performance provider" (PerfProviderSummary) is any managed object that generates utilization or other performance metrics.

2. Performance providers include managed entities, such as hosts, virtual machines, compute resources, resource pools, datastores, and networks. Performance providers also include physical or virtual devices associated with these objects, such as virtual host-bus adapters and network-interface controllers (NICs)

3. Each performance provider—the instrumented device or entity—has its own set of counters that provides metadata about its available metrics. Each counter has a uniquekey, referred to as the counterId.

Performance Counter

4. Counters are organized by groups of finite system resources, such as memory, CPU, disk, and so on.

5. PerfCounterInfo data object, shown in Figure 1, represents a performance counter.






The group of the performance counter with its label and summary details.



A system-generated number that uniquely identifies the counter in the context of the system. The performance counter ID.



1..4, 1 is default. Higher the setting more data is collected by vCenter. See below for details. Note this is only applicable for vCenter and not ESX host.



Counter name


Int (since 4.1)

>= level.



One of average, latest, max, min, none, summation



One of absolute, delta or rate



Unit for values of performance counter.

6. The performance counter can be represented by the following dotted string notation:


Example, disk.usage.average

7. Here are a list of four levels and what counters are included:

a. Level 1:  includes basic metrics: average usage for CPU, memory, disk, and network; system uptime, system heartbeat, and DRS metrics. It does not include statistics for any device.

b. Level 2: includes all counters with rollup types of average, summation, and latest for CPU, memory, disk, and network; system uptime, system Heartbeat, and DRS metrics. It does not include any statistics for device either.

c. Level 3: includes all metrics (including device metrics) for all counter groups except these with rollup types of maximum and minimum rollup types.

d. Level 4: includes all metrics supported by VirtualCenter, including maximum and minimum rollup types.

Performance Metric

8. The cpu.usage.average is a performance counter for average CPU utilization. When the counter is collected on CPU No. 1 of a host, a performance metric is formed. The performance metric is represented by PerfMetricId data object which consists of two parts:

a. counterId: The integer that identifies the performance counter.

b. instanceId: The name of the instance such as “vmnic1” or “vmhba0:0:0”.

Performance Interval

9. The interval has to be longer than the sampling interval, which can be found as refreshRate in the PerfProviderSummary data object returned by queryPerfProviderSummary() method, normally 20 second. For VirtualCenter Server systems, instances of this data object are referred to as “historical intervals” because they control how data collected from the ESX systems will be aggregated and stored in the database.

10. vCenter default setting is level 1 and it retains sampled stats data as follows:

· 5-minute samples for the past day

· 30-minute samples for the past week

· 2-hour samples for the past month

· 1-day samples for the past year

11. PerfInterval is explained below:






If disabled vCenter will not collect performance data for that interval or higher intervals. For example, disabling the "Past Month" interval disables both "Past Month" and "Past Year" intervals. The system will aggregate and retain performance data using the "Past Day" and "Past Week" intervals only.



Id for interval



Seconds that the stats corresponding to this interval are kept on system



1..4. higher the level more data is collected.



Name of historical interval. Example, “Past Day”, “Past Week” etc.



Number of seconds that data is sampled for this interval. The real-time samplingPeriod is 20 seconds.

Default properties for the four built-in historical intervals include:










Past day






Past week






Past month






Past year



12. In general, you should avoid changing the intervals as much as possible except the levels.

Real time vs historical performance statistics:

a. Real time stats collected at 20 secs sampling interval and kept for a length of 1 hour.

b. These real time samples are then processed to generate historical performance stats.

c. ESX only maintains 5 mins interval historical stats for one day length. vCenter does more aggregation and maintains stats for longer durations.

Important references:

1. vSphere SDK 5.0 reference on Performance Manager -

2. A decent introduction to performance manager APIs:

15 sorting algorithms visualized in 5 minutes, with awesome arcade sounds

15 sorting algorithms visualized in 5 minutes, with awesome arcade sounds from r/programming