Currently I am sitting behind my desk still bouncing around after a great Dutch Vmug Usercon yesterday. This was my fourth time presenting at this awesome event and every time I get a little bit better at doing so. With 11 parallel tracks in the afternoon it becomes hard not to find interesting sessions. As always content went from deep technical to marketing or even personal improvement.
My (or more our) session
As said this was the fourth time I presented at the Dutch Vmug and the second time together with my great friend Hans Kraaijeveld. Just like two years ago we had a mix of various flings and tools that could help a Horizon admin in managing their environment. We decided on skipping a couple since we already covered those two years ago or last year in my own session. They did get an honorable mention:
VMware OS Optimization Tool (OSOT)
PowerCLi for Horizon.
The tools we did cover are:
VMware Horizon Helpdesk fling
VMware Performance Tracker
VMware log bundle scripts (we still visit too many customer who don’t know about these) & analyzing them with Agent Ransack
While 20 minutes is really short I think we really did manage to get the message across. We where even able to challenge to audience to present next year and answer some questions. You can find the slides to our presentation over here. This version is in Dutch but you can expect an English one since we will be giving the same presentation with some extras and hopefully live demos at the next https://vcnrw.de/ event on april 4th.
Besides our own session the highlights of the day where (re-)connecting with friends. Getting informed about new tech but also the vExpert lunch with Amy Lewis and the afternoon keynote by Jad El-Zein. The vibe during the day was awesome during the entire event!
While The Fabrique is a great looking location it’s hard to find where you want to go. With a lot of smaller hallways, corners, stairs and stupid doors it sometimes became annoying. And was it just me but I would have liked to find some other softdrinks than this (delicious!) healthy stuff like a coke or something.
This means that for the fourth consecutive year I have been named a vExpert.
What is a vExpert? (or any other community award like NutanixNTC)
Per the vExpert site the criteria for becoming a vExpert are:
If you are interested in becoming a vExpert the criteria is simple. We are looking for IT Professionals who are sharing their VMware knowledge and contributing that back to the community. The term “giving back” is defined as going above and beyond your day job. There are several ways to share your knowledge and engage with the community. Some of those activities are blogging, book authoring, magazine articles, CloudCred task writing, active in facebook groups, forum (VMTN as well as other non VMware) platforms, public speaking, VMUG leadership, videos and so on.
I totally agree on the above description, for me a real vExpert shares knowledge in one of many ways. But blogging, speaking, tweeting, podcasting, writing isn’t the only way. We answer questions online and offline and if we don’t know the answer than we have an awesome backstop to ask questions called the vCommunity. Is it technical only you might ask? Absolutely not! I have seen hundreds of job changes by now because of the vCommunity. People were helped with personal issues, hell even home deco tips and tricks are shared. I think it’s just in our nature to help one another.
Yes it’s also about advocacy but the sharing of information is all voluntary. Do you want to tweet or blog about stuff? No-one will force you but they do appreciate it if you share news.
One things advocacy program members are also good at is providing feedback. Not only to the software vendor but if you want some feedback about a possible blog post, presentation idea, news item or piece of hardware most of us will give you that feedback. Just be prepared because we can be brutally honest if it sucks!
But there are over 1700 vExperts, is it about quantity or Quality?
This is a point where I personally disagree on how the program is run. I have the idea that they want to grow just to grow and for me the selection criteria could be tightened quite a bit. I value growing but please do it by adding quality. If you look at smaller programs like some of the vExpert subprograms or others like the VMware EUC Champions or Nutanix NTC’s they are most times better managed, get more briefings, nda information and events. Not that the vExpert program is managed badly or doesn’t have an awesome party at VMworld but things just get more complicated at this scale.
But does the program still matter to you?
It certainly does! Through the vExpert program I have managed to grow personally and professionally but also made boatloads of friends online and offline. All the extra’s like licenses, swag and things like that are fun but nothing is as good as knowing you have some great people who are always happy to help you in any way possible!
I want in too, how do I become a vExpert?
Currently the sign ups are closed but until they open again (probably somewhere in June) you can start doing some things already:
Start a blog, most people do it as their own knowledge base. Write about what you experienced at work or a customer so you won’t forget it for next time.
Get a twitter account, follow a bunch of people and interact with them.
Help others out in places like VMTN, Reddit.
Present at a vmug or at your employer about things that could be interesting to others. This could be as basic as explaining how your homelab is setup.
If you need help or feedback on your blog or need help on how to build your presentation I am always happy to provide my 2 cents.
When the sign ups are opened again contact your local vExpert pro with how to tackle the application form. You can also ask me or any other vExpert you might know personally.
Last Thursday we had our inaugural Nutanix User Group Meeting. After Sibo Attema said why don’t we have one in the Netherlands last fall I jumped on it and together we made sure to have a great day. Originally it was planned to take place at the new Dutch Nutanix offices but the move sadly couldn’t be completed in time so we moved to the Novotel right across the road from the old office in Hoofddorp. Out of 40 sign ups we had 26 people who showed up and that’s very good for a free and first event in my opinion. Add all the Nutanix people who dropped in and the room was packed!
How to Automate Planned and Unplanned Failovers in a Twin Datacenter Scenario with Nutanix and VMware, Rob Maas (On2It)
Closing and price drawing
Drinks & Networking
This doesn’t list the coffee breaks or the Login Techcast crew that paid us a visit and recorded some interviews.
Content wise I think we had a good mix of topics with the Data Science as a good alternative to to pure tech talks. It’s awesome to see what can be done with all the data we constantly generate. There was a lot of interaction with the audience which was very good to see, we also might have managed to convince a couple of people to speak at the next event. The next won’t be a full day event but most probably an afternoon somewhere in the fall.
If you are interested in presenting than please contact me or Sibo and I will always make sure that there is a free spot for someone presenting for the very first time! There is no better place to give presenting a try than at User Groups because no one will judge you on it. The worst thing to happen is that you will learn and improve!
I want to thank Martijn Bosschaart, Danielle Tomakin and Brittany Hoisington for their great support!
The last few weeks I was invited to and involved with beta testing of the all new Google Cloud based Nutanix Test Drive running AOS. Previously it was hosted on Ravello and running on a version of the Community Edition. When you go to http://nutanix.com/testdrive just enter your details and you’ll be running in no-time. Please make sure that you copy the admin password from the next page. You should also receive an email with these credentials but you never know with the spam filters these days.
After this you can hit the start test drive button, accept the next certificate warning and you’re set to run the testdrive. Use admin as username and the provided password to log on.
First you will get a guided tour through the basic features and when you finish that you will probably have about an hour and 50 minutes of the original 2 hours left.
Personally I was amazed with the speed of the testdrive. I have no idea where it is hosted but it was full steam ahead from start to finish. The console you get is the basic Prism console for a cluster, not Prism Central that allows you to manage multiple clusters.
Recently I came up with the idea to create a script to apply new Golden Images against the various types of desktop pools and farms that we have in Horizon View. This was something that I thought was not available from the vmware.hv.helper module but after some research I did find that it it available from the module by using start-hvpool and start-hvfarm. No those are not the best names for the functions in my opinion. This wouldn’t stop me for creating this post though on how to apply the images using api’s only since the module uses mapentries and I still hate those. I will cover full clones and defining a new image without recomposing in a next post since that requires updating the pools.
Let’s take a look at the api explorer on what is needed to recompose or push an image.
The DesktopPushImageSpec for instant clones has a comparable setup with some nuance differences.
For RDS farms the linked clones spec is equal to the desktop spec but for instant clones there’s a rather big difference but I will cover that later on.
So the common steps for most types of applying the golden image are:
Selecting the Desktop Pool or RDS Farm
getting the id for the vcenter or datacenter where the parent VM lives
getting the id of the Parent VM
getting the id of the snapshot to use
getting the id’s of the machines in the desktop pool (Linked Clones only)
Select date & time for the recompose or imagepush (if required)
combine the above info into a spec to recompose or imagepush
Apply the recompose or ImagePush
Each step uses information from the step above it.
Selecting the Desktop Pool or RDS Farm
This can be done using queries. For desktops we user the desktopsummaryview definition and for farms farmsummaryview.
You might be able to see it but this gives a list of all VM’s in the vCenter, sadly there is no query for this yet even though that would be really useful. If you know the exact name you can select on that but if you look at the IncompatibleReasons property there’s info to filter (if you want to create a menu for example)
InUseByDesktop is a usable one for instantclones. I don’t know why InUseByLinkedCloneDesktop doesn’t give any true values even though I have one pool with linked clones, viewcomposerreplica does work. I have filtered this on some of the more obvious ones and end up with both my golden images for Windows 7 & Server 2016
It’s not required to set a date and but is very usable if you want to schedule an action. Please be aware that this is based on us format for day and time so mm-dd-yyyy otherwise I would have scheduled it for august.
The [DateTime] converts the string that follows it to a variable of the type day and time
combine the above info into a spec to recompose or imagepush.
To build the spec we first need to declare a new object with new-object vmware.hv.DesktopRecomposeSpec please be aware that for this name you need to look at the data object in the API explorer and not the class.
For RDS instant clone farms the pushing of a new image is part of the maintenance schedule that can be done immediate or recurring. I will do the recurring option for now since rds hosts needs to be refreshed every once in a while anyway. There’s some options inside the settings that are explained in the api explorer.
Policy Enforcer is used to check and remediate restriction policies on a Workspace ONE Managed Windows 10 machine. If a user were to try to override configured Policy CSP settings by attempting to edit the Windows Registry, Policy Enforcer will compare the current value with the MDM configured value and reset the registry if the values differ.
Policy Enforcer can be implemented by uploading the MSI installer to the WS1 UEM console and deploying as an internal app via Apps & Books.
The vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker is a tool that verifies all installed storage adapters against the vSAN supported storage controller list. The tool will verify if the model, driver and firmware version of the storage adapter are supported.
Using a supported storage controller and firmware is important in a vSAN deployment to ensure normal operations, optimal performance, and to reduce the chances of hardware/firmware issues. This tool can be useful to ensure that a storage device and its firmware went through certification testing supported by VMware and its partners.
Some scenarios where the tool can be useful:
Verify if new server and storage adapter are supported for a vSAN deployment
Verify if re-purposed server, storage adapter are supported for a vSAN deployment
For a full vSAN system check, please check vSAN health UI through vSphere web client after a vSAN deployment.
Add 3 new checks
Controller is VMware certified for ESXi release
Controller driver is VMware certified
Controller firmware is VMware certified
Update HTML report format
vSphere PKS Plugin
The vSphere PKS plugin gives the administrator a graphical interface within the vSphere HTML5 console.
Version 1.0.1 – Build 168317
A PKS instance can be added to the plugin by providing the Ops Manager credentials
Support an alternate IP address (such as an NSX floating IP) to be used as the registration server and plugin server IP. It is assumed that the IP will be mapped to the appliance’s NIC via other means
Version 1.33.1 build 12086396 (Fling 23) – January 31, 2019 OVF issues
Various fixes for ovf import issues
ISO files are now imported from OVAs
Fixed an issue with special characters in datastore names in some versions of ESXi
Fix swapped labels for transmit and receive in network chart
Network adapters are added to the vm in the correct order
Fixed issue with firewall notifications displaying incorrect information
provide notifications for expiring licenses
Support for Swedish input locale in the vm console
Display Fibre channel wwn and wwp as 64bit addresses
vSphere HTML5 Web Client
This is the newest release of the HTML5 Web Client for vSphere. The downloadable version is 4.0.1 while the changelog is 4.0 so we’ll have to assume that 4.0.1 is a small bug fix. Starting from this version the fling ONLY supports vSphere 6.5 and newer!
Fling 4.0 – Build 11785236
Support for VC 6.7
ESX Agent Manager UI
MxN Convergence in System Configuration
Import Certificate and Generate CSR
Code Capture: the record button can be toggled between hidden and shown.
Ability to remove Script Bundles in Autodeploy for 6.7 VC
Ability to remove Discovered hosts in Autodeploy for 6.7 VC
Export licensing data in CSV for all licensing views
Starting this year I decided to really restart working on the vCheck for Horizon. I had several requests for RDS checks & Active directory plus I really wanted to get rid of everything related to the vmware.hv.helper module to make using it a little easier.
Just like the pools I pull the farms in the connection plugin so these can be used from other plugins.
Just like in 2017 and 2018 I have been named a Nutanix Technology Champion for 2019. While I haven’t been involved with the tech as much as in 2017 at least I tried to keep up to speed in 2018 by playing with the community Edition. Besides that I started two things on the Nutanix front in 2018: getting an NPX bootcamp to The Netherlands which I attended in September and trying to start a Nutanix User Group in The Netherlands and that will have it’s first meeting the 1st quarter of 2019! Besides that I attended the Nutanix .Next on tour event in Utrecht and of course .Next EU 2019 in London.
Being an NTC is for me all about the vCommunity, we try to help others but if we need a hand others will help you as well. Just ask Nutanix’ awesome community manager Angelo Luciani and he will tell you all about it 😉
2018 has been awesome but I am 100% sure that 2019 will be even better!
The VMware Workspace ONE Provisioning Tool helps you test and validate your applications (exported as a .ppkg file) and the special-purpose unattend.xml configuration file as part of the Dell Provisioning for Workspace ONE offer. This tool simplifies the testing and validation of this process in your own environment before these files are sent and applied in the Dell factory.
Simple UI to easily enable the IT admin to validate their ppkg and unattend.xml files in their own environment, mimicking what Dell is doing in the factory.
Supports PPKGs and unattend.xmls generated with Workspace ONE UEM Console 1811 or newer.
Highly flexible. Allows IT admins to specify the configurations for tool in a text based config file in order to change things like tool timeout and report location, to name a few.
Generates a detailed final summary report with client details and app installation results. This file is saved in C:\ProgramData\Airwatch\UnifiedAgent\Logs\PPKGFinalSummary.log after the “Full Process” button is clicked.
Halts the process if any steps fails for the given operation, giving the ability to IT admins to view & debug the state of the machine and the apps.
Apply Apps Only – Given a ppkg, this tool deploys the applications on a test windows machine
Apply Full process – Given a ppkg and xml file, this tool deploys the applications on a test windows machine followed by Workspace ONE enrollment and Sysprep.
The Dispatch-Solo fling actually is a prepackaged VM to get you started with dispatch as easily as possible.
Dispatch-Solo is lean version of Dispatch which has been packaged as VM appliance. The goals of Dispatch-Solo are simple:
Lower the barrier to entry – get started with Dispatch in a matter of minutes
Support nearly the full Dispatch feature set – API compatibility
Explore use-cases – get user feedback and iterate
Because Dispatch and serverless is still in its infancy, understanding use cases is the highest priority. It therefore makes sense to continue to focus on getting Dispatch in as many hands as possible and making it as easy as possible to get started exploring its usage. By packaging Dispatch-Solo as a VM appliance, getting started is quick and predictable.
This Android Device Pre-Verification Suite Fling reduces the time to perform a preliminary test on any Android device from any OEM. Pre-verification result decides whether the device is eligible for a full device verification program or not. This eliminates the TAT (turnaround time) for basic test failures during the initial phase of verification from VMware. Customers/Partners can run this tool at their premise and check whether the device passes the device verification program entry criteria.
This Fling provides a community preview of the upcoming PowerCLI commands for managing VMware Cloud on AWS. It comes in the form of a single PowerCLI module and integrates with existing PowerCLI modules.
All commands have been automatically generated. They are still in development, contain known issues, and will change in the future.
The PowerCLI extensions fling gives you a preview on what to expect in the official PowerCLI releases.
Updated PowerCLI.Extensions Module to be compatible with VMware PowerCLI 11.0.0
This one should be known by now, the HCIBench is made for benchmarking your hyperconverged infrastucture. Ideal for things like vSAN but please be aware that it could also possibly be tuned for that.
Enhanced easy-run, put original 4k,70% read as the first test case, then 4k, 100% read and 256k, 100% write
Enhanced tvm deployment validation
Added Checksum into easy-run consideration
Updated guest VM template with increased ring_pages and disk scheduler
Added DNS configuration guidance into welcome message
Added 2 more test cases into easy-run, 4k 100% random read and 256k 100% sequential write
Batch deployment will be involved if deploying more than 8 VMs to speed up deployment process
Allow user to choose IP prefix when using static IP
Optimized UI to allow user to review the results by single click
Fixed regression issue when placing Datacenter/Cluster in the folder
The vSphere PKS Plugin provides a user interface for managing and monitoring Kubernetes cluster deployments for the PKS platform. Using the vSphere PKS Plugin you can view details about your Kubernetes clusters, including master and worker nodes as well as networking configuration.
The vSphere PKS Plugin:
Provides a graphical interface to visualize the Kubernetes clusters deployed and managed by PKS
Provides visibility into underlying infrastructure such as VMs, network objects and storage objects that are created when a Kubernetes cluster is deployed in a vSphere environment
Provides a centralized launch point for viewing components deployed with the Kubernetes cluster, including nodes and network objects such as routers, logical switches, load balancers
Provides a simple user interface to get easy access to the cluster using the kubectl interface and the cluster Dashboard
Remember registered site information (without password)
Easily retry a previously attempted task in case of failures
Search box for keyword filtering of migration task history
Option to clear task history by removing completed tasks
Added documentation and other links under the help menu
Partial fix for an issue related to duplicate network names
Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning
The Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning assists in building unattend.xml configuration files that can be used by Dell (or others when more provide the service) when delivering systems from the factory to set them up for your environment.
Release Update – Version 2.0.0
The version number is shown in the window title
The version number is shown as a comment in the generated XML
The product key is now validated to conform with the 11111-11111-11111-11111-11111 pattern
Split the locale settings into ‘Operating System Language’, and ‘Region and Keyboard Settings’.
‘Operating System Language’ maps to the language of the operating system installation media, and ‘Region and Keyboard Settings’ maps to the locale settings available to the user during OOBE
‘Operating System Language’ is now a required field as it is needed for certain customizations, such as adding a user to the administrators group
Removed the ability to set a custom computer name. The computer name now defaults to ‘*’, which causes the Windows OS to generate a random name, taking up to seven characters from the ‘Registered Organization’ field plus eight random characters. This change makes sure every computer has a unique name on the network.
The ‘Auto Admin Logon’ feature is no longer selectable. Instead, it will be activated when it is required by the deployment scenario.
All deployment scenarios now allow for the creation of a local user.
Moved the node from the ‘oobeSystem’ pass to the ‘specialize’ pass
to be consistent with the node
Auto Admin Logon would only work with an unattend XML generated for an en-US installation image
Enabled the ASSIGNEDTOLOGGEDINUSER=Y flag to enable the WS1 agent to correctly enroll the user in the ‘Workgroup’ deployment scenario
Fixed an issue where the ‘Show Privacy Settings’ option would have no effect