[Horizon]Creating applications using PowerCLI

Something I didn’t handle previously was the creating of applications in Horizon. Since they are always hard wired to a farm or desktop it might happen that you need to re-create these so automation is preferred.

When looking at the api call for creating an application I find that we need to create an objetc of the type VMware.hv.ApplicationSpec

After defining this spec we’ll see that two objects are needed: Data and ExecutionData. This is also visible in the API Explorer.

Let’s define both of these and see what the options are.

Looking at the API explorer for Data only the name is actually required while for Executiondata only the Executablepath and the desktop or farm id is required

(going lazy here and using vmware.hv.helper to get the farmid)

And now I can create the application itself

[HorizonRestAPI] Handling Instant Clone Administrator accounts

One of the options already available using the Horizon REST API‘s is working with Instant Clone Administrators. In total there are 5 API calls available and I will give an explanation for al 5 on how to use them. As you can see you’ll run all of them against /rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts.

GET : for all Instant Clone Domain accounts

POST : to create a new Instant Clone Domain accounts

GET : To retreive a specific Instant Clone Domain account with it’s ID

PUT : to update an Instant Clone Domain account.

DELETE : To delete an Instant Clone Domain account

Getting Started

To start showing these I am starting with the same base that I used in my first blog post about the Horizon REST api’s:

$url = "https://CONNECTIONSERVER"
#$url = read-host -prompt "Connection server url" 
$username = "username" 
#$username = read-host -prompt "Username" 
$password = "PASSWORD"
#$password = read-host -prompt "Password" -AsSecureString 
$Domain = "DOMAIN"
#$Domain = read-host -Prompt "Domain" 


#$BSTR = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($password) 
#$UnsecurePassword = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto($BSTR)


function Get-HRHeader(){
    param($accessToken)
    return @{
        'Authorization' = 'Bearer ' + $($accessToken.access_token)
        'Content-Type' = "application/json"
    }
}
function Open-HRConnection(){
    param(
        [string] $username,
        [string] $password,
        [string] $domain,
        [string] $url
    )

    $Credentials = New-Object psobject -Property @{
        username = $username
        password = $password
        domain = $domain
    }

    return invoke-restmethod -Method Post -uri "$url/rest/login" -ContentType "application/json" -Body ($Credentials | ConvertTo-Json)
}

function Close-HRConnection(){
    param(
        $accessToken,
        $url
    )
    return Invoke-RestMethod -Method post -uri "$url/rest/logout" -ContentType "application/json" -Body ($accessToken | ConvertTo-Json)
}

$accessToken = Open-HRConnection -username $username -password $password -domain $Domain -url $url

GET

The regular get is really straight forward, just invoke a get and you get the results.

Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -uri "$url/rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken)

As you can see I currently have 2 accounts configured.

POST

With post we can configure a new Instant Clone Domain account. Let’s see what we need. According to the API explorer it looks like we need to supply a domain ID, password and account.

To get the domain ID we’ll actually need to do a GET against another url:

$domains=Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -uri "$url/rest/external/v1/ad-domains" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken)

Now I will create the json that we’ll need to configure the account. The $data variable is just a regular powershell array that  afterwards convert to the actual json

$domainid=$domains |select-object -expandproperty id -first 1

[email protected]{
ad_domain_id= $domainid;
password= "password";
username= "username"
}

$body= $data | ConvertTo-Json

Now let’s use the Post method to apply this

Oops, too slow let’s authenticate and try again

Invoke-RestMethod -Method Post -uri "$url/rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken) -body $body

There are a few remarks about this: no propper error is returned when a wrong username and password is used. Wen you try to create an account that already exists it will return a 409 conflict.

GET with ID

This is straightforward again, just extend the url for the get with the ID of the account you want to get. I grabbed this from the regular pul request and filtered on the user account I just created

$icaccounts= Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -uri "$url/rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken) 
$accountid=($icaccounts | where {$_.username -eq "username"}).id 
Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -uri "$url/rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts/$accountid" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken)

PUT

Put can be used to change a users password. It’s requires a combination of the url with the ID from the get with id and a body like in the Post.

[email protected]{password="Demo-02"}
$body = $data | ConvertTo-Json
Invoke-RestMethod -Method Put -uri "$url/rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts/$accountid" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken) -Body $body

DELETE

To delete an account simply use the url with the id in it with the DELETE method

Invoke-RestMethod -Method Delete -uri "$url/rest/config/v1/ic-domain-accounts/$accountid" -ContentType "application/json" -Headers (Get-HRHeader -accessToken $accessToken)

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for May 2020

Another month, another monthly overview of the new and changed flings as published on https://flings.vmware.com/. There are three new flings and seven received an update.

New flings:

Linux Driver for Precision Clock Virtual Device

Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference

Update flings:

VMware Appliance for [email protected]

VMware Event Broker Appliance

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer

VMware Machine Learning Platform

vSphere Mobile Client

Horizon Session Recording

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

New Releases

Linux Driver for Precision Clock Virtual Device

The Linux Driver for Precision Clock Virtual Device fling is an alternative way for synchronising time using a newly introduced piece of virtual hardware in vSphere 7.

ptp_vmw is a Linux driver for VMware Precision Clock, a new type of virtual device available in ESXi 7.0 (hardware version 17 on-wards) that provides virtual machines with access to the underlying ESXi host’s system clock. Guests can use the device as a reference clock in Chrony time synchronization software to synchronize their system clocks with.

Precision Clock offers an alternative to existing methods of time synchronization in the guest, such as NTP. A potential benefit of using Precision Clock, when compared to a network time synchronization, is that it uses a VMware proprietary paravirtual interface between a virtual machine and the host to fetch time information. Achievable accuracy using network based time synchronization in a guest is limited by delay and variability in the virtual networking paths (including the guest’s own networking stack), especially under high loads. By avoiding virtual networking, time synchronization using Precision Clock can, potentially, achieve higher accuracy. See the vSphere 7.0 documentation at https://docs.vmware.com for more information about this virtual device.

This fling includes a Linux kernel module source RPM, which can be built and installed in a Linux system. Upon loading the driver, a PTP clock device is created, which can be consumed as a reference clock in Chrony. See included README file for more information.

Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

A Virtual Appliance that pre-bundles all required dependencies to help customers in learning and deploying standalone Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) clusters running on either VMware Cloud on AWS and/or vSphere 6.7 Update 3 environment for Proof of Concept, Demo and Dev/Test purposes.

This appliance will enable you to quickly go from zero to Kubernetes in less than 30 minutes with just an SSH client and a web browser!

Features:

  • Quickly deploy TKG Clusters onto VMware Cloud on AWS or vSphere-based infrastructure
  • Online vSphere Content Library to sync all TKG Demo Appliance dependencies
  • Accompany step-by-step workshop-style guide
  • Embedded Harbor registry pre-loaded with all required TKG and Demo Containers
  • Support for Air-Gapped and Non-Internet accessible environments
  • Sample demo applications including Persistent Volume, K8s 3-Tier Application with a LoadBalancer example
  • Easily access and debug TKG Clusters using Octant

What’s Included:

Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference

With machine learning is widely used in enterprises, big data are trained on the edge, inference services go to production either in the cloud or on the edge.

On the edge

  • Edge devices have limited resources, space and power supply
  • Edge servers cost much higher than devices
  • Hardware accelerators are heterogeneous in architecture and various on interfaces and performance on the edge

In the cloud

  • Accelerator market is dominated by Nvidia GPU
  • Other options come as AMD GPU, Intel Habana Goya/Altera FPGA, AWS Inferentia, Xilinx FPGA etc
  • Common inference interfaces from cloud to edge doesn’t appear generally
  • Limitation on specific hardware accelerators or cloud leads to new vendor lock-in

Project Supernova is to build a common machine learning inference service framework by enabling machine learning inference accelerators across edge endpoint devices, edge systems and cloud, with or without hardware accelerators.

  • Micro-service based architecture with Restful API
  • Support heterogenous system architectures from leading vendors
  • Support accelerator compilers to native code
  • Neutral to ML training framework file formats
  • Work on both edge devices and clouds
  • Hardware CPU support:
    • x86-64, ARM64
  • Hardware accelerator support:
    • Intel VPU, Google Edge TPU, Nvidia GPU
  • Software
    • Inference toolkit support: OpenVINO, TensorRT & Tenserflow Lite
    • Training framework data format: Tensorflow, Caffe, ONNX, MxNet

Updated flings

VMware Appliance for [email protected]

Do you have some cpu resources left to use for a good cause? The VMware appliance for [email protected] makes life doing that just a bit easier.

Changelog

May 6, 2020 – v1.0.4

VMware-Appliance-FaH_1.0.4.ova
MD5: 151a5708f5d8cada3f5b48936e749f60

VMware Event Broker Appliance

The VMware Event Broker Appliance gives users makes live easier for creating business logic based on events.

Changelog

Here.

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer

The Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer (VMCO) is a Powershell script that uses the PowerCLI module to capture information about the hosts and VMS running in your vSphere environment, and reports back on whether the VMs are configured optimally based on the Host CPU and memory.

Changelog

Version 2.1.0

  • Fixed errors in reporting for some VMs that are on hosts with 4 sockets
  • Fixed “memory” missing from Details when VM memory spans pNUMA nodes
  • Added ability to call function with “-simple” which only reports VM info (leaves out vCenter, Cluster, and Host)

VMware Machine Learning Platform

The VMware Machine Learning Platform was build to provide an end-to-end ML Platform.

Changelog

Version 0.2.0

  • Added support for vSphere with Kubernetes and Tanzu Kubernetes GRID in addition to VMware
  • Cloud Foundation/PKS
  • Upgraded to Kubeflow 1.0 GA
  • Added support for GPUs
  • Introduced a new data registry component called Data Manager
  • Upgraded minor components/libraries to the latest versions
  • Added an easy-to-use installer
  • Lots of bug fixes

vSphere Mobile Client

The vSphere Mobile client is the tool to have if you want to be able to an early check on your vCenter while running to your desk to do it on those nice and fancy big screens you have over there.

Changelog

Version 1.11.0

New features:

  • Virtual keyboard for VM console, with all special keys available
  • Details page for cluster objects

Improvements:

  • iOS devices now have the VM console, still requires direct ESXi connection for both Android and iOS
  • Library updates for better compatibility

Bugfixes:

  • Host no longer shows as standalone when part of a cluster
  • Issues for all objects are calculated similarly, by adding together fired alarms and configuration issues
  • Virtual CPU count in VM summary page is now correct
  • All details pages are showing information in a similar way

Horizon Session Recording

The Horizon Helpdesk Recording fling is an underestimated fling in my eyes, it gives you the opportunity to properly record whats’s happening in a users vdi session.

Changelog

Version 2.0.8

Note: Version 2.0.8 is a complete re-write of the whole fling, This fling does not support upgrading, this will require a new deployment, server and agent.

  • The agent is now multi-threaded.
  • The web service is now written in angular.
  • The web service now supports high availability (see documentation).
  • This release will only work with Horizon 7.9 or higher.

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

After Reach that sadly had to be pulled the Horizon Helpdesk Utility is on of the best flings to have ever been released for Horizon. FInally a fast tool that properly helps your helpdesk without having to go to the admin console.

Changelog

Version 1.5.0.21

  • Fixed an intermittent issue with the agent crashed when viewing a pool / session.

[HorizonAPI] Registering a Composer Domain Administrator using the api’s

A while ago I blogged about adding an Instant Clone administrator using the api’s. I never looked at creating a linked clone domain administrator though so let’s do that.

When checking the services near the bottom we see a service called ViewComposerDomainAdministrator

Now let’s check the available methods

The difference between ViewComposerDomainAdministrator_Create and ViewComposerDomainAdministrator_CreateByServerDefinition is that for the first you’ll need the virtualcenterid and for the lather the ServerDefinition for the configured vCenter.I will go with the easier first one.

Let’s see what’s required

so we need a spec of the type VMware.Hv.ViewComposerDomainAdministratorSpec this is what the api explorer says about it:

So for the base we actually need another object of the type vmware.hv.ViewComposerDomainAdministratorBase, let’s create both

$spec=new-object  vmware.hv.viewcomposerdomainadministratorspec
$spec.base=new-object VMware.Hv.viewcomposerDomainAdministratorBase

The virtualCenterID is only available by doing a virtualcenter.virtualcenter_list() with a where on the results

$vcenter="pod2vcr1.loft.lab"
$vcenters = $services.virtualcenter.virtualcenter_list()
$vcenterid = ($vcenters.where{$_.serverSpec.serverName -eq $vcenter}).id
$spec.VirtualCenter = $vcenterid

see how I do the where? For this one it doesn’t really matter but doing it this way is muchos faster than using where-object

In the base the username and domain are strings so those are easy. For the password we need to have it encrypted in a certain way. Luckily I already used it in the vCenter adding post that I gave an update last week.

$spec.base.Username = "m_wouter"
$spec.Base.Domain = "loft.lab"
$cmpdomainadminpassword=read-host "Composer domain administrator password?" -assecurestring
$temppw = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($cmpdomainadminpassword)
$PlaincmpdomainadminPassword = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto($temppw)
$cmpdomainadminencPassword = New-Object VMware.Hv.SecureString
$enc = [system.Text.Encoding]::UTF8
$cmpdomainadminencPassword.Utf8String = $enc.GetBytes($PlaincmpdomainadminPassword)
$spec.base.password=$cmpdomainadminencPassword

And we bring all of this together by creating the administrator

$services.ViewComposerDomainAdministrator.ViewComposerDomainAdministrator_Create($spec)

To match the post adding vCenter servers I have put all of this together in a nice script, you just need to connect to the connection server first

$hvServer = $global:DefaultHVServers[0]
$services=  $hvServer.ExtensionData

# Create required objects

$spec=new-object  vmware.hv.viewcomposerdomainadministratorspec
$spec.base=new-object VMware.Hv.viewcomposerDomainAdministratorBase
$spec.base.Username = "m_wouter"
$spec.Base.Domain = "loft.lab"
$vcenter="pod2vcr1.loft.lab"
$vcenters = $services.virtualcenter.virtualcenter_list()
$vcenterid = ($vcenters.where{$_.serverSpec.serverName -eq $vcenter}).id
$spec.VirtualCenter = $vcenterid
$cmpdomainadminpassword=read-host "Composer domain administrator password?" -assecurestring
$temppw = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($cmpdomainadminpassword)
$PlaincmpdomainadminPassword = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto($temppw)
$cmpdomainadminencPassword = New-Object VMware.Hv.SecureString
$enc = [system.Text.Encoding]::UTF8
$cmpdomainadminencPassword.Utf8String = $enc.GetBytes($PlaincmpdomainadminPassword)
$spec.base.password=$cmpdomainadminencPassword




# This will create the View Composer Domain Admin
$services.ViewComposerDomainAdministrator.ViewComposerDomainAdministrator_Create($spec)

 

 

[HorizonAPI] Creating Entitlements

So last week I created a blog about gathering Horizon entitlements using the api’s. At the end I promised that my next blog post would be about creating entitlements and guess what: that’s this post 🙂

First a short explanation about what UserEntitlements actually are in Horizon. When you pull the entitlement info the base property has the needed information.

So in short an entitlement is a link between the userorgroup object id and a resource object id. The resource object can be: Application, Desktop, Global Application Entitlement, Global Desktop Entitlement and URLRedirection.

Let’s first grab the id’s that we need, I use 2 queries for that bur first I put the names of the group and the desktop in variables:

$groupname = "example_group"
$poolname = "pod01_pool01"

Than I create two objects called $group and $pool using queries.

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'ADUserOrGroupSummaryView'
$defn.Filter = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryFilterEquals -property @{'memberName'='base.name'; 'value' = "$groupname"}
$group= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVService, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVService)

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'DesktopSummaryView'
$defn.Filter = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryFilterEquals -property @{'memberName'='desktopSummaryData.displayName'; 'value' = "$Poolname"}
$pool= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVService, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVService)

Next we create the object to link them together.

$userentitlement= new-object VMware.Hv.UserEntitlementBase
$userentitlement.UserOrGroup = $group.id
$userentitlement.Resource = $pool.id

And we create the actual entitlement, since the output we get from this is the id of the entitlement object I store this in a variable to show you the entitlement in the next step.

and to show the entitlement

($hvservice.UserEntitlement.UserEntitlement_Get($newentitlement)).base

If you want to create entitlements for other resource you’ll need to use the either of the following to build your query:

Name Data object property to filter on
Application ApplicationInfo data.displayName
Desktop DesktopSummaryView DesktopSummaryData.displayName
Global Application Entitlement GlobalApplicationEntitlementInfo base.displayName
Global Desktop Entitlement GlobalEntitlementInfo base.displayName

There is no query for the URLRedirection so you’ll need to use URLRedirection.URLRedirection_List() to get the entire list and select the right one from that.

This is a complete example script that you could use to create a desktop entitlement:

Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.HorizonView
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Core

$cs = 'pod1cbr1.loft.lab'
$groupname = "example_group"
$poolname = "pod01_pool01"

$hvServer = Connect-HVServer -Server $cs 

$HVService= $hvServer1.ExtensionData

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'ADUserOrGroupSummaryView'
$defn.Filter = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryFilterEquals -property @{'memberName'='base.name'; 'value' = "$groupname"}
$group= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVService, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVService)

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'DesktopSummaryView'
$defn.Filter = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryFilterEquals -property @{'memberName'='desktopSummaryData.displayName'; 'value' = "$Poolname"}
$pool= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVService, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVService)

$userentitlement= new-object VMware.Hv.UserEntitlementBase
$userentitlement.UserOrGroup = $group.id
$userentitlement.Resource = $pool.id
$hvservice.UserEntitlement.UserEntitlement_Create($userentitlement)

[HorizonAPI] Pulling entitlement information using the api’s

Somehow I have never really blogged about using the Horizon api’s to gather entitlement data. These are actually stored in entitlement objects and we can find them using a query against either the EntitledUserOrGroupLocalSummaryView or EntitledUserOrGroupGlobalSummaryView objects. Let’s start with the local variety.

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'EntitledUserOrGroupLocalSummaryView'
$queryResults= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVservice, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVservice)
$queryresults

So we have some property’s and the ID is the easiest one to use since it’s of the VMware.Hv.UserOrGroupId type that we can resolve using aduserorgroup.aduserorgroup_GetInfos(arrayofids)

$hvservice.ADUserOrGroup.ADUserOrGroup_GetInfos($queryResults.id)

and the name is visible using base.displayname

($hvservice.ADUserOrGroup.ADUserOrGroup_GetInfos($queryResults.id)).base.displayname

$

Yes that’s me making a typo, try to talk to me on Slack. I hardly type anything without typo’s. Back to the $queryresults because there’s an easier way to get the group or username because it’s listed under the base property.

$queryresults.base

or

So we now have the group or username now we need to find what they have been entitled to, this information is stored under localdata.

$queryresults.localdata

The Applications and Desktops properties contain the ids where the users have rights to so if we use Desktop.Desktop_GetSummaryViews or Application_GetSummaryViews we end up with the relevant data. I have opened the summarydata for both to make things more visible.

($hvservice.Desktop.Desktop_GetSummaryViews($queryResults.localdata.desktops)).desktopsummarydata
($hvservice.Application.Application_GetSummaryViews($queryResults.localdata.applications)).applicationsummarydata

To create a nice overview of this I have created a small script

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'EntitledUserOrGroupLocalSummaryView'
$queryResults= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVservice, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVservice)
[email protected]()
foreach ($queryresult in $queryresults){
    $userorgroupname = $queryresult.base.displayname
    $group = $queryresult.base.group
    [email protected]()
    if ($queryresult.localdata.desktops){
        foreach ($desktop in $queryresult.localdata.desktops){
            $desktops+=($hvservice.desktop.desktop_get($desktop)).base.name
        }
    }
    [email protected]()
    if ($queryresult.localdata.applications){
        foreach ($application in $queryresult.localdata.applications){
            $applications+=($hvservice.application.application_get($application)).data.name
        }
    }
    $entitlements+=New-Object PSObject -Property @{
        "Name" = $userorgroupname;
        "group" = $group;
        "desktops" = $desktops;
        "applications" = $applications;
    }
}
$entitlements | select-object Name,group,desktops,applications

as you can see user1 is the lucky SoB that I test everything on.

The difference with global entitlements is that the localdata property is replaced bij globaldata.

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'EntitledUserOrGroupGlobalSummaryView'
$queryResults= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVservice, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVservice)
$queryresults

And the entitlements are named a bit different

$queryresults.globaldata

To rebuild the script for global entitlements it needed a bit of tinkering but here it is

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$defn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$defn.queryEntityType = 'EntitledUserOrGroupGlobalSummaryView'
$queryResults= ($queryService.queryService_create($HVservice, $defn)).results
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($HVservice)
[email protected]()
foreach ($queryresult in $queryresults){
    $userorgroupname = $queryresult.base.displayname
    $group = $queryresult.base.group
    [email protected]()
    if ($queryresult.globaldata.GlobalEntitlements){
        foreach ($desktop in $queryresult.globaldata.GlobalEntitlements){
            $desktops+=($hvservice.GlobalEntitlement.GlobalEntitlement_Get($desktop)).base.displayname
        }
    }
    [email protected]()
    if ($queryresult.globaldata.GlobalApplicationEntitlements){
        foreach ($application in $queryresult.globaldata.GlobalApplicationEntitlements){
            $applications+=($hvservice.GlobalApplicationEntitlement.GlobalApplicationEntitlement_Get($application)).base.displayname
        }
    }
    $entitlements+=New-Object PSObject -Property @{
        "Name" = $userorgroupname;
        "group" = $group;
        "desktops" = $desktops;
        "applications" = $applications;
    }
}
$entitlements | select-object Name,group,desktops,applications

So here you have the ways to retrieve information about entitlements, locally and globally. Next post will be about creating entitlements.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for February 2020

First of all my excuses for not posting more last month. It was a short but very busy month so I just couldn’t find the time for that. The people behind VMware flings have bee busy though with one new fling and seven updates ones. New is Pallas (for managing edge ESXi hosts) and the following received updates: Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer, USB Network Native Driver for ESXi, vSphere HTML5 Web Client, App Volumes Entitlement Sync, App Volumes Migration Utility, vRealize Build Tools, Power vRA Cloud.

New Releases

pallas

Pallas helps an admin to manage edge ESXi hosts where it’s not possible to manage them using vCenter due to security reasons.

The goal of Pallas is to provide management ability for ESXi hosts that cannot be managed by vCenter due to firewall or network issues.

 

Case 1: You have several ESXi hosts which running in a private network, but you have requirement to management them in the public network.

 

Case 2: Your ESXi host don’t wire connections and must connected through WiFi or Mobile network. For example, you use ESXi running on the oil rig, train head and you want to remote manage the ESXi securely.

 

Case 3: In IOT world you have the virtualized Edge devices requirements (ESXi host on Edge Device) and need remote management the ESXi(like patch, create VM etc.)

 

This solution includes a dominate-agent VM to provide remote management ability on the ESXi. If the ESXi has no wire connection then a pluggable network device (USB WiFi card, 3G/4G/5G sim card or other device that can provide network access ability) is needed, the pluggable network device will be pass-through directly to the dominate-agent VM. A remote manager server that accept connections either in public cloud/hybrid or private datacenter.

 

The dominate agent VM will talk to ESXi through ESXi SDK for workload VM management. There is no direct connection between the workload vm and dominate agent by default.

 

The dominate agent VM will talk to Pallas Manger though MQTT protocol, it will not allow any inbound traffic.

 

Updated Flings

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer is a script that analyses vm’s and the hosts running them to see if they run in an optimized way. It does not look into the vm’s themselves, if that is needed vRealize Operations is recommended.

Changelog

Version 2.0.2

  • Modified Get-OptimalvCPU.ps1 to account for vCenters with no clusters
  • Modified Error Catches so they display the line number of the error

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

The USB Network Native Driver for ESXi was specially made for homelabs that need USB ports for extra network connectivity.

Changelog

February 12, 2020 – v1.4

  • Add SuperMicro/Insyde Software Corp USB Devices in the supported list
  • Resolved 9K Jumbo frame issue on RTL8153 chipset devices
  • Resolved invalid speed reporting for some quick devices by using the default speed

ESXi670-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-33242987-offline_bundle-15615590.zip
ESXi650-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-33268102-offline_bundle-15620342.zip

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

And the vSphere html5 client keeps improving and improving.

Changelog

Fling 5.0 – build 15670023

New Features

  • Code Capture new language: the recorded interaction can now be translated to Go.
  • PowerActions: integrating PowerCLI and the vSphere Client. The vSphere Client now provides the ability to execute PowerCLI commands and scripts, and store scripts in a library. Custom actions backed by PowerCLI scripts can be defined and executed on inventory objects.
  • PowerActions must be explicitly enabled on a vSphere Client Fling deployment. For setup instructions and a quick walkthrough, see the file PowerActions_documentation_Fling50.pdf .

Improvements

  • PowerActions: when executing a script from the context menu of an object, the context object is prepopulated, but the object selector control has to be expanded and collapsed in order for this to become visible.

Release Notes

  • The base operating system for the fling is changed to Photon OS.
    Upgrade from previous versions to 5.0 is not supported. A new appliance has to be deployed.

Server.bat Replaced, December 3

Fix a small error where ls.url was printed twice in the resulting webclient.properties which leads to errors when trying to login to the H5 web client.

App Volumes Entitlement Sync

The App Volumes Entitlement Sync helps the App Volumes admin in copying entitlements between various App Volumes environments like from test to production.

Changelog

Version 2.4

  • Fixed problem with sync button being disabled
  • Added check for App Volumes 2.x and App Volumes 4.x managers and will pop up message that they can’t be synced

App Volumes Migration Utility

You might want to use the App Volumes Migration Utility if you are upgrading from App Volumes 2.* to App Volumes 4.

Changelog

Version 1.0.1

  • Fix for Migrated Appstack upload failure in AVM due to JSON parsing error.
  • Instructions doc updated to reflect the name change from “Upload Prepackaged Volume” to “Upload Template” in the AVM UI.

vRealize Build Tools

vRealize Build Tools provides tools to development and release teams implementing solutions based on vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). The solution targets Virtual Infrastructure Administrators and Solution Developers working in parallel on multiple vRealize-based projects who want to use standard DevOps practices.

Changelog

Version 2.4.18

  • Support vRA 8 support for blueprints, custom forms, subscriptions and flavor-mapping
  • vRO 8 support for existing content management and import
  • Support vRO 8 export of WFs in a folder structure derived from WF tags
  • Support for running WFs on vRO using maven command
  • Support persisting JS Actions IDs in source to allow for actions originating in vRO first to not create conflicts
  • TypeScript Projects (experimental) support improvements and bug fixes
  • General bugs fixing an documentation updates

Power vRA Cloud

Power vRA Cloud makes the vRA API’s more accessible for people already used to PowerCLI or PowerShell.

Changelog

Version 1.1

  • Bug fixes and following new cmdlets
  • Add-vRA-Project-Administrator
  • Add-vRA-Project-Member
  • Get-vRA-DeploymentFilters
  • Get-vRA-DeploymentFilterTypes
  • Get-vRA-FabricNetworksFilter
  • Get-vRA-FabricImagesFilter
  • Remove-vRA-Project-Administrator
  • Remove-vRA-Project-Member
  • Update-vRA-Project-ZoneConfig

 

New challenge ahead! (going Vendor this time)

After years of contracting a new challenge lays ahead for me in the vendor space. Until now I have always been on either the customer or partner side of things but was always curious how things would be from a vendor perspective. Recently I saw an opportunity at ControlUP passing by that I couldn’t resist in asking if it would also be feasible do do this from The Netherlands since it was posted for the UK. The lines where short since I am already working on for them on a freelance base creating Horizon scripts.

PS Engineers are experienced IT professionals that guide customers through their journey of assessing needs and implementing ControlUp solutions. Prospective candidates must be self-motivated, charismatic individuals that are willing to meet customers and work in very dynamic situations that present new, never before seen business and technical challenges on a regular basis. Ideal candidates possess several years of enterprise IT consulting experience and a deep technical skill set covering VMware’s or Citrix virtualization and PowerShell scripting.
Responsibilities
· Professionally represent ControlUp values at all times
· Maintain current knowledge of the entire ControlUp product portfolio
· Become a trusted advisor to both colleagues and customers
· Help our customers succeed by solving their challenging technical problems, from design through to production operations
· Work closely with customers to understand their needs and objectives
· Provide regular transfer of information presentations to customers
· Provide regular feedback to management for process and practice improvements
· Assist with all phases of Couchbase implementations, starting with installation, architecture design and review
· Contribute to internal technical projects, which can include software development, benchmarking, troubleshooting
· Work closely with the sales team and presales team on technical escalations and help grow opportunities in existing accounts
· Assist with customer PoC/Pilots through effective management of acceptance criteria and issue escalation/resolution
· Work with all technical levels from managers, to architects and developers in the Couchbase Server technology and architecture
· Identify and write internal and external technical collateral, like typical deployment architectures or best practices
· Travel to customers at least 25%
Requirements
· 10+ years of experience in information technology- A MUST
· 5+ years of customer-facing professional services or VDI Administration- A MUST
· Fluent Speak and Writing English- A MUST
· Strong VMware or Citrix experience
· Strong Windows desktop OS administration experience
· VCP/CTP/VCPDT strongly preferred
· B.S./B.A./M.S. degree or equivalent technical training & experience
· Proven technical background –You will need to have a strong hands-on understanding of a number of popular technical platforms
· Positive attitude and very customer-centric; always willing to put the customers’ needs first
· MCSE – a plus
While I have been doing mainly VMware for the last few years I also have a bit of history with Citrix so I thought this would fit perfectly. After a couple of zoom calls first I traveled to ControlUP’s yearly Sales Kick-Off in Jerusalem last month to have a face to face meeting but also to feel how things are run inside the company. Looking back at that I have to say I really enjoyed it and was able to connect with just about everyone (I just didn’t have the time to connect with everybody). So when I received the call a week or so later that they wanted to hire me I couldn’t be more happy about that and I will be starting March first as Professional Service Engineer!
tldr: Got hired by ControlUP as Professional Services Engineer starting March first

[HorizonAPI] Configuring the Horizon event database in code

Last week Mark Brookfield asked the question if it is possible to configure the event database in code. My answer was that I thought it should be possible until Stephen Jesse pointed me to the the vmware.hv.helper where there is the set-hveventdatabase cmdlet for this. When looking at the code I noticed something familiar:

.NOTES
Author                      : Wouter Kursten
Author email                : [email protected]
Version                     : 1.0

===Tested Against Environment====
Horizon View Server Version : 7.4
PowerCLI Version            : PowerCLI 10
PowerShell Version          : 5.0

So that’s why I knew it was possible! A good reason to create a quick blogpost though. Mark made a nice script for himself with variables and all those fancy things but I just want to quickly show how you can do it.

$hvedbpw=read-host -AsSecureString
$temppw=[System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($hvedbpw)
$PlainevdbPassword=[System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto($temppw)
$dbupassword=New-Object VMware.Hv.SecureString
$enc=[system.Text.Encoding]::UTF8
$dbupassword.Utf8String=$enc.GetBytes($PlainevdbPassword)
$eventservice=new-object vmware.hv.eventdatabaseservice
$eventservicehelper=$eventservice.getEventDatabaseInfoHelper()
$eventsettings=new-object VMware.Hv.EventDatabaseEventSettings
$eventdatabase=new-object VMware.Hv.EventDatabaseSettings
$eventsettings.ShowEventsForTime="TWO_WEEKS"
$eventsettings.ClassifyEventsAsNewForDays=2
$eventdatabase.Server="labsql01.magneet.lab"
$eventdatabase.type="SQLSERVER"
$eventdatabase.port=1433
$eventdatabase.name="pod1_events"
$eventdatabase.username="sa_view"
$eventdatabase.password=$dbupassword
$eventservicehelper.setDatabase($eventdatabase)
$eventservicehelper.setsettings($eventsettings)
$eventservice.update($hvservice,$eventservicehelper)

The first three line make it possible to not use a plaintext password. If you don’t care about that you can remove those and declare something for $plainevdbpassword.

For the $eventsettings.ShowEventsForTime for time there are several options (same as in the gui) these are:

ONE_WEEK,TWO_WEEKS,THREE_WEEKS,ONE_MONTH,TWO_MONTHS,THREE_MONTHS,SIX_MONTHS
Yes, they are all in capitals!

To show how this works I will first clear the current database.

$hvservice.EventDatabase.EventDatabase_Clear()
$hvservice.EventDatabase.EventDatabase_Get()

Yes this is one of those exceptions where a service_get doesn’t need an id.

Now I run the script with a new _get to show the results.

If you are interested in the details:

[HorizonAPI] Working with UAG’s

Something that was added in the last few versions of the Horizon API is the option to handle UAG’s. Since I had to add an uag to my lab for another project I decided to find out what api calls are possible. First I’ll check what services there are.

$hvservice | Select-Object gateway*

I will ignore the GatewayAccessUserOrGroup since that was already in there so we are left with Gateway and GatewayHealth. Let’s see what methods are available under Gateway.

$hvservice.Gateway | gm

I Gateway_Get and Gateway_List will show the same information as always but with _Get you will need a gateway ID and it only shows the information about one gateway. WIth _List you will get the information about all registered gateways.

$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_List()
$gw=$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_List() | select-object -First 1
$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_Get($gw.id)

Let’s see what’s in that GeneralData (Spoiler: not a lot!)

$gwdata=$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_Get($gw.id)
$gwdata.GeneralData

To remove a gateway we use Gateway_Unregister with the gatewayid

$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_Unregister($gw.id)

Now i need to register the Gateway again let’s see what we need for that.

$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_Register

So we need an object of the type VMware.Hv.GatewaySpec. Let’s define that and see what it looks like.

$gwspec=New-Object VMware.Hv.GatewaySpec
$gwspec

So we only need the GatewayName, please use the exact name that was used to configure the UAG otherwise it can be added but it won’t be showing any data.

$gwspec.GatewayName="pod1uag1"

Now to register the UAG

$hvservice.Gateway.Gateway_Register($gwspec)

So with this we did everything we could with the Gateway service. Next is the GatewayHealth service.

$hvservice.GatewayHealth | Get-Member

as usual there’s only a get and a list so let’s see what data is in there.

$hvservice.GatewayHealth.GatewayHealth_List()
($hvservice.GatewayHealth.GatewayHealth_List()).ConnectionData

Sadly nothing more than the admin interface gives us but enough to build an health check like I did for the vCheck already (that can be found here)

For the type there are several options and those can be found in the API Explorer.

VALUE DESCRIPTION
“AP” AP type is for UAG.
“F5” F5 type is for F5 server.
“SG” SG type is for Security Server.
“SG-cohosted” SG-cohosted type is for Cohosted CS as gateway.
“Unknown” Unknown type is for unrecognized gateway type.

I was told by a VMware employee that SG-cohosted is fancy wording for a connection server.

And that’s everything we can do with UAG’s using the Horizon API’s!