The VMware Labs flings monthly for August 2018

With VMworld US 2018 under the belt it’s time for my monthly update about the VMware flings. There have been two new releases and four flings have received an update.

New

Horizon DaaS Migration Tool

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper

Updated

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB

DRS Entitlement Viewer

Horizon DaaS Migration Tool

Horizon DaaS Migration Tool helps migrating from earlier versions of Horizon DaaS (6.1.5, 6.1.6, 7.0.0) to the latest supported version (8.0.0). The tool can be used to move persistent desktop mappings from existing tenants to a newly provisioned tenant on 8.0.0.

The migration is not an in-place migration and does require a parallel setup of VMware Horizon DaaS 8.0.0 to be available. The tool is a command line tool that must be run from a separate Ubuntu virtual machine.

Benefits of migrating to the latest Horizon DaaS version

  • VMware Horizon DaaS 6.1.5, 6.1.6 will run out of active support
  • Partners moving to VMware Horizon DaaS 8.0.0 will be able to upgrade to upcoming versions
  • VMware Horizon DaaS 8.0.0 offers a considerable upgrade in features, functionality, and security

This tool supports the following scenarios

  • Migration of persistent tenant desktops and pools from VMware Horizon DaaS 6.1.x to VMware Horizon DaaS 8.0.0
  • Migration of persistent tenant desktops and pools from VMware Horizon DaaS 7.0.0 to VMware Horizon DaaS 8.0.0

This tool does not yet support the following scenarios

  • Floating Desktops will not be migrated and need to be created separately by moving and updating the existing golden images and recreating the desktop pools in the new tenant
  • Migration of RDSH session hosts and Applications are not supported and should be handled in the same way as Floating Desktop pools by moving and updating the existing golden images, then recreating the pools
  • Multi Data Center functionality has been dropped temporarily in Horizon DaaS 8.0.0 and is not supported
  • Multi Desktop Managers per tenant are not supported

The above scenarios are being worked on and will be supported in a upcoming version of Horizon DaaS Migration Tool.

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper

This fling helps in sending Rest notifications for alerts

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper helps vRealize Operations Manager users improve and customize the REST notifications of alerts. It collects the most useful information about an alert before sending it to third parties. The payload of the alert can be modified with user configurations which include changing the names of the fields in a payload, removing unnecessary fields, or adding new ones.

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

The Horizon Helpdesk Utility was a new addition last month and I think it’s still the helpdesk utility that the tool that comes with Horizon should have been.

Changelog

Version 1.2.1

  • Added better logging for troubleshooting
  • Added support for newer Helpdesk features:
    • Client version
    • Idle time etc.
  • Bug fixes for licensing checks in 7.2 version of horizon
  • Fixed a timing issue in the graphs causing a closing issue
  • Increased pod searching by 30 seconds to 2 seconds
  • fixed indentation issues in config files

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

With Code Capture the vSphere HTML 5 Web Client received a huge new function. You can find more about this addition over here.

Changelog

Fling 3.41 – Build 9687895

New Features

  • Code capture: record interaction performed in the current session against the vCenter API, and generate an equivalent script.
    • To start recording, click “Start recording” on the “Code Capture” page, or the record button in the header.
    • Subsequent operations done in this session will be recorded. To stop recording, click the Stop button, and the recorded operations will be generated as a script. PowerCLI is the only supported language for the moment.
    • To disable code capture for all users, append the line “codecapture.disabled=true” to /etc/vmware/vsphere-client/vsphere-client/webclient.properties on the fling appliance and restart the vSphere Client server from FAMI UI

Known Issues

  • If you have registered the fling appliance to a vCenter which is in an enhanced linked mode configuration with an external PSC and is on version 6.5, there is a known issue around the slow performance of dialogs via action menu. Refer this bug for the workaround – #268. We are working on fixing this.

DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB

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. (yes this is a shameless copy/paste)

Changelog

Update August 2018

  • Updated 6.5 STIG VIB to resolve issue with it not being applicable to 6.7 in VUM.
  • Also updated package to replace 6.0 version and root disabled or root enabled for the same version if you are switching between them.

DRS Entitlement Viewer

The DRS Entitlement Viewer is a plugin for the HTML5 vSphere Client that gives more insight in DRS in your environment.

Changelog

Version 1.1.0

  • Fixed bugs reported in v1.0.2
  • Added support to provide feedback

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for July 2018

It’s been a busy month in the world of flings all of the flings except for one on the first page are new or updated ones. This means there are five(!) new ones and six(!) have received an update. The new ones are: Policy BuilderSDDC Certificate ToolvAssist.ai NLP PlatformWorkspace ONE UEM Samsung E-FOTA Tool and the Horizon Helpdesk Utility that I wrote yesterday about. The ones that received an update are: Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility,  Blockchain on KubernetesHCIBenchESXi Embedded Host ClientvSphere HTML5 Web Client and last but not least the VMware OS Optimization Tool.

The new releases

Policy Builder

The policy builder is an hosted fling that helps the user to create custom MDM policies for Workspace UEM (former Airwatch)

Official summary:

This cloud hosted Fling helps users with custom Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy generation that use MDM capabilities available through Microsoft’s Windows 10 MDM Configuration Service Providers (CSPs).

Note: On login with My VMmware credentials, the tool provides an easy to use form based UI that allows the Windows 10 admin to simply enter the required values for the policies and auto generates corresponding syncML that can be copied to publish through Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management.

This tool greatly reduces the effort of hand rolling syncML and the possibility of code and formatting errors when creating or managing custom settings profiles through Workspace ONE UEM.

SDDC Certificate Tool

The SDDC Certificate Tool is an automated process that replaces all certificates in a SDDC for you. This normally can be a lengthy process but should be a breeze with this fling.

Official summary:

Replacing SSL certificates across VMware products is a manual and time-consuming process. The SDDC Certificate Tool automates this workflow and makes it easy to keep certificates across your SDDC up to date. It will replace all certificates in the supported products and reestablish trust between the components.

Supported Products

  • VMware Platform Services Controller (PSC)
  • VMware vCenter Server (VC)
  • VMware NSX for vSphere (NSX)
  • vRealize Log Insight (vRLI)
  • vRealize Operations Manager (vROps)
  • vRealize Automation (vRA)
  • vRealize Business for Cloud (vRB)
    More about this Fling: New SDDC Certificate Replacement Fling by William Lam

vAssist.ai NLP Platform

Not my cup of tea but this fling is supposed to be an example where you can talk against vRealize Automation.

Official summary:

vAssist.ai, a Natural Language Processing (NLP) platform, enables bot developers to train machine learning models for intent classification and entity extraction. This platform is available as a SaaS model which exposes easy-to-use REST APIs to train and parse natural language inputs. It also provides a multi-tenant user interface dashboard which can be used to annotate and visualize training data expressions and train machine learning models in the cloud.

VMware customers who are serious about building conversational interfaces can benefit from this platform. With this Fling we trained a sample model for vRealize Automation. Users can chat with the test bot to query available catalog services and initiate a provisioning request in a natural, conversational way. Please note that we are using a sample internal environment for vRealize Automation.

Features

  • NLU Engine for Intent and entity extraction
  • Customizable NLU pipeline
  • Rule based and ML based Conversation Engine
  • Privacy of the data
  • Scalable and Fault Tolerant
  • REST APIs exposed for integration with multiple channels and platforms

Workspace ONE UEM Samsung E-FOTA Tool

The Workspace ONE UEM Samsung E-FOTA Tool is a fling for Workspace One UEM to add some extra functionality for Samsung devices.

Official summary:

The Workspace ONE UEM Samsung E-FOTA Tool is designed to add to the existing abilities of AirWatch’s Samsung E-FOTA implementation. These new abilities include scheduling a firmware/OS update in a targeted window. This feature is dependent on the existing abilities within AirWatch which enroll the MDM into Samsung E-FOTA and push profiles to enroll the device into Samsung E-FOTA. Users should use this tool along with the information gathered from the Workspace ONE UEM console. The information can then be used to make an API command to schedule the firmware/OS update to your Samsung devices.

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

Like I said yesterday the Horizon Helpdesk Utility is how the original Horizon View Helpdesk Tool should have been. Please read yesterdays;s post for more information and screenshots.

The Horizon Helpdesk Utility is designed to be a tool used by real help desk agents. The Horizon Helpdesk Utility takes all of the functionality of the current HTML5 based Helpdesk in VMware Horizon and adds true desktop integration features, including:

  • Greater speed in queries
  • Reduced steps to find a session
  • Multiple monitoring windows
  • Keystrokes for fast access
  • Native remote control functionality
  • Real-time updates
  • Built-in session experience score based on session performance and variables

Updated flings

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Changelog

July 30, 2018, b1100

  • Issue fix: With group selection operation, unselected optimization items are applied.
  • Issue fix: can not export analysis report

July 20, 2018, b1099

  • Template update: Windows 10 & Windows Server 2016
  • Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage
  • Registry changes:

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

Changelog

Version 2.2, July 16, 2018

  • Support for vSphere Resource Pool and VM folder for placement under advanced options
  • Support for VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) by specifying resource pool and folder options

Blockchain on Kubernetes

Changelog

July 16 2018, BoK 2.1

  • Support deployment of Hyperledger Fabric 1.1.0.
  • Allow users to customize the Fabric organizations and peers in bok.yaml.
  • Add ingress controller for serving traffic to Fabric peers nodes and explorer node.
  • Make improvement on stability and usability.
  • Verified against Kubernetes 1.10.3 and Pivotal Container Service (PKS) 1.1.0.
  • Updated the PCF Fabric Tile which supports creating Kubernetes cluster via PKS Tile and deploy Hyperledger Fabric in the Kubernetes cluster.

HCIBench

Changelog

Version 1.6.7.1

  • Fixed vSAN Performance Diagnostic API call
  • Fixed network validation message not clear issue
  • Fixed setting re-use VMs as default bug in 1.6.7

Version 1.6.7

  • Enabled https instead of http
  • Added storage policy field, user can specify storage policy for the data disks. For this version, storage policy can’t be assigned to existing client VMs
  • Enhanced deployment methodology
  • Enhanced vSAN Observer to avoid blow up the memory
  • Enhanced vSAN Performance Diagnostic API call with HCIBench workload configuration included
  • Added timestamp to the testing status
  • Bug fixes

ESXi Embedded Host Client

Changelog

Version 1.31.0 build 9277095 (Fling 21) – July 20, 2018

  • General
    • Resolve several issues related to dropdown selection
    • Update NTP UX
    • Update AngularJS to 1.6.10
    • Other minor bug fixes

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Changelog

Fling 3.40 – Build 9292689
New Features

  • Host profiles
    • Check compliance
    • Pre-check and remediate host (known issue exists – see known issues)
    • Extract, edit host profile
    • Host profile favorites management (vCenter 6.5)
    • Copy settings between profiles (vCenter 6.5)

New EUC fling released: Horizon Helpdesk Utility

Ok, normally I do a post each month with the latest and greatest flings and I will still do that tomorrow. Today though Andrew Morgan from VMware OCTO has released a fantastic new fling: Horizon Helpdesk Utility! But we already have the Helpdesk tool you might say? Well this fling is everything the helpdesk tool should have been. While it isn’t bad this one is way better.

First of all this fling is an app that you need to install on your own computer or a management server. It will keep its settings in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\HorizonHelpDeskAgent\ .net Framework 4.5.2 is required but most will already have that or a higher version installed. Installation itself is a quick next next finish with the warning that the signer of the application is not trusted, I have been told that this might be fixed in the next release. After installation you will find a new application in your start menu. I have already attached it to my start menu as well.

After starting you will get a box where you will need to fill in the server address including the http part and your credentials (the same role is required as the regular helpdesk tool)

If you don’t have a trusted certificate you will get a box to accept that certificate.

After that I was looking for something to popup but I just had a small icon added down right

Right click on this and you’ll see a small search box. This search is more easily reachable by using ctrl+F12

Put in a name and you’ll get a box that contains all matching names

Double click the correct account or session and the real deal will open up for you.

The diagrams hardly need any explanation, please also notice the user experience rating on the top right. The image in my lab doesn’t have anything installed so I can’t really show a lot but here are the views from the other tabs as well:

All entitlements for the user

This is pulled directly from the event database

Some more fancy diagrams about the blast protocol

The last tab shows all processes on the desktop, this can easily be filtered on any of the info shown

A possible improvement here would be some kind of checkbox to show only the users own processes because otherwise things can get confusing at RDS hosts. I’ve already talked with Andrew about that (actually the checkbox was his idea).

On the top left there’s a couple of pull down menus to allow for some actions on the session or the machine itself.

The remote control functionality starts windows’ own mrsa tool.

Despite running it against my own very small lab the tool seems to perform very well. I consider it for the few moments that I have used it as a very decent replacement for the original helpdesk tool.

 

 

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!