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

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

New Release

Storage Simulator Using Cellular Automata

Updates

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference

vRealize Build Tools

Horizon Session Recording

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

VMware Appliance for Folding@Home

ESXi Arm Edition

New Release

Storage Simulator Using Cellular Automata

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

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

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

Updates

VMware OS Optimization Tool

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

Changelog

November, 2020, b2000

Bug Fixes

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

Common Options

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

Update

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

Optimizations

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

Changes:

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

New:

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

Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference

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

Changelog

Version 1.1 Update

Support Bitfusion
K8S and docker-compose deployment

vRealize Build Tools

vRealize Build Tools provides tools to development and release teams implementing solutions based on vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). The solution targets Virtual Infrastructure Administrators and Solution Developers working in parallel on multiple vRealize-based projects who want to use standard DevOps practices.

Changelog

Version 2.10.0 Update

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

Horizon Session Recording

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

Changelog

Version 2.2.0

Server Changes:

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

Agent Changes:

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

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

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

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

Changelog

Version Update 1.1

  • Bug fix for storage class for bitnami kafka

VMware Appliance for Folding@Home

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

Nov 18, 2020 – v1.0.5

  • F@H software has been updated to latest 7.6.21

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

ESXi Arm Edition

Hello ESXi-Arm Fling participants!

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

Changelog

November 30, 2020 – v1.2

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

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

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

The VMware Labs flings monthly for October 2020

First of all I hope that everyone is staying safe en sound and keeping their social distance. Over here we’ve been back to a light lockdown again but at least most of the shops are still open. I just opened the flings site and the VMware engineers have been dam busy! This are the tabs I had after opening all of them.

If I count it right I have six new flings and another eight received updates, I can’t remember the last time we had so much activity on the flings front. The new flings include one of the most anticipated VMware products for the last years: ESXi on Arm!

New Releases

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

vSphere Pod Autoscaler

Workspace ONE Discovery

ESXi Arm Edition

Horizon Peripherals Intelligence

Storage Performance Tester

Updating Flings

vRealize Build Tools

VMCA Certificate Generator

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Workspace ONE App Analyzer for macOS

App Volumes Migration Utility

True SSO Diagnostic Utility

HCIBench

New Releases

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

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

Additionally, this Fling comes with a market data sample application (using real market data from dxFeed) that shows how all these data platform components work together.

vSphere Pod Autoscaler

This Fling is useful for vSphere PodVM users who want to perform auto-scaling on vSphere PodVMs based on memory utilization.

This python script is intended to implement the Horizontal Pod Autoscaler algorithm for podVM for the vSphere 7.0 with Kubernetes. The implementation follows the algorithm from the official Kubernetes documents: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/run-application/horizontal-pod-autoscale/

This script will automatically scale the number of PodVMs in the environment. The script will perform the following actions:

  1. The script will retrieve the memory utilization of PodVMs in the environment
  2. The script will then allow users to provide the memory threshold for PodVMs
  3. The script will then calculate the desired number of replicas based on the memory threshold and utilization
  4. The script will automatically scale the PodVMs to the desired number of replicas calculated in step #3

Workspace ONE Discovery

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

Discovery provides you a view of the Managed device and can be used to help with troubleshooting.

ESXi Arm Edition

Hello ESXi-Arm Fling participants!

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

Now we’d like to give our customers a chance to evaluate this technology in their own environments. This evaluation program is for the enterprise architects who are considering the viability of virtualizing Arm workloads, for the test/dev team looking for a way to spin up Arm environments, and for the tinkerers who simply want to explore running ESXi-Arm in a small form factor Edge environment. We’re interested to understand what features you will find most valuable, and how you will want to deploy this technology.

As there has been an update for this fling already here’s the changelog:

Changelog

October 22, 2020 – v1.1

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

  • Fix for https://flings.vmware.com/esxi-arm-edition/bugs/1098 (PSOD adding to VDS)
  • Support for Arm N1 SDP platform
  • Support for VMs on Neoverse N1 CPU
  • Pass-thru stability improvements to LS1046A and LX2160A platforms
  • Fix for vCenter/DRS incorrect CPU usage
  • Fix for VM crash when VM storage fills up
  • Stability fix for non-coherent DMA device support
  • Installer: tolerate RAM size within 4% of 4GB instead of 3.125 (for the otherwise unsupported RK3399 boards)
  • Serial port handling improvements (for unsupported/unknown boards, to be a bit more resilient of firmware configuration errors)
    • Documentation Updates:
      Moved and expanded iSCSI doc for Pi doc to main ESXi-Arm Fling doc
    • Added LS1046ARDB docs (including ref to it from main ESXi-Arm doc and Fling website)
    • Fixed Ampere server name and links (its HR330A/HR350A, not SR-something)
    • Added Arm N1SDP document (including ref to it from main ESXi-Arm doc)
    • Updated GuestOSes known to work with ESXi-Arm including new “Verified” section
    • Updated instruction to update EEPROM for Pi doc

Build 17068872
VMware-VMvisor-Installer-7.0.0-17068872.aarch64.iso

October 06, 2020 – v1.0 (Initial Release)

Build 16966451

VMware-VMvisor-Installer-7.0.0-16966451.aarch64.iso

Horizon Peripherals Intelligence

Horizon Peripherals Intelligence is an online self-serviced diagnosis service that can help increase the satisfaction when using peripheral devices with Horizon product by both the end users and the admin user. Currently, we support diagnosis for the following device categories – USB storage devices, USB printers, USB scanners, Cameras. We will continue to cover more device categories in the future.

Storage Performance Tester

Storage Performance Tester is a one-click storage performance test tool, which is able to collect IOPS, latency and CPU cycles per I/O for ESXi storage stack. This tool automates all the testing steps including the customized VMs deployment, I/O workload running, and storage performance analysis. It displays the performance metrics through multiple visualized graphical charts. The only thing that users need to do is enter one command and wait for the performance report of your server.

This tool is designed to be a developer-friendly tool help troubleshoot and identify storage performance issues. It could be used to validate the maximum performance of new storage hardwares/drivers and setups of vSphere/vSAN. For more details please check the guild located in the instructions

Updated Flings

VMCA Certificate Generator

The VMCA Certificate Generator is useful to create your own certificates using the VMCA in vCenter if you don’t have access to a purpose build system in your network.

Changelog

Version 1.0 Update

  • Added the open source license file.

vRealize Build Tools

vRealize Build Tools provides tools to development and release teams implementing solutions based on vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). The solution targets Virtual Infrastructure Administrators and Solution Developers working in parallel on multiple vRealize-based projects who want to use standard DevOps practices.

Changelog

Version 2.8.8 Update

  • [MVN] Support SHA1 checksum generation for JS,TS,XML,vRA,vRANG project types.
  • [MVN] Include the pom.xml description content as description of the built vRO package artifact
  • [TS-AutoGen] Define a property for storing the version of the API for which this project is generated.
  • [TS-AutoGen] Store the API version as part of the vRO package description.
  • [vRA-NG] Adds support for import/export of custom resources and resource actions.
  • [TS] Typescript projects for vRO, now support syntax for specifying a description for a configuration element attribute.
  • [vRA-NG] Adds support for using project name when managing vRA-NG content.
  • [vROps] Adds support for vROps 8.1
  • [vROps] Change default authentication provider to Token-based Authentication
  • [TS] Extend vropkg tool to support Polyglot bundle
  • [TS] Support for skipping unmapped dependencies, e.g. –skipUnmappedDeps
  • [TS] Bumped up Typescript version to 3.8.3
  • [TS] Added support for tsconfig file override using the project option of the tsc executable.
  • [MVN] Updated vRBT infrastructure project with latest dependencies and improved installation robustness
  • [vROps] Fixes a problem with resource kind during alert definition import
  • [TS] Use fixed node package versions
  • [vROps] Support for policy assignment to custom groups
  • [vRA] Fixes a problem with vra-ng authentication always setting System Domain and users not being able to authenticate with different domain
  • [vROps] Removed sshHost from Installer. Use host instead.
  • [TS] Make dependency:go-offline execution conditional
  • [TS] All version of Node are supported from 10.x and above
  • [TS] npm repository is no longer needed [TS] Support for RequireJS imports/exports
  • [TS] Support for yaml configurations
  • [TS] Improved workflows and policy templates transpilation
  • [TS] Improved diagnostic messages
  • [TS] Improved handling of cycle references
  • [TS] Extended workflow support
  • [TS] Support for ES2017.String

USB Network Native Driver for ESXi

USB has become one the most widely adopted connection type in the world & USB network adapters are also popular among Edge computing platforms. In some platforms, there is either limited or no PCI/PCIe slots for I/O expansion & in some cases, an Ethernet port is not even available. Another advantage of a USB-based network adapter is that it can be hot-plugged into an system without a reboot which means no impact to the workload, same is true for hot-remove.

This Fling supports the most popular USB network adapter chipsets found in the market. The ASIX USB 2.0 gigabit network ASIX88178a, ASIX USB 3.0 gigabit network ASIX88179, Realtek USB 3.0 gigabit network RTL8152/RTL8153 and Aquantia AQC111U. These are relatively inexpensive devices that many of our existing vSphere customers are already using and are familiar with.

Changelog

October 26, 2020 – v1.7

  • Added support for ESXi 7.0 Update 1
  • USB NIC Bindings are now automatically persistent
  • 5GbE USB NICs now properly show Full vs Half Duplex

Note: This is ONLY for ESXi 7.0 Update 1, for ESXi 7.0/6.7/6.5, please ensure you are using the correct version of driver.

ESXi701-VMKUSB-NIC-FLING-40599856-component-17078334.zip

Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

The Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes grid includes all the things needed tolearn about and run a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

Changelog

Oct 28, 2020 – v1.2.0

  • Support for latest TKG 1.2.0 release
  • Support for TKG Workload Cluster upgrade workflow from K8s 1.18.8 to 1.19.1
  • Updated to latest version of Harbor (1.10.5), Docker Compose (1.27.4), Kubectl (1.18.10), Octant (0.16.1), TMC (6867ad54), TKG Crashd (0.3.1) CLI in appliance

TKG-Demo-Appliance-1.2.0.ova
MD5: 0f0c60358a867b432698144820f8e8b0

Workspace ONE App Analyzer for macOS

The Workspace ONE macOS App Analyzer will determine any Privacy Permissions, Kernel Extensions, or System Extensions needed by an installed macOS application, and can be used to automatically create profiles in Workspace ONE UEM to whitelist those same settings when deploying apps to managed devices.

Changelog

Version 1.1 Update

  • 10/27/2020 – Fixed bug that prevented Privacy Preferences from loading when default shell was set to zsh.

App Volumes Migration Utility

App Volumes Migration Utility allows admins to migrate AppStacks managed by VMware App Volumes 2.18, to the new application package format of App Volumes 4. The format of these packages in App Volumes 4 have evolved to improve performance and help simplify application management.

Changelog

1.0.6 Version Update

  • Create meta_json.zip in migrated appstacks.

HCIBench

HCIBench is THE tool to test the performance of your VSAN cluster. Always use your own metrics based on the actual requirements for your environment.

HCIBench stands for “Hyper-converged Infrastructure Benchmark”. It’s essentially an automation wrapper around the popular and proven open source benchmark tools: Vdbench and Fio that make it easier to automate testing across a HCI cluster. HCIBench aims to simplify and accelerate customer POC performance testing in a consistent and controlled way. The tool fully automates the end-to-end process of deploying test VMs, coordinating workload runs, aggregating test results, performance analysis and collecting necessary data for troubleshooting purposes.

HCIBench is not only a benchmark tool designed for vSAN, but also could be used to evaluate the performance of all kinds of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Storage in vSphere environment.

Changelog

Version 2.5.1 Update

  • Fixed non vSAN cluster testing issue
  • Fixed pre-validation storage policy issue
  • Added in-place upgrading capability, to do so, you can also upgrade HCIBench to the latest version by running the following command in HCIBench: tdnf install -y git && git clone https://github.com/cwei44/HCIBench.git && sh HCIBench/upgrade.sh
    MD5 Checksum: 1d14426f92b353e90469a8623ade2bc1 HCIBench_2.5.1.ova

Version 2.5.0 Update

  • Added support vSAN HCI Mesh testing, now you can test both local and remote vSAN datastores at the same time
  • Added support local storage including VMFS and vSAN-Direct testing
  • Added vSAN Debug Mode, allow user to collect vm-support bundle and vmkstats automatically when running testing against vSAN
  • Changed guest VMs name convention to {vm_prefix}-{datastore_id}-batch_num-sequence_num
  • Enhanced testing report format
  • Allow user to specify customized IP addresses for guest VMs
  • Allow user to configure CPU and Memory for guest VMs
  • Added best practice and network troubleshooting guide in the user manual
  • Bug fixes
  • MD5 Checksum: 817c2c788364f252e728d4253b3b96da HCIBench_2.5.0.ova

True SSO Diagnostic Utility

The True SSO Diagnostic Utility allows for validation of the various components needed for True SSO.

Horizon View True SSO uses Microsoft Enterprise Certificate Servers to issue certificates that are used when the user logs on to the desktop. The Horizon View Enrollment Server (ES) is responsible for sending a certificate request to certificate servers, and for monitoring the PKI configuration settings in the Active Directory.

Changelog

Version 2.2

  • The tool has been updated to allow performance-testing of the enrollment-server.