[Update 15-10] VMware PowerCLI 11.0.0 release with new Horizon (7.6!) API calls

UPDATE 12-10: The new API explorer page also has been published, it just needs to be added to the main page. Check this link: https://code.vmware.com/apis/445

Update 15-10: I have received an overview from VMware about the other changes:

New API Endpoints:
ConnectionServer_GetTags
GlobalSettings_GetEnvironmentSettings
QueryService_DeleteByIds
Datastore_GetDatastoreRequirements
Datastore_ListDatastoresByDesktopOrFarm
RemoteApplication_EndApplication

There also have been some changes to some objects (MachineBase,AccessGroup etc) to include more properties

Original Article:

Today the latest version of PowerCLI was released with version 11.0.0. When you look at the release notes it’s obvious that some extra things have been added for the Horizon VIew API’s.

PowerCLI has been moving at quite the rapid pace over the last 2 years. In 2018, we’ve been releasing roughly every other month to make sure we get the latest features, performance improvements, and updates available as quickly as possible. Well, it’s been two months and we’re not going to break this trend. Today, we are releasing PowerCLI 11.0.0!

PowerCLI 11.0.0 comes with the following updates:

  • Added a new Security module
  • Added new cmdlets for Host Profiles
  • Added a new cmdlet to interact with NSX-T in VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Support for vSphere 6.7 Update 1
  • Support for NSX-T 2.3
  • Support for Horizon View 7.6
  • Support for vCloud Director 9.5
  • Multiplatform support for the Cloud module
  • Updated the Get-ErrorReport cmdlet
  • Removed the PCloud module
  • Removed the HA module

Even though Jake Robinson already gave me a heads up that this version was coming it’s always the question what has been added for Horizon View. According to the API explorer page no new querydefinitions have been added. Like last time I decided to compare the services against the old list and there are two new additions:

  • CategoryFolder
  • ResourceSettings

I have tried both against a Horizon 7.5 setup and they failed so these are only exposed from Horizon View 7.6 and up.

The first one called Categoryfolder is linked to the possibility to put rdsh applications into folders.

It currently has only one function:

I have also investigated if there was a way to change things using the helper function but sadly it has no .update api call so that’s a no-go. I currently have no rdsh on my lab so I can do the list but it doesn’t show anything.

The other new service is the .ResourceSettings just like categoryfolder it also only has one function:

For this one I can actually show what it’s used for:

It shows the general settings for forced logoffs.

Sadly this service also doesn’t show a way to change things.

Sadly I have no found no way yet to see what queryservice entity’s have been added so hopefully we will have a new API explorer soon (maybe with release notes this time, pretty please VMware?) that shows us all the new goods.

Horizon View Api’s: back to basics part 1: Connecting

Intro

I have done a lot of deep dives but just like the VMware{Code} session I did at VMworld I think it’s time to go back to the basics on how to work with the Horizon api’s from PowerCLI. First up is connecting to a Connection server and disconnecting. I will be showing various ways to do but the new and secure one is the best for me since that’s also usable when you want to schedule scripts.

The easy way

The easiest wat to connect is by using the connect-hvserver SERVERNAME

This will give you a nice credentials popup.

The Unsecure way

The previous way that I used was by using the -user, -pass and maybe the -domain parameters.

The ‘new’ and secure way

Since one of the latest updates it is also possible to use a credential object. We found this out during the Hackathon @VMworld US that it is possible. It will use the good old credentials function from Powershell like in this post from 2008. First you’ll need to make a file with the encrypted password. Big thanks to Ariel & Edgar 🙂 check this for the vDocumentation script.

The next two lines I will combine into one, just because I can.

Doing it in two lines is also possible and might make it a bit easier to read

And then it’s time to connect

That’s easy right?

Connect to the api’s

There’s a little bit more to it so you can actually use the api’s. First we need to put the session into a variable. I always use a number so it’s easy to separate my various pods.

Next up is actually making the services visible. Again I added the number for when I am working with multiple pod’s.

And a quick look at the available services which I will explain in a next blog post.

Disconnecting

If you are connected to a single Connection server this is easy, just a disconnect-hvserver is enough.

Or without confirmation, this is a standard powershell thing.

This will not work when you are connected to multiple Pod’s so you’ll need to specify the server you are connected to.

The End

Next time I will go into some of the things you can do with the services I quickly showed you.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for September 2018

September flew past for me like a whirlwind. So much new things that I learned so here’s my monthly overview of all the new and updated VMware flings. There are three new ones with the DRS Dump Insight H5 PluginWorkspace One Configuration Tool for provisioning and the Horizon Session Recording. Four have received updates: ESXi Compatibility Checker, HCIBench, vRealize Operations REST Notifications and but not least the SDDC Certificate tool. It’s also one of the few months where the HTML5 Client didn’t get an update.

New

Horizon Session Recording

The Horizon Session Recording fling gives Horizon View administrators a way to record and save their users activity.

VMware Horizon Session Recording allows administrators of a VMware Horizon environment record their users activity in their Blast Extreme virtual desktop and application sessions.

With Session Recording, the administrator can choose to record local or remote sessions, to a central recording Server where the administrator can watch the recordings back via a HTML 5 web console integrated into the server.

The Session Recordings are stored as MP4 files for watching via the web console or downloading to play in a local player.

The VMware Horizon Session Recording Fling comprises of two components:

  • A Central Recording Repository + Web Front End
  • The Agent to be installed in the virtual desktop or RDSH host template which facilitates the recording.

Today VMware Horizon Session Recording supports Windows Server 2016 as the Central Server along with Windows 7, 10, Server 2012 and Server 2016 on the agent.

DRS Dump Insight H5 Plugin

If you like the the older DRS Dump Insight fling you will like the DRS Dump Insight H5 Plugin even more. No need anymore for pulling the data yourself, with the Plugin it will be available directly.

The DRS Dump Insight H5 Plugin helps answer simple questions like

  • “Can I get all the recommendations made by DRS?”
  • “Why did DRS make a certain recommendation?”
  • “Why is DRS not making any recommendations to balance my cluster?”
  • “How is my custom affinity/anti-affinity rule affecting load balancing in my cluster?”
  • “If I have a policy defined in my cluster, how different would DRS load balancing be?”

When diagnosing Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) cluster issues in vSphere, we look at vCenter server logs from the support bundle, including DrmDump files to find any clues. Analyzing DrmDumps is a slow and tedious process, is usually done by VMware support or Engineering teams for advanced debugging of algorithm related issues. This is because analyzing the dumps requires building a replayer module, for which one needs access to the source code. Another challenge is that the final DrmDump data is not in plain text format; it requires someone with an understanding of the source code to be able to make good sense of it.

There is an existing DRS Dump Insight fling, which can replay DrmDumps and provide useful information for debugging. However, Dump Insight requires users to manually upload relevant DrmDump files from the time when the issue occurred. With the DRS Dump Insight H5 Plugin, customers do not need to upload any DrmDump files, and can access all the anal yzed information from their vSphere HTML5 web client itself.

  • Once a customer installs the HTML5 plugin, a new DRS Dump Insight tab will be available under the “cluster -> monitor” view.
  • All the DrmDump files that are available for the given cluster are listed in the opening screen. Customers can select the dump file of their choice for analysis.
  • They can also select multiple dump files to be analyzed together.
  • After analysis, the tool shows the analysis for each dump file in a separate tab view.

Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning

The Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning fling is created for the Workspace One provisioning in the Dell factory.

The Workspace ONE Configuration Tool helps you build special-purpose unattend.xml configuration files to be applied in the Dell factory as part of Factory Provisioning. This helps to domain join (domain, workgroup, AAD, AAD Premium) and enroll devices automatically on first-boot. This simplifies the creation of the unattend.xml configuration file for Windows 10.

Features

  • It’s a stand-alone .exe app that helps IT administrators configure general and Out-of-the-Box Experience Windows setups to automatically enroll users in Workspace ONE.
  • The User Interface is made simple with explicit instructions about each field for easy and quick use by IT admins.
  • The User Interface has dynamic and efficient validations in Clarity and Angular, preventing the user from building the unattend.xml until all the validations are correctly satisfied.
  • This makes the UI fool-proof and reduces the chances of generating an invalid xml file.
  • The tool is made as a .Net Core 2.0 web app with Angular 5 and Clarity, which eases the integration of v2.0 into the AirWatch Console.

Updated

ESXi Compatibility Checker

With the ESXi Compatibility Checker a vSphere admin can automatically check and validate a current vSphere environment against the HCL.

Changelog

Build 10066133

  • Fixed bugs

HCIBench

While it probably is optimized for VSAN workloads the HCIBench is a benchmark tool that can be used with any HCI solution.

Changelog

Version 1.6.7.2

  • Enhanced write/read buffer/cache methodology
  • Fixed network ip-prefix selection issue
  • Fixed 95% percentile calculation issue

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper

With the vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper fling it is possible it’s easier to use alerts in vRealize Operations Manager and send them to third-party tools.

Changelog

Version 1.1.2

  • Changed the line endings in text files from Win to Unix

Version 1.1

  • The new version of imset.jar
  • Updated properties file (imset.properties)
  • A new configuration file example (slack.json)
  • New version release notes (v1.1_notes.pdf)

SDDC Certificate Tool

The SDDC Certificate Tool is your one stop shop to replace all the certificates in a range of VMware Products: vSphere,NSX,vRLI,vROps etc.

Changelog

1.0.1 – Build 10253169

  • Spring Frameworks updated to version 4.3.19 due to security vulnerability

My #VMworld presentations @vbrownbag and @vmwarecode

Time flies when you’re having fun and it’s already been over two weeks since I came back from VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas. I just thought of the fact that I promised some people to post my presentations. While they kept looping on the provided mac’s they don’t do that on a windows system, or at least for me.

This is the link to the vBrownbag Presentation

and the video

This is the link to the VMware {Code} presentation

And the video

 

#vCommunity is………teaching the next generation

Yesterday I had the honor of teaching 2 separate classes an introduction to VMware vSphere. This was a first time for me since until now I had always been on the receiving end of schoolclasses/courses. The journey started when I noticed a shared post on linkedin where Ellis Uytdehage of the Radius College in Breda (The Netherlands) was looking for guest lecturers. This is Dutch MBO level and could roughly be translated to Junior College / Vocational Education in other country’s. It’s post high school and they actually learn how to be a systems/network/application admin. The people whom I thought are all in their fourth and last year and doing internships or did BBL which consists of working four days and learning one day each week.

Since I didn’t want to bore the students by making them have to listen to me giving boring college for an hour we decided on me doing a 10 minute introduction and after that I gave them some basic tasks to to in the Virtualization 101 Hands On Lab. I could have gone with some boring specs and workings of vSphere but for me it was also about introducing them to the vCommunity. Supported by a couple of pictures I explained how important it is to share knowledge and that it will pay back in the end. That it isn’t all serious I showed them some of the examples of fun we had at VMworld.

I have to say that despite the HOL’s being slow with 40 persons starting the same lab at the same time that the classes where a success. While several students already used vSphere for a bit at their internships or even had already played with the Hands On Labs, they showed great interest in the tech and I am 100% sure that almost all of them learned something new. My side mission or message of showing them that sharing = caring also came across and if anyone of them wants any help in blogging/presenting/whatever they’re always welcome to contact me.

I would like to thank Ellis, Radius College and my employer AnylinQ for the opportunity and already look forward to next time!

 

 

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

 

VMworld US 2018 report day 4 – Design Studio

Day 4 of VMworld was a quiet day as usual, first there is the TED Style keynote where people with remarkable project can show us what they do. This year it was about autonomous drones & robotics, the most successful course ever on Yale: happiness  and the way how our brain works by a Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience. As always these where great sessions and while they aren’t always related to our day to day work they’re often still very useful.

After this I only had two sessions left, both at the Design studio. Since these where under NDA I can’t tell any more then that they where on VSAN & NSX. In the afternoon I only went out to get some souvenirs and some food and retired to my room for Pizza & football 🙂

step count: 12552

VMworld US 2018 report day 3 – Techconfessions

Goooodmorning Vegas, Day 3 was awesome even though a lot of it was under NDA so I can’t talk about it. After breakfast things started with a PowerCLI deeper dive hosted by the godfathers of PowerCLI Luc Dekens and Kyle Ruddy. During this session I learned several new things including the fact that how I handle the Horizon View API’s isn’t too bad. We even managed to put some heckling in so it wasn’t too bad for an 8 AM session.

After this it was time to head over to the vmtn area since I had to present my own vBrownbag session about the new cmdlets in the vmware.hv.helper module. Again I had the issues with the gif’s that kept looping but I managed to use all the available time and even got a question in.

Since Katie Holms managed to talk me into having my Techconfession taken by her and I have to say it was pretty weird laying on the couch when the vRex walked by. The show will take some time before it will be posted but once I have the link I will definitely broadcast it.

After my Techconfession it was almost time for the EUC Champions sessions and since these are under NDA I can’t really talk about them. We ended them with a great dinner at Stripsteak though where they even managed to sing Happy Birthday for me. Even while I was really really tired Anthony Hook and I decided to head over to the big VMworld Fest and where just in time to see the Royal Machines starting their set. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about them but I really liked their show and it only became better after Fred Durst & DMC showed up.

Step Count for the day was 16757.

VMworld US 2018 report day 2 – vSoccer

Okay Day 2 is gone as well, due to the extra security I have been watching the keynote from the bloggers area. For me it didn’t add a whole lot and while I totally appreciate the Malala story I didn’t see the connection with the conference or tech at all.

After the keynote it was time for my second appearance on the vExpert Daily by Mike Letschin together with Shane Wiliford and Richard Kenyan (and not Sean Massey as the title suggests) we had some fun out there even though we aren’t the biggest party people of all. In the afternoon it was time for my first presentation of this VMworld at the VMware{Code} stage. Sadly Powerpoint on the mac keeps looping all gif’s while they don’t do that on a windows system. Despite that I think it went pretty good and I hope that I soon will be able to give a link to the session.

Knowing that it would become a long day for me I decided to go back to my hotel for a few until Brian Madden’s EUC community geek event would start.

Brian’s event was a late idea so it wasn’t on the official schedule and the amount of people who showed up was also a bit meh but they will allow for more reservations next year to compensate for the no-shows. The evening itself was a bit like the briforum events with short presentations by Sean Massey, Mark Brookfield, Johan van Amersfoort, Mark Plettenberg and Jack Madden. There was beer (and lots of it!), Pizza & snacks so the best combination of things imho.

After Brian’s event it was a quick Uber (although the first one already had some other people in it?) to the Pinball Hall of Fame for the vExpert party. Over there they had a shopping cart full of cups with quarters so we could play and outside at the back one of the best BBQ caterers in Las Vegas was taking care of the food. I didn’t see him myself but Pat Gelsinger also showed up and was his own cool self as far as I heard. Inside I managed to grab some stuffed animals that I was ordered to bring home by the Commander in Chief aka my daughter.

Later in the evening we had a date at the Longevity Sportcenter where we rented a couple of fields to play soccer. This was lots of fun and while I didn’t play the full two hours several people did, how they managed to survive that after 2-3 days of the convention I don’t know.

Step count for this day was 12905 excluding vSoccer since I took my Garmin off for that & and the walk from Mandalay to Excalibur was after midnight so counts for Wednesday..

VMworld US 2018 report day 1 – Hackathon

Today was the official first day for VMworld US 2018. For me it started with the keynote from the press seats in the keynote arena. This was a first time for me since previous years I had decided on viewing it from the community areas. With VMware being almost old enough to grab a beer with it’s 20 years it was all about looking back at the past but also looking forward to the future. The message that I really agree on is that everything has to do with the community. A video of Mercy Ships was shown with their hospital ships that run on VMware products.

New announcements (and yes I might have missed some)

  • Platinum License leven (vSphere + App Defence)
  • vSphere 6.7 U1
  • vSAN EBS with bulk live migration
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for On-Prem
  • Project DImension
  • Pulse 2.0
  • Acquirement of Cloudhealth
  • Coud Automation formerly known as Project Tango
  • Dell Provisioning for Workspace One
  • ESXi on arm64 for edge solutions

After this I went on the exhibition floor for a bit to wander around and look at new products. The floor was mostly about Cloud & monitoring this year where for me Uila and EG Innovations. Rather quickly the vmtn area became THE place to be again for vExperts and everyone in the community.

After lunch I went to the first of my two regular breakouts I visited this week: EUC Champions panel with Brian Madden as moderator. This was a fun panel where we even managed to heckle them from the first row.

Later in the afternoon it was time for the EUC Keynote where some of the newly announced things included Industry baselines for WIndows 10 Modern Management and a demo was shown for Horizon Cloud management.

The day ended with the VMworld hackathon. This kicked of with a short Kyle Ruddy Hecklethon where he introduced the audience into what can be done with PowerCLI.

The Hackathon itself wasn’t that successful for our team since I wasted most of the times with laptop issues. We had applied 1 fix though for the vmware.hv.helper and started work on vDocumentation for Horizon view. It was lots of fun though and that was the most important part for me.

I ended up with a step count of 16.240 for the day.