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already plenty of products that provide the functionality and you can even do it yourself with gpo’s. (and the logo is outdated as well)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.

The VMware Labs flings monthly for November 2018

The year’s almost over but for me it feels like it just got started, how does it feel for you? Time certainly flies! This month there was one new fling: vSphere PKS Plugin and five have received updates: Workspace ONE UEM Profile Migration UtilityHCIBenchESXi Embedded Host ClientCross vCenter Workload Migration Utility and Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning.

New

vSphere PKS Plugin

The vSphere PKS Plugin provides a user interface for managing and monitoring Kubernetes cluster deployments for the PKS platform. Using the vSphere PKS Plugin you can view details about your Kubernetes clusters, including master and worker nodes as well as networking configuration.

Features

The vSphere PKS Plugin:

  • Provides a graphical interface to visualize the Kubernetes clusters deployed and managed by PKS
  • Provides visibility into underlying infrastructure such as VMs, network objects and storage objects that are created when a Kubernetes cluster is deployed in a vSphere environment
  • Provides a centralized launch point for viewing components deployed with the Kubernetes cluster, including nodes and network objects such as routers, logical switches, load balancers
  • Provides a simple user interface to get easy access to the cluster using the kubectl interface and the cluster Dashboard

Updated

Workspace ONE UEM Profile Migration Utility

The Workspace ONE UEM Profile Migration Utility helps  in moving profiles between various WS One UEM Consoles.

Changelog

Version 1.6

  • Added a log file for more advanced troubleshooting and auditing. A new file in the folder called: WS1UEM-Profile-Migration-Utility-log.txt
  • Added logic to ensure the user has to hit Review button before Create
  • Fixed a bug where the Status wouldn’t clear if selecting a new Profile therefore the user was unable to tell if the new Create Profile was successful

HCIBench

The HCIBench is a Hyperconverged Infrastructure Benchmark build around VDbench.

Changelog

Version 1.6.8.1

  • Fixed regression when datastore is in the datastore folder
  • Avoid checking connection to host directly and use tvm deployment instead
  • Added Vdbench version check in summary script

Version 1.6.8

  • Added resource pool and VM folder fields for VMC environment
  • Fixed easy-run disk size issue
  • Enhanced pre-validation error message handling
  • Changed the names of network interface from “Public Network” to “Management Network”, and “Private Network” to “VM Network”

ESXi Embedded Host Client

While the ESXi embedded host client has been officially released for 5.5, 6, 6.5 and 6.7 the fling gets all the latest updates.

Changelog

Version 1.32.0 build 10692217 (Fling 22) – November 2, 2018

  • Import / Export
    • Iso files and nvram files can now be exported and imported (if suppored by the esx version)
    • Files can be individually selected when exporting
    • All advanced vm config options are exported by default
    • Several bug fixes related to the export wizard
  • General
    • Permissions previews now display correctly
    • Support Bundles are now generated on the fly
    • Domain user functionality has been restored
    • Fibre Channel WWNs are displayed in hex

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

If you want to use a gui to move vm’s between different vCenter servers than the Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility is the tool to use.

Changelog

Version 2.5, November 5, 2018

  • Remember registered site information (without password)
  • Easily retry a previously attempted task in case of failures
  • Search box for keyword filtering of migration task history
  • Option to clear task history by removing completed tasks
  • Added documentation and other links under the help menu
  • Partial fix for an issue related to duplicate network names

Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning

The Workspace ONE Configuration Tool for Provisioning assists in building unattend.xml configuration files that can be used by Dell (or others when more provide the service) when delivering systems from the factory to set them up for your environment.

Changelog

Release Update – Version 2.0.0

Improvements

  • The version number is shown in the window title
  • The version number is shown as a comment in the generated XML
  • The product key is now validated to conform with the 11111-11111-11111-11111-11111 pattern
  • Split the locale settings into ‘Operating System Language’, and ‘Region and Keyboard Settings’.
  • ‘Operating System Language’ maps to the language of the operating system installation media, and ‘Region and Keyboard Settings’ maps to the locale settings available to the user during OOBE
  • ‘Operating System Language’ is now a required field as it is needed for certain customizations, such as adding a user to the administrators group
  • Removed the ability to set a custom computer name. The computer name now defaults to ‘*’, which causes the Windows OS to generate a random name, taking up to seven characters from the ‘Registered Organization’ field plus eight random characters. This change makes sure every computer has a unique name on the network.
  • The ‘Auto Admin Logon’ feature is no longer selectable. Instead, it will be activated when it is required by the deployment scenario.
  • All deployment scenarios now allow for the creation of a local user.
  • Moved the node from the ‘oobeSystem’ pass to the ‘specialize’ pass
    to be consistent with the node

Bug Fixes

  • Auto Admin Logon would only work with an unattend XML generated for an en-US installation image
  • Enabled the ASSIGNEDTOLOGGEDINUSER=Y flag to enable the WS1 agent to correctly enroll the user in the ‘Workgroup’ deployment scenario
  • Fixed an issue where the ‘Show Privacy Settings’ option would have no effect

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)

Honoured to be named VMware EUC Champion 2018

You might have seen the announcement on the VMware EUC blog, Twitter or the new EUC Champions page already but I have been named one of the VMware End-User Computing (EUC) Champions for 2018. It is an honour to be awarded this status that only a select few receive each year. For me it feels like a true recognition for the work I have been doing with the Horizon API’s and my activity in the broader (EUC) vCommunity.

What is the EUC Champions Program?

EUC Champions is an experts-only program designed to provide a forum where the end-user computing community and VMware EUC product groups come together and share new product information and ideas through in-person meetings, networking events, industry conferences and webinars. This interaction helps ensure VMware EUC experts receive the most up-to-date information, and VMware product teams hear from industry veterans.

Thought leadership is easier said than done. It takes hard work and an ear to the ground to stay on top of industry trends. Many of our 2018 VMware EUC Champions have been thought leaders for decades, while others are rapidly becoming the go-to experts in their respective area. Whether new or returning, this year’s champions are among the ranks of end-user computing experts, who have done the work, made the commitment and signed up for more of the same in 2018.

What are the requirements to become an EUC Champion?

Not everyone is cut out to be an EUC Champion. It takes deep VMware EUC product expertise, an ability to write about it, a willingness to voice your opinion and the talent to clearly and concisely communicate ideas. EUC Champions are respected by their peers and, most importantly, are respectful of others.

Specifically, we look for candidates that meet the following criteria:

  • Member of the vExpert Program
  • Recognized EUC expert
  • Well regarded member of the greater EUC community
  • Recommended group member

Who are the 2018 EUC Champions?

On the new page there is a nice overview of all 34 EUC Champions

https://www.vmware.com/euc-champions/current-champions.html

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 March 2018

So how was your april fools this year? I bet a lot of children have been looking for eggs that where never hidden. Luckily I got away with only a couple of good jokes by my kids. On the VMware flings front there are no new flings but seven have received one or more updates or more exact six have received an update and one has received a couple. The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility received it’s first update and for the App Volumes Utility it was several months ago. Besides those the Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI, HCIBenchVMware OS Optimization ToolvSphere HTML5 Web Client and ESXi Embedded Host Client also received updates.

App Volumes Backup Utility

The App Volumes Backup Utility is one of the few ways to backup those writable volumes. Friends don’t let friends use them but if you do please make sure you have backups.

Version 2.1

  • Added missing pre and post backup prep files

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

This is the graphical tool to move vm’s between vCenter servers. If you prefer a command line way please use the tool below.

Version 1.1.0, March 30, 2018

  • Added a detailed task info view for migration tasks
  • Fixed an issue with site name containing “DOT” characters
  • Display VM resource (CPU, Mem, Disk) info
  • Add a button to clear selected inventory data

Cross vCenter VM Mobility – CLI

This is the CLI way to move those vm’s between linked or not linked vCenter servers. If you prefer something visual then please use the tool above.

Version 1.6

  • Added support for bulk-relocate / bulk-clone which helps the user to migrate / clone multiple VMs specifying various destination locations in a single command.
  • Added support to choose destination resource pool

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Some use scripts, some use other tools but for me the OSOT is the preferred method to optimize my golden images.

March 30, 2018

  • [Template] Issue fix – DELETEVALUE actions do not do anything
  • [Template] Issue fix – DISM commands missing /NoRestart switch
  • [Tool] Issue fix – Switching to another tab loses all unsaved changes
  • [Tool] Enhancement – Simplify user interaction in Template Editor. Now editing template no longer requires repeated Update button click. Mac style editing is applied (Automatically save changes along with edit)

HCIBench

What is there to say about the HCIBench benchmarking tool for Hyperconverged Infrasturctures

Version 1.6.6.

  • Spectre & Meldown patch on both HCIBench VM and Client VM
  • Added client VM prefix field, allow running multiple HCIBench instances against single cluster
  • Attach testing log along with testing results
  • Enabled live vSAN Observer when running testing, using https://HCIBench_IP:8010
  • Updated the drop read/write cache script
  • Added more message info during the testing
  • Bug fixes

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

A couple of updates for the vSphere html5 client, more and more features are being added so it will end on par with the flash client.

Fling 3.36 – Build 8111348

New Features

  • Customize additional hardware devices/options during VM creation or cloning:
    • Host USB device
    • SCSI controller
    • USB controller
    • SATA controller
    • CPU > CPUID Mask > Advanced
    • VM Options > VMRC options
    • VM Options > VMware Tools > Power Operations
    • VM Options > Power Management > Wake up on LAN
    • VM Options > Advanced Configuration Parameters
    • VM Options > Fibre Channel NPIV
  • Warn when about to perform an operation on VM template(s) managed by a solution

Bug Fixes

  • SSO authentication error during accessing the vSphere Client from the fling appliance is resolved
Fling 3.35 – Build 7914771

Improvements

  • UI improvements on Quick search including
    • Search dropdown design is changed to show the top 10 results
    • View all results page design is modified to show grouping in the object navigator and the results in the right pane
  • UI improvements in grouping of hard disks in Edit Settings and VM Summary. If there are more than 4 harddisks for a VM, you will see them grouped in Edit settings. This enhancements will improve the performance of the VM Edit Settings.

ESXi Embedded Host Client

This should eb installed on your ESXi hosts by default by now but ESXi embedded host client is  getting updates trough this channel.

Version 1.29.0 build 8122819 (Fling 20) – March 28, 2018
  • General
    • Reset selection on vm deletion
    • Fix issue with datastore wizard on very large datastores
    • Update available rdm disk list in vm wizard
    • Correct miscalculation of datastore total in wizard
    • Better support for NSX networks
    • Fix clicking issues on full-screen and new tab console screen
    • Prevent password maangers from autofilling optional field on login page.
    • Minor bug fixes and cosmetic changes

{UPDATE]The Dutch VMUG UserCon was awesome!

Update: the video for my session can be found HERE (it is in Dutch!) or watched down below 🙂

 

I know I used it before but Ooooooooooooh what a rush where the last two days. It’s the day after when I am writing this but like I said on twitter I am still bouncing around after the Dutch VMUG UserCon. My own session went great and hopefully I can put the link to the video here very soon. What I can do is give you the slide deck I used and you can find it at the bottom of this post. The only thing I changed was that I added a translated disclaimer since I had way too much fun creating that one. I did create it as a parody of all the VMworld and .Next disclaimers and because I was in the last timeslot of the day and wanted to give the audience something to laugh when they walked in so they would stay awake after a tiring day at our mini VMworld.

disclaimer

Day one

Now about those two days, at the first day I was one of the three judges in our first (hopefully annual) Hackathon. We had three teams, two from partners: ITQ & PQR and one, that got dragged in by their TAM, from the customer side. PQR build a combination of VRA, home automation and Lego Mindstorms. They gave a voice command to a homey and the Lego Mindstorms robot showed the status of the new vm request while Ikea Tradiri would also show the status with a colored bulb. When a vm was rejected the robot dumped the bit the used as example in the bin aka off the table :D. Team ITQ wanted to deploy a PKS cluster by using giving an Amazon Alexa a voice command that in its turn used a slack channel as messagebus to get things deployed. Not everything worked perfect but in the end they were able to ask Alexa for a Minecraft server and a Steve webinterface would give visual feedback if it worked. As an easteregg Steve could also do a barrel roll. Team Dictu had a different use case, they are busy implementing VRA and their TAM though it was a good idea to get some practice at the Hackathon, they did end up deploying things after some waiting on the slow wifi. For me they were the winners for trying to do something almost new to them and getting results as well. That is why I gave them my personal spot price: a six-pack of Achelse Kluis Trappist beer. Overall, we decided not to have a real winner but everyone won as it should be. The theme of Fun, beer and Gyros fitted perfectly and together with everyone who was there I am sure we had an awesome time. Just next year I might think about creating a non-company but vCommunity team of all sorts to do some EUC stuff.

The swag table had some interesting stickers at the hackathon

During the day at day one there were also several VMware R&D sessions (NDA I believe) and a VCDX workshop. The R&D Sessions could use some more audience but the vcdx workshop was very full I believe. For me day one was already a huge success while day two was still coming.

Day two

Day two or more actually UserCon day. I must admit that I didn’t attend a lot of sessions but the keynote by no-one else then Pat Gelsinger was great. He did not get a lot of questions during the q&a part but it filled the time and he had to use the I cannot confirm nor deny that several times. Some of the sessions I attended where a NSX jumpstart for VDI by Pascal van de Bor, a security awareness session (marketed as security for EUC admins & Consultants) and some others. At 15.50h it was time for my own session that was in fact an introduction to PowerCLI for Horizon View. I managed to spoon-feed the audience 61 slides in a bit over 20 minutes without them even noticing it. I had 16 slides with static content including vmug, title, introduction and overview pages. The rest where simply moving gifs (without loops!) that I recorded using ScreentoGif. This allowed me to demo the functions and usage of the results without boring the audience with 10 minutes of typing errors by doing it manually. And yes, some things I had to do over 10 times to get it rights so it was worth doing it that way. I managed to get myself in a relaxed state by listening to some music (Katie Melua this time) while going through the deck one last time. During the presentation I hardly felt the nerves and even managed to keep my cool and not speak too fast like I did before. While last year with Hans it was a success this time was even better and I was really satisfied with the results.

You can find the final presentation here: https://wkursten.stackstorage.com/s/Y8hkexL8qDTXVVb it was built in Dutch but most are demos anyway.

I think these are my lucky socks now since I wore them during day 2.

 

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

New and updated VMware flings for july 2017

Intro

I decided to make this almost monthly post a bit wider and just post updates and new releases of all flings in that month. There are four flings that have been updated at least once this month.

New Flings

There has been one new release this month:

DRS Lens

During the development fase at some point DRS Lens was named DRS Goggle so if you talk to me irl it might be possible that I call it that way. What this Flings does is give you insight in DRS activity. In several dashboards it will help the user visualize why DRS did or maybe didn’t move those vm’s you are so attached to.

As VMware vSphere DRS has become more widely adopted now, more and more users are interested in knowing how it works. They need more insights into DRS activity and actions. They want to know the value that DRS provides to their clusters. DRS Lens is an attempt to provide a UI-based solution to help understand DRS better.

DRS Lens provides a simple, yet powerful interface to highlight the value proposition of vSphere DRS. Providing answers to simple questions about DRS will help quell many of the common concerns that users may have. DRS Lens provides different dashboards in the form of tabs for each cluster being monitored.

Changelog

Version 1.1

  • Added login compatibility to 5.5 vCenter
  • Fixed VC certificate parsing bug found with some 5.5 vCenters

Updated flings

These Flings have received one or more updates during this month.

Horizon Toolbox 2

The Horizon toolbox 2 has been updated to version 7.2 and since Horizon 7.2 itself now contains a Remote Assistance feature in the helpdesk part this has been removed from the fling. This is stil one of my favorite flings that has functionality that should be in Horizon itself!

Changelog

2017 Jul 17

New Features

  • Support Horizon 7.2. Horizon Toolbox uses the same version as the latest supported Horizon.
  • Support end users’ actions auditing (agent side), including USB storage, Client Drive Redirection and Clipboard.
  • Support vSphere Console Access to all Parent Images.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix one bug which caused the number of concurrent sessions not accurate.
  • Fix one bug which caused missed domains in login page.

Removed Features

  • Remote Assistance is part of Horizon 7.2 production (in Help Desk). So we have removed this feature from Horizon Toolbox.

vSphere html5 web client

The updates for this really great fling don’t get a date but a build number. I could find that 3.16 was released early July so I decided to take that one as the oldest for the changelog of the vSphere html5 web client.

Changelog

Fling 3.18 – Build 6163115

Improvements

  • Upgrade distributed switch wizard now supports the upgrade of LACP to Enhanced mode and the upgrade of Network I/O Control to version 3.
  • View settings of link aggregation groups on a distributed switch

Fling 3.17 – Build 6088028

New Features

  • Create VM Storage Policy (limited)
    • Migrate Host Networking to a Distributed Switch
    • Configure default gateway address on VMkernel adapters (ESX 6.5 only)
    • Network I/O Control v3 – configure shares, reservation and limit for the different types of system traffic
    • Customize hardware options when cloning VM or deploying VM from template
    • Create VVol Storage Policies

Improvements

  • Warn when about to edit the settings or perform snapshot operations on VM managed by a solution
  • Warning message when uploading files bigger than the datastore free space

Known Issues

  • Import Item into Content Library is not working.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed the bug on import workflow in content library

Fling 3.16 – Build 5956761

New Features

  • Create VM Storage Policy (limited)
    • Create vSAN Policy (without Tags)
    • Create Policy with Tags and Common rules
  • Distributed Switch
    • Manage physical network adapters at the host level
    • LACP support – view the link aggregation groups created on a distributed switch
    • Upgrade distributed switch wizard
  • SR-IOV support – enable/disable SR-IOV on physical network adapters that support it
  • Content Library
    • Tags, notes, subscription/Publication portlet
    • Edit settings on the content library
    • Delete Content Library
    • Synchronize Library

Improvements

  • Select TCP/IP stack while creating new VMkernel network adapter

Known Issues

  • Import Item into Content Library is not working.

HCIBench

HCIBench is a tool developed for benchmarking the hyper-converged infrastructure. It not only works for VSAN but for all kinds of hyper-converged solutions. Again this tool has no build date but version but the Internet Waybackmachine found for me that 1.6.1 was released back in february.

Changelog

Version 1.6.2

  • Integrated with vSAN Performance Diagnostic of vSphere_6.5U1/vSAN_6.6.1.
  • Added DHCP Service validation.
  • Added Vdbench workload profile validation.
  • Removed the root password expiration policy.
  • Changed results display to show full file names.
  • Changed easy-run calculation from host basis to disk-group basis.