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

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

 

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