New Horizon API calls in PowerCLI 10.1.1

VMware quietly released a new version of PowerCLI last week: 10.1.1. This release is mainly an update for the Horizon View API’s. This to bring it back on level with the current Horizon release at 7.5. The release notes are not very extensive but it has a fix for some people getting time-outs when connecting to a Connection server  plus a bunch of new api calls.

I have dumped the output from the available api calls into two text files and made a comparison:

Since there’s no update yet in the API explorer I will have to make an educated guess on what the functions do:

DesktopTask

When looking at the available method’s for this call it looks like it has everything to do with Desktop task. But it also can’t do a damn thing without an vmware.hv.desktoptaskid. This will most probably bu retrievable using a query. This is something I will further investigate in the future.

DiagOperation

To be honest I have no idea yet what this one does. I have tried created a VMware.Hv.DiagOperationRequest and tried to send it but got an error that no message queue handler was found. This might be something from Horizon 7.5 since I haven’t updated my lab yet.

GatewayAccessUserOrGroup

This one is easy, it creates, deletes, gets and lists remote access users. You can expect a function for this in the near future since it looks easy to build.

JwtToken

According to my sources this is a SSO token between the flex and html5 clients.

LogonTiming

This obviously is created to pull logon timing as the name suggests. I have put a session ID in a variable but sadly the data is not usable from PowerCLI. WHat it seems to be is the api call the Helpdesk client uses to pull the logon time. I didn’t have the timing profiler turned on initially and neither the helpdesk tool or this call gave my any information. Disconnected sessions also don’t give any information and when reconnected it gives the reconnection time not the initial logontime for when the session started. This is the same behaviour as the helpdesk tool.

Apparently the output is in a json format and for now I doubt if it will be usable in a function.

While the session itself has this information.

NetworkProxyConfiguration

No idea yet why there is a networkproxy configuration in here.

Performance

This gets some performance data using a session id as also visible in the helpdesk tool.

RemoteApplication

Gives per session information on the Skype 4 Business pairing mode.

RemoteAssistantTicket

100% sure related to the remote assistance function in the helpdesk tool.

RemoteProcess

Looks like this one gets some information from a query and then kills the process, will have to dig into it some further later on. This for sure is a function in the helpdesk tool.

ViewClient

Again from the helpdesktool, this gives the client version of a session.

Conclusion

For now I only see the DesktopTask and GatewayAccessUserOrGroup ending up in a function in the vmware.hv.helper. The first one will need some digging on how it exactly works but it has the looks of a usable call. The latter on can be in there pretty fast if I find the time to do so. The other ones

 

Update

Already received some extra information about some calls.

New experimental functions for the vmware.hv.helper on github

While working on my presentation for the 2nd vEUCtechcon event in Utrecht (The Netherlands) on may 28th I have added a list of new functions to the vmware.hv.helper module. While I haven’t had the time yet to clean them up to be proper coded scripts I have decided to already publish them on Github. All of them work but might be missing a feature or two and almost all of them are get-hv* or new-hv* type functions. Since the presentation is all about building an environment I have decided to build the remove parts later on. You might have already seen some screenshots on twitter recently:

Added functions that are not in the official module yet:

  • register-hvvirtualcenter
  • set-hveventdatabase
  • set-hvlicense
  • get-hvlicense
  • new-hvinstantcloneadministrator
  • New-HVRole
  • Get-HVRole
  • Get-HVpermission
  • New-HVPermission
  • Get-HVVirtualcenter
  • Get-HVInstantCloneAdministrator
  • Get-HVPod
  • Set-HVPod
  • Get-HVHomeSite
  • New-HVHomeSite

 

Wouter’s five vCommunity tips for visiting VMworld

While this year will only be my third visit to VMworld I still think I have some tips to share with the vCommunity. Yes offcourse you need to keep hydrated all the time, have good footwear and don’t party to hard if you have sessions early in the morning but there’s more to VMworld then just that: the vCommunity itself!

Tip 1 : engage strangers

This his already been said at other blogs but don’t be afraid to engage strangers in conversation. If you hear a good conversation going on, don’t be afraid to listen to it, ask questions or even voice your own opinion. If you do this politely no-one will think badly of you. This also counts when heading our for breakfast or lunch, only take a seat at an empty table if you have to. I have made some good contacts after just joining them at their breakfast table. This also counts for the evening parties, I prefer the ones where you can actually have a decent conversation above those where you need to shout to understand each other.

Tip 2 : Join the Hackathon

You don’t need to be an experienced coder or scripter to join the hackathon. Last year I had an almost complete noob (Sorry Hans!) at my team and at the end of the evening he was able to create a small script of his own. This makes him stand very high on my ranking above people who are very experienced and only do their usual trick but just a bit different. Also don’t be afraid that you might make a mistake, we all do all the time and it’s the best way to learn how those script you might have partially copied from the internet actually work.

Tip 3 : Visit the community booth & area

For me both previous years the community booth and the area around it where the highlights of the show. Not only is there awesome content to be found at the communities/vBrownbag theatre, it also seems to be the place where lots of smart people gather to drink a coffee, have fun and share knowledge. This year there it will have an even greater presence with the addition of another theatre for VMware {code}!!

Tip 4 : look for the smaller stands at the solution exchange

You probably already know most of the big brands showcasing their latest and greatest at the solution exchange. To the sides at the smaller and simpler booths you might find some startups that might have a new and awesome product that you didn’t know yet. There’s a good chance you might find a vcdx or vExpert at these booths that really know what they are talking about.

Tip 5 : join the UX Design studio sessions

You might have met them already at your local VMUG but did you know that they also had feedback sessions during both VMworlds in 2017? In these small and sometimes one on one sessions you really have the chance to have an impact on future products of VMware. I did several last year and these where really good. It’s their job to listen to you while you think out loud about how something looks. This can be in the form clicking inside an actual product, powerpoints with visuals or even drawings that they came up with recently.

Bonus tip: be selective on the swag

If you go all out on swag this will fill up your suitcase pretty damn quick and you will come home with at least 60% junk that ends up in the bin because it’s unusable or already broken. So be picky on the shirts and socks you accept, why accept it if you wouldn’t want to wear it anyway? Also make sure to bring some rubberbands to roll the shirts in. I was picky my first two times but still managed to fill up a suitcase each time, just look at the pictures below.

VMworld US 2016:

Top right is a stack of 17!! t-shirts almost all rolled up

VMworld EU 2017

This time I didn’t really roll those shirts.

 

Hopefully I will see you at VMworld!

The VMware Labs flings monthly for May 2018

It’s June already, time flies when you are having fun right? This month there have been three new and five updated flings. In the category new there is an ESXi Compatibility checker, DRS Entitlement viewer and the Cellular Module User Space USB Driver on ESXi. In the updated category we have the eternal HTML5 vSphere web client, I/O Analyzer, Desktop WatermarkCross vCenter Workload Migration Utility and last but not least Blockchain on Kubernetes.

ESXi Compatibility Checker

This is a new fling that makes it easier to check if you’re hardware is still supported by VMware. It does require python to be installed.

The ESXi Compatibility Checker is a python script that can validate VMware hardware compatibility and upgrade issues of ESXi.

VMware hardware compatibility and product interoperability need to be validated when new hardware is installed on an existing ESXi or when a VC/ESXi version needs to be upgraded. Unfortunately, it is not a trivial task as the compatibility information is scattered in multiple web pages. The user needs to understand the data and validate them one by one manually. This process is tedious, laborious and often prone to error when done at scale.

This Fling will provide a simple and easy way to collect server and IO device details from ESXi and provide a command line interface to validate their VMware compatibility and upgrade issues. Users no longer need to understand compatibility details or manually compare the dataset to find out compatibility or upgrade issues. The Fling can generate a compatibility report for many ESXi managed by a VC with a simple command.

Changelog

  • first release May 15, 2018 v1.0 – Build 8532763

DRS Entitlement Viewer

This HTML5 client plugin shows entitled resources per VM and resource pool.

DRS Entitlement Viewer is installed as a plugin to the vSphere client. It is currently only supported for the HTML5 based vSphere client. Once installed, it gives the hierarchical view of vCenter DRS cluster inventory with entitled CPU and memory resources for each resource pool and VM in the cluster.

Entitled resources can change with VMs’ resource demand and with the VM’s and resource pool’s reservation, limit and shares (RLS) settings. So, customers can get the current entitlements based on the VMs’ current demand and RLS settings of the VMs and resource pools.

DRS Entitlement Viewer also provides 3 different What-If scenarios,
1. Changing RLS settings of a VM and/or resource pool
2. What-If all the VMs’ resource demand is at 100%
3. Both 1 and 2 happen together

Customers can pick one of the 3 scenarios and can get new entitlements without actually changing RLS settings on the cluster.

Finally, DRS Entitlement Viewer also provides an option to export the new RLS values from a What-If scenario as a vSphere powercli command which customers can execute against their vCenter to apply the new settings.

Changelog

  • First public release May 29, 2018 v1.0.2

Cellular Module User Space USB Driver on ESXi

The Cellular Module User Space USB Driver on ESXi provides you with a driver so you are better able to use a cellular module form ESXi.

IoT is growing rapidly so many users would like to enable ESXi on their IoT devices. Driven by VMware’s virtualization technology, which can help them address some challenges like security issues, fragmentation, multi-tenancy, etc. The reality is that many of those IoT devices have a variety of devices and busses that ESXi does not support. The Cellular Module is one of those devices in the case of IoT. Typically, these devices have to communicate with their own remote management center.

This Fling provides a driver to enable deployment on ESXi on their IoT devices. Note that this driver is running in UserSpace mode. While many widely used IoT Edge Gateways are equipped with a cellular module, ESXi does not have a driver to activate that cellular module. So our cellular module userspace USB driver can enable that hardware module to communicate with a remote cloud server.

Changelog

  • First release May 07, 2018 v1.0

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

The fat client’s already gone, the flash client is on its way out so better get used to the vSphere HTML5 Web Client!

Changelog

Fling 3.38 – Build 8535804

New Features

  • Guest OS User Mappings for VMs
  • Serial port support for VMs
  • Improved search including
    • New redesigned search results page
    • VM search results has filters such as power state, guest os, host, clusters, datacenter
    • Save search

Improvements

  • VM Quick power operations

I/O Analyzer

The I/O Analyzer doesn’t get a lot of updates so you might not have heard of it. Like the names says it’s a very usable tool to test your storage performance.

VMware I/O Analyzer is an integrated framework designed to measure storage performance in a virtual environment and to help diagnose storage performance concerns. I/O Analyzer, supplied as an easy-to-deploy virtual appliance, automates storage performance analysis through a unified interface that can be used to configure and deploy storage tests and view graphical results for those tests. I/O Analyzer can use Iometer to generate synthetic I/O loads or a trace replay tool to deploy real application workloads. It uses the VMware VI SDK to remotely collect storage performance statistics from VMware ESX/ESXi hosts. Standardizing load generation and statistics collection allows users and VMware engineers to have a high level of confidence in the data collected. Please post comments and questions regarding this fling to the I/O Analyzer Community.

Features

  • Integrated framework for storage performance testing
  • Readily deployable virtual appliance
  • Easy configuration and launch of storage I/O tests on one or more hosts
  • Integrated performance results at both guest and host levels
  • Storage I/O trace replay as an additional workload generator
  • Ability to upload storage I/O traces for automatic extraction of vital metrics
  • Graphical visualization of workload metrics and performance results

Changelog

New in version 1.6.2u1

  • Support vSphere 6.5 onward
  • Upgrade to OpenSSL 1.0.2o
  • Hot patch script to live upgrade existing 1.6.2 VMs

Desktop Watermark

Desktop Watermark is a tool that adds a visible or invisible watermark to a VDI Desktop. This can be used for auditing for example.

Changelog

Build 20180510

  • Added support for multiple monitors.

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

I used the Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility myself this week when I wanted to clone my golden image to the not linked vcenter servers in my lab. Yes it can also clone besides just moving the servers. I might end up putting up a seperate blog post about this.

Changelog

Version 2.0, May 4, 2018

  • Added support to select individual host as the placement target
  • Added support for migrating VMs with shared datastore
  • Added clone functionality in addition to relocate
  • Added resource summary details for placement targets
  • Added a prompt to verify site thumbprint during SSL verification
  • Added a link to refresh vm list in the inventory view
  • Updated REST APIs to add operation type parameter

Blockchain on Kubernetes

Not a blockchain person myself (yet) but this is the former Blockchain on vSphere fling that has been renamed to Blockchain on Kubernetes

Blockchain is an emerging technology which has been gaining traction globally throughout the past few years. Industries like finance, logistics, and IoT are actively working on research and pilot projects using blockchain.

Fabric is a sub project under Hyperledger (a LinuxFoundation project), it is probably the most mature blockchain solution available now for business use cases.

The mission of Blockchain on Kubernetes (formerly named Blockchain on vSphere) is to provide an end-to-end blockchain solution, from IaaS, to Blockchain platform and Blockchain applications. It allows organizations to quickly collaborate and evaluate the new business models and processes by using the decentralized blockchain technology.

By using BoK, blockchain developers can use BoK command line tool or a GUI tool provided by BoK PCF Tile to quickly set up an environment to build and test their blockchain applications.

Changelog

May 3 2018, BoK 2.0

  • Provide a new PCF Ops Manager Tile to deploy Hyperledger Fabric. It supports creating Kubernetes cluster via PKS Tile and deploy Hyperledger Fabric in the Kubernetes cluster.
  • Add a central config file bok.yml to specify all BoK configuration. No more manual code change is needed.
  • Support kafka as consensus mode.
  • Other enhancement for stability.
  • Verified against Kubernetes 1.9.7.

Registering an Instantclone administrator using PowerCLI

Another question Sean Massey asked me if it is possible to register an instant clone domain administrator. This is possible using the instantcloneenginedomainadministrator service with the InstantCloneEngineDomainAdministrator_create method. This needs a spec with the following content:

  • spec (vmware.hv.InstantCloneEngineDomainAdministratorSpec)
    • base (vmware.hv.InstantCloneEngineDomainAdministratorBase)
      • username (string)
      • domain (domainid)
      • password(vmware.hv.securestring)

The password can be created using the same scriptlet I used to register a new vCenter server. The domain ID can actually be gotten by listing all domains using

For now I have created a scripts that requires you to give some details so it can register the instant clone domain administrator. It can also be found on Github but I will also definitively add it to the vmware.hv.helper module.

Honoured to be named VMware EUC Champion 2018

You might have seen the announcement on the VMware EUC blog, Twitter or the new EUC Champions page already but I have been named one of the VMware End-User Computing (EUC) Champions for 2018. It is an honour to be awarded this status that only a select few receive each year. For me it feels like a true recognition for the work I have been doing with the Horizon API’s and my activity in the broader (EUC) vCommunity.

What is the EUC Champions Program?

EUC Champions is an experts-only program designed to provide a forum where the end-user computing community and VMware EUC product groups come together and share new product information and ideas through in-person meetings, networking events, industry conferences and webinars. This interaction helps ensure VMware EUC experts receive the most up-to-date information, and VMware product teams hear from industry veterans.

Thought leadership is easier said than done. It takes hard work and an ear to the ground to stay on top of industry trends. Many of our 2018 VMware EUC Champions have been thought leaders for decades, while others are rapidly becoming the go-to experts in their respective area. Whether new or returning, this year’s champions are among the ranks of end-user computing experts, who have done the work, made the commitment and signed up for more of the same in 2018.

What are the requirements to become an EUC Champion?

Not everyone is cut out to be an EUC Champion. It takes deep VMware EUC product expertise, an ability to write about it, a willingness to voice your opinion and the talent to clearly and concisely communicate ideas. EUC Champions are respected by their peers and, most importantly, are respectful of others.

Specifically, we look for candidates that meet the following criteria:

  • Member of the vExpert Program
  • Recognized EUC expert
  • Well regarded member of the greater EUC community
  • Recommended group member

Who are the 2018 EUC Champions?

On the new page there is a nice overview of all 34 EUC Champions

https://www.vmware.com/euc-champions/current-champions.html

Pulling horizon session information using PowerCLI

I should’ve already posted a blog about this but better late then never. At the end of february I posted about several new functions being added to the vmware.hv.helper and two out of three where about pulling session information. Recently I received some questions about using those since it’s the raw data being returned. For my Dutch vmug presentation I used several gif’s that showed what you can do with that data. I might need to update the cmdlets so all information will be shown at once but that’s for another time since it might slow down the cmdlet a lot and I don’t like that.

Usage

Since get-hvglobalsession and get-hvlocalsession show almost similar data I will only show the latter one.

As you see this only shows the methods contained inside the session. We can show the content by pipelining it to  select-object -expandproperty but I prefer the bracket method since these might go several layers deep.

Some of the returned values are logical like the username, machineorrdsservername. The desktop name though is the actual desktop pool the user is connected to. Desktoptype can be Automated, Manual or RDS depending on the type of desktop and Desktopsource can be Virtual_Center (VM’s hosted on vCenter but not managed by Horizon or Full Clone desktops), View_Composer(when using Linked Clones), Instant_Clone_engine (when using Instant Clones), Unmanaged (physical machines, non-vCenter vm’s) or RDS (Terminal Servers). Farmname will be used when it’s an RDS session. The Securitygateway will show the Connection Server the user connected to or the UAG/Security server used.

the same can be done with referencedata and sessiondata

Not a lot of directly usefull information but a bunch of id’s that you might be able to use with the api’s if needed.

A lot of information about the session itself.

The actual code

The get-hvglobalsession actually is a query repeated for all pods. First it connects to the query service and then creates a query to run against each pod and add that to a sessionlist.

The get-hvlocalsession is almost the same, it just doesn’t need to foreach since it doesn’t have multiple pods to query.

In both there is a do while because otherwise it will run into some restrictions about maximum amount of data to return.

Adding vCenter server to Horizon View using the api’s

Yesterday Sean Massey (https://thevirtualhorizon.com/) asked me if it was possible to add a vCenter server + some other things to Horizon View using the api’s. With a quick look at the api explorer I confirmed this should be possible. The other things he asked I will put in a separate blogpost.

It looks like a simple matter of building the spec and I should be good. In the end it turned out to be a bit more work then expected. Some items are not required according to the api explorer but should at least be called in the spec (set them to something empty) while others can safely be left away. The automatic generated ssl certs in my lab also turned out to be a pita. First I copied them from a current spec and later I downloaded the certificate on the Connection server itself and read that cert. Andrew Morgan (http://andrewmorgan.ie/)from VMware helped me out with this by showing their internal script that they use. It turned out that except for the SSL certs I was on the right path. As usual I will add this functionality to the vmware.hv.helper but since that might take a while I decided to create a useful script

Looking at the output it will only ask for the vCenter user’s password and if a Composer server is set for that user’s password.

 

Welcome again to Vembu as partner for retouw.nl

After serving for a year already as partner for this site Vembu decided to renew their sponsorship for yet another year. In case you don’t know them yet here’s a short overview of the VMbackup software they make:

VMware Backup

Vembu VMBackup delivers reliable and consistent backups with recovery points that span months and years. Protect your business critical servers running on VMware vSphere environments with an intuitive UI that addresses complex use cases with simple configurations. Built to pursue efficiency in data protection cost-effectively, without compromising on delivering enterprise level functionalities.

VM Backup Video

Configuring VMware Backup

Host Level VMware Backup

Easily create a host-level backup of VMware VMs

  • Without installing any agent inside each VM
  • Near continuous data protection
  • Manage backups from a single console

>> Learn more about VMware Backup

VM Replication

Virtual Machines may crash, but business must go on. Ensure high availability of your VMs by:

  • Replicating VMs to another ESXi host
  • Instantly launching the replicated VMs in case of failure of production VM
  • Automatically map network and IP address to the replicated VMs

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VM Replication

Backup Integrity Check

Backup Verification

You can’t ensure business continuity just by backing up your VMs. You should be able to recover them. Vembu VMbackup automatically verifies the:

  • Bootability of your backed up VMs
  • Mountability of the backed up virtual disks
  • Integrity of the backup data

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Hyper-V Backup

Creating a virtual machine by setting up a Hyper-V server is easy but creating a backup policy for the VMs is arduous. Vembu VMBackup makes it effortless with its simple and intuitive UI that can handle diverse scenarios. It provides efficient backups that addresses all your current problems and your future requirements. With verified, application-consistent and instantly recoverable backups, Vembu VMBackup acts as a cost-effective business continuity and disaster recovery solution for your Hyper-V environment.

VM Backup Video

Configuring Hyper-V Backup

Host Level Hyper-V Backup

Protect your Hyper-V environment without any complexities

  • Agentless backups
  • Supports VMs in Cluster Shared Volumes and Windows SMB share
  • Direct restore to same or different platform

>> Learn more about Hyper-V Backup

Changed Block Tracking (CBT)

Backing up your entire machine every time is not a smart way to use resources and storage

  • Track block level changes
  • Backup only the changed blocks
  • Save Storage

>> Learn more about Changed Block Tracking

Change Block Tracking

Application-aware Settings

Application-aware Settings

When an application backup is successful, it does not necessarily mean that the database is consistent. Upgrade your data protection by:

  • Ensuring application consistency
  • Automatically truncate the transaction logs

> Learn more

There’s also a free version for 3 vm’s

Free Edition

Vembu is also offering free NFR licenses for its Vembu BDR Suite of products exclusively for our Partners, VMware vExperts, MVPs and Certified IT professionals. Go here to find out more or if you are a blogger mail them at vembu-marketing@vembu.com

The VMware Labs flings monthly for April 2018

It’s been a rather quiet month on the VMware flings front. No wonder with the vSphere 6.7 and other releases this month. Did you already test them? I have to say like vSphere 6.7 but it’s consider the numbering good as well, it wouldn’t have fit to be a 7.* release. One new fling with the PowerCLI for NSX-T Preview, two updated ones with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client and Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI. Another fling has gone GA in vSphere 6.7: VMFork for pyVmomi.

PowerCLI Preview for NSX-T

The one thing lacking for NSX-T was PowerCLI availability, this is solved with the release of the PowerCLI Preview for NSX-T fling. Please be aware that the fling still contains bugs and might even be considered an alpha release.

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI is the go to tool when you want to move vm’s between vCenter servers and don’t want to use the GUI fling. The versioning is a bit weird since we already had 1.6 and now they released 1.6.0.

Version 1.6.0

  • Relocate is failing with validation error “cln is missing”.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Not sure what exact version of the html5 web client went into the vSphere 6.7 release but here you can find an overview of the functionality, don’t mind the url because the text clearly states it’s for 6.7. If you want an even more updated version or want to get used to it in vSphere 6.* then use the fling.

Fling 3.37 – Build 8313530

New Features

  • Add VM vApp option properties read-only view
  • SRIOV networking in clone wizard customize HW page

Improvements

  • Prevent the user from creating a GOSc spec with no specified timezone
  • Resize the migrate wizard to use the largest possible size based on VMware Clarity design standards

Bug Fixes

  • Drag and Drop VM to folder