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
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.
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
Add VM vApp option properties read-only view
SRIOV networking in clone wizard customize HW page
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
[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)
What is there to say about the HCIBench benchmarking tool for Hyperconverged Infrasturctures
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
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
Customize additional hardware devices/options during VM creation or cloning:
Host USB device
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
SSO authentication error during accessing the vSphere Client from the fling appliance is resolved
Fling 3.35 – Build 7914771
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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
Specially build to benchmark VSAN clusters but can be used to test any HCI.
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
Missing anything in the (crappy) Horizon? There is a chance that it might be in this tool!
2018 Jan 18
Horizon 7.4 support
Some bug fixes
Do you want to be sure one of your desktops is used for auditing. With this tool you can set an (in)visible watermark.
This build is signed now.
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.
Fling 3.33 – Build 7616394
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
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.
There has been one new release this month:
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.
Added login compatibility to 5.5 vCenter
Fixed VC certificate parsing bug found with some 5.5 vCenters
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!
2017 Jul 17
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.
Fix one bug which caused the number of concurrent sessions not accurate.
Fix one bug which caused missed domains in login page.
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.
Fling 3.18 – Build 6163115
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
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
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
Import Item into Content Library is not working.
Fixed the bug on import workflow in content library
Fling 3.16 – Build 5956761
Create VM Storage Policy (limited)
Create vSAN Policy (without Tags)
Create Policy with Tags and Common rules
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
Tags, notes, subscription/Publication portlet
Edit settings on the content library
Delete Content Library
Select TCP/IP stack while creating new VMkernel network adapter
Import Item into Content Library is not working.
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.
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.
As seen about everywhere on the interwebs VMware has announced it’s saying bye bye to the good old C# Client, with the next release of vShpere it will not be available anymore. Don’t be afraid that you now need to use the flash client (which has improved considerably in recent vSphere 6.0 releases!) because Vmware has also announced the HTML5 Web Client will be a supported release pretty soon. For your ESXi hosts the HTML5 Host Client already was embedded in 6.0u2.
I can rewrite this but VMware describes it this way on their blog:
Today we have two important announcements. First, the C# client (AKA Desktop Client/thick client/vSphere Client for Windows) will not be available for the next version of vSphere. Current versions of vSphere (6.0, 5.5) will not be affected, as those will follow the standard support period. You’ve heard this from us in the past, but we’ve been waiting for a sufficient replacement before finally moving forward. Second, we want to talk about the recent vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling, user adoption, and VMware’s focus on bringing a great user experience. Like the Embedded Host Client Fling (which made it into vSphere in 6.0U2), we plan on bringing this product into a supported release soon.
We’ll be referring to the new client as the vSphere Client, as it better describes the product, and isn’t a ten syllable mouthful (vSphere HTML5 Web Client).
Looking to the Future
VMware has been working towards the transition to HTML5 with the Platform Services Controller UI, vCenter Server Appliance Management UI, and the Host Client. All three of these were very well received and have become the official interfaces for their respective components. The last (and biggest) one to tackle was the management interface for vCenter Server.
vSphere Web Client has always been intended to be the replacement for the Desktop client, and many of our users have tried to embrace this during the vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0 periods, spending their time working within the Web Client even with the Desktop client available.
While there were certainly issues with the 5.5 and 6.0 Web Client, many users that committed to the experience came to enjoy many of the new features and usability improvements. We also continued to listen to our customers, making further efforts to improve the Web Client experience have been made across 5.5U3, 6.0U1 and 6.0U2, including VUM (vSphere Update Manager) in 6.0U1 Web Client. We have made the Desktop client available during this period, which was much longer than originally planned. But now that time is ending.
Additionally, due to the shift in backend services going from vSphere 6.0 to the next version, updating the Desktop client would have required a huge investment. This may have been okay in a vacuum, but the required resources would have severely impacted the progress of the new vSphere Client, only to end up with four clients for users to juggle. We decided to focus on bringing the new vSphere Client (HTML5 based) up to speed as fast as possible, simultaneously offering a great user experience and getting off of Flash.
This decision is about VMware trying to provide the best user experience: a fast, reliable, scalable modern interface that allows you to get your work done is our primary goal. The new vSphere Client is the best way to achieve that goal. Many have already tried out the Fling (https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vsphere-html5-web-client), with approximately 40% of survey respondents deploying it into Production and using it daily to manage their critical environments. With this Fling, we’ll keep the user experience mostly the same as the Web Client, which we’ve improved, based on your feedback. We also plan on making additional improvements to make it easier for C# users to transition.
One benefit of the Fling delivery model is very fast turnaround. We’ve been able to release a new version of the Fling every week, with new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. More importantly, we’ve been able to quickly incorporate user feedback into the product. Sometimes this means simple bug fixes, sometimes this means changing our priorities to better address user needs. While this pace and model of delivery may not be used for the fully supported releases, due to testing time required, we likely will continue to use the Fling releases to stay on track with users. A fundamental part of this high touch engagement model is users staying as up-to-date as possible, and most of our Fling users are doing just that, so thank you!
We also recognize how important plugins are, and the transition from Web Client to vSphere Client will take second and third-party plugins into account. We’ve already started engaging with plugin developers of all sorts to get them moving to the HTML bridge, which will allow the creation of a single plugin that is forward and backward compatible with both the vSphere Client and the Web Client, creating a smooth transition path. If you require more information on plugin migration, please contact us. One great source of information is this site which contains a lot of future looking information about vCenter. This site will be updated as more information becomes available, so keep an eye on it: http://www.vmware.com/products/vcenter-server/future-overview/overview.html
We do expect the plugin transition to take some time, and this means that we expect to ship the Flex based Web Client and the HTML5 based vSphere Client side by side for some uncertain period. Everyone is very eager to have the new vSphere Client as the only client, but we want to respect the porting development time our partners require.
Seeking your Feedback
Hopefully these announcements come as a shock to no one – they are simply a reiteration of the message VMware has given for years. We are continually working to make vSphere Client a fast, reliable, and scalable product that provides a great overall experience. If you have any comments, please post them below. We’d like to hear feedback from all points of view, as we look to the future instead of the past.