The VMware Labs flings monthly for August 2019

It’s been a bit quiet on the fling front with VMworld US happening. None the less there have been two new releases and three updates. New releases are the vSAN Performance monitor and Enterprise OpenShift as a Service on Cloud Automation Services flings. Updated where the vSphere Mobile Client, vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper and Virtual Machine Compute Optimizer.

New Releases

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.

The vSAN performance monitor is delivered in a virtual appliance with three major components, i.e., a Telegraf collector, InfluxDB, and a Grafana frontend.

  • Telegraf: Telegraf is the agent that collects metrics from vSAN cluster and stores them in InfluxDB.
  • InfluxDB: InfluxDB is the database to store the metrics
  • Grafana: We use Grafana as the frontend to virtualize the metrics stored in the InfluxDB

Once deployed, users will need to do some simple configuration changes to point the collector to target vSAN cluster(s) and start the service. After that, the data will be collected periodically and can be visualized for meaningful insights.

Enterprise OpenShift as a Service on Cloud Automation Services

This Fling enables a cloud admin to download the package, integrate with Cloud Assembly and other Infrastructure services and be able to provide an “OpenShift Cluster as a Service” offering. This Fling automates the end to end deployment process. End users can simply request for and get an enterprise grade distributed instance of OpenShift Cluster. This Fling provides all the required packages to configure and deploy an enterprise production grade OpenShift cluster using VMware Cloud Assembly Services with minimal effort and in a repeatable, fully automated fashion.

Updated Flings

vSphere Mobile Client

The vSphere Mobile Client is under heavy development to make sure we have the best experience in managing our vSphere environments using our mobile phones.

Changelog

Version 1.4.0

New features

  • Cluster view

Improvements

  • Confirmation dialog on VM quick actions

New Bug Fixes

  • Task card layout improvements
  • Alarms and events truncation issue has been fixed
  • iOS crash report improvementsVersion 1.3.0

New features:

  • Hosts view
  • vCenter dashboard now includes items with most alerts

Improvements

  • Crash reporting for iOS
  • Event categories are now visible (alarm, error, warning)

Bug Fixes

  • Better handling of vCenter name retrieval

vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper

The vRealize Operations REST Notifications Helper helps in creating better REST notifications of alerts.

Changelog

Version 1.2.1

  • Updated instructions for v1.2
  • Minor fixes and improvements

Version 1.2.0

  • Multiple endpoint configurations
  • Blacklist
  • Windows support
  • Minor new features, improvements and fixes

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.

Changelog

Version 1.0.4

  • Added a -Property filter to the Get-View commands for hosts and VMs to reduce time and amount of returned data
  • Removed if statement in Get_Optimal_CPU function that included $hostCPUs as it was not yet being used

 

Generating a clean Host Profile using PowerCLI

First of all: I love Host Profiles! But they’re easy to mess up as well, leave something selected related to hardware and an update in ESXi, vib’s or even a firmware update might break it. For a customer where we are going to do the entire vSphere build from scratch I got the idea to generate an empty Host Profile and extend that one using scripting. At first I though this would be an easy thing but it definitely isn’t, a reply from PowerCLI guru Luc Dekens at the VMware{Code} forums set me on the right path to do so. Luc’s remark that editing Host Profiles might take some reverse engineering for the lack of documentation is a huge understatement. It has cost me many many hours to build the script below.

I strongly recommend having the reference host as clean as possible.

These are the steps the script takes

  1. connect to vCenter
  2. extract a new Host Profile
  3. Gets the new Host Profile
  4. Copies all members of the new Host Profile to an object that can be edited
  5. Sets everything that I could find in my environment to false
  6. Updates the Host Profile with the edited object

Required parameters

  • vCenter
    • Your vCenter host
  • Referencehost
    • the name of the host in vCenter
  • Hostprofilename
    • Name for the Host Profile

There are also a couple of optional parameters:

  • dnshost
    • It’s mandatory to have a DNS set in the defaulttcpipstack. With this parameter you can change this.
  • domainname
    • Like DNS it’s mandatory to have a domainname set in the defaulttcpipstack. With this parameter you can change this
  • Cleanup
    • This one defaults to false but can be set to true. It will remove all NFS Datastores, vmkernel ports, portgroups, device aliases and direct i/o profiles.
    • Use this one with care, if you apply it to a host it will most probably remove all networking details for that host making it unusable.

This is how a manual extracted Host Profile looks

This is how a Host Profile looks after using my script without the cleanup option, everything is deselected but the device aliases for example are kept.

.\create_clean_hostprofile.ps1 -vcenter vCenter -Hostprofilename demo_no_cleanup -referencehost hostname

And this is how it looks with the cleanup used.

.\create_clean_hostprofile.ps1 -vcenter vCenter -Hostprofilename demo_no_cleanup -referencehost hostname -cleanup $true

The script itself can be found on Github as well:

#-------------------------------------------------
# Generates a clean Host Profile
#
# Build using PowerCLI 11
#
# Version 1.0
# 17-08-2019
# Created by: Wouter Kursten
# Website: https://www.retouw.nl
#
#-------------------------------------------------

param(
[Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][String]$Hostprofilename,
[Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][String]$vcenter,
[Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][String]$referencehost,
[Parameter()][String]$dnshost,
[Parameter()][String]$domainname,
[Parameter()][bool]$Cleanup = $false
)

# I grabbed this function somewhere from an example by Luc Dekens
function Copy-Property ($From, $To, $PropertyName ="*"){
    foreach ($p in Get-Member -In $From -MemberType Property -Name $propertyName){
        trap {
            Add-Member -In $To -MemberType NoteProperty -Name $p.Name -Value $From.$($p.Name) -Force
            continue
        }
    $To.$($P.Name) = $From.$($P.Name)
    }
}

#connect to the vCenter
connect-viserver $vcenter

# This deletes any existing Host Profile with the same name as we're using in this script
get-vmhostprofile -name $Hostprofilename  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Remove-VMHostProfile -Confirm:$false

# This creates a new Host Profile from the referencehost
new-vmhostprofile -name $Hostprofilename -referencehost $referencehost

# Retrieves the newly created Host Profile
$hp = Get-VMHostProfile -Name $Hostprofilename

# Creates the spec where the cleanup is done
$spec = New-Object VMware.Vim.HostProfileCompleteConfigSpec

# Copies all properties of the new Host Profile to the spec
Copy-Property -From $hp.ExtensionData.Config -To $spec

# This removes everything that could be specific to the referencehost
if ($cleanup -eq $true){
    $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.Vswitch=$null
    $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.VMportgroup=$null
    $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.HostPortGroup=$null
    $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.pnic=$null
    $spec.ApplyProfile.Storage.NasStorage=$null
    ($spec.ApplyProfile.Property | where-object {$_.PropertyName -like "*DeviceAlias*"}).profile=$null
    ($spec.ApplyProfile.Property | where-object {$_.PropertyName -like "*PCI*"}).profile.property.profile=$null
}

# From here it's just disabling of items except for:
# -items under storage> PSA Configuration (profiles are removed)
# -Properties of the fixed DNS config (set to the default values from this scripts parameters)
$spec.ApplyProfile.Datetime.Enabled=$False
$spec.ApplyProfile.Authentication.Enabled=$False
$spec.ApplyProfile.Authentication.ActiveDirectory.Enabled=$False

foreach ($o in $spec.applyprofile.Option){
    if ($o.Enabled){
        $o.Enabled=$False
    }
}

foreach ($p in $spec.ApplyProfile.Property.Profile){
    if ($p.Enabled){
        $p.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($pa in $p.Property.Profile){
            if ($pa.Enabled){
                $pa.Enabled=$False
                }
        foreach ($paa in $pa.Property.Profile){
                if ($paa.Enabled){
                    $paa.Enabled=$False
                }
        }
    }
}

foreach ($s in $spec.ApplyProfile.Storage.Nasstorage){
    if ($s.Enabled){
        $s.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($sa in $s){
        if ($sa.Enabled){
            $sa.Enabled=$False
        }
    }
}

foreach ($s in $spec.ApplyProfile.Storage.Property.Profile){
    if ($s.Enabled){
        $s.Enabled=$False
    }

    if ($s.ProfileTypeName -eq "psa_psaProfile_PluggableStorageArchitectureProfile" -AND $cleanup -eq $true){
        foreach ($sa in $s.property){
            if ($sa.propertyname -like "*psa_psaProfile_PsaDevice*"){
                [email protected]()
            }
        }
    }
    foreach ($sa in $s.Property.Profile){
        if ($sa.Enabled){
            $sa.Enabled=$False
            }
        foreach ($saa in $sa.Property.Profile){
            if ($saa.Enabled){
                $saa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
    }
}

foreach ($f in $spec.ApplyProfile.Firewall.ruleset){
    if ($f.Enabled){
        $f.Enabled=$False
    }
}

foreach ($n in $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.vswitch){
    if ($n.Enabled){
        $n.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($na in $n){
        if ($na.Enabled){
            $na.Enabled=$False
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.link){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.NumPorts){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.NetworkPolicy){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
    }
}

foreach ($n in $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.pnic){
    if ($n.Enabled){
        $n.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($na in $n){
        if ($na.Enabled){
            $na.Enabled=$False
        }
    }
}

foreach ($n in $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.VmPortGroup){
    if ($n.Enabled){
        $n.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($na in $n){
        if ($na.Enabled){
            $na.Enabled=$False
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.Vlan){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.Vswitch){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.NetworkPolicy){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
    }
}

foreach ($n in $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.HostPortGroup){
    if ($n.Enabled){
        $n.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($na in $n){
        if ($na.Enabled){
            $na.Enabled=$False
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.IpConfig){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.Vlan){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.Vswitch){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.NetworkPolicy){
            if ($naa.enabled -eq $True){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
        }
    }
}

foreach ($n in $spec.ApplyProfile.Network.Property.Profile){
    if ($n.Enabled){
        $n.Enabled=$False
    }
    foreach ($na in $n.Property.Profile){
        if ($na.Enabled){
            $na.Enabled=$False
            }
        foreach ($np in $na.policy.policyoption){
            if ($np.id -eq "FixedDnsConfig"){
                foreach ($npp in $np.parameter){
                    if ($dnshost){
                        if ($npp.key -eq "address") {
                            [string[]][email protected]($dnshost)
                            $npp.value=$dnsarray
                        }
                    }
                    if ($domainname){
                        if ($npp.key -eq "domainName"){
                            $npp.value=$domainname
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
        foreach ($naa in $na.Property.Profile){
            if ($naa.Enabled){
                $naa.Enabled=$False
            }
            foreach ($naaa in $naa.Property.Profile){
                if ($naaa.Enabled){
                    $naaa.Enabled=$False
                }
            }
        }
    }
}


(Get-VMHostProfile $Hostprofilename).ExtensionData.Updatehostprofile($spec)
disconnect-viserver $vcenter -confirm:$False

And yes that’s a lot of foreach’s.

 

 

I have been named EUC Champion for 2019!

A couple of weeks ago I was informed that I would be awarded the EUC Champion for the second time.  The EUC Champions program grew from 35 to 42 and you can find all of us over here: https://www.vmware.com/euc-champions/current-champions.html As you can see in that list my very good friend and vmug stage buddy Hans Kraaijeveld was also awarded the EUC Champion title as well into this EUC elite group of people.

So what are the EUC Champions?

What is the EUC Champions program?
EUC Champions is an experts-only program that provides a forum for the EUC community and VMware EUC product teams to share industry trends, new product information and ideas through in-person meetings, networking events, industry conferences and webinars.

This is the official statement but there is more. We also have access to dedicated EUC Champions Slack channels at the VMware slack with direct contact to some of the EUC product teams. Also the knowledge sharing between each other has been awesome in my opinion. Plus we get to test some flings that Andrew Morgan created that might or might not be released at https://labs.vmware.com/flings

Do you also think you have it to become an EUC Champion? You can find more info at https://www.vmware.com/euc-champions.html

What did I do to become an EUC Champion? Well it’s my blogging over here but certainly also presenting at vmug’s about EUC related things.

 

[API]How to successfully logoff users in Horizon

One of the things that annoy me about the Horizon admin interface is the fact that if you give a session the logoff command that this only works if the user is active aka when the desktop is not locked. With the api’s though (and Andrew implemented this in the helpdesk fling) it is possible to force a logoff. Let’s look at the available method’s first.

So we have a logoff and logoffForced. But there are also the logoffsessions and LofoffSessionsForced, I guess those let you logoff multiple sessions. this is what the extensiondata says about them.

So for the singular method’s we need a single id and for the sessions we need an array of ids. At first I will use get-hvglobalsession (yes, this works against sessions in other pod’s in a cloud pod architecture as well!) to get the id’s to show how it works. I have 5 sessions running from my desktop

$services1.Session.Session_Logoff((get-hvglobalsession | select -first 1).id)

Damn locked, let’s force this bastard from his desktop.

$services1.Session.Session_LogoffForced((get-hvglobalsession | select -first 1).id)

Aaaand it’s gone

And to show that it works I had to make sure the first session wasn’t locked.

And now the big bang fuck all of you!

$services1.Session.Session_LogoffSessionsForced((Get-HVGlobalSession).id)

As you can see one of my users was a but slow in logging off (nested esxi with only a couple vcpu’s for that one) I have also created a script that asks for the user whom you want to logoff and which session you want to logoff in case they have multiple. It’s not the cleanest code that I have written but it works 🙂

$hvserver1=connect-hvserver servername -user user -domain domain -password passwords
$Services1= $hvServer1.ExtensionData

$username= Read-Host "Which user do you want to logoff? (no wildcards needed, part of the name is enough)"

$queryService = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryServiceService
$userdefn = New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryDefinition
$userdefn.queryEntityType = 'ADUserOrGroupSummaryView'
$userfilter1= New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryFilterContains
$userfilter1.membername='base.name'
$userfilter1.value=$username
$userfilter2= New-Object VMware.Hv.QueryFilterEquals
$userfilter2.membername='base.group'
$userfilter2.value=$False
$userfilter=new-object vmware.hv.QueryFilterAnd
[email protected]($userfilter1, $userfilter2)
$userdefn.filter=$userfilter
$users=($queryService.QueryService_Create($Services1, $userdefn)).results

$menu = @{}
for ($i=1;$i -le $users.count; $i++){ 
    Write-Host "$i. $($users[$i-1].base.name)" 
    $menu.Add($i,($users[$i-1].id))
}
[int]$ans = read-host "Please select the correct user"
$user=$menu.Item($ans)

$GlobalSessionQueryService = new-object VMware.Hv.GlobalSessionQueryServiceService
$sessionfilterspec=new-object vmware.hv.GlobalSessionQueryServiceQuerySpec
$sessionfilterspec.user=$user
$sessions=($GlobalSessionQueryService.GlobalSessionQueryService_QueryWithSpec($services1, $sessionfilterspec)).results

$menu = @{}
for ($i=1;$i -le $sessions.count; $i++){ 
    Write-Host "$i. $($sessions[$i-1].namesdata.basenames.MachineOrRDSServerName)" 
    $menu.Add($i,($sessions[$i-1].id))
}
[int]$ans = read-host "Please select the correct VDI Desktop"
$session=$menu.Item($ans)

$Services1.Session.Session_Logoffforced($session)
$queryService.QueryService_DeleteAll($services1)

This script forces the logoff for the sessions since I haven’t been able yet to find where the desktop status (locked or not) is visible.

Updates to the VMware Horizon Helpdesk fling

Today a new version has been released of the VMware Horizon Helpdesk fling by Andrew Morgan. One big change is that the Helpdesk license isn’t required anymore so at least a part of the functionality is available to owners of advanced or standard Horizon licenses.

the entire changelog:

Version 1.4.0.1

  • No longer requires a helpdesk license! Yay!
  • Added the ability to interact with vCenter machines
  • Added the ability to open vCenter VM consoles
  • Added the ability to perform bulk machine actions
  • Added the ability to perform refresh / recompose tasks directly from helpdesk.
  • Fixed performance issues with multiple windows open (see single instance).
  • Fixed a crash when logon durations could not be accessed.
  • Added polling to allow logon durations to be received if notavailable when the session page is requested.
  • Fixed a crash in the ending of processes.
  • Fixed a metric ton of bugs with delegated administration.
  • Fixed a memory leak in the tray icon menu, of all places.
  • Removed the logon page graphic as it was to much of a pain to change it’s colour when changing themes
  • Fixed some layout issues when changing themes.
  • Removed empty sites from the viewon the change pod tray menu.
  • Added preliminary support for Horizon 7.9.

 

Let’s look into some of the new options (will do the options without the helpdesk license last)

Added the ability to interact with vCenter machines 

From the pool view you’ll see an extra button for vCenter actions

And that will give these options

These all speak for themselves in functionality.

Added the ability to open vCenter VM consoles 

Open VM console will give an popup that asks for vCenter credentials.

Hit logon and a vrmc client should start if it’s installed

Added the ability to perform bulk machine actions 

The vCenter actions above can be done against multiple vm’s but also the various actions from View itself

Added the ability to perform refresh / recompose tasks directly from helpdesk. 

No longer requires a helpdesk license! Yay! 

when you use the std license the biggest difference is that you can’t view any specifics inside sessions since that’s all limited to the helpdesk license.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for June 2019

Wow there are already six months gone in 2019. Both my kids passed passed their schoolyears and this month there have been three new fling releases and four that have received updates. The new ones are: vSphere Mobile Client, Workspace ONE UEM SCIM Adapter and FlowGate. The ones that received updates are USB Network Native Driver for ESXi, HCIBench, IOBlazer and the Horizon DaaS Migration Tool.

New Releases

vSphere Mobile Client

I already posted a short blog about this fling over here.

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.

Features

  • VM overview: Review the status of your VMs including state (powered on/off), resource usage and configuration information
  • VM management: Change the power state of a VM or restart it. Locating the virtual machine to operate on can be done through search.
  • Task monitoring: Subscribe to any running task and receive a notification on your mobile device upon task completion, even when your device is in-active or you have another application running on the foreground.
  • Performance charts: Monitor the resource usage of a VM in real time or a day, week, month or year back. Counters include CPU, Memory, Storage and Network.

NOTE: vSphere Mobile Client is currently available for Android and iOS devices and vCenter 6.0+ deployments. Check the “Requirements” tab for more details. Access to vSphere infrastructure may require a secure access method such as VPN on a mobile device.

This is a technical preview release and as such it only has a limited subset of the intended functionality. The team would be releasing updates with new features regularly, but our main task is to gather feedback so please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Workspace ONE UEM SCIM Adapter

Workspace ONE UEM SCIM Adapter provides SCIM user/group management capabilities to Workspace ONE UEM. The middleware translates the System for Cross-Domain Identity Management, SCIM, to a CRUD REST framework that Workspace ONE UEM can interpret. This capability allows Workspace ONE UEM to synchronize cloud-based identity resources (users/groups/entitlements) without the need for an LDAP endpoint (service to service model). Examples include Azure AD, Okta, and Sailpoint.

Flowgate

The Flowgate fling is all about linking IT & Facility systems with each other.

In enterprise data centers, IT infrastructure and facility are generally managed separately, which leads to information gaps. Collaboration between facility and IT infrastructure systems are limited or manual, and virtualization adds more complexity.

The goal of Flowgate is to make facility awareness in IT management system and make IT operations management and automation better on high availability, cost saving and improved sustainability, with more information on power, cooling, environment (e.g. humidity, temperature) and security.

Built-in adapter for multiple DCIM and CMDB system integration:

  • Nlyte
  • PowerIQ
  • Infoblox
  • Labsdb
  • IBIS(TODO)
  • Pulse IoT Center (TODO)
  • Open for other facility system integration

Built-in adapter for multiple IT stack systems:

  • vCenter Server
  • vRealise Operation Manager
  • Open for other IT stack integration. More systems will coming soon.

 

  • UI based Integration process: One click integration.
  • Role based access control: API level access control support.
  • RESTFul API support: Provide unified facility information querying services. APIs for all operations and data query make it easy to integrate with other systems.

Updated flings

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

Are you building an awesome homelab but received some funky USB Network adapters? The USB Network Native Driver for ESXi might just have the correct drivers for you.

Changelog

June 17, 2019 – v1.1

  • Added support for 9 additional USB NIC devices including USB 2.0 RTL8152 & TPLINK (see Requirements page for complete list)
  • Added support for Jumbo Frames (up to 4K) for RTL8153 & AX88179
    ESXi670-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-24524132-offline_bundle-13958648.zip
    ESXi650-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-24599816-offline_bundle-13964320.zip

HCIBench

HCIBench is one of two benchmarking utilities that received an update.

Changelog

Version 2.1

  • Switched UI to dark theme
  • Redesigned VMDK preparation methodology, which can complete much faster using RANDOM on deduped storage
  • Added VMDK preparation process update
  • Added Graphite port check into prevalidation
  • Added vCenter/Host password obfuscation
  • Added “Delete Guest VM” button
  • Fixed Grafana display issue
  • Fixed FIO blank results issue
  • Bug fixes
    MD5 checksum of HCIBench_2.1.ova: d37e6f164ed962a6e7ccbe104ba9eaec

IOBLazer

It looks like the IOBlazer fling was first released in 2014(!!!!) as a tool to benchmark all kinds of storage systems. Since I haven’t posted about it here yet let me give you the overview:

IOBlazer is a multi-platform storage stack micro-benchmark. IOBlazer runs on Linux, Windows and OSX and it is capable of generating a highly customizable workload. Parameters like IO size and pattern, burstiness (number of outstanding IOs), burst interarrival time, read vs. write mix, buffered vs. direct IO, etc., can be configured independently. IOBlazer is also capable of playing back VSCSI traces captured using vscsiStats. The performance metrics reported are throughput (in terms of both IOPS and bytes/s) and IO latency.

IOBlazer evolved from a minimalist MS SQL Server emulator which focused solely on the IO component of said workload. The original tool had limited capabilities as it was able to generate a very specific workload based on the MS SQL Server IO model (Asynchronous, Un-buffered, Gather/Scatter). IOBlazer has now a far more generic IO model, but two limitations still remain:

  1. The alignment of memory accesses on 4 KB boundaries (i.e., a memory page)
  2. The alignment of disk accesses on 512 B boundaries (i.e., a disk sector).

Both limitations are required by the gather/scatter and un-buffered IO models.

A very useful new feature is the capability to playback VSCSI traces captured on VMware ESX through the vscsiStats utility. This allows IOBlazer to generate a synthetic workload absolutely identical to the disk activity of a Virtual Machine, ensuring 100% experiment repeatability.

Changelog

Updates in IOBlazer 1.01:

  • Added configurable IO alignment
  • Increased the robustness of the trace file parser in the face of spurious lines
  • Increased the robustness of the build process by automatically detecting target OS and arch within the Makefile
  • In the Windows version, changed the raw access mode from volume to physical drive to avoid unnecessary mount/unmount operations at every test run.

Horizon DaaS Migration Tool

The Horizon DaaS Migration Tool is for the Horizon DaaS providers to migrate their customers to the latest version of Horizon DaaS.

Changelog

Version 2.1.0

  • Fix for the bug on “Requested Capacity” at the pool/assignment summary page showing inappropriate values.
  • Intelligently handling import of new VMs skipping previously imported VMs.

Small recap of the Belgian VMUG meet on 14-06-2019

Last Friday it was time for my annual trip tot he Belgian vmug meeting. I consider this my home vmug away from home and have been visiting for years. This was the first time I could give back in Belgium since Hans & mine session was accepted in the call for papers.

Our session

Right after the keynote (from which we sadly had to miss a couple of minutes to get setup) we did our presentation in front of about 22-23 people in the attick of the building. Just like at the Dutch vmug we did it about flings & tools for Vmware Horizon. Luckily we could do some of our demo’s locally because the wifi & 4G weren’t delivering a good speed to connect to our labs.One thing is for sure we did the session in the brightest manner ever.

If you are interested in the slidedeck we partially used you can find it here.

Other sessions

Firts of all the keynote by Joe Baguley was great as always. His vision on how things works or should be done has been evolving over the years but always seems to around the same lines. The 2nd keynote bij Johan van Amersfoor about VDI by day,compute by night wasn’t the first time I have seen this session but it’s so good that I don’t mind watching it several times.

The session about Kubernetes by Eric de Witte contained some usefull information since I haven’t done a whole lot with kubernetes yet. The last two sessions for me where Luc Dekens talking PowerCLI (what else?) and Valentin Bondzio about the computational cost of security. Luc’s session was about his style of coding and steps he takes to write codes plus a bit about working with instant clones.

Conclusion

During the day Hans and I had great fun with the people from EG Innovations and 10Zig in the exhibition area. As usual at the BE vmug the day ended with a great BBQ, those belgians do know their food! While not as big as the Dutch vmug UserCon the Belgian vmug meets are always high quality so I will beep going if my schedule allows me too and yes if needed I will take a PTO day for it.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for May 2019

Originally I created this post with only 2 updated and one new fling. Some engineers though added two more new flings so 3 new ones and 2 have received an update. The new ones are the Distributed Trust Incident Reporting fling, vRealize Build Tools and Cloud Automation Services SDK for Python. while the Horizon Toolbox and Horizon Migration Tool have received updates.

New Releases

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.

This Fling is focused on code quality, code reusability, unit testing, dependency management and parallel releases of vRealize projects. In practice, it is a set of Maven extensions, packaged in a Maven repository format, that support the use of IDE (via Maven) and CLI to develop, test and deliver vRA and vRO-based solutions. It includes a vRO plug-in that exposes autocomplete information for standard and third-party scripting objects and actions and CLI that can deploy packages to vRO and vRA via the standard APIs.

Cloud Automation Services SDK for Python

The Cloud Automation Services SDK for Python is a set of Python classes to simplify automation against several aspects of the Cloud Assembly, Service Broker, and Code Stream API when using Python.

Note: The github repo will be public soon!

 

Distributed Trust Incident Reporting

The Distributed Trust Incident Reporting fling is an  open source security incident tracker.

Security incidents are important to track so that all parties know the status of a breach and can respond in concert and with appropriate speed. Current methods to track incidents are generally paper-based manual processes. More recent systems are based on a centralized database with some web interface to interact with the record and response tracking.

We propose that this does not work well enough in the scenarios where:

  • security incidents may affect more than a single entity
  • where more than one entity must respond to an incident
  • some or all entities have no trust in the others
  • no party can or will be responsible for hosting the full system

For example, a security breach in the supply chain for a food manufacturer could result in several retail businesses with products on shelf that contain a pathogen. Current methods of notifying the proper authorities require a phone tree to call all the correct parties which then react as individuals or local committees. In addition the incident must either be initially submitted to each entity separately or one entity must take responsibility to notify the others.

This Fling:

  • allows all parties (e.g. retail, governmental, public) to see the incident via a single report transaction
  • allows all parties to respond in concert as required
  • allows automated systems to report incidents
  • allows transparency across all organizations

Updated flings

Horizon Toolbox

The Horizon toolbox is an extension to the Horizon Admin Console giving all kinds of user and session information. It is no replacement for the Horizon Helpdesk (or the fling).

Changelog

May 28, 2019, 7.8.0

  • Fix some incompatible issues
  • Only support Horizon View 7.7 & 7.8

Horizon Migration Tool

The Horizon Migration Tool helps you migrating from Citrix to an On-Prem Horizon Environment.

Changelog

Version 3.0.2

  • Updated the binary package and the document accordingly

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)

vExpert 2019? check! Why does it matter for me?

Last week whilst on holiday in Disneyland Paris I received the email every aspiring and existing vExpert was waiting for.

This means that for the fourth consecutive year I have been named a vExpert.

What is a vExpert? (or any other community award like NutanixNTC)

Per the vExpert site the criteria for becoming a vExpert are:

If you are interested in becoming a vExpert the criteria is simple. We are looking for IT Professionals who are sharing their VMware knowledge and contributing that back to the community. The term “giving back” is defined as going above and beyond your day job. There are several ways to share your knowledge and engage with the community. Some of those activities are blogging, book authoring, magazine articles, CloudCred task writing, active in facebook groups, forum (VMTN as well as other non VMware) platforms, public speaking, VMUG leadership, videos and so on.

I totally agree on the above description, for me a real vExpert shares knowledge in one of many ways. But blogging, speaking, tweeting, podcasting, writing isn’t the only way. We answer questions online and offline and if we don’t know the answer than we have an awesome backstop to ask questions called the vCommunity. Is it technical only you might ask? Absolutely not! I have seen hundreds of job changes by now because of the vCommunity. People were helped with personal issues, hell even home deco tips and tricks are shared. I think it’s just in our nature to help one another.

Yes it’s also about advocacy but the sharing of information is all voluntary. Do you want to tweet or blog about stuff? No-one will force you but they do appreciate it if you share news.

One things advocacy program members are also good at is providing feedback. Not only to the software vendor but if you want some feedback about a possible blog post, presentation idea, news item or piece of hardware most of us will give you that feedback. Just be prepared because we can be brutally honest if it sucks!

But there are over 1700 vExperts, is it about quantity or Quality?

This is a point where I personally disagree on how the program is run. I have the idea that they want to grow just to grow and for me the selection criteria could be tightened quite a bit. I value growing but please do it by adding quality. If you look at smaller programs like some of the vExpert subprograms or others like the VMware EUC Champions or Nutanix NTC’s they are most times better managed, get more briefings, nda information and events. Not that the vExpert program is managed badly or doesn’t have an awesome party at VMworld but things just get more complicated at this scale.

But does the program still matter to you?

It certainly does! Through the vExpert program I have managed to grow personally and professionally but also made boatloads of friends online and offline. All the extra’s like licenses, swag and things like that are fun but nothing is as good as knowing you have some great people who are always happy to help you in any way possible!

I want in too, how do I become a vExpert?

Currently the sign ups are closed but until they open again (probably somewhere in June) you can start doing some things already:

  • Start a blog, most people do it as their own knowledge base. Write about what you experienced at work or a customer so you won’t forget it for next time.
  • Get a twitter account, follow a bunch of people and interact with them.
  • Help others out in places like VMTN, Reddit.
  • Present at a vmug or at your employer about things that could be interesting to others. This could be as basic as explaining how your homelab is setup.

If you need help or feedback on your blog or need help on how to build your presentation I am always happy to provide my 2 cents.

When the sign ups are opened again contact your local vExpert pro with how to tackle the application form. You can also ask me or any other vExpert you might know personally.