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

 

 

[Horizon API]Discovering pods and sites

When working with a Cloud Pod Architecture with the Horizon API’s we always have to make our scripts so that we connect to each pod separately. What if there is a way to discover the other available pods in a site or other site’s and connect to those? I already spent a couple of posts on working with pods and site’s. In this post I will be mainly using the get and list commands to get the information we need. First of all it’s the easiest to have the credentials saved somewhere because we will be disconnecting and connecting from and to pods. More on that can be found in this post.

To start we need to find what pod we’re currently connected to, with the following command we can list all pods:

$hvservice.Pod.Pod_List()

You see I have two pods: Cluster-Pod2CBR1 and Cluster-POD1CBR1, both have a property called localpod that provides the locality information we need. What we can’t see is if both pods belong to the same site. This can be done by comparing the VMware.Hv.Siteid object but I would prefer to do that from the site side because we might have several pods inside a site and it might become messy that way. The better was is to use that siteid to get all the information from the site.

$localpod=$hvservice.Pod.Pod_List() | where-object {$_.LocalPod -eq $True}
$localpod

And use the site id to grab the localsite.

$localsite=$hvservice.Site.Site_Get($localpod.site)
$localsite
($localsite).pods

The pods object is an array with all the pods within that site, I have added my second pod to this site to show this. Now I am going to select a connection server from each pod, if you want to connect to all the pods regardless the sites you can use the results from pod_list() to create the same output that we get by using this:

$sitepods=foreach ($sitepod in ($localsite.pods)){$hvservice.Pod.Pod_Get($sitepod)}
$sitepods

we still don’t have the name for the connection servers but those are part of the endpoints. We do this by getting the first podendpoint from all the pods within the site.

$podendpoints=foreach ($sitepod in $sitepods){$hvservice.PodEndpoint.PodEndpoint_Get((($sitepod).endpoints | select-object -first 1))}
$podendpoints

Now we’re getting somewhere, we just can’t connect to the serveraddress directly so we need to strip the things from the url’s

$connectionservers=$Podendpoints.serveraddress.replace("https://","").replace(":8472/","")
$connectionservers

Now we have a list of a connection servers from each pod inside site 1. If we would have used the pod_list() as source we would have ended up with one connection server from all pods within the CPA. The only thing we need to do now is to disconnect and do a foreach with whatever we want to do against the connectionservers.

foreach ($connectionserver in $connectionservers){
    Write-Output "This is connectionserver $connectionserver"
    $hvserver=connect-hvserver -Server $connectionserver -cred $cred
    $hvserver.ExtensionData.ConnectionServerHealth.ConnectionServerHealth_List()
    disconnect-hvserver $hvserver -confirm:$false
}

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

VMworld EU 2019 day 3 report

I am writing dus from my own desk in my own house after an awesome VMworld 2019. Day three was the day where I presented at the VMware{Code} theater. There was a good audience that really want to start using the Horizon API’s to automate their environments. The rest of de day I spent for a bit in the Solutions Exchange but mainly in the community area. We talked a lot, played some fussball and at the end of the day we had some fun with Eric Nielsen’s workshop about working with Raspberry pi’s and sensors.

 

VMworld Europe 2019 day 2 report

Day 2 of VMworld was interesting for me. I actually did my first (and only) breakout session in the afternoon about VSAN and was in the first row for the one and only Virtually Speaking Podcast. The day actually started with having control of the @VMware_NL twitter handle during the general session (lots of demos!!) and until noon. I also did another two Design Studio sessions and I can’t encourage enough people to do those because you’re helping out with creating our tools from the future. I was for 45 minutes at the VMworld Fest but there where huge lines at the food stands so I grabbed a but and went back to my hotel where I was asleep in no-time.

 

Day 1 of VMworld Europe 2019

So yesterday was a very interesting day for me. It started at the reserved bloggers seats for the keynote where we didn’t see too much really big announcements. After that I had to rush to the community area for my appearance in the vExpert daily this year. If you’re interested to watch that you can find it over here. And at 12.45 I had another go at vBrownbag presenting on a couple of helpdesk tools for VMware Horizon. The rest of the day mainly was hanging around in the community area distributing Pink Cookies, Stroopwafels and gathering swag inn the solutions Exchange. In the evening I once again went onto a stage with Hans Kraaijeveld at the EUC Community beer and tapas event. This was my biggest crowd to present for until now but the beer part made it rather easy. We even showed a brand new fling called Horizon Reach from Andrew Morgan that hasn’t even been released yet. The evening came to a closing for me at the Benelux party where we had some beers and tapas again.

 

The VMworld day 0 report in text and some tweets

Ever played football (or Soccer for the yanks) after a day at a conference? I did this yesterday for the second year in a row but at least we waited with most of the beer until after doing the active bit. Before that my morning was filled with a couple of sessions at the Design Studio’s. The afternoon was more interesting with a a workshop on operationalizing NSX-T. Or well to be more exact that was the description but it ended up being 4 hours of death by powerpoint. But hey it gave me more time for networking with friends at the vCommunity area after bailing out.

https://twitter.com/GreatWhiteTec/status/1191446898017742848

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

My schedule for VMworld 2019 Barcelona

In less than two weeks VMworld Europe will begin, for me it will be a busy one this year. With four sessions that I will participate in, a bunch of Design Studio sessions, parties and let’s not forget vSoccer (or football for us Europeans). Let me give you an insight into how my schedule will probably look. Probably because things can still change even during the event itself. Sadly there is no Hackathon this year but it would have been a hard choice between that and playing some football anyway.

Monday

My earliest session during the week will actually be on Monday starting at 8am with a Design Studio session. Later in the morning there will be another Design Studio session followed by the entire afternoon filled with an NSX-T workshop. While I am still undecided about the Partner reception I will go to the vSoccer in the evening. After last year’s first but very successful version of it in Las Vegas I am again looking forward to playing some footie with friends. Having lost a bit of weight the last year will also help in how long I will actually stay on the pitch.

Tuesday

This is a packed day for me, after the keynote where we bloggers can sit in the press area I will spend the entire day in the Community area and maybe the Solutions Exchange. I will be there because I will be in the vExpert Daily, will be presenting my own vBrownbag session and someone has to be there as emotional support for my buddy Hans’s first ever vBrownbag as well. From 17.30 I will be at Brian Madden’s EUC Community Tech Talks & Beer evening where I am presenting with previously mentioned Hans. Party wise I can go to the vExpert party but that’s a bit further away than I would like so I’ll wait on where the Benelux party is or I might even just go to the Veaam party.

Wednesday

The Wednesday is a mixed day for me starting in the community area to watch the vExpert Daily followed by two Design Studio sessions and two regular sessions. Well regular? One of the two is the live Virtually Speaking podcast with a lot of great names.

Thursday

On Thursday I will be presenting my own Horizon API 101 Session at the VMware{Code} stage. This session is fully booked but there’s probably a spot for everyone. Session wise I will be doing three regular sessions and a workshop. I will be flying back on Friday so if anyone wants to go out for dinner or something just let me know!