The VMware Labs flings monthly for April 2019

It has been a quiet month for me on the blogging side of things. I am slowly rebuilding my lab so that costs a lot of time that I can’t spend on blogging. This month two new flings have been released and no less than six have received an update. the new flings are MyVMware CLI and App Volumes Entitlement Sync. The ones to receive an update are App Volumes Toolbox, Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool, Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility, Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool, vSphere HTML5 Web Client,  and HCIBench.

New Releases

MyVMware CLI

The MyVMware CLI fling is an early preview of api’s to download your entitled software from http://my.vmware.com.

MyVMware CLI is a command line client used to login and interact with my.vmware.com.
It provides an interface for programmatic query and download of VMware product binaries.

This Fling is in early preview and allows you to find and download:

  • Every product
  • Every version
  • Every file

Note: Any download attempts will be restricted to the entitlements afforded by your my.vmware.com account.

App Volumes Entitlement Sync

If you have multiple App Volumes installations than the App Volumes Entitlement Sync fling can be usefull to make sure everyone has the same rights everywhere.

The App Volumes Entitlement Sync Fling will read, compare and sync entitlements from one App Volumes instance to another. This helps customers managing multiple App Volumes instances across one or multiple geographic sites.

Updated flings

App Volumes Toolbox

The App Volumes Toolbox fling makes it easier to manage your App Volumes setups.

Changelog

Version 2.0

  • Optimized for App Volumes 2.x
  • Remove support for Enzo and App Volumes 3
  • Bug Fixes

Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool

The Workspace One UEM Workload Migration Tool fling allows you to easily migrate applications and configurations between various WS One setups.

Changelog

Version 1.0.1

  • Fixed issue with expired credentials.

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility allows you to vmotion or move vm’s between linked and unlinked vCenter servers. Since this version it also supports NSX-T Opaque networking.

Changelog

Version 2.6, April 15, 2019

  • Added support for NSX-T Opaque Network (enables migration to/from VMC and on-premises vSphere with NSX-T)

Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool

With the Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool you can automate the process of migrating and backing up from one idm to another.

Changelog

Version 1.6

  • Exports categories to new XML file appname_categories.xml
  • Exports entitlements to a new XML file called appname_entitlements.xml
  • Imports categories
  • Creates the category if it doesn’t exist on tenant where importing
  • Shows if a bundle has an associated entitlement or category xml file
  • Shows number of applications returned
  • Shows number of categories an application has assigned to it
  • Windows reserved characters are replaced with an underscore for export bundle

Version 1.5

  • Allows more than 20 applications to be returned – now up to 500 applications will be returned by the tool
  • Added number of applications returned into the group box title

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Want the newest even with vCenter 6.7? Use the vSphere HTML5 Web Client fling!

Changelog

Fling 4.2.0 – Build 13172979
New Features

  • vSphere Perspective Management available under Administration > Customization > Perspectives This new feature enables administrators to take control of which parts of the UI other administrators see. This is done by defining a set of views and combining them together into a so called “perspective”.
    • [Perspective tab] As an administrator you can show or hide: tabs, portlets and primary views.
    • [Assignments tab] Perspectives can be assigned to both users and groups.
    • Demo is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/06z15xspsvrciys/Perspectives-demo-fling.mp4
  • Code Capture can also capture calls for operations made when managing Content Libraries.
  • Code Capture can generate scripts in additional languages: Python and vRO (vRealize Orchestrator) Javascript.

Known Issues

We noticed an intermittent issue with stopping the vsphere-client. You can always kill the process manually by running these commands

ps -ax | grep java
kill -9
ps -ax | node
kill -9

HCIBench

Want to test your Hyperconverged Infrastructure? HCIBench Is one of the tools you can use for that.

Changelog

Version 2.0

  • Added fio as an alternative workload generator
  • Added Grafana for workload live monitoring
  • Switched UI to clarity
  • Allow user to select one to four cases while using easy-run

Bug fixes

  • MD5 checksum of HCIBench_2.0.ova: ba3c2b06b8c27fb41a1bb68baedb325f

The VMware Labs flings monthly for March 2019

We’re already into April that means it’s time for the flings update for March. There have been 3 updates and two new flings. I already have a blogpost about one of the updated flings: The Horizon Helpdesk Utility. The new flings are: Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool and Physical Desktop as a Thin Client. The updated ones are: vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker, vSphere HTML5 Web Client and as said earlier the Horizon Helpdesk Utility.

New Releases

Physical Desktop as a Thin Client

Personally I don’t see the added value for this fling since there are already plenty of products that provide the functionality and you can even do it yourself with gpo’s. (and the logo is outdated as well)

A thin client is a stateless, fanless desktop terminal that has no hard drive. Thin clients provide businesses a cost-effective way to access virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI). To simplify the operation steps to access VDI, some features are embedded in thin clients.

For example:

  • Launch the RDP client default
  • Hide desktop/task bar
  • Disable system options to prevent user using other applications

And so on

This Fling will convert physical desktop as a thin client. It will restrict end-users’ behaviors when users log into physical desktops. After user logged in, Horizon view client will be launched automatically and other applications are forbidden to switch. Physical desktop will log off automatically once user exit Horizon view clients.

Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool

The Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool helps you in migrating vIDM settings between environments.

Identity Manager Migration/Backup Tool automates the process of exporting or importing applications and entitlements from one Identity Manager instance to another. If entitlements exists, they will also be backed up to an XML file. This Fling uses Identity Manager API’s for Export, Import, Delete and applying entitlements.

Updated flings

vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker

With the vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker you can check easily if you’re hardware is supported for VSAN.

Changelog

Version 2.1

  • Fixed the bug that firmware version of some controllers can’t be fetched

Version 2.0

  • 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
  • Bug fixes

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Nuf said about this one.

Changelog

Fling 4.1.0 – Build 12518617
New Features

  • Hiding VMs in Hosts and Clusters view – A very popular desktop client feature is brought into the vSphere HTML5 client where you can go to User’s menu, select My preferences and Inventory tab from where you can show/hide VMs in Hosts and Clusters view by selecting the checkbox.
  • User’s menu -> My preferences will have additional preference options like Language, Time Zone, Console and Inventory
  • Developer Center now has API Explorer tab listing all the REST APIs exposed by vSphere SDK.
  • New layout for the feedback tool and feedback tool can be invoked even when a dialog is open on the screen. This enables taking the screenshot of the client including the dialogs. Also, feedback tool now has the ability to add screenshots, this will help you compare the features between different clients and upload the screenshots.

Improvements

  • We added the support back to 6.0 vCenters to the fling. You can now point vSphere HTML5 client fling v4.1 to 6.0 or 6.5 or 6.7 version of vCenter servers.
  • License expiration notification now is increased from 60 to 90 days and includes all the licenses
  • Evaluation License is now shown in the licenses list
  • Sorting and Filtering by License Expiration date in the Licenses list

Known Issues

  • New layout of the feedback tool has issues in the Firefox browser, so you will see old feedback tool in that browser.
  • There are some areas where feedback tool might not capture the screenshot of the dialog, like VM edit settings.

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

For a more complete overview of the Horizon Helpdesk Utility fling so the link I posted in the intro to my previous blogpost.

Changelog

Version 1.3.3.1

  • Removed machine listings from session view (overkill)
  • Improved Environment view to include metrics on all connected infrastructure:
    • vSphere
    • Hosts
    • Datastores
    • Remote Pods
    • Events
    • Problem Machines
  • Added repeated queries for logon breakdown if missed on first instance
  • Added event query support for logon breakdown
  • Added events view for Farm and Desktop pools
  • Added inbuilt find / search to users / machines in pool views
  • Added support for multiselect in pool / farm views
  • Added graph / chart views of machines / sessions and problem machines on the environment overview
  • Added a pod switcher to the environment overview
  • Added a global search to the environment overview
  • Added support for Pod Jumping.
    • the ability to jump to a pod on demand
    • the ability to jump to a pod a session belongs to
  • Added support for an architecture view of Desktop Pools
  • Added support for an architecture view of Farms
    • Enhanced view of servers load evaluator value
  • Added bulk user tasks via pool or farm views:
    • Bulk messaging
    • Bulk log off
    • Bulk disconnect
    • Bulk reset
    • Bulk restart
  • Added support for a local pod view (AKA environment view):
    • Connection servers
    • Farms
    • Desktop pools
  • Added documentation (finally)
  • Added MSI installation support
  • Added a start time column to user sessions (this will persist as a preference)

The VMware Labs flings monthly for January 2019

One month down, eleven to go for 2019! I am very busy planning the first Nutanix User Group meet and hopefully I will be selected again as vExpert. You can also still apply for vExpert at http://vexpert.vmware.com/. Back to the flings, this month there has been one new release:  Policy Enforcer and four updates: ESXi Embedded Host Client,
vSphere HTML5 Web Client, vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker and vSphere PKS Plugin.

New Releases

Policy Enforcer

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.

Updated

vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker

With the vSAN Hardware Compatibility List Checker you are able to test your hardware against the vSAN Hardware Compatibility list.

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.

Changelog

Version 2.0

  • 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
  • Bug fixes

vSphere PKS Plugin

The vSphere PKS plugin gives the administrator a graphical interface within the vSphere HTML5 console.

Changelog

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
  • Minor bug fixes

ESXi Embedded Host Client

The latest and greatest version of the ESXi embedded host client as found in production since ESXi6.0

Changelog

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

General 

  • 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!

Changelog

Fling 4.0 – Build 11785236

  • New Features
    • 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
    • Add and Assign license with single operation
    • Authentication Proxy configuration for VC 6.5+ (VC > Configure  > Settings > Authentication Proxy)
  • Improvements
    • Improved performance for Files browser for VC 6.7
  • Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue where starting a Code Capture recording would lead to dialogs loading slowly or not at all.
  • Known Issues
    • To open the Fling UI, you need to use https://<Fling IP>/ui
    • The VMware vSphere Update Manager (VUM) plugin will not be loaded when the Fling 4.0 is connected to vSphere 65
  • Release Notes
    • The upgrade from Fling 3.x to Fling 4.0 will require to establish new connection to the vSphere by providing the vSphere credentials.
    • The Fling 4.0 is based on the vSphere 6.7 client and does not support vSphere versions prior to vSphere 6.5

#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 July 2018

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

The new releases

Policy Builder

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

Official summary:

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

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

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

SDDC Certificate Tool

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

Official summary:

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

Supported Products

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

vAssist.ai NLP Platform

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

Official summary:

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

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

Features

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

Workspace ONE UEM Samsung E-FOTA Tool

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

Official summary:

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

Horizon Helpdesk Utility

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

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

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

Updated flings

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Changelog

July 30, 2018, b1100

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

July 20, 2018, b1099

  • Template update: Windows 10 & Windows Server 2016
  • Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage
  • Registry changes:
reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Classes\CLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}" /v System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
* reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node\CLSID{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}" /v System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\System\GameConfigStore" /v GameDVR_Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\People" /v PeopleBand /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameDVR" /v AppCaptureEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Notifications\Settings\Windows.SystemToast.SecurityAndMaintenance" /v Enabled /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg add "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PenWorkspace" /v PenWorkspaceButtonDesiredVisibility /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f reg delete "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /v OneDrive /F reg delete "HKLM\DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run" /v OneDriveSetup /F

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

Changelog

Version 2.2, July 16, 2018

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

Blockchain on Kubernetes

Changelog

July 16 2018, BoK 2.1

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

HCIBench

Changelog

Version 1.6.7.1

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

Version 1.6.7

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

ESXi Embedded Host Client

Changelog

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

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

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Changelog

Fling 3.40 – Build 9292689
New Features

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

Adding vCenter server to Horizon View using the api’s

Yesterday Sean Massey (https://thevirtualhorizon.com/) asked me if it was possible to add a vCenter server + some other things to Horizon View using the api’s. With a quick look at the api explorer I confirmed this should be possible. The other things he asked I will put in a separate blogpost.

It looks like a simple matter of building the spec and I should be good. In the end it turned out to be a bit more work then expected. Some items are not required according to the api explorer but should at least be called in the spec (set them to something empty) while others can safely be left away. The automatic generated ssl certs in my lab also turned out to be a pita. First I copied them from a current spec and later I downloaded the certificate on the Connection server itself and read that cert. Andrew Morgan (http://andrewmorgan.ie/)from VMware helped me out with this by showing their internal script that they use. It turned out that except for the SSL certs I was on the right path. As usual I will add this functionality to the vmware.hv.helper but since that might take a while I decided to create a useful script

$hvServer = $global:DefaultHVServers[0]
$services=  $hvServer.ExtensionData

# Create required objects

$spec=new-object VMware.Hv.VirtualCenterSpec
$spec.serverspec=new-object vmware.hv.serverspec
$spec.viewComposerData=new-object VMware.Hv.virtualcenterViewComposerData

$spec.Certificateoverride=new-object vmware.hv.CertificateThumbprint
$spec.limits=new-object VMware.Hv.VirtualCenterConcurrentOperationLimits
$spec.storageAcceleratorData=new-object VMware.Hv.virtualcenterStorageAcceleratorData

# vCenter Server specs

$spec.ServerSpec.servername="pod2vcr1.magneet.lab"        # Required, fqdn for the vCenter server
$spec.ServerSpec.port=443                                 # Required
$spec.ServerSpec.usessl=$true                             # Required
$spec.ServerSpec.username="[email protected]"   # Required [email protected]
$vcpassword=read-host "vCenter User password?" -assecurestring
$temppw = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($vcPassword)
$PlainvcPassword = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto($temppw)
$vcencPassword = New-Object VMware.Hv.SecureString
$enc = [system.Text.Encoding]::UTF8
$vcencPassword.Utf8String = $enc.GetBytes($PlainvcPassword)
$spec.ServerSpec.password=$vcencPassword
$spec.ServerSpec.servertype="VIRTUAL_CENTER"

# Description & Displayname, neither is required to be set

#$spec.description="description"              # Not Required
#$spec.displayname="virtualcenterdisplayname" # Not Required

$spec.CertificateOverride=($services.Certificate.Certificate_Validate($spec.serverspec)).thumbprint


# Limits
# Only change when you want to change the default values. It is required to set these in the spec

$spec.limits.vcProvisioningLimit=20
$spec.Limits.VcPowerOperationsLimit=50
$spec.limits.ViewComposerProvisioningLimit=12
$spec.Limits.ViewComposerMaintenanceLimit=20
$spec.Limits.InstantCloneEngineProvisioningLimit=20

# Storage Accelerator data

$spec.StorageAcceleratorData.enabled=$false
#$spec.StorageAcceleratorData.DefaultCacheSizeMB=1024   # Not Required

# Cmposer
# most can be left empty but they need to be set otherwise you'll get a xml error

$spec.ViewComposerData.viewcomposertype="DISABLED"  # DISABLED for none, LOCAL_TO_VC for installed with the vcenter and STANDALONE for s standalone composer


if ($spec.ViewComposerData.viewcomposertype -ne "DISABLED"){
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec=new-object vmware.hv.serverspec
$spec.ViewComposerData.CertificateOverride=new-object VMware.Hv.CertificateThumbprint
  $cmppassword=read-host "Composer user password?" -assecurestring
  $temppw = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($cmpPassword)
  $PlaincmpPassword = [System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto($temppw)
  $cmpencPassword = New-Object VMware.Hv.SecureString
  $enc = [system.Text.Encoding]::UTF8
  $cmpencPassword.Utf8String = $enc.GetBytes($PlainvcPassword)
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec.password=$cmpencPassword
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec.servername="pod2cmp1.magneet.lab"
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec.port=18443
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec.usessl=$true
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec.username="[email protected]"
  $spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec.servertype="VIEW_COMPOSER"
  
  $spec.ViewComposerData.CertificateOverride=($services.Certificate.Certificate_Validate($spec.ViewComposerData.ServerSpec)).thumbprint    
  
}


# Disk reclamation, this is required to be set to either $false or $true
$spec.SeSparseReclamationEnabled=$false 

# This will create the connection
$services.VirtualCenter.VirtualCenter_Create($spec)

Looking at the output it will only ask for the vCenter user’s password and if a Composer server is set for that user’s password.

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for April 2018

It’s been a rather quiet month on the VMware flings front. No wonder with the vSphere 6.7 and other releases this month. Did you already test them? I have to say like vSphere 6.7 but it’s consider the numbering good as well, it wouldn’t have fit to be a 7.* release. One new fling with the PowerCLI for NSX-T Preview, two updated ones with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client and Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI. Another fling has gone GA in vSphere 6.7: VMFork for pyVmomi.

PowerCLI Preview for NSX-T

The one thing lacking for NSX-T was PowerCLI availability, this is solved with the release of the PowerCLI Preview for NSX-T fling. Please be aware that the fling still contains bugs and might even be considered an alpha release.

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI is the go to tool when you want to move vm’s between vCenter servers and don’t want to use the GUI fling. The versioning is a bit weird since we already had 1.6 and now they released 1.6.0.

Version 1.6.0

  • Relocate is failing with validation error “cln is missing”.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Not sure what exact version of the html5 web client went into the vSphere 6.7 release but here you can find an overview of the functionality, don’t mind the url because the text clearly states it’s for 6.7. If you want an even more updated version or want to get used to it in vSphere 6.* then use the fling.

Fling 3.37 – Build 8313530

New Features

  • Add VM vApp option properties read-only view
  • SRIOV networking in clone wizard customize HW page

Improvements

  • Prevent the user from creating a GOSc spec with no specified timezone
  • Resize the migrate wizard to use the largest possible size based on VMware Clarity design standards

Bug Fixes

  • Drag and Drop VM to folder

 

 

The VMware Labs flings monthly for November 2017

A couple of days late this time but here is your monthly dose of Flings! No new ones but seven flings have been updated by VMware labs this month. The Horizon Toolbox, vSphere HTML5 Web Client and the ESXi Embedded host client make their almost monthly appearances while at least two other received updates in a long time: Cross vCenter Vm Mobility – CLI and the VMFork for pyVmomi. The HCIBench and Desktop Watermark also received an update.

 


ESXi Embedded Host Client

By now we should all be using the embedded host Client unless you are forced by greater powers to run on some ancient version of ESXi.

Version 1.24.0 build 7119706 (Fling 19) – November 13, 2017

Minor features and bugfixes
  • GeneralFix failure to deploy OVF/OVA image with disks attached to multiple disk controllers
  • Address race condition when adding new Network Adapter to virtual machine
  • Allow datastore browser to browse VVOL datastores
  • Address timeout issue in datastore browser when client receives unknown datatypes from host
  • Address issue disabling autostart for a VM
  • Allow downloading of flat VMDK files in datastore browser
  • Show the correct VMware Tools version string in VM summary
  • Show pager in VM editor when VM has many hard disks
  • Support OVF properties with pre-defined values, showing dropdowns
  • Allow modifications of root user’s permissions
  • Support for selecting dependent PCI devices when enabling passthrough
  • Other minor bug fixes


vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Like always the HTML5 Web Client received multiple updates in November so the changelog is rather long.

Fling 3.29 – Build 7157335

New Features

  • Configure traffic filtering and marking rules on distributed port groups
  • Export and import distributed switches and distributed port groups

Improvements

  • Configure the policies of distributed port groups inside the New Distributed Port Group wizard

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an error when trying to edit the settings of VMs with failed installation or update of the VM tools
Fling 3.28 – Build 7110681

New Features

  • Configure advanced CPU Identification Mask
  • Select PVRDMA adapter type for a VM network

Improvements

  • Thanks to the fling users who gave the steps to replace the certificates for FAMI UI running at port 5490, added these instructions to v4 of “Create a new certificate for a HTML5 client fling” document

Bug Fixes

  • Licensing views should be visible for 6.0 VC/PSCs
Fling 3.27 – Build 7055108

New Features

  • Popout the Datastore File browser
  • License Details
  • View License VC assets (Read-only)

Improvements

  • Set license name in the Add License workflow

Known Issues

  • License UI might not work against 6.0 VCs, in particular Windows VCs/PSCs.
  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.


VMFork for pyVmomi

This fling has been around for a while and if you ever wanted to fork your VM’s without having to study PowerCLi then this one is for you. It has a warning that it only supports vSphere 6.0 and 6.5 and no newer releases but hey there are none yet so please use it if you like.

Changelog

Version 1.0.3

  • Fixed a bug that prevented CreateChildSpec from being referenced in versions of 6.5 of pyVmomi
  • Updated the requirement to include pyVmomi 6.5 only, up from 6.0, due to a dependency issue

Version 1.0.2

  • Bug fixes & Improvements


Desktop Watermark

Want to make sure screenshots will show that it is your Image being used then the Desktop Watermark fling can be the tool of choice. It can be used for auditing or exhibition purposes or any other way you like. And yes that type in the changelog is a straight copy/paste from the site.

Changelog

Build 1027

Addition

  • Password protection for the configuration & uninstllation


Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

Ever needed to migrate or clones VM’s form one vCenter to the other while there they are not linked? then the Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI might be a good tool in your toolbox.

Changelog

Version 1.4

  • While migrating multiple vms with destination network option, only one vm used to get migrated.This issue has been fixed.


HCIBench

Need to benchmark a Hyperconverged Infrastructure? VDbench is one of the tools to use and VMware labs create the HCIBench to automate this tool. It received a couple of updates since my last post about it.

Changelog

Version 1.6.5.1

  • Enhanced IP segment selection
  • Set open file limit to 4096
  • Updated vm-tools to the latest version
  • Bug fixes

Version 1.6.5

  • Enhanced 95th percentile calculation.
  • Added Curve and Multi Run calculation.
  • Added SSH Service validation.
  • Replaced DHCP Service with Static IP Service.
  • Added IP conflict check.
  • Fixed bunch of bugs.
  • Change the default client VM RAM from 4GB to 8GB


Horizon Toolbox

Being an EUC guy myself this is one of my favorites. The Horizon Toolbox adds some very good tools for servicedesk and operations employees.

Changelog

2017 Nov 30

  • Add a new “Export” button to the clients table

 

Creating local ESXi user in a locked down situation and add it to exception list

So my customer asked for a solution to add local users on ESXi hosts that are in lockdown mode. A side quest was to add these to the lockdown exception list. The use case for this is app volumes, they want to be able to keep using them in case the vCenter server goes down. The trick to this that you need to talk to two different viserver entities. The vCenter server and the local ESXi host since you can add those users via vCenter.

Offcourse PowerCLI to the rescue! I decided to do everything in a try catch construction for some error handling and to give some visual output. These cab be stripped if you want but i like some feedback.

Some of the outtakes:

(get-vmhost $vmhost | get-view).ExitLockdownMode()
(get-vmhost $vmhost | get-view).EnterLockdownMode()

These two disable and enable the current lockdown mode, this is necessary before being able to create the local user.

Try {
$account = Get-VMHostAccount -server $vmhost.name -Id $accountName -ErrorAction Stop |
Set-VMHostAccount -server $vmhost.name -Password ([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($accountPswd))) -Description $accountDescription 
}
Catch   {
$account = New-VMHostAccount -server $vmhost.name -Id $accountName -Password ([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($accountPswd))) -Description $accountDescription -UserAccount -GrantShellAccess 
}

Some encryption stuff in here but that’s because I dislike having password visible as plain tekst. This first test if the account exists and then sets the password and description. If the user doesn’t exist it will create the user for you.

 $rootFolder = Get-Folder -server $vmhost.name -Name ha-folder-root
 New-VIPermission -server $vmhost.name -Entity $rootFolder -Principal $account -Role admin

This gives the newly created or edited user the admin role. If you want to use a custom role this could be added to the script, we decided to go for the admin role since app volumes needs an awful lot of rights anyway. In that case i would recommend to use a variable for role name and create it per host using new-VIrole

$HostAccessManager = Get-View -Server $vCenter $vmhost.ExtensionData.ConfigManager.HostAccessManager
$HostAccessManager.UpdateLockdownExceptions($accountName)

This simply adds the user to the lockdown exception list.

So now the complete script:

#-------------------------------------------------
# Create local ESXi user with admin rights and lockdown exception while the host is in lockdown mode
# 
# Requires PowerCLI 6.5 or higher (module based not snappin)
# Based on scripts by Luc Dekens and others
#
# Version 1.0
# 09-10-2017
# Created by: Wouter Kursten
#
#-------------------------------------------------
#
# Load the required VMware modules (for PowerShell only)

Write-Host "Loading VMware PowerCLI Modules" -ForegroundColor Green
try	{
    get-module -listavailable vm* | import-module -erroraction stop
}
catch	{
    write-host "No Powercli found" -ForegroundColor Red
}

#Ask for connection information

$vcenter=Read-Host "Enter vCenter server name"
$Target = Read-Host "Which hosts? (i.e. server*)"
$rootpassword = Read-Host "Enter root Password" -AsSecureString
$accountName = $userPassword = Read-Host "Enter New Username"
$accountDescription = $userPassword = Read-Host "Enter New User description"
$accountPswd = Read-Host "Enter New User Password" -AsSecureString
$rootuser="root"

# Connect to vCenter
$connectedvCenter = $global:DefaultVIServer

if($connectedvCenter.name -ne $vcenter){
	Connect-VIServer $vCenter -wa 0 | Out-Null
	Write-Host "Connected"
	Write-Host " "
}

# Get the host inventory from vCenter
$vmhosts = Get-VMHost $Target | Sort Name

foreach($vmhost in $vmhosts){
    try {
        (get-vmhost $vmhost | get-view).ExitLockdownMode()
        write-host "Lockdown disabled for $vmhost" -foregroundcolor green
    }
    catch   {
        write-host "can't disable lockdown for $vmhost maybe it's already disabled" -foregroundcolor Red
    }

    connect-viserver -server $vmhost -user $rootuser -password ([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($rootpassword))) -wa 0 -notdefault | Out-Null

    Try {
        $account = Get-VMHostAccount -server $vmhost.name -Id $accountName -ErrorAction Stop |
        Set-VMHostAccount -server $vmhost.name -Password ([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($accountPswd))) -Description $accountDescription 
    }
    Catch   {
        $account = New-VMHostAccount -server $vmhost.name -Id $accountName -Password ([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::PtrToStringAuto([Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal]::SecureStringToBSTR($accountPswd))) -Description $accountDescription -UserAccount -GrantShellAccess 
    }
    
    $rootFolder = Get-Folder -server $vmhost.name -Name ha-folder-root
    New-VIPermission -server $vmhost.name -Entity $rootFolder -Principal $account -Role admin

    #Adding the new user to the Lockdown Exceptions list
    $HostAccessManager = Get-View -Server $vCenter $vmhost.ExtensionData.ConfigManager.HostAccessManager
    $HostAccessManager.UpdateLockdownExceptions($accountName)
     
      
    Disconnect-VIServer $vmhost.name -Confirm:$false  
    try {	
        (get-vmhost $vmhost | get-view).EnterLockdownMode()
        write-host "Lockdown enabled for $vmhost" -foregroundcolor green
    }
    catch   {
        write-host "can't disable lockdown for $vmhost maybe it's already Enabled?" -foregroundcolor Red}
    }
}

    Disconnect-VIServer -Confirm:$false

Future versions of this script will not be edited on here so always check the latest version on github.

 

New and updated VMware flings for September 2017

Intro

No WWE quotes,clips or sounds this month. So here I am reporting from couch central that there have been three updated flings in September. One steady name in this monthly post has been the vSphere HTML5 Web client but don’t underestimate the VMware OS Optimization Tool that is been in here a couple of times already as well. A new name is the Horizon Migration Tool, while it’s been there for quite some time it doesn’t get a lot of updates but it gets them and that’s awesome.

New Flings

None, nada, nothing, you can’t expect to have a new one every month do you?

Updated Flings

The Horizon Migration Tool has been created to help companies migrate from Citrix to Horizon View.

Changelog

Version 3.0.0

  • Supports Citirx to Horizon 7.2 migration
  • Added Citrix PVS Desktop pool migration to Horizon 7.2
  • Added Citrix Dedicate MCS Desktop Pool migraiton to Horizon 7.2 as manual pool, linked-clone pool or instant clone pool
  • Fixed Bug: XenApp applications with customerized path includes spaces will migrate properly.

Like I said before the VMware OS Optimization Tool  is THE tool to use when you want (and you need to!) optimize any Golden Image. No matter if it’s build for VDI,RDS or even physical desktops this is THE go to tool for that.

Changelog

September 20, 2017

  • Supports new mode for optimization item: display-only
  • Supports more easy information retrieval. For example, installed product version, service current status

Clearly the vSphere HTML5 Web Client is getting a lot of updates. In the August version of this post the newest was 3.20 while we’re at 3.23 at the moment. I will give all updates, fixes and known issues since then.

Changelog
Fling 3.23 – Build 6682372

New Features

  • Download folder from the File Browser

Improvements

  • DRS groups can be filtered by member.
  • Replication group are shown on the VM Storage Policy portlet

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
Fling 3.22 – Build 6613965

New Features

  • The list of software packages installed on a host can be viewed (for ESXi version 6.5)
  • Edit Video Card information for a VM

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed few bugs related to snapshots

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
Fling 3.21 – Build 6555866

New Features

  • Create and edit VM customization specifications with custom network configurations
  • Edit/Clone Storage Policy Component
  • Datastore capability sets (Datastore > Configure > Capability sets)
  • Create, edit and delete Link Aggregation Groups on Distributed Switches

Improvements

  • Confirmation on logout when there is upload file task in progress
  • Quick filter is introduced in the network selection dialog at Edit VM Settings > Network Adapter > Browse. It replaces the per-column filtering.
  • Enable/disable IPv6 on ESXi hosts.
  • Shares information is now available on Resource Allocation views for clusters and resource pools.
  • ESXi hardware health: when deployed against 6.5 vCenter, timestamps for sensor readings are displayed.

Bug Fixes

  • Cluster > Monitor > vSphere HA > Heartbeat now displays the actual set of datastores used by HA (used to display only the user-configured datastores)

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.