Video: Improve Your BOSH Windows Experience

By: | December 19, 2017

2017 Highlights Series

Have you wondered how your Windows Operator Experience could be improved? The VMware Window Experience team has been working hard to do just this. Watch this talk from VMware software engineers, Matthew Horan and Natalie Arellano, about their journey from the early days of bringing up Windows cells with MSI installers, porting the BOSH agent over to Windows, and the lessons they learned and the benefits of moving to BOSH.

With a large base of developers using .NET, there was a massive opportunity for the Cloud Foundry community to engage with these developers who were missing in the enterprise space. These developers did have Windows support through Iron Foundry, but it was not ideal.

In the early days, Windows operators were forced to manually spin up VMs — a very heavyweight process. On some customer sites, it could take up to six months to get a VM up and running, and then validations were needed to install all MSIs on it.

The Cloud Foundry team saw an opportunity to add support for Windows and cater to users, as they worked on refactoring container runtime for Cloud Foundry.

The good news was that many tools like Diego rep, Consul and Metron were written in Go, so they were easily ported to Windows. The team created Garden Server for Windows and used Hakim to help with troubleshooting and to more easily pinpoint customer issues.

However, the team ran across many problems. But they persisted. They managed to write all the necessary code, did the hard work of figuring out how to cross-compile different components, and then handed over the code to maintainers.

Thanks to the work done by the team, BOSH is in place so users can simply run Concourse to get started. Nevertheless, it’s far from being complete. BOSH agent on Windows is not currently able to support all of the features supported on Linux. The team is busy implementing the missing features such as stop scripts, ssh and much more. They are also working on building a stemcell for Windows Server 2016.

There is a lot of work yet to be done and the team is open for feedback and suggestions. Watch the video then reach out directly at cf-dev [at] lists [dot] cloudfoundry [dot] org!

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Swapnil Bhartiya, AUTHOR