The VMware Labs flings monthly for January 2021 – it’s OSOT time again!

January was a good month for me as I started the Python 100DaysOfCode challenge but the VMware engineers also did plenty of work. Seven flingss received an update and it looks like we have a single new release.

New Release

Desktop Container Tools

Updates

Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Power vRA Cloud

DRS Dump Insight

vSphere Software Asset Management Tool

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Workspace ONE Discovery

Python Client for VMC on AWS

New Releases

Desktop Container Tools

Desktop Container Tools is a free tool that allows you to do basic management of vctl (a CLI tool shipped with VMware Fusion) container engine on macOS for running containers and Kubernetes clusters.

Features

  • Easy&Access

Handy management of vctl container engine through the user interface and Touch Bar. Configure your virtual machines for containers and Kubernetes cluster without CLI.

  • Multi-language Support

Currently support English & Simplified Chinese. More languages are underway.

  • Light & Free

It’s light and it’s free.

Updated Flings

Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

The Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is a sample appliance to help customers to learn and deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

Changelog

Jan 05, 2021 – v1.2.1

  • Support for latest TKG 1.2.1 release
  • Support for TKG Workload Cluster upgrade workflow from K8s 1.18.10 to 1.19.3
  • Updated embedded Harbor to use self-sign TLS certificate (new feature of TKG 1.2.1)
  • Updated to latest version of Harbor (2.1.2)

Known Issue:

DNS resolution issue when installing TKG Extensions. Workaround is to add the following snippet to kapp-controller.yaml

volumeMounts:
- mountPath: /etc/hosts
name: etc
subPath: hosts
volumes:
- name: etc
hostPath:
path: /etc

Power vRA Cloud

PowervRA Cloud is a PowerShell module that abstracts the VMware vRealize Automation Cloud APIs to a set of easily used PowerShell functions. This tool provides a comprehensive command line environment for managing your VMware vRealize Automation Cloud environment.

Changelog

Version 1.3

  • 4 x New Cmdlets for VMC
  • 5 x New Cmdlets for AWS
  • Powershell 7 on Windows Support
  • Bugfixes

DRS Dump Insight

DRS Dump Insight is a portal that vSPhere administrators can use to analyze why DRS performed actions.

Changelog

Version 2.0

  • Added support for 7.0 and 7.0U1 dumps.
  • Toggle added for selective analysis of all full dumps.
  • Bug fixes and backend improvements

vSphere Software Asset Management Tool

The vSphere Software Asset Management (vSAM) is a tool that collects and summarizes vSphere product deployment information. It calls on vSphere APIs for deployment data and produces a PDF report that the customer can consult as a part of their infrastructure review and planning process. This lightweight Java application runs on Windows, Linux or Mac OS.

Changelog

Version 1.3 Update

  • Show Tanzu products in the report.
  • Bug fixes.

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Building a new golden image? Use the OS Optimizer tool to let it perform better but please test test test if all your apps are working.

Changelog

January 2021, b2001 Bug Fixes

  • All optimization entries have been added back into the main user template. This allows manual tuning and selection of all optimizations.
  • Fixed two hardware acceleration selections were not previously controlled by the Common Option for Visual Effect to disable hardware acceleration.

Optimize

  • During an Optimize, the optimization selections are automatically exported to a default json file (%ProgramData%\VMware\OSOT\OptimizedTemplateData.json).

Analyze

  • When an Analyze is run, if the default json file exists (meaning that this image has already been optimized), this is imported and used to select the optimizations and the Common Options selections with the previous choices.
  • If the default selections are required, on subsequent runs of the OS Optimization Tool, delete the default json file, relaunch the tool and run Analyze.

Command Line

  • The OptimizedTemplateData.json file can also be used from the command line with the -applyoptimization parameter.

Optimizations

  • Changed entries for Hyper-V services to not be selected by default. These services are required for VMs deployed onto Azure. Windows installation sets these to manual (trigger) so these so not cause any overhead on vSphere, when left with the default setting.

Workspace ONE Discovery

VMware Workspace ONE UEM is used to manage Windows 10 endpoints, whether it be Certificate Management, Application Deployment or Profile Management. The Discovery Fling enables you to view these from the device point of view and review the Workspace ONE related services, which applications have been successfully deployed, use the granular view to see exactly what has been configured with Profiles, view User & Machine certificates and see which Microsoft Windows Updates have been applied.

Changelog

January 14, 2021 – Version 1.1

  • Updated application icon (ICO)
  • Monitoring the VMware Horizon Client, VMware Digital Experience Telemetry and VMware Hub Health services

Python Client for VMC on AWS

Python Client for VMware Cloud on AWS is an open-source Python-based tool. Written in Python, the tool enables VMware Cloud on AWS users to automate the consumption of their VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC.

Changelog

Version 1.2

  • Added a Dockerfile to build a Docker image to run PyVMC
  • Added Egress counters visibility
  • Added routing table visibility
  • Added L2VPN support
  • Added Nested Group support

The VMware Labs flings monthly for November 2020: time for a new OSOT

In November only one new fling was released while seven other received update. One that received an update was the Horizon Session Recording fling that I blogged about at the time of release. Also it looks like the VSAN team is letting all its tools loose on the community because yet another tool for VSAN has been released (Storage Simulator Using Cellular Automata). The OS Optimization tool received some nice command-line features to improve your automated Golden images builds.

New Release

Storage Simulator Using Cellular Automata

Updates

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference

vRealize Build Tools

Horizon Session Recording

Sample Data Platform on VMware Cloud Foundation with VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Provisioning

VMware Appliance for Folding@Home

ESXi Arm Edition

New Release

Storage Simulator Using Cellular Automata

Storage Simulator Using Cellular Automata is loosely based on the principles of cellular automata (CA) to model the performance characteristics of data path in a vSAN cluster. In general, CA can used to model and study any complex system with number of elements operating in parallel having short range relationships that as whole exhibit emergent behavior. When simulating a storage stack, we are modelling transmission of data blocks across a network of hardware resources communicating with each other through various interconnects. These includes processors, caches, DRAM, SSDs HDDs, PCIe links, ethernet links etc.

When modelling an IO request such as read/write, vSAN software stack applies various functions as the data block moves through this network. These functions include, data replication, parity calculation, checksum, encryption, compression etc. Some of these can lead to IO amplification.

This Fling implements a standalone vSAN simulation utility to aid developers in getting ideal speed-of-light (SOL) performance of a given cluster. This can be used as a starting point to rapidly iterate various ideas/features by making small changes to simulator and quantifying its potential performance impact. It can also be used by customers/partners to identify potential bottlenecks of their deployment under various type of workloads.

Updates

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Always good to see the OSOT getting some new features, bug fixes but laso some nice new command line features and also very important extra knobs to use for Office.

Changelog

November, 2020, b2000

Bug Fixes

  • Resolved the issue that stopped automatic logon in Server and WVD edition after Sysprep process.
  • Resolved a reboot prompt problem which displayed in process of generalizing on Win10 1607 LTSB.
  • Resolved the issue of failing to disable anti-virus feature on Windows 10 2004.
  • Fixed issue where re-enabling Windows Update would pull down feature updates by default.

Common Options

  • Common options selections are now remembered between different runs of the OSOT.
  • For all tabs, user now can apply different Common Options settings multiple times on optimized system.
  • Under Update tab, introduce a new option to switch on/off update feature of Office 365, 2016, 2019
  • Under Store Apps tab, disable checkbox for removed built-in apps

Update

  • New option to defer or directly trigger feature updates
  • New option to defer or directly trigger quality updates
  • New option to skip Office Click-to-Run updates
  • Added commands to stop and disable the App Volumes services when re-enabling Windows Update. These are then set back to automatic when Windows Update is disabled again.

Optimizations

  • Added the ability to export and import selected optimization items on the Optimize page (Export Selections and Import Selections).

Changes:

  • Default for “Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service” is now unselected by default to resolve missed language bar issue.
  • Default for “Connected Devices Platform Service” is now unselected by default.

New:

  • Turn off account privacy notifications in Office 365 and Office 2019

Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference

Project Supernova is to build a common machine learning inference service framework by enabling machine learning inference accelerators across edge endpoint devices, edge systems and cloud, with or without hardware accelerators.

Changelog

Version 1.1 Update

Support Bitfusion
K8S and docker-compose deployment

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 2.10.0 Update

  • [MVN] Improvements in package installer
  • [vROps] Regex support in YAML definitions for vROps content
  • [vRLI] Regex support in YAML definitions for vRLI content
  • [POL] Added Polyglot and ABX support:
    • NodeJS, Python and PowerShell code support
  • new archetype: com.vmware.pscoe.polyglot.archetypes:package-polyglot-archetype
    • two new project types: com.vmware.pscoe.polyglot:polyglot-project; com.vmware.pscoe.serverless:serverless-project
    • tooling for compiling, bundling and packaging: polyglotpkg
  • [TS] Added support for description field for workflow inputs and outputs in the Workflow decorator
  • [vRA-NG] Fixed NPE error during custom resources import

Horizon Session Recording

No need to explain the Horizon Session Recording anymore, just hit the link that I have posted at the beginning of this post.

Changelog

Version 2.2.0

Server Changes:

  • Added the ability to import server settings easily from another running server.
  • Added the ability to filter searches based on farm / pool.
  • Added the ability to lock and unlock sessions from the session view page.

Agent Changes:

1: Misc bugfixes.
2: PowerShell API to interact with the Recording agent, to perform such tasks as:

  • Start a session recording.
  • Stop a session recording.
  • Troubleshoot connectivity issues.
  • View machine configuration
  • Add a trusted certificate.

Sample Data Platform on VMware Cloud Foundation with VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Provisioning

With this Fling, you will leverage your VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 deployment and stand a sample data platform on a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid guest cluster in less than 20-minutes comprising of Kafka, Spark, Solr, and ELK.

Changelog

Version Update 1.1

  • Bug fix for storage class for bitnami kafka

VMware Appliance for Folding@Home

This Fling is a vSphere Appliance that contains the Folding@Home client software. Upon deploying the VMware Appliance for Folding@Home, the user will be prompted to enter information to configure the Folding@Home software. Once the appliance is deployed, the Folding@Home client is running and ready for Working Units. The Fling is also pre-configured to allow remote management of the Folding@Home client. For more information on the Folding@Home Project and how we can be a Force for Good against diseases like the Coronavirus, visit the website www.foldingathome.org.

Nov 18, 2020 – v1.0.5

  • F@H software has been updated to latest 7.6.21

VMware-Appliance-FaH_1.0.5.ova
MD5: 31d1a0c3dd4c308694f24cae77baee95

ESXi Arm Edition

Hello ESXi-Arm Fling participants!

Over the past several years, you’ve seen us demonstrate our virtualization technology on the Arm platform across several use cases, everything from running mission critical workloads on a windmill, to running on the SmartNIC, to running on AWS Graviton in the cloud. We realized that the resilient platform created for the datacenter can be equally valuable in non-traditional environments. We’ve learned a lot from exploratory discussions with customers and Arm Silicon Partners.

Changelog

November 30, 2020 – v1.2

Note: Upgrade is NOT possible, only fresh installation is supported. If you select “Preserve VMFS” option, you can re-register your existing Virtual Machines.

  • UI: Disable datastore browsing when no datastores are present
  • PSCI: Fix missing context_id argument for CPU_ON calls
  • GICv2: Always enable SGIs, as GIC-500
  • arm64: Support for big-endian guests
  • Remove requirements/restrictions on initrd for UEFI-less VMs

Build 17230755
VMware-VMvisor-Installer-7.0.0-17230755.aarch64.iso

The VMware Labs flings monthly for January 2018

It’s that time of the month again with the update flings from VMware labs. In January seven flings received an updated while no new flings have been released, it can’t have a launch party every month can we? Six familiar names with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client, Desktop Watermark, Horizon Toolbox, HCIBench, Blockchain on vSphere and the OS Optimization tool plus the lesser updated (last update august 2016) DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB.

DoD Security Technical Implementation Guide(STIG) ESXi VIB

This one is for the people who have to implement a very high security on their vSphere environment. Please read the changelog, no STIG has been released yet for vSphere 6.5! Since it’s a lesser updated one I will give you the complete description from the fling site:

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. This VIB has been developed to help customers rapidly implement the more challenging aspects of the vSphere STIG. These include the fact that installation is time consuming and must be done manually on the ESXi hosts. In certain cases, it may require complex scripting, or even development of an in-house VIB that would not be officially digitally signed by VMware (and therefore would not be deployed as a normal patch would). The need for a VMware-signed VIB is due to the system level files that are to be replaced. These files cannot be modified at a community supported acceptance level. The use of the VMware-signed STIG VIB provides customers the following benefits:

  • The ability to use vSphere Update Manager (‘VUM’) to quickly deploy the VIB to ESXi hosts (you cannot do this with a customer created VIB)
  • The ability to use VUM to quickly check if all ESXi hosts have the STIG VIB installed and therefore are also in compliance
  • No need to manually replace and copy files directly on each ESXi host in your environment
  • No need to create complex shell scripts that run each time ESXi boots to re-apply settings

Changelog

Update January 2018

Added 6.5 STIG VIB to the downloads section. **Please note this is not based on a DISA STIG as a 6.5 STIG has not been released**

VMware OS Optimization Tool

No need to say a lot about this fling. If you need to optimize a windows system this has been the goto tool for years.

Changelog

January 4, 2018

  • Issue fix: Can not access public templates

Blockchain on vSphere

Want to build & test blockchain applications? This might be a handy tool in your toolbox for that.

Changelog

Jan 15 2018, BoV 1.1

  • Designed to run on PKS(Pivotal Container Services), and validated in PKS Beta
  • Integrate Blockchain Explorer into BoV which makes it easier to view/monitor peers, transactions, etc
  • Enhance BoV to support saving blocks and channel data to persistent volume
  • Optimize the installation process
  • Provide a default channel for blockchain applications
  • Update Fabric to 1.0.5

HCIBench

Specially build to benchmark VSAN clusters but can be used to test any HCI.

Changelog

Version 1.6.5.2

  • Added case comparisons by generating an XLS file for each test folder
  • Fixed bug when there’s white space in datastore name or test name

Horizon Toolbox

Missing anything in the (crappy) Horizon? There is a chance that it might be in this tool!

Changelog

2018 Jan 18

  • Horizon 7.4 support
  • Some bug fixes

Desktop Watermark

Do you want to be sure one of your desktops is used for auditing. With this tool you can set an (in)visible watermark.

Changelog

Build 1127

  • This build is signed now.

Addition

  • Password protection for the configuration & uninstallation
    • was supposed to be added in the previous release as well so might be a copy/paste error

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

Do I really need to add a description to this one? There is a html5 client build into vSphere these days but this version is updated very often and is becoming more and more on par with the (yuck) flash client.

Changelog

Fling 3.33 – Build 7616394

New Features

  • Support for PCI and Shared PCI devices for a VM
  • Create vApp wizard
  • Clone vApp wizard
  • vApp move to Host & Cluster
  • Duplicate a VM customization specification to another VC and with custom name/description
  • Synchronize Licenses action (former Import License Keys Data)
  • Assets’ details
  • Ability to edit VM Advanced configurations in Edit Settings of the VM
  • Change the shortcuts for Power Operations in VMware tools section in the Edit Settings of the VM
  • Change the maximum concurrent VMRC sessions for a VM in the Edit Settings

Bug Fixes

  • Can add an existing hard disk in Edit Settings for VM residing on datastore cluster

Known Issues

  • Creation of child vApp wizard is not working – the workaround is to create a child vApp as separate vApp and use move to operation to move it under the parent one.

Fling 3.32 – Build 7496117

New Features

  • vApp power operations
  • vApp move to operation to folder operation
  • vApp rename operation
  • vApp delete operation
  • vApp export to OVF template

Improvements

  • vApp related VMs tab, datastore tab and networking
  • Add Permission action on VM templates

Updated flings for Horizon View

The last couple of weeks some of the flings applicable for Horizon View and that I had in my VMUG presentation have been updated. The Horizon Toolbox 2 has been updated so it now supports console access for vCenter 6.0u2 and 6.5 + it now supports horizon 7.1. The Horizon OS Optimization Tool got several bugfixes.

Recent change for the Horizon Toolbox 2:

2017-Mar-17 Horizon Toolbox 2.1.3

New Features

  • Support new Horizon version(7.1)
  • Support new VCenter version(VC6.5 and 6.0u2a) in Console Access feature

 

Recent changelog for the OSOT:

April 27, 2017 b1090b

  • Issue Fix: “the node to be removed is not a child of this node” when opitimize windows 10 template
  • Issue Fix: System.NullReferenceException occurs if the network can’t reach any of the public template repository.
  • Template Update (Windows 7/8/8.1): Correct the Menu Show Delay type to REG_SZ in item “Reduce Menu Show Delay”

April 18, 2017

Issue fixed

    • Some optimization items are skipped mistakenly. For example, Remote Apps in Windows 10 template. This is caused by a recent change in Conditional Check feature.

April 17, 2017 b1088

Feature

      • Conditional Check: you can specify on what condition an optimization should be run. For example, when a specific registry key match certain value.

Template

      • “Change Explorer Default View” has been changed to unselected by default, because of conflict to UEM. Details: it causes the locations in “user files” (desktop, downloads, favorites, music, videos , Documents, Pictures) folder is to the local drive c:\Users\Username, its Should be \\server\folder_redirection\%username% when use UEM folder redirection.

Enhancements

      • Public Templates tab: click template on the list is very slow, which should not be
      • Default public template repository URL updated
      • Loading public template repository takes too long

Issue Fix

    • Field validation: prevent user from creating template with blank name