The VMware Labs flings monthly for December 2019

Happy new year and the very best wishes for 2020!

In december three new flings where published with SyncML Compare, vCenter Plugin for vRealize Network Insight and App Finder for Tunnel. Thee other received an update: Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool, Infrastructure Deployer for vCloud NFV and The VMware OS Optimization Tool.

New Releases

SyncML Compare

The SyncML Compare tool is usefull for troubleshooting profiles and applications that are pushed from the Workspace One Console.

SyncML-Compare is an extension to Fiddler application that lets you compare the syncmls pushed from server against the SyncMls received from the device management client on the device.

Comparing SyncMLs is often required to troubleshoot or debug profiles, applications pushed from the WS1 console.

Instead of copying the two syncmls and then manually comparing each syncml node in a separate xml viewer, SyncML compare lets you compare the SyncMLs on the fiddler application itself.
As shown in the below screenshot, you can see the locUris, commandIds and the results using SyncML compare.

This simplifies the SyncML troubleshooting experience as well as speeds up debugging process.

vCenter Plugin for vRealize Network Insight

vRealize Network Insight is a great tool but wouldn’t it even be better when the information is accessible from inside vSphere? The vCenter Plugin for vRealize Network Insight fling takes care of that.

The vCenter Plugin for vRealize Network Insight brings relevant information from Network Insight, directly into vCenter. It allows the virtual infrastructure admins to view networking focused data and statistics in the same interface as where they manage their workloads, without having to have 2 interfaces open. Additionally, this plugin also helps add vCenter as a data source to Network Insight and set up incoming network flows.

Features

Summary view of vCenter activity: VMs, vMotions, and snapshots.
Bring in network information directly to vCenter, such as:Summary view of how network traffic behaves; how much east-west and how much internet traffic there is.
Health check violation for the vCenter and attached NSX environments
Network top talkers, grouped by VMs, Cluster, L2 Network, Subnet, Security Group, Source-Destination Pair, Source & Destination Subnet, Source & Destination IPs.
Most used networks
New Virtual Machines that are accessing the internet
o Top 5 Hosts or Networks that are experiencing the most packet loss
Links to the vRealize Network Insight interface shows the source data and allows you to look closer, apply filters, export information, and more.
Configure vCenter as a data source and configure NetFlow on the available vSphere Distributed Switches.

App Finder for Tunnel

The App Finder for Tunnel fling can be used to flag applications to use the Workspace One Tunnel on MacOS.

This application is a utility which can be used for conveniently flagging the applications to use WorkspaceONE Tunnel on macOS. On macOS, WorkapceONE Tunnel supports per-app VPN feature where only the whitelisted applications can be Tunneled rather than tunneling the entire device traffic. In order to whitelist the application to use Tunnel, admin needs to enter the following details on the Workspace UEM Console under “VMware Tunnel” device traffic rule:

Friendly name
Package ID
Designated requirement
Path (this is used only for the pure non-bundle binaries like Curl and ssh)
This fling application supports the basic drag and drop interface which admin can launch and then drag and drop the application to be flagged to use per-app VPN (Firefox in the following case), once the applicatin is dropped, it’s attributes are listed and then admin can paste those in the UEM console as shown below:

Update Flings

Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool

The Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool takes care of migrating applications and devices between different Workspace One environments.

Changelog

Version 2.1.0

  • Fixed app upload issues for Workspace One UEM 1910+
  • Fixed profile search issue for Workspace One UEM 1910+
  • Added profile update support
  • Added template folder structure creation
  • Updated Mac app to support notarization for Catalina

Infrastructure Deployer for vCloud NFV

Infrastructure Deployer for vCloud NFV is an automation-based deployment tool used for setting up the VMware vCloud NFV platform

Changelog

Version 3.2.0 Update

  • Removed internal link in User Guide. Added a link to the correct external location
  • Removed duplicate User Guide document in zip file

VMware OS Optimization Tool

While there is some competition OSOT has been THE tool for optimizing images for VDI or RDSH. The changelog on this on is huge!

Changelog

December, 2019, b1130

  • Command LineAdded command line parameters to allow the control of the common options settings. This allows for the control of visual effect, notification, windows update, store applications, background and system clean up tasks, from the command line.
  • Added list of available templates to the output when run with -h (help).
  • Fixed issues with command line options.

The VMware Operating System Optimization Tool Guide has been updated to include instruction and examples on using the command line.

Visual Effects

  • Changed balanced setting (default) to leave Show shadows under windows enabled. This was making the white on white explorer windows blend in together which did not give the best user experience.

WebCache

  • Added optimization settings to disable WebCache processes from Windows 10. The default is that these optimizations are selected. This removes approximately 40 Mb from each users’ profile on creation and improves logon times.

Horizon Cloud Templates

  • Changed the two Horizon Cloud specific templates (Windows 10 and Windows 7) by removing the item “VMware DaaS Agent Service”. This is no longer required in Horizon Cloud Service.

December, 2019, b1120

Templates

Changed the two existing Windows 10 templates to also cover the associated Server OS and to introduce support for Windows Server 2019.

  • Windows 10 1507-1803 / Server 2016
  • Windows 10 1809-1909 / Server 2019

The old Windows Server 2016 templates have been removed.

System Clean Up

Added System Clean Up options to Common Options dialog. This removed the need for these to be typed and run manually.

  • Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)
    Reduces the size of the WinSxS folder by uninstalling and deleting packages with components that have been replaced by other components with newer versions. Should be run after a Windows update.
  • Native Image Generator (NGEN).
    Optimizes the .NET Framework. Should be run after an update of .NET Framework.
  • Compact
    Compact (Windows 10/ Server 2016/2019). Enables CompactOS to compress specific Windows system files to free up space. Can take several minutes to execute.
  • Disk Cleanup.
    Deletes temporary and unnecessary files.

Background/Wallpaper

  • New Common Options page for Background which allows the choice of color using a picker. This also allows the option to allow the user to be able to change their wallpaper.

Visual Effects options

  • Added a third option where all visual effects are turned off apart from smooth edges and use drop shadows. This is now the default selection.

Windows Store Apps

New page in Common Options that allows more control over removing Windows Store Apps while allowing the user to select common ones to keep. The Windows Store App and the StorePurchaseApp are retained by default.

Applications that will be able to be selected to be kept are:

  • Alarms & Clock
  • Camera
  • Calculator
  • Paint3D
  • Screen Sketch
  • Sound Recorder
  • Sticky Notes
  • Web Extensions

Defaults

The small taskbar option is now no longer selected by default.
In both Windows 10/ Server templates the following services are now no longer selected by default.

  • Application Layering Gateway Service
  • Block Level Backup Engine Service
  • BranchCache
  • Function Discovery Provider Host
  • Function Discovery Resource Publication
  • Internet Connection Sharing
  • IP Helper
  • Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service
  • Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider
  • Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service
  • SNMP Trap
  • SSDP Discovery
  • Store Storage Service
  • Volume Shadow Copy Service
  • Windows Biometric Service

Numerous New Optimizations

  • Fully disable Smartscreen.
  • Disable Content Delivery Manager.
  • Disable User Activity History completely.
  • Disable Cloud Content.
  • Disable Shared Experiences.
  • Disable Server Manager when Windows Server OS.
  • Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security when Windows Server OS (not selected by default).
  • Disable Storage Sense service.
  • Disable Distributed Link Tracking Client Service.
  • Disable Payments and NFC/SE Manager Service.

Bug and error fixes

  • Fixed condition when Export Analysis Results would fail to create file.

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for November 2019

None less than eleven newly released and updated flings this month. This includes three that are directly aimed for End use computing including Horizon Reach about which I blogged earlier this week. The three new releases are Horizon Reach, VMware vSAN Live and vCenter Event Broker Appliance. The following received updates: Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform as a Service on vRealize Automation Cloud, Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility, Infrastructure Deployer for vCloud NFV, Horizon View Events Database Export Utility, Horizon Helpdesk Utility, Kubewise, USB Network Native Driver for ESXi and HCIBench.

New Releases

Horizon Reach

As I said in the blog posts, Horizon Reach is one of the best tools for Horizon ever if not the best by giving the admin insight into the entire Cloud Pod Architecture.

Horizon Reach is a web based, monitoring and alerting fling for VMware Horizon On Prem deployments. Horizon Reach is designed to tackle the disconnect in Enterprise environments wherein each Pod in a Cloud Pod Architecture is its own technology domain and fault domain, or a customer is running multiple, disconnected pods, outside of a Cloud Pod Architecture, but would still like to treat them all as one unit of compute.

Often when troubleshooting these fault domains, it can feel like a game of “Whack a mole” jumping from Pod to Pod trying to find a pertinent session, alarm or event to the problem your user is describing.

Reach tackles this issue by performing health checking and gathering pertinent errors from each separate environment and displaying them all in a single place, creating an easy location for administrators to monitor the environment, along with providing a detailed first step in the troubleshooting process.

VMware vSAN Live

Did you like the vSphere mobile fling? Guess what there is a vSAN mobile fling now as well to give you all the insights while on the go. Personally I expect this one to be merged with the vSphere app at some point but as of now it’s a separate app.

VMware vSAN Live provides vSAN users with instant insights into their hyperconverged infrastructure environments from their mobile devices. Instead of stopping, signing into a laptop and then logging in remotely to view their vSAN environments, users can monitor their HCI clusters while on the go, troubleshooting in just a few clicks.

What’s included in this release?

  • Overview dashboard of vSAN clusters
  • Full-featured Health Checks
  • Cluster inventory view including Fault domain and host status.
  • Easily switch between different vCenter Servers
  • Cluster configuration view including vSAN settings and service status.
  • Full-featured Performance monitoring for VMs and Cluster
  • Full-featured Capacity monitoring

VMware vSAN powers VMware’s hyperconverged infrastructure solution, which combines compute virtualization, storage virtualization and storage networking with unified management into a single system running on industry-standard x86 servers. VMware vSAN, primes businesses for growth through seamless evolution, industry leading deployment flexibility and hybrid-cloud capabilities.

vSAN is native to the market-leading hypervisor, vSphere, simplifying HCI adoption by leveraging existing tools and skillsets. vSAN provides customers industry leading deployment flexibility with over 500+ ReadyNodes, or jointly-certified x86 servers, a turn-key appliance, Dell EMC VxRail, and native services with all of the top public cloud providers: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, IBM and Oracle. vSAN supports the most hybrid cloud uses cases and provides enterprise-grade, general-purpose infrastructure for VM and container-based applications.

vCenter Event Broker Appliance

This is quite a handy appliance when you want some event driven automation for your vSphere environment.

The vCenter Event Broker Appliance (VEBA) enables customers to easily create event-driven automation based on vCenter Server Events. For example, VEBA can drive basic workflows like automatically attaching a vSphere tag when a virtual machine (VM) is created. Even more powerful integrations between datacenter-internal enterprise services and cloud services, for example Slack and Pager Duty, can be created with VEBA out of the box.

VEBA is provided as a Virtual Appliance that can be deployed to any vSphere-based infrastructure, including an on-premises and/or any public cloud environment, running on vSphere such as VMware Cloud on AWS or VMware Cloud on Dell-EMC.

With this appliance, end-users, partners and independent software vendors only have to write minimal business logic without going through a steep learning curve understanding vSphere APIs. As such, we believe this solution not only offers a better user experience in solving existing problems for vSphere operators. More importantly, it will enable new integration use cases and workflows to grow the vSphere ecosystem and community, similar to what AWS has achieved with AWS Lambda.

Continue the conversation with us on Slack: #vcenter-event-broker-appliance on VMware {code}

Updated flings

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform as a Service on vRealize Automation Cloud

The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform as a Service on vRealize Automation Cloud fling gives you a tool to automate the end to end deployment of an Openshift Cluster.

Changelog

Version 1.1

  • Updated / Revalidate for Red Hat Enterprise Server 7.7
  • Updated / Revalidate for minor changes in bash scripts
  • Updated/ Revalidate for Ansible playbooks

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

If you need to migrate or clone vm’s between unlinked or even linked vCenters than the Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility is a very useful tool for you.

Changelog

Version 3.0, Novemember 5, 2019

  • New plugin UI integrated with the vSphere HTML5 Client and supported with both vSphere and VMware Cloud environments
    • Full feature parity with the standalone XVM UI
    • Supports migrations triggered by the host, cluster and resource pool actions from the vSphere Client inventory tree
  • Standalone UI is now deprecated but is still supported
  • Ability to migrate networks with the same name
  • Sorting and filtering of the list of VMs to migrate (plugin only)
  • Error reporting improvements

Infrastructure Deployer for vCloud NFV

Infrastructure Deployer for vCloud NFV is an automation-based deployment tool used for setting up the VMware vCloud NFV platform (NFV 3.2 VCD edition). It is based on VMware vCloud NFV 3.0 Reference Architecture design and targets greenfield deployments only.

There are two components:

The input text file – User enters all details of the environment and component products that need to be deployed, and
The power shell scripts – Executed to do the actual deployment of the products.

Changelog

  • None

Horizon View Events Database Export Utility

While I personally prefer to use the api’s to grab Horizon event logs I still think the Horizon View Events Database Export Utility could be very usefull for people, specially now it has been updated to work with the latest version of Horizon.

Changelog

Version 2.0

  • Added support for RDSH Pools
  • Returns desktop name now
  • Several bug fixes
  • Tested with Horizon 7.11

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

The Horizon Helpdesk Utility still is a 1000 times better than the official java or html5 interfaces and it keeps getting better and better.

Changelog

Version 1.5.0.11

  • Added Named user support in the views
  • Added support for VM image details
  • Added Global search on the overview
  • Added an option to disable the global mutex
  • Fixed numerous bugs

Version 1.5.0.9

  • Updated all binaries to be signed
  • Added full name support for search results
  • Added image status and details for machines view
  • Added a privacy setting to remove the windows title caption
  • Many Bug Fixes

Kubewise

Kubewise is a nifty multi-platform Kubernetes Desktop client. In case you don’t want to type kubctl this could be a replacement.

Changelog

Version 1.1.0

[ Features ]

Terminal command UI – users can now override the default command to open a new terminal window of their choice.
About Info UI – displays the version of currently installed kubectl

[ Bug fixes ]

Fixed an issue where Windows users cannot add a kubeconfig file
Fixed an issue where Linux users cannot list resources due to snap security policies
Switching to YAML format in the Inspect resource view loaded all resources of the same type
Surround path params of kubectl commands with double quotes

[ Misc ]

Save settings file pretty printed
Allign ‘trash’ icons in kubeconfig dropdown
Show loading spinner on application startup

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

The USB Network Native Driver for ESXi is specially build for homelabs so people can have (fast) enough nic’s even when running smaller systems in the lab.

Changelog

November 27, 2019 – v1.3

  • Resolved USB device detection issue on Intel XHCI controller
  • Resolved packet record issue for ASIX USB network adapters

ESXi670-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-30899283-offline_bundle-15188556.zip
ESXi650-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-30940032-offline_bundle-15188510.zip

HCIBench

The HCIBench received 2 updates this month but the second mostly was a bugfix.

Changelog

Version 2.3.1

  • Fixed static IP setting issue
  • Fixed reuse VMs on multi datastores issue
  • Fixed vm/tvm deployment issue
  • MD5 Checksum: 1b220f22575eacf62a965992a4c916e7 HCIBench_2.3.1.ova

Version 2.3.0

[New fling] Horizon Reach: true insights into an entire cloud pod architecture

For years one of the less optimal things about VMware was the fact that you are not able to get an overview over all pods. Yes with other tooling like vRops or 3rd party monitoring this is possibly but all at a cost. At VMworld US Andrew Morgan presented Horizon Reach or Project Heimdall at that time, to the VMware EUC Champions. This tool sounded like the solution to get an easy overview over all pods. While I wasn’t there I definitely was interested and managed to get my hands on some of the early beta releases. With each and every release the stool started to look better and better. It was so good that at VMworld EU it received the first spot in the Top 5 EUC tools that Hans Kraaijeveld and I presented about at the EUC Tapas and Beer Community event.

Yesterday the fling finally was released and announced at Andrews own blog.

Index

Installing

Configuring

The Dashboards

But wait there’s more!

Installing

Installing reach is as easy as unpacking the zip and running the nstall-reachservice.ps1 powershell script. This will also provide you with the standard credentials.

Configuring

After logging in for the first time you need to add the credentials to one of your connection servers.

Hit validate tand accept the certificate when using self signed certificates.

Hit validate again

and hit ok

The installation and configuration is also documented in a video posted at the flings site!

The dashboards

First you’ll see the default dashboard with an overview of your entire environment. The graphs need some time to get data, my lab gets powered down every day so it won’t show much.

The alarms dashboard shows alarms from all pods, from my lab you can see that there are two different pod names

And yes my Full Clone server 2016 RDS is in an error state (probably because it isn’t running)

And I could go on and on about all dashboards

But wait there’s more!

At the top right corner we have some extra configuration options.

Enabling/disabling alarms and some tresholds

Connection settings, do you see that it found the other pod automatically?

Web settings that also gives the option to download the configuration and change the two available accounts

And if you want to do some automation against Reach itself you can use the API

 

 

My VMworld EU 2019 presentations

It’s already the week after and I am looking back at a very good VMworld last week in Barcelona. In the end I was at a podium for none less than four times and wanted to share the decks or videos with you when available. For the vExpert daily there is no deck (duh) and for the EUC Beer and tapas community event there is no video. I also had to remove most of the slides because the fling hasn’t been published yet, you can expect a blogpost when it’s been published because it’s going to be awesome!

vExpert Daily: Video | Deck

vBrownbag: tools for Horizon Helpdesk: Video | Deck

EUC Beer and Tapas top 5 flings for Horizon: Video | Deck

VMware{Code}-Horizon API 101: Video | Deck

The VMware Labs flings monthly for October 2019

Only two days before I am flying to Barcelona, I am really looking forward to VMworld. The bad things is that it will probably be over before we know it as well. One of the new flings from last month has been renamed, one new was posted and six received updates. Kubernetes eXtensible Desktop Client (KXDC) was renamed to Kubewise and the Virtualized High Performance Computing Toolkit is the new fling posted. Updated flings are vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper, vSphere Mobile Client, Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool, Virtual Machine Compute OptimizervRealize Build Tools and the vSAN Performance Monitor.

New releases

Virtualized High Performance Computing Toolkit

The toolkit helps you in performing High Performance Computing

High Performance Computing (HPC) is the use of parallel-processing techniques to solve complex computational problems. HPC systems have the ability to deliver sustained performance through the concurrent use of distributed computing resources,and they are typically used for solving advanced scientific and engineering problems, such as computational fluid dynamics, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics, weather modeling and deep learning with neural networks.

Due to their extreme demand on performance, HPC workloads often have much more intensive resource requirements than those workloads found in the typical enterprise. For example, HPC commonly leverages hardware accelerators, such as GPU and FPGA for compute as well as RDMA interconnects, which require special vSphere configurations.

This toolkit is intended to facilitate managing the lifecycle of these special configurations by leveraging vSphere APIs. It also includes features that help vSphere administrators perform some common vSphere tasks that are related to creating such high-performing environments, such as VM cloning, setting Latency Sensitivity, and sizing vCPUs, memory, etc.

Feature Highlights:

  • Configure PCIe devices in DirectPath I/O mode, such as GPGPU, FPGA and RDMA interconnects
  • Configure NVIDIA vGPU
  • Configure RDMA SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization)
  • Configure  PVRDMA (Paravirtualized RDMA)
  • Easy creation and  destruction of virtual HPC clusters using cluster configuration files
  • Perform common vSphere tasks, such as cloning VMs, configuring vCPUs, memory, reservations, shares, Latency Sensitivity, Distributed Virtual Switch/Standard Virtual Switch, network adapters and network configurations

Update flings

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper

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, creates a new payload by user configuration, and sends it to third parties.

Changelog

Version 1.3.0

  • Added a configuration for preferred HTTP request type
  • Added severity mapping configuration
  • Enabled blacklisting with resourceName property
  • Arranged the endpoint configuration structure for different behavior based on alert trigger states
  • Added symptoms as a single string (like recommendations)
  • Minor fixes

 

vSphere Mobile Client

vSphere Mobile Client enables administrators to monitor and manage vSphere infrastructure directly from any mobile device. Whether you want to check on the current or historical resource consumption; you want to get notifications on long running tasks; or you want to check the currently running tasks – the vSphere Mobile Client is there to help.

Changelog

Version 1.6.0

  • Hosts can now be rebooted from the UI
  • Recent tasks can now be viewed in tasks view (running/in-progress)
  • Redesigned cards: VM card, host card, cluster card, task card
  • Quick actions can now be easily accessed with a tap on the card
  • VM cards display a screenshot which can be enlarged by taping on it
  • A feedback portlet has been added to the dashboard, you can know provide feedback from within the app
  • Performance charts are now available for hosts
  • Navigation menu items are now larger to faciliate taping on those
  • Supports mobile devices using Android version 4.4 (KitKat) or newer
  • Supports mobile devices using iOS version 10 or newer
  • No other mobile operating systems are currently supported
  • For Notification Appliance – 2 vCPU, 4 GB RAM, 14 GB storage
  • An existing VC (version 6.0 or newer) installation (VCSA or Windows).
  • Application is tested on the vCenter VCSA 6.5 GA release.
  • Hosts can now be rebooted from the UI
  • Recent tasks can now be viewed in tasks view (running/in-progress)
  • Redesigned cards: VM card, host card, cluster card, task card
  • Quick actions can now be easily accessed with a tap on the card
  • VM cards display a screenshot which can be enlarged by taping on it
  • A feedback portlet has been added to the dashboard, you can know provide feedback from within the app
  • Performance charts are now available for hosts
  • Navigation menu items are now larger to faciliate taping on those

Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool

The Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool allows a seamless migration of Applications and Device configurations between different Workspace One UEM environments. With the push of a button, workloads move from UAT to Production, instead of having to manually enter the information or upload files manually. Therefore, decreasing the time to move data between Dev/UAT environments to Production.

Changelog

Version 2.0.1

  • Fixed Baseline Migration issue
  • Fixed Profile Errors not displaying in the UI

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer

The Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer (VMCO) is a Powershell script that uses the PowerCLI module to capture information about the hosts and VMS running in your vSphere environment, and reports back on whether the VMs are configured optimally based on the Host CPU and memory. It will flag a VM as “YES” if it is optimized and “NO” if it is not. For non-optimized VMs, a recommendation is made that will keep the same number of vCPUs currently configured, with the optimal number of virtual cores and sockets.

Changelog

Version 2.0.1

  • Corrected Get-OptimalvCPU.ps1 where sometimes cluster information would show as System.Object[].

Version 2.0.0

  • Priority of the findings are captured
  • Details on the findings are included
  • Cluster information is captured to determine if Host HW is not consistent across the cluster
  • Report if a VM spanning pNUMA nodes actually has the pNUMA exposed to the guest OS
  • Report if advanced settings have been changed on the VM or host level to expose pNUMA to the guest OS
  • Reports if the number of vCPUs for a VM exceeds the physical cores of the host (using hyperthreads as vCPUs)
  • Ability to use the stand alone “Get-OptimalvCPU” function for more flexibility

vSAN Performance Monitor

The vSAN performance monitor is a monitoring and visualization tool based on vSAN Performance metrics. It will collect vSAN Performance and other metrics periodically from the clusters configured. The data collected is visualized in a more efficient and user-friendly way. The vSAN performance monitor comes with preconfigured dashboards which will help customers evaluate the performance of vSAN clusters, identify and diagnose problems, and understand current and future bottlenecks. The dashboards are heavily inspired by vSAN Observer.

Changelog

Version 1.2

  • Fixed issues with the fling while CA certificates
  • Minor tweaks to the data collection agent
  • Removed anonymous statistics collection by influxdb

vRealize Build Tools

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

Changelog

Version 1.7.1

  • Further enhanced the TypeScript projects support (still experimental)
  • Bug fixes

The VMware Labs flings monthly for September 2019

And yet another month gone, next week I will be in Kopenhagen for Nutanix .Next and the month after that I will be speaking at VMworld Barcelona. Will I see you at either of these two events? Last month one new fling was released:  Kubernetes eXtensible Desktop Client (KXDC) , seven received updates: App Volumes Entitlement Sync, vSphere HTML5 Web Client, DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB, VMware OS Optimization Tool, vSphere Mobile Client, Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool, USB Network Native Driver for ESXi and one was marked deprecated: VIB Author.

New releases

Kubernetes eXtensible Desktop Client (KXDC)

The Kubernetes eXtensible Desktop Client (KXDC) is a simple and multi-platform desktop client for Kubernetes (K8S). In the same way the kubectl command requires only a valid kubeconfig file to run commands against a K8S cluster, KXDC requires you just to configure one or more valid kubeconfig files to interact with one or more K8S clusters.

Main features:

  • Support for multiple kubeconfig files.
  • UI-driven interaction with the most frequently used K8S entities.
  • One-click terminal with the proper KUBECONFIG env variable set.
  • Generation of custom kubeconfig files for a given namespace.
  • Highlight sustainability and security-related data.

Updated flings

App Volumes Entitlement Sync

The App Volumes Entitlement Sync fling will read, sync and compare entitlements between various App Volumes instances.

Changelog

Version 2.2

  • Ignore Extra AppStacks on Primary or Secondary Server – these would cause compare to crash
  • Export Primary or Secondary Server Entitlements to XML

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Do you want to have the latest version of the html5 client? Than you need the vSphere HTML5 Web Client fling!

Changelog

Fling 4.3.0 – Build 14483008
New Features

  • Ability to customize the header color per vCenter to differentiate vCenter servers. Go to Administration -> System Configuration and select the vCenter for which you want to change the header color. If you have more than one vCenter server in linked mode, you can change the color for each of the vCenter servers

Bug fixes

  • Upload OVF files to Content Library

Release Notes

  • vSphere Perspective Management has been removed

DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB

The DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB fling helps in hardening your vSphere environment.

Changelog

Update September 2019

  • New ESXi 6.7 STIG VIB release
  • Updated sshd_config file. Removed protocol 2 setting as it is deprecated. Added “FipsMode yes” setting. Updated Ciphers and MACs for newer version of OpenSSH
  • Removed /etc/issue and /etc/pam.d/passwd files from VIB as those settings can be set via advanced settings now
  • Note – This VIB is based on draft STIG content! It is recommended to use this over the previous 6.5-7 STIG VIB

VMware OS Optimization Tool

The VMware OS Optimization Tool or OSOT in short is one of the best tools around to optimize your VDI image before publishing a desktop or rds host.

Changelog

September, 2019, b1110

  • New Common Options button – Allows you to quickly choose and set preferences to control common functionality. These would normally involve configuring multiple individual settings but can now be done with a single selection through this new interface
  • Split Windows 10 into two templates to better handle the differences between the versions; one for 1507-1803 and one for 1809-1909
  • Improved and new optimizations for Windows 10, especially for 1809 to 1909.

Updated and changed template settings for newer Windows 10 versions to cope with changes in the OS, registry keys and functionality:

  • Move items from mandatory user and current user to default user
  • Add 34 new items for group policies related to OneDrive, Microsoft Edge, privacy, Windows Update, Notification, Diagnostics
  • Add 6 items in group of Disable Services
  • Add 1 item in group of Disable Scheduled Tasks
  • Add 1 item in group of Apply HKEY_USERS\temp Settings to Registry
  • Add 2 items in group of Apply HKLM Settings
  • Removing Windows built-in apps is now simplified. Removes all built-in apps except the Windows Store.

Numerous bug and error fixes:

  • Reset view after saving customized template
  • Unavailable links in reference tab
  • Windows Store is unavailable after optimizing
  • Start menu may delay after optimizing
  • VMware Tools stops running after optimizing
  • Analysis Summary Graph is cropped

vSphere Mobile Client

Personally I think a phone screen is too small but this was one of the most asked questions the last few years: when can we manage vSphere from our phones? Well now you can with the vSphere Mobile Client fling.

Changelog

Version 1.5.0

New features

  • Direct connections to the ESXi hosts are now supported
  • Host can now be put in maintenance mode

Improvements

  • Going back from the details pages would not refresh the VM list
  • Improvements to how we indicate the user is in focused mode
  • Cluster card now shows issues, DRS, HA and number of vMotion events
  • Host card now shows issues, number of VMs, uptime and connection status

Bug Fixes

  • Removing a bookmark when in focused mode removes the item from the list too

Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool

With the Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool it’s easy to move devies and applications between WS One UEM environments.

Changelog

Version 2.0.0

  • Baseline Migration Support
  • MacOS application
  • UI refactoring to make bulk migrations easier
  • Added support for script detection with Win32 applications

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

For the USB Network Native Driver for ESXi fling we need to thank WIlliam Lam I guess. For me it at least seems like he is the driving factor behind this fling.

Changelog

September 27, 2019 – v1.2

  • Added support for Aquantia Multi-Gig (1G/2.5G/5G) USB network adapter (see Requirements page for more details)
  • Added support for Auto Speed/Connection detection for RTL8153/RTL8152 chipsets

ESXi670-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-28903484-offline_bundle-14722970.zip
ESXi650-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-28903792-offline_bundle-14722993.zip

The VMware Labs flings monthly for August 2019

It’s been a bit quiet on the fling front with VMworld US happening. None the less there have been two new releases and three updates. New releases are the vSAN Performance monitor and Enterprise OpenShift as a Service on Cloud Automation Services flings. Updated where the vSphere Mobile Client, vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper and Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer.

New Releases

vSAN Performance Monitor

The vSAN performance monitor is a monitoring and visualization tool based on vSAN Performance metrics. It will collect vSAN Performance and other metrics periodically from the clusters configured. The data collected is visualized in a more efficient and user-friendly way. The vSAN performance monitor comes with preconfigured dashboards which will help customers evaluate the performance of vSAN clusters, identify and diagnose problems, and understand current and future bottlenecks. The dashboards are heavily inspired by vSAN Observer.

The vSAN performance monitor is delivered in a virtual appliance with three major components, i.e., a Telegraf collector, InfluxDB, and a Grafana frontend.

  • Telegraf: Telegraf is the agent that collects metrics from vSAN cluster and stores them in InfluxDB.
  • InfluxDB: InfluxDB is the database to store the metrics
  • Grafana: We use Grafana as the frontend to virtualize the metrics stored in the InfluxDB

Once deployed, users will need to do some simple configuration changes to point the collector to target vSAN cluster(s) and start the service. After that, the data will be collected periodically and can be visualized for meaningful insights.

Enterprise OpenShift as a Service on Cloud Automation Services

This Fling enables a cloud admin to download the package, integrate with Cloud Assembly and other Infrastructure services and be able to provide an “OpenShift Cluster as a Service” offering. This Fling automates the end to end deployment process. End users can simply request for and get an enterprise grade distributed instance of OpenShift Cluster. This Fling provides all the required packages to configure and deploy an enterprise production grade OpenShift cluster using VMware Cloud Assembly Services with minimal effort and in a repeatable, fully automated fashion.

Updated Flings

vSphere Mobile Client

The vSphere Mobile Client is under heavy development to make sure we have the best experience in managing our vSphere environments using our mobile phones.

Changelog

Version 1.4.0

New features

  • Cluster view

Improvements

  • Confirmation dialog on VM quick actions

New Bug Fixes

  • Task card layout improvements
  • Alarms and events truncation issue has been fixed
  • iOS crash report improvementsVersion 1.3.0

New features:

  • Hosts view
  • vCenter dashboard now includes items with most alerts

Improvements

  • Crash reporting for iOS
  • Event categories are now visible (alarm, error, warning)

Bug Fixes

  • Better handling of vCenter name retrieval

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper

The vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper helps in creating better REST notifications of alerts.

Changelog

Version 1.2.1

  • Updated instructions for v1.2
  • Minor fixes and improvements

Version 1.2.0

  • Multiple endpoint configurations
  • Blacklist
  • Windows support
  • Minor new features, improvements and fixes

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer

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

Changelog

Version 1.0.4

  • Added a -Property filter to the Get-View commands for hosts and VMs to reduce time and amount of returned data
  • Removed if statement in Get_Optimal_CPU function that included $hostCPUs as it was not yet being used

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for July 2019

So I am in the middle of my summer holiday but stil it’s time for this monthly overview. I see two new flings with the Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer and Machine Learning on VMware Cloud Foundation tools. No less than six have received updates: vSphere Mobile Client, Desktop Watermark, HCIBench, Horizon Toolbox, Horizon Helpdesk Utility and Horizon Session recording. I already blogged about the updates to the Horizon Helpdesk Utility over here.

New Releases

Machine Learning on VMware Cloud Foundation

Want to do things with big data? This Fling might be able to help you with that on VCF, It could do with a proper logo though.

This Fling provides a platform for Data Scientists to quickly setup a virtualized cloud infrastructure to conduct data science experiments:

  • Virtualized environment based on VMware cloud and Kubernetes
  • Currently support CPU only (but will support GPU in future)
  • Based on Open Source Kubeflow, Horovod

Provides a set of example Notebooks and libraries for common data science tasks, including:

  • Data collection and cleaning (extract data from various sources, and describe the data semantics using metadata)
  • Data cleansing and transformation (clean up collected data and transform them from its raw form to a structured form more suitable for analytic processing)
  • Model training (develop predictive and optimization machine learning models)
  • Model serving (deploy model into a run time environment where online request will be served)

Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer

I personally wouldn’t call the Virtual Machine Computer Optimizer a fling since it’s a script but it’s here.

The Virtual Machine Computer Optimizer (VMCO) is a Powershell script that uses the PowerCLI module to capture information about the hosts and VMS running in your vSphere environment, and reports back on whether the VMs are configured optimally based on the Host CPU and memory. It will flag a VM as “YES” if it is optimized and “NO” if it is not. For non-optimized VMs, a recommendation is made that will keep the same number of vCPUs currently configured, with the optimal number of virtual cores and sockets.

Note that the VMCO will not analyze whether your VMs are configured with the correct number of vCPUs based on the VM’s workload. A more in-depth analysis tool such as VMware vRealize Operations Manager can make right-sizing determinations based on workload and actual performance.

Update flings

Horizon Session Recording

The Horizon Session Recording fling gives the Horizon admin a tool to record sessions for troubleshooting reasons for example.

Changelog

Version 1.2.2

  • Added support for horizon 7.8 and above
  • Added support for recording based on group memberships
  • Many bug fixes in agent
  • Bug fixes in server

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

Like I said I already blogged about the changes in the Horizon Helpdesk Utility but here’s the changelog, just to be complete.

Changelog

Version 1.4.0.1

  • No longer requires a helpdesk license! Yay!
  • Added the ability to interact with vCenter machines
  • Added the ability to open vCenter VM consoles
  • Added the ability to perform bulk machine actions
  • Added the ability to perform refresh / recompose tasks directly from helpdesk.
  • Fixed performance issues with multiple windows open (see single instance).
  • Fixed a crash when logon durations could not be accessed.
  • Added polling to allow logon durations to be received if notavailable when the session page is requested.
  • Fixed a crash in the ending of processes.
  • Fixed a metric ton of bugs with delegated administration.
  • Fixed a memory leak in the tray icon menu, of all places.
  • Removed the logon page graphic as it was to much of a pain to change it’s colour when changing themes
  • Fixed some layout issues when changing themes.
  • Removed empty sites from the viewon the change pod tray menu.
  • Added preliminary support for Horizon 7.9.

Horizon Toolbox

The Horizon Toolbox is another usefull utility for the Horizon admin that doesn’t have access to the enterprise add-ons.

Changelog

July 12, 2019, 7.8.1

  • Added support for Horizon View 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, 7.8
  • Fixed some issues

HCIBench

We have seen this one quite a lot already, if you need to benchmark your HCI than the HCIBench might be your tool. Good chance though that it’s better optimized for VSAN than others.

Changelog

Version 2.2.1

  • Fixed docker volume moving issue
  • MD5 checksum of HCIBench_2.2.1.ova: 1a39c9df7d1485bc06332ae0b9d92ca7

Version 2.2

  • Moved docker volume to sdb to avoid blowing up OS disk
  • Added Fio spreadsheet generator
  • Added DRS warning checkup
  • Enhanced Grafana to keep all the historical data
  • Added DNS exception handler
  • Fixed RAM and PCPU reporting issue
  • Fixed Vdbench spreadsheet not reporting issue
  • MD5 checksum of HCIBench_2.2.ova: bb2a77dcf2ecc23b1ec2c30aee9945ec

Desktop Watermark

I personally haven’t really used the Desktop Watermark fling yet but I guess it could be useful for others.

Changelog

v1.0 – Build 20190724-signed

  • Added a new attribute %DATETIME% to show hour and minute info on screen.

vSphere Mobile Client

The vSphere Mobile Client fling is still a work in progress but functionality keeps being added. Very useful for most VI admins.

Changelog

Version 1.2.0

New features:

  • Focused inventory (bookmark a VM and then enter focused mode by clicking the bullseye button in the header)
  • vCenter dashboard now has host and virtual machine aggregates
  • Swiping the VM card displays a screenshot, clicking on it displays an even larger image

Bug Fixes

  • Removed option to delete virtual machines
  • Improvements to the login page
  • Improvements to the events and alarms page

 

 

 

 

Updates to the VMware Horizon Helpdesk fling

Today a new version has been released of the VMware Horizon Helpdesk fling by Andrew Morgan. One big change is that the Helpdesk license isn’t required anymore so at least a part of the functionality is available to owners of advanced or standard Horizon licenses.

the entire changelog:

Version 1.4.0.1

  • No longer requires a helpdesk license! Yay!
  • Added the ability to interact with vCenter machines
  • Added the ability to open vCenter VM consoles
  • Added the ability to perform bulk machine actions
  • Added the ability to perform refresh / recompose tasks directly from helpdesk.
  • Fixed performance issues with multiple windows open (see single instance).
  • Fixed a crash when logon durations could not be accessed.
  • Added polling to allow logon durations to be received if notavailable when the session page is requested.
  • Fixed a crash in the ending of processes.
  • Fixed a metric ton of bugs with delegated administration.
  • Fixed a memory leak in the tray icon menu, of all places.
  • Removed the logon page graphic as it was to much of a pain to change it’s colour when changing themes
  • Fixed some layout issues when changing themes.
  • Removed empty sites from the viewon the change pod tray menu.
  • Added preliminary support for Horizon 7.9.

 

Let’s look into some of the new options (will do the options without the helpdesk license last)

Added the ability to interact with vCenter machines 

From the pool view you’ll see an extra button for vCenter actions

And that will give these options

These all speak for themselves in functionality.

Added the ability to open vCenter VM consoles 

Open VM console will give an popup that asks for vCenter credentials.

Hit logon and a vrmc client should start if it’s installed

Added the ability to perform bulk machine actions 

The vCenter actions above can be done against multiple vm’s but also the various actions from View itself

Added the ability to perform refresh / recompose tasks directly from helpdesk. 

No longer requires a helpdesk license! Yay! 

when you use the std license the biggest difference is that you can’t view any specifics inside sessions since that’s all limited to the helpdesk license.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for June 2019

Wow there are already six months gone in 2019. Both my kids passed passed their schoolyears and this month there have been three new fling releases and four that have received updates. The new ones are: vSphere Mobile Client, Workspace ONE UEM SCIM Adapter and FlowGate. The ones that received updates are USB Network Native Driver for ESXi, HCIBench, IOBlazer and the Horizon DaaS Migration Tool.

New Releases

vSphere Mobile Client

I already posted a short blog about this fling over here.

vSphere Mobile Client enables administrators to monitor and manage vSphere infrastructure directly from any mobile device. Whether you want to check on the current or historical resource consumption; you want to get notifications on long running tasks; or you want to check the currently running tasks – the vSphere Mobile Client is there to help.

Features

  • VM overview: Review the status of your VMs including state (powered on/off), resource usage and configuration information
  • VM management: Change the power state of a VM or restart it. Locating the virtual machine to operate on can be done through search.
  • Task monitoring: Subscribe to any running task and receive a notification on your mobile device upon task completion, even when your device is in-active or you have another application running on the foreground.
  • Performance charts: Monitor the resource usage of a VM in real time or a day, week, month or year back. Counters include CPU, Memory, Storage and Network.

NOTE: vSphere Mobile Client is currently available for Android and iOS devices and vCenter 6.0+ deployments. Check the “Requirements” tab for more details. Access to vSphere infrastructure may require a secure access method such as VPN on a mobile device.

This is a technical preview release and as such it only has a limited subset of the intended functionality. The team would be releasing updates with new features regularly, but our main task is to gather feedback so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Workspace ONE UEM SCIM Adapter

Workspace ONE UEM SCIM Adapter provides SCIM user/group management capabilities to Workspace ONE UEM. The middleware translates the System for Cross-Domain Identity Management, SCIM, to a CRUD REST framework that Workspace ONE UEM can interpret. This capability allows Workspace ONE UEM to synchronize cloud-based identity resources (users/groups/entitlements) without the need for an LDAP endpoint (service to service model). Examples include Azure AD, Okta, and Sailpoint.

Flowgate

The Flowgate fling is all about linking IT & Facility systems with each other.

In enterprise data centers, IT infrastructure and facility are generally managed separately, which leads to information gaps. Collaboration between facility and IT infrastructure systems are limited or manual, and virtualization adds more complexity.

The goal of Flowgate is to make facility awareness in IT management system and make IT operations management and automation better on high availability, cost saving and improved sustainability, with more information on power, cooling, environment (e.g. humidity, temperature) and security.

Built-in adapter for multiple DCIM and CMDB system integration:

  • Nlyte
  • PowerIQ
  • Infoblox
  • Labsdb
  • IBIS(TODO)
  • Pulse IoT Center (TODO)
  • Open for other facility system integration

Built-in adapter for multiple IT stack systems:

  • vCenter Server
  • vRealise Operation Manager
  • Open for other IT stack integration. More systems will coming soon.

 

  • UI based Integration process: One click integration.
  • Role based access control: API level access control support.
  • RESTFul API support: Provide unified facility information querying services. APIs for all operations and data query make it easy to integrate with other systems.

Updated flings

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

Are you building an awesome homelab but received some funky USB Network adapters? The USB Network Native Driver for ESXi might just have the correct drivers for you.

Changelog

June 17, 2019 – v1.1

  • Added support for 9 additional USB NIC devices including USB 2.0 RTL8152 & TPLINK (see Requirements page for complete list)
  • Added support for Jumbo Frames (up to 4K) for RTL8153 & AX88179
    ESXi670-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-24524132-offline_bundle-13958648.zip
    ESXi650-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-24599816-offline_bundle-13964320.zip

HCIBench

HCIBench is one of two benchmarking utilities that received an update.

Changelog

Version 2.1

  • Switched UI to dark theme
  • Redesigned VMDK preparation methodology, which can complete much faster using RANDOM on deduped storage
  • Added VMDK preparation process update
  • Added Graphite port check into prevalidation
  • Added vCenter/Host password obfuscation
  • Added “Delete Guest VM” button
  • Fixed Grafana display issue
  • Fixed FIO blank results issue
  • Bug fixes
    MD5 checksum of HCIBench_2.1.ova: d37e6f164ed962a6e7ccbe104ba9eaec

IOBLazer

It looks like the IOBlazer fling was first released in 2014(!!!!) as a tool to benchmark all kinds of storage systems. Since I haven’t posted about it here yet let me give you the overview:

IOBlazer is a multi-platform storage stack micro-benchmark. IOBlazer runs on Linux, Windows and OSX and it is capable of generating a highly customizable workload. Parameters like IO size and pattern, burstiness (number of outstanding IOs), burst interarrival time, read vs. write mix, buffered vs. direct IO, etc., can be configured independently. IOBlazer is also capable of playing back VSCSI traces captured using vscsiStats. The performance metrics reported are throughput (in terms of both IOPS and bytes/s) and IO latency.

IOBlazer evolved from a minimalist MS SQL Server emulator which focused solely on the IO component of said workload. The original tool had limited capabilities as it was able to generate a very specific workload based on the MS SQL Server IO model (Asynchronous, Un-buffered, Gather/Scatter). IOBlazer has now a far more generic IO model, but two limitations still remain:

  1. The alignment of memory accesses on 4 KB boundaries (i.e., a memory page)
  2. The alignment of disk accesses on 512 B boundaries (i.e., a disk sector).

Both limitations are required by the gather/scatter and un-buffered IO models.

A very useful new feature is the capability to playback VSCSI traces captured on VMware ESX through the vscsiStats utility. This allows IOBlazer to generate a synthetic workload absolutely identical to the disk activity of a Virtual Machine, ensuring 100% experiment repeatability.

Changelog

Updates in IOBlazer 1.01:

  • Added configurable IO alignment
  • Increased the robustness of the trace file parser in the face of spurious lines
  • Increased the robustness of the build process by automatically detecting target OS and arch within the Makefile
  • In the Windows version, changed the raw access mode from volume to physical drive to avoid unnecessary mount/unmount operations at every test run.

Horizon DaaS Migration Tool

The Horizon DaaS Migration Tool is for the Horizon DaaS providers to migrate their customers to the latest version of Horizon DaaS.

Changelog

Version 2.1.0

  • Fix for the bug on “Requested Capacity” at the pool/assignment summary page showing inappropriate values.
  • Intelligently handling import of new VMs skipping previously imported VMs.