The VMware Labs flings monthly for June 2018

It’s less than two months before VMworld US is on us, are you looking forward to it? I know I am! In June there have been six updates to VMware flings:

ESXi Compatibility Checker

This was a new fling last month and now the ESXi Compatibility checker has been expanded with several functions like offline and multiple vCenter support. With this tool it is possible to check if your ESXi hosts will work with the latest and greatest that VMware has to offer.

Changelog

Build 8951845

Offline case support

  • The current script requires to be executed with access to both public internet and target hosts. The new version can separately validate compatibility from collecting hardware information. Hence, user can collect hardware information on a system without public internet access and save the information in a json file. And he can validate compatibility of collected hardware from a saved json file on a system with public internet access.

Example

  • The ‘-g’ option will collect hardware information and generate a json file. (no need to have internet access)

  • The ‘-f’ option will validate compatibility from a json file (no need to access target hosts)

Multiple virtual centers support

  • The host parameter with the ‘-s’ option now accepts comma separated multiple hostnames. This feature will be useful to create a single compatibility report for multiple VCs

example

More information in the compatibility report

  • “Installed Release”, “Checked Release”, and hardware information have been added in the report.

The “-p” option to set a proxy server

  • The https proxy server can be specified with the “-p” option

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility provides a GUI to migrate vm’s between vCenters.

Changelog

Version 2.1, June 21, 2018

  • Increased simultaneous migration limit to 100 from 10
  • Added check to ignore unknown fields for inventory info
  • Fixed source/target site names in task status view
  • Updated status API to include version number

 

DRS Lens

As VMware vSphere DRS has become more widely adopted now, more and more users are interested in knowing how it works. They need more insights into DRS activity and actions. They want to know the value that DRS provides to their clusters. DRS Lens is an attempt to provide a UI-based solution to help understand DRS better. (yes this is a lame copy/paste, it’s too hot to come up with original stuf)

Changelog

Version 1.3

  • Upgraded apache tomcat to version 8.5.31 for security compliance.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

What would this monthly overview be without the vSphere HTML5 Web client?

Changelog

Fling 3.39 – Build 8835608

New Features

  • All the features of Auto Deploy (when compared with the vSphere Web Client)
    • Software Depots
    • Deploy Rules
    • Deployed Hosts
    • Discovered Hosts
    • Configure (Auto-Deploy configuration)
  • Script Bundles support for Auto-Deploy (Available only in the vSphere Client)
    • Script Bundles view where all bundles are listed
    • Ability to Upload a script bundle
    • Ability to Add/Edit deploy rules with script bundles
  • New virtual switches view on a host which includes topology diagrams for standard and host proxy switches

Improvements

  • vApp properties create, edit, delete and set value functionality
  • VM vApp option properties create, edit, delete and set value functionality
  • vCenter Extensions
  • VM SDRS create, edit and delete

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Being an EUC guy this is simply my favorite fling, nothing new this time, it’s just a bug fix release.

Changelog

June 14, 2018

  • Issue fix: Crash in non-English locale (e.g. French)

Horizon Migration Tool

The Horizon Migration Tool helps you to migrate from Xendesktop/App to Horizon View. This is mainly a maintenance version for a tool they missed in the last release.

Changelog

Version 3.0.1

  • Fixed issue: add missed XenAppDumper.exe for XenApp 5.0

 

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.

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

 

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for March 2018

So how was your april fools this year? I bet a lot of children have been looking for eggs that where never hidden. Luckily I got away with only a couple of good jokes by my kids. On the VMware flings front there are no new flings but seven have received one or more updates or more exact six have received an update and one has received a couple. The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility received it’s first update and for the App Volumes Utility it was several months ago. Besides those the Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI, HCIBenchVMware OS Optimization ToolvSphere HTML5 Web Client and ESXi Embedded Host Client also received updates.

App Volumes Backup Utility

The App Volumes Backup Utility is one of the few ways to backup those writable volumes. Friends don’t let friends use them but if you do please make sure you have backups.

Version 2.1

  • Added missing pre and post backup prep files

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

This is the graphical tool to move vm’s between vCenter servers. If you prefer a command line way please use the tool below.

Version 1.1.0, March 30, 2018

  • Added a detailed task info view for migration tasks
  • Fixed an issue with site name containing “DOT” characters
  • Display VM resource (CPU, Mem, Disk) info
  • Add a button to clear selected inventory data

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

This is the CLI way to move those vm’s between linked or not linked vCenter servers. If you prefer something visual then please use the tool above.

Version 1.6

  • Added support for bulk-relocate / bulk-clone which helps the user to migrate / clone multiple VMs specifying various destination locations in a single command.
  • Added support to choose destination resource pool

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Some use scripts, some use other tools but for me the OSOT is the preferred method to optimize my golden images.

March 30, 2018

  • [Template] Issue fix – DELETEVALUE actions do not do anything
  • [Template] Issue fix – DISM commands missing /NoRestart switch
  • [Tool] Issue fix – Switching to another tab loses all unsaved changes
  • [Tool] Enhancement – Simplify user interaction in Template Editor. Now editing template no longer requires repeated Update button click. Mac style editing is applied (Automatically save changes along with edit)

HCIBench

What is there to say about the HCIBench benchmarking tool for Hyperconverged Infrasturctures

Version 1.6.6.

  • Spectre & Meldown patch on both HCIBench VM and Client VM
  • Added client VM prefix field, allow running multiple HCIBench instances against single cluster
  • Attach testing log along with testing results
  • Enabled live vSAN Observer when running testing, using https://HCIBench_IP:8010
  • Updated the drop read/write cache script
  • Added more message info during the testing
  • Bug fixes

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

A couple of updates for the vSphere html5 client, more and more features are being added so it will end on par with the flash client.

Fling 3.36 – Build 8111348

New Features

  • Customize additional hardware devices/options during VM creation or cloning:
    • Host USB device
    • SCSI controller
    • USB controller
    • SATA controller
    • CPU > CPUID Mask > Advanced
    • VM Options > VMRC options
    • VM Options > VMware Tools > Power Operations
    • VM Options > Power Management > Wake up on LAN
    • VM Options > Advanced Configuration Parameters
    • VM Options > Fibre Channel NPIV
  • Warn when about to perform an operation on VM template(s) managed by a solution

Bug Fixes

  • SSO authentication error during accessing the vSphere Client from the fling appliance is resolved
Fling 3.35 – Build 7914771

Improvements

  • UI improvements on Quick search including
    • Search dropdown design is changed to show the top 10 results
    • View all results page design is modified to show grouping in the object navigator and the results in the right pane
  • UI improvements in grouping of hard disks in Edit Settings and VM Summary. If there are more than 4 harddisks for a VM, you will see them grouped in Edit settings. This enhancements will improve the performance of the VM Edit Settings.

ESXi Embedded Host Client

This should eb installed on your ESXi hosts by default by now but ESXi embedded host client is  getting updates trough this channel.

Version 1.29.0 build 8122819 (Fling 20) – March 28, 2018
  • General
    • Reset selection on vm deletion
    • Fix issue with datastore wizard on very large datastores
    • Update available rdm disk list in vm wizard
    • Correct miscalculation of datastore total in wizard
    • Better support for NSX networks
    • Fix clicking issues on full-screen and new tab console screen
    • Prevent password maangers from autofilling optional field on login page.
    • Minor bug fixes and cosmetic changes

The VMware Labs flings monthly for February 2018

It’s already March 1st and that gives me just a bit over 2,5 weeks to prepare for my session at the Dutch VMUG Usercon, the biggest in the world! ALso it has a Hackathon this year the day before + lots of VMware R&D sessions to choose from and last but not least a VCDX workshop. But back to flings, there have been three updated an no new flings this month. First there is almost as always the vSphere HTML5 Web Client. Further both DRS Lens and the Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI flings have received updates. Also a special mention for a fling that has gone GA: PowerCLI Core is now embedded in PowerCLI 10.0.0 that was released yesterday!!

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

Need to move workloads between vCenter’s that are linked or not linked? This fling will help you doing that from the commandline.

Changelog

Version 1.5

  • Added support to choose destination vm folder / destination storage pod (storage drs)

DRS Lens

The DRS Lens fling has been created to give it’s user insight in why DRS migrations take place. It provides information on vMotions, Cluster Balance and more.

Changelog

Version 1.2

  • Added support for archiving monitored data
  • Added vCenter level summary page, to get summary of clusters and archives
  • Fixed Bugs reported in v1.1
  • UI enhancements

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Yes this fling also needs an introduction but what else can I say that this is the latest and greatest in managing your vCenter?

Changelog

Fling 3.34 – Build 7758187

New Features

  • Distributed switch topology diagram
  • Batch creation of VMkernel network adapters on a distributed port group
  • Assign License action on the License Assets tabs
  • Notification message for expiring VC licenses
  • Edit vApp settings
  • Enable and edit vApp options on a VM
  • Move networks and distributed switches to network folders

The VMware Labs flings monthly for January 2018

It’s that time of the month again with the update flings from VMware labs. In January seven flings received an updated while no new flings have been released, it can’t have a launch party every month can we? Six familiar names with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client, Desktop Watermark, Horizon Toolbox, HCIBench, Blockchain on vSphere and the OS Optimization tool plus the lesser updated (last update august 2016) DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB.

DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB

This one is for the people who have to implement a very high security on their vSphere environment. Please read the changelog, no STIG has been released yet for vSphere 6.5! Since it’s a lesser updated one I will give you the complete description from the fling site:

The DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide (‘STIG’) ESXi VIB is a Fling that provides a custom VMware-signed ESXi vSphere Installation Bundle (‘VIB’) to assist in remediating Defense Information Systems Agency STIG controls for ESXi. This VIB has been developed to help customers rapidly implement the more challenging aspects of the vSphere STIG. These include the fact that installation is time consuming and must be done manually on the ESXi hosts. In certain cases, it may require complex scripting, or even development of an in-house VIB that would not be officially digitally signed by VMware (and therefore would not be deployed as a normal patch would). The need for a VMware-signed VIB is due to the system level files that are to be replaced. These files cannot be modified at a community supported acceptance level. The use of the VMware-signed STIG VIB provides customers the following benefits:

  • The ability to use vSphere Update Manager (‘VUM’) to quickly deploy the VIB to ESXi hosts (you cannot do this with a customer created VIB)
  • The ability to use VUM to quickly check if all ESXi hosts have the STIG VIB installed and therefore are also in compliance
  • No need to manually replace and copy files directly on each ESXi host in your environment
  • No need to create complex shell scripts that run each time ESXi boots to re-apply settings

Changelog

Update January 2018

Added 6.5 STIG VIB to the downloads section. **Please note this is not based on a DISA STIG as a 6.5 STIG has not been released**

VMware OS Optimization Tool

No need to say a lot about this fling. If you need to optimize a windows system this has been the goto tool for years.

Changelog

January 4, 2018

  • Issue fix: Can not access public templates

Blockchain on vSphere

Want to build & test blockchain applications? This might be a handy tool in your toolbox for that.

Changelog

Jan 15 2018, BoV 1.1

  • Designed to run on PKS(Pivotal Container Services), and validated in PKS Beta
  • Integrate Blockchain Explorer into BoV which makes it easier to view/monitor peers, transactions, etc
  • Enhance BoV to support saving blocks and channel data to persistent volume
  • Optimize the installation process
  • Provide a default channel for blockchain applications
  • Update Fabric to 1.0.5

HCIBench

Specially build to benchmark VSAN clusters but can be used to test any HCI.

Changelog

Version 1.6.5.2

  • Added case comparisons by generating an XLS file for each test folder
  • Fixed bug when there’s white space in datastore name or test name

Horizon Toolbox

Missing anything in the (crappy) Horizon? There is a chance that it might be in this tool!

Changelog

2018 Jan 18

  • Horizon 7.4 support
  • Some bug fixes

Desktop Watermark

Do you want to be sure one of your desktops is used for auditing. With this tool you can set an (in)visible watermark.

Changelog

Build 1127

  • This build is signed now.

Addition

  • Password protection for the configuration & uninstallation
    • was supposed to be added in the previous release as well so might be a copy/paste error

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Do I really need to add a description to this one? There is a html5 client build into vSphere these days but this version is updated very often and is becoming more and more on par with the (yuck) flash client.

Changelog

Fling 3.33 – Build 7616394

New Features

  • Support for PCI and Shared PCI devices for a VM
  • Create vApp wizard
  • Clone vApp wizard
  • vApp move to Host & Cluster
  • Duplicate a VM customization specification to another VC and with custom name/description
  • Synchronize Licenses action (former Import License Keys Data)
  • Assets’ details
  • Ability to edit VM Advanced configurations in Edit Settings of the VM
  • Change the shortcuts for Power Operations in VMware tools section in the Edit Settings of the VM
  • Change the maximum concurrent VMRC sessions for a VM in the Edit Settings

Bug Fixes

  • Can add an existing hard disk in Edit Settings for VM residing on datastore cluster

Known Issues

  • Creation of child vApp wizard is not working – the workaround is to create a child vApp as separate vApp and use move to operation to move it under the parent one.

Fling 3.32 – Build 7496117

New Features

  • vApp power operations
  • vApp move to operation to folder operation
  • vApp rename operation
  • vApp delete operation
  • vApp export to OVF template

Improvements

  • vApp related VMs tab, datastore tab and networking
  • Add Permission action on VM templates

Goodbye 2017, hello 2018        

While I already finished my first blogpost of the year I decided it was time for me to write another one. The kind that I usually avoid like a plague to write: a post looking back at 2017 and forward to 2018. For me these kinds of posts are on the same level as stupid lists: I frigging always hated creating and evaded them! Essentially though my monthly flings posts are lists so why wouldn’t I write a the looking back & forward posts as well?

2017

Presenting

This mentality is exactly something what I started doing in 2016 and certainly continued in 2017: challenging myself to new things. The presenting bit I had already introduced myself to in 2016 but last year I also did my first presentation at a VMUG not in my own country but I travelled to Germany for their UserCon to present three of my favorite VMware flings. After the short vBrownbag at VMworld US in 2016 this was only my second time presenting in English. It also was my first time to exactly hit the spot timewise in the 30-minute timeslot I had.  Luckily the base for the presentation was good since I had done it at the Dutch VMUG UserCon (sorry it’s in Dutch) a couple of months earlier together with my good friend Hans Kraaijeveld. I had ten extra minutes though so instead of showing the slide deck I decided to show the tools instead of boring screenshots. Next time I just need to improve on some things and make a script on beforehand (thank you Johan for the Feedback) on what to do, but since I decided to change this the evening before in my hotel room preparation was suboptimal.

Besides the vmug’s I also managed to find me a spot on the vBrownbag schedule for VMworld Europe. I can’t really say that my presentation was a success, I was tired and just didn’t get into the proper flow for it. I did pick up some extra essential experience doing it though. Beside my own presentation I also had lots of fun on the vExpert daily broadcast.

Community

In 2017, I have started being more active on Reddit & VMTN. Specially reddit can be a flamewar every now and then but there are very decent topics and replies as well. On vmtn it’s really hit and miss about quality, some are decent posts but lots also prove that the ts (topicstarter) totally didn’t do their homework or have had any experience with the product they are trying to use.

The most fun community wise I had at the VMware Code Hackathon at VMworld EU. While our project didn’t go smoothly we had lots of fun and everyone learned at least a couple of things. Next time I will just make sure we have our own infrastructure available to us. And those hippie shirts simply rule.

VMworld itself was an awesome community event for me as well. While I still visited some sessions the hanging around with other vExperts and bloggers made it again an awesome event for me. At the beginning of November, I also visited the Nutanix .Next event and while there where less people over there that I knew I made some friends right away (or not Dugi?) and kept having fun with those selfies after I got some comments on looking grumpy at the first one. It was also good to finally meet some of the other NTC’s.

Events

2017 was a year with lots of awesome events for me. I visited not only the Dutch and German VMUG but also managed to squeeze the Belgium VMUG in my schedule was well. Then again VMworld EU and Nutanix .Next and in December I also visited the inaugural Dutch vEUC Techcon that had lots of great content.

Learning

In the learning zone, I managed more then I planned for in the beginning of 2017. I had agreed with my manager that it would be a quiet year for me an oh boy I did not keep myself to that agreement. First, there was the Certification ME work I did and got the certifications for: vcp-dcv 6.5, vcap7-dtm design and the vca-dbt exam. Ok this is not learning and doing the exam but by creating and checking the questions one can learn just as much in my opinion.

I did two actual exams in 2017: vcp7-dtm and vcap6-dtm deploy. The first one I passed and the 2nd one I sadly failed on, since it was my first vcap deploy I didn’t expect anything else and overall it was a good experience in preparing for the next one. Something certainly needed is an HD monitor and proper amounts of coffee in advance because the you need to stay sharp and time will be an issue.

As side projects in the learning department I also was active as content checker for three Packt videos and one book:

  • Videos
    • Learning VMware App Volumes
    • Designing and Deploying VMware Horizon View 7 and
    • Managing a Horizon 7 environment
  • Book
    • Mastering vSphere 6.5

Again, I learned a lot by working at these projects but they are very time intensive so I don’t know how eager I would be for coming projects.

 

2018

So, what am I expecting for 2018 personally? Hopefully I will be allowed again to speak at the Dutch VMUG Usercon, I proposed one personal session in the CfP and one session together with Hans Kraaijeveld. Also, I would love to extend my personal session and build it out to a VMworld quality and be able to deliver it there as well. Besides VMworld I would like to visit the BE vmug and Nutanix .Next also again this year.

In the community, I want to keep at least as active since my Nutanix NTC is already extended to 2018 and hopefully I will also receive vExpert again in 2018. The vExpert & NutanixNTC slack channels simply rock. Both have awesome vibes with lots of people always eager to help you with any questions you ask.

I only have one real learning goal so far for 2018 and that is to pass the vcap7-dtm deploy exam. Sadly, it hasn’t been released yet but that doesn’t say I can’t prepare for it either. My ultimate goal would be to become vcdx but that’s something I will only start working on this year, don’t expect me to submit soon. As something for fun, I might try my hands on the nsx certifications even though I am not a networking person or maybe something from Amazon since a lot of VMware admins seem to be heading that way as well.

 

For the rest, I have only this to add: Happy New Year and have an awesome 2018!

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for December 2017

Another month, another year, welcome to 2018 where I will continue this monthly series about updated and new VMware labs flings. This month there where two new fling: The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility and Simple Natural Language Processing for iOS plus three updated flings: VMware OS Optimization Tool, vSphere HTML5 Web Client, and last but not least the App Volumes Backup Utility. Some familiar faces and some not so familiar let’s see what changed:

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

The first Fling is the brand new Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility, previously one had to go command line to move VMs across vCenter servers but now the less CLI inclined people (or lazy people like me sometimes) can do it via a gui. This can be done within the same SSO domain but also across SSO domains. WIlliam Lam also wrote a good post about it.

Key Features

  • Completely UI-driven workflow for VM migration
  • Provides REST API for managing migration operations
  • Works with vCenter not a part of the same SSO domain
  • Support for batch migration of multiple VMs in parallel
  • Supports both live as well as cold migration of VMs
  • Performs storage vMotion, not requiring shared storage
  • Flexible network mappings between source and destination sites

Simple Natural Language Processing for iOS

To be honest: i have no clue what Simple Natural Language Processing for iOS is for, looks like something to use in your code to talk to the voice processing in iOS without cost and privacy concerns for using cloud based solutions.

Simple Natural Language Processing for iOS provides developers with a convenient framework for integrating Natural Language Processing (NLP) into their iOS Apps. When the developer provides a set of training phrases, Simple NLP will use Naïve Bayes Classification to predict the intent of an unfamiliar phrase and extract parameters such as a person’s name and dates.

While numerous cloud based solutions already exist to provide similar functionality, they may have associated cost and privacy concerns. With Simple NLP for iOS, your data won’t be sent to a server or cloud service for prediction. All NLP functionality is constrained to the device and processed natively.

We hope that you will find this Fling easy to use and beneficial to your project.

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Just a short update for the OSOT this month, more tools have been coming out that can do this but this one is stall my favorite OS Optimizer.

Changelog

December 14, 2017

  • Template update. Detailed change log for each template is in the online version of each template (accessed from Public Templates tab)

App Volumes Backup Utility

As far as I know this is still the only way to backup those Appstacks and writable volumes and using a fling for that might be a risk.

Changelog

Version 2.0

  • Updated to use only PowerCLI to connect to vCenter/vSphere. Previous versions used the vSphere SOAP API along with PowerCLI which locked the application to a specific version of PowerCLI. Versions 2.0 and later of this application will work with any version of PowerCLI (6.0 and later). This change improves the speed of enumerating vCenter items
  • Added additional checks for PowerCLI and PowerShell
  • Additional optimizations and minor bug fixes

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Like always the HTML5 Web Client received multiple updates, two to be exactly in december.

Changelog

Fling 3.31 – Build 7343373

New Features

  • Performance charts counter selection can be persisted. The counter selection are persisted per object type. The data is persisted in browser local storage.

Bug Fixes

  • Resume fault tolerance in manual DRS cluster will show DRS recommendations.
Fling 3.30 – Build 7271216

New Features

  • View License assets (Host/Cluster/Solutions)(Read-only)
  • License and Products features details
  • VC and Host License details (Configure > Licensing)
  • VDS health checks

Improvements

  • Warning dialog when the file download is blocked by the Browser’s Pop-up blocker

Bug Fixes

  • Issue where host advanced settings filter doesn’t work in edit is resolved.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for November 2017

A couple of days late this time but here is your monthly dose of Flings! No new ones but seven flings have been updated by VMware labs this month. The Horizon Toolbox, vSphere HTML5 Web Client and the ESXi Embedded host client make their almost monthly appearances while at least two other received updates in a long time: Cross vCenter Vm Mobility – CLI and the VMFork for pyVmomi. The HCIBench and Desktop Watermark also received an update.

 


ESXi Embedded Host Client

By now we should all be using the embedded host Client unless you are forced by greater powers to run on some ancient version of ESXi.

Version 1.24.0 build 7119706 (Fling 19) – November 13, 2017

Minor features and bugfixes
  • GeneralFix failure to deploy OVF/OVA image with disks attached to multiple disk controllers
  • Address race condition when adding new Network Adapter to virtual machine
  • Allow datastore browser to browse VVOL datastores
  • Address timeout issue in datastore browser when client receives unknown datatypes from host
  • Address issue disabling autostart for a VM
  • Allow downloading of flat VMDK files in datastore browser
  • Show the correct VMware Tools version string in VM summary
  • Show pager in VM editor when VM has many hard disks
  • Support OVF properties with pre-defined values, showing dropdowns
  • Allow modifications of root user’s permissions
  • Support for selecting dependent PCI devices when enabling passthrough
  • Other minor bug fixes


vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Like always the HTML5 Web Client received multiple updates in November so the changelog is rather long.

Fling 3.29 – Build 7157335

New Features

  • Configure traffic filtering and marking rules on distributed port groups
  • Export and import distributed switches and distributed port groups

Improvements

  • Configure the policies of distributed port groups inside the New Distributed Port Group wizard

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an error when trying to edit the settings of VMs with failed installation or update of the VM tools
Fling 3.28 – Build 7110681

New Features

  • Configure advanced CPU Identification Mask
  • Select PVRDMA adapter type for a VM network

Improvements

  • Thanks to the fling users who gave the steps to replace the certificates for FAMI UI running at port 5490, added these instructions to v4 of “Create a new certificate for a HTML5 client fling” document

Bug Fixes

  • Licensing views should be visible for 6.0 VC/PSCs
Fling 3.27 – Build 7055108

New Features

  • Popout the Datastore File browser
  • License Details
  • View License VC assets (Read-only)

Improvements

  • Set license name in the Add License workflow

Known Issues

  • License UI might not work against 6.0 VCs, in particular Windows VCs/PSCs.
  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.


VMFork for pyVmomi

This fling has been around for a while and if you ever wanted to fork your VM’s without having to study PowerCLi then this one is for you. It has a warning that it only supports vSphere 6.0 and 6.5 and no newer releases but hey there are none yet so please use it if you like.

Changelog

Version 1.0.3

  • Fixed a bug that prevented CreateChildSpec from being referenced in versions of 6.5 of pyVmomi
  • Updated the requirement to include pyVmomi 6.5 only, up from 6.0, due to a dependency issue

Version 1.0.2

  • Bug fixes & Improvements


Desktop Watermark

Want to make sure screenshots will show that it is your Image being used then the Desktop Watermark fling can be the tool of choice. It can be used for auditing or exhibition purposes or any other way you like. And yes that type in the changelog is a straight copy/paste from the site.

Changelog

Build 1027

Addition

  • Password protection for the configuration & uninstllation


Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

Ever needed to migrate or clones VM’s form one vCenter to the other while there they are not linked? then the Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI might be a good tool in your toolbox.

Changelog

Version 1.4

  • While migrating multiple vms with destination network option, only one vm used to get migrated.This issue has been fixed.


HCIBench

Need to benchmark a Hyperconverged Infrastructure? VDbench is one of the tools to use and VMware labs create the HCIBench to automate this tool. It received a couple of updates since my last post about it.

Changelog

Version 1.6.5.1

  • Enhanced IP segment selection
  • Set open file limit to 4096
  • Updated vm-tools to the latest version
  • Bug fixes

Version 1.6.5

  • Enhanced 95th percentile calculation.
  • Added Curve and Multi Run calculation.
  • Added SSH Service validation.
  • Replaced DHCP Service with Static IP Service.
  • Added IP conflict check.
  • Fixed bunch of bugs.
  • Change the default client VM RAM from 4GB to 8GB


Horizon Toolbox

Being an EUC guy myself this is one of my favorites. The Horizon Toolbox adds some very good tools for servicedesk and operations employees.

Changelog

2017 Nov 30

  • Add a new “Export” button to the clients table

 

Updated and new VMware Labs Flings for Oktober 2017

“Listen very carefully; I shall say this only once.”

Even after years this for me is one of the best quotes from any comedy series. Allo Allo always was so much fun to watch even though it looks pregistoric these days in video quality. For the people who don’t know Allo Allo please check out Michell from the resistance saying it herself over here. This months version of this post has two new flings and two updated ones. As almost always the vSphere HTML5 Web Client makes an appearance with the Horizon Toolbox as secondant, as you can see they have dropped the version number for the toolbox. New ones are the Blockchain on vSphere and the Desktop Watermark.

New Flings

Desktop Watermark

Desktop Watermark is a Windows native application that adds a watermark to a desktop for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) auditing or exhibition purposes. A watermark has the ability to be visible or invisible. Invisible watermarks, seen in the screenshot, can be revealed by a tool bundled in the Fling. The tool should be configured by an administrator and enforced on the end user’s desktop.

Changelog
Build 1019
Issue Fixes
  • Windows 10 – Installation failure on some machine with domain account
  • Issue fix – Windows 10 – During uninstallation the service is not automatically stopped

Blockchain on vSphere

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 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 BoV, blockchain developers can quickly set up an environment to build and test their blockchain applications.

Changelog

Not yet

Updated Flings

Horizon Toolbox

Good old Horizon toolbox as said dropped its version number but continues to give you some features that the regular View Admin doesn’t have. Auditing on client versions, snapshots, usage and others are the great additions this tool gives.

Changelog

2017 Oct 12

  • Auditing – Clients are enhanced
  • Horizon 7.3.1 is supported
  • Some bugs are fixed

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

What do I need to say about this one? Just update you’re existing version and enjoy this almost perfect vSphere client.

Changelog
Fling 3.26 – Build 6984758

New Features

  • License Products Details
  • Add New License action

Improvements

  • Enhanced the performance of the Datastore File Browser

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
Fling 3.25 – Build 6929189

New Features

  • Edit the properties and policies of distributed ports
  • Licenses list
  • License Products list (Read-only)
  • Rename and Remove License action
  • You can now deploy VM from a VM template by choosing New VM wizard > Deploy from template > Data center tab

Improvements

  • Rescan storage action is done in parallel when is executed on Cluster or Datacenter level
  • Replication groups can be managed through Edit VM Storage Policy action
  • Showing the number of pending upload sessions and size uploaded in Datastore File Browser

Bug Fixes

  • Template icon missing issue is resolved
  • After creating some Tags or accessing the Content Library and leaving the H5 client idle, the UI starts to spin and fails to display requested info. The following error starts to appear constantly: “The query execution timed out because of a back-end data adapter ‘com.vmware.vise.data.adapters.core.DataServiceCoreAdapter’”. This bug is fixed in this release and the time out error should no longer appear.

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
Fling 3.24 – Build 6862396

New Features

  • Ability to customize all network properties, incl. default gateways, when applying GOS customization spec to a VM (during cloning or customizing GOS on existing VM)
  • Add NVMe controller for an existing VM or for a new VM

Improvements

  • Enhanced Compatibility details view in VM provisioning wizards

Known Issues

  • Fling appliances pointed to vCenter 6.5 seems to have timeout issues. These issues are being investigated and are not related to fling itself. In some cases, restart the Fling Appliance could solve this problem
  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.