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:

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)

New and updated VMware flings for September 2017

Intro

No WWE quotes,clips or sounds this month. So here I am reporting from couch central that there have been three updated flings in September. One steady name in this monthly post has been the vSphere HTML5 Web client but don’t underestimate the VMware OS Optimization Tool that is been in here a couple of times already as well. A new name is the Horizon Migration Tool, while it’s been there for quite some time it doesn’t get a lot of updates but it gets them and that’s awesome.

New Flings

None, nada, nothing, you can’t expect to have a new one every month do you?

Updated Flings

The Horizon Migration Tool has been created to help companies migrate from Citrix to Horizon View.

Changelog

Version 3.0.0

  • Supports Citirx to Horizon 7.2 migration
  • Added Citrix PVS Desktop pool migration to Horizon 7.2
  • Added Citrix Dedicate MCS Desktop Pool migraiton to Horizon 7.2 as manual pool, linked-clone pool or instant clone pool
  • Fixed Bug: XenApp applications with customerized path includes spaces will migrate properly.

Like I said before the VMware OS Optimization Tool  is THE tool to use when you want (and you need to!) optimize any Golden Image. No matter if it’s build for VDI,RDS or even physical desktops this is THE go to tool for that.

Changelog

September 20, 2017

  • Supports new mode for optimization item: display-only
  • Supports more easy information retrieval. For example, installed product version, service current status

Clearly the vSphere HTML5 Web Client is getting a lot of updates. In the August version of this post the newest was 3.20 while we’re at 3.23 at the moment. I will give all updates, fixes and known issues since then.

Changelog
Fling 3.23 – Build 6682372

New Features

  • Download folder from the File Browser

Improvements

  • DRS groups can be filtered by member.
  • Replication group are shown on the VM Storage Policy portlet

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
Fling 3.22 – Build 6613965

New Features

  • The list of software packages installed on a host can be viewed (for ESXi version 6.5)
  • Edit Video Card information for a VM

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed few bugs related to snapshots

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
Fling 3.21 – Build 6555866

New Features

  • Create and edit VM customization specifications with custom network configurations
  • Edit/Clone Storage Policy Component
  • Datastore capability sets (Datastore > Configure > Capability sets)
  • Create, edit and delete Link Aggregation Groups on Distributed Switches

Improvements

  • Confirmation on logout when there is upload file task in progress
  • Quick filter is introduced in the network selection dialog at Edit VM Settings > Network Adapter > Browse. It replaces the per-column filtering.
  • Enable/disable IPv6 on ESXi hosts.
  • Shares information is now available on Resource Allocation views for clusters and resource pools.
  • ESXi hardware health: when deployed against 6.5 vCenter, timestamps for sensor readings are displayed.

Bug Fixes

  • Cluster > Monitor > vSphere HA > Heartbeat now displays the actual set of datastores used by HA (used to display only the user-configured datastores)

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.

New and updated VMware flings for August 2017

Intro

(For those of you who ever watch or used to watch WWE think: New Age Outlaws. For those who never did watch this from about 1:40.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, nerds of all ages. Retouw.nl proudly brings to you, the monthly  VMware Labs updated Fliiiiings. The new, the updated change logs and all.

“And if you ain’t down with that I got two words for ya: read it!”

This month we had two new flings and six updated including a dinosaur that I even forgot it existed!

New Flings

vRealize Operations Export tool

Ever felt the need to export all of that vRops data because you don’t trust the recommendations it makes for you? This is your chance to do just that. The vRealize Operations Export Tool actually is an Open Source Fling and can be found on Github. If you want to know more about the VMware Open Source initiative visiting this site might be usefull.

Changelog

No changelog yet.

DRS Dump Insight

While DRS Lens already gives you some insight in why DRS actions might be happening the DRS Dump Insight actually uses drmdump files created on vCenter and analyses why a DRS action really happened or not and you can also run what-if scenarios to see what would happen if a threshold had been breached.

Changelog

Again no changelog yet.

Updated flings

Like I said 6 updated flings and let’s start with the Dinosaur you (like me) might have forgotten.

Visual Esxtop

WHAT? Yes Visual Esxtop has been updated! Duncan wrote about this over four years ago and I believe it might actually be older then that. The name says enough, this shows you the output from ESXtop in a graphical way and since I can never ever describe it better then Duncan head over there to read about it!

Changelog

I could copy the only changelog item but since that mentions vSphere 5.5 I think this might be an old one 🙂

ESXi Embedded Host Client

The ESXi Embedded Host client is in the GA product since 6.x but there’s still lab updates being released. Some very nice fixes have been implemented.

Changelog

Version 1.23.0 build 6360286 (Fling 18) – August 16, 2017

Minor features and bugfixes

  • General
    • Display the VM List in the Host autostart settings
    • Fix role selection in IE 11
    • Correct partition info portlet
    • Better handling of unknown partition types
    • Fix issue with fractional cores per socket in VM settings
    • Several wizard fixes
    • Remove persistent warning when importing VMs that include a floppy drive
    • Fix hidden selection when using the ‘select all’ checkbox in a filtered VM list
    • Handle OVAs with a missing description field
    • Available NICs display correctly
    • Default VMFS to the most recent version when formatting
    • Security fixes

VMware OS Optimization Tool

This is THE go to application if it comes to building golden images for VDI or SBC environments. If it is Horizon or Citrix if you don’t optimize you will fail!

Changelog

August 2, 2017

  • New Template: App Volumes Packaging Machine – This template is intended to be used by Application Packagers who are responsible for creating AppStacks and should only be used on the ‘Packaging machine’.

vSphere HTML5 Web Client

The HTML5 client  got a couple of updates with heaps of new features and bugfixes.

Changelog

Fling 3.20 – Build 6433743

New Features

  • Installed I/O Filters for Cluster and Host
  • Create and configure network resource pools in Network I/O Control v3

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed exception when navigating to VM summary page and configuring VM overrides: “Could not fetch query binding: com.vmware.vsphere.client.clusterui.model.services.VmFailureResponsesData”

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.

Fling 3.19 – Build 6365405

New Features

  • Add host and client USB device to a VM
  • Add USB controller
  • Assign License action on VC/Cluster/Host
  • Edit/Clone VM Storage Policy
  • Edit Storage Policies of a VM (Actions > VM Policies > Edit VM Storage Policies…)
  • Storage Policy components view
  • Create/Delete Storage Policy components
  • Related VM Templates view for a Storage Policy
  • Mount VVOL datastore action
  • VVOL Capability Profiles Capacity portlet
  • Create and edit VM customization specifications (without custom network configurations)
  • Configure per disk option on Select storage page when cloning VM/template
  • Host lists can be sorted by consumed CPU and memory
  • Monitoring DRS memory utilization for clusters allows switching between active and consumed memory for the charts
  • Updated UI of the compatibility issues dialog in the migrate wizard – ability to sort the compatibility by VM, host or compatibility issue

Bug Fixes

  • The list of physical network adapters didn’t render correctly for some ESX hosts and an error message was appearing on the top of the page
  • Setting the DRS advanced option “PercentIdleMBInMemDemand” through the advanced settings now works for any value

Known Issues

  • If you see error in the vSphere Client (HTML5) similar to this – ‘getHostIsAssignLicenseActionAvailable’, then you can resolve this error by following below steps:
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA), then you should reregister the fling appliance by logging in to FAMI UI (or by running the config-ui CLI). Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for VCSA.
    • If vSphere Client (HTML5) Fling appliance is pointed to a Windows vCenter Server, then reregister by downloading latest server-configure.bat from the Download section of this website. Refer the instructions document to follow the steps for configuring Fling appliance for Windows vCenter Server.
  • If you see this error when you click on the VM – “Could not fetch query binding: com.vmware.vsphere.client.clusterui.model.services.VmFailureResponsesData cause: java.lang.RuntimeException: Could not fetch query binding: com.vmware.vsphere.client.clusterui.model.services.VmVmcpSupportData”, collaps the HA portlet in the VM summary. We are working on fixing this.

HCIBench

HCIBench is a tool to test your hyperconverged infrastructure. No vSan required, any HCI is good as long as it runs vSphere.

Changelog

Version Version 1.6.3

  • Enhanced vSANPerformanceDiagnose function call
  • Enhanced port 443 validation
  • Enhanced results calculation
  • Added host maintenance mode validation
  • Added deployment validation

Horizon Toolbox

This one came out at the very last moment of August. Some bugs have been fixed and a couple of old features that had been removed have been re-added but have been marked deprecated.

Changelog

2017-Aug-31 Horizon Toolbox 7.2.1

Bugs fixed

  • Auditing – Export CSV failed
  • Console Access – Some vCenter versions were not supported. Now, almost all vCenter versions after 5.5 are supported.
  • Console Access – “Parent VMs” show all VMs. Now only the VMs which are (or ready to be) parent VMs are shown.
  • Installation sometimes failed due to Tomcat error. Now, the installation should be successful every time if the Connection Server is good.

New Features

  • Console Access – “Problem VMs” show the VMs with View Agent, but in abnormal status like “error”, “unavailable” or others.

The following features are added back since some customers strongly require these features, but they are marked as “deprecated”, since we suggest using the production features in Horizon or VIDM.

  • Management- Remote Assistance
  • Management- Device Access Filter

Welcome to my first sponsor: Vembu

I am proud to announce the first sponsor of Retouw.nl: Vembu. Vembu is the creator of the Backup & DR suite with the same name. Besides that they also have a CRM suite in their portfolio. I have created a new partner page for them.

About Vembu

Vembu is a leading provider of a portfolio of software products and cloud services to small and medium businesses for more than a decade. Vembu’s vision is to make software and cloud services very affordable for the hundreds of thousands of small and medium businesses worldwide.

Vembu’s flagship offering is the BDR Suite of products meant for on-premise, offsite, cloud backup and disaster recovery across diverse IT environments including physical, virtual, applications and endpoints. Vembu CRM Suite consists of products that addresses the needs of all customer facing teams including support, sales, marketing & social media engagement.

Since 2002, Vembu’s industry-recognized data protection solutions have delivered tangible value to more than 60,000 businesses worldwide through a network of 4000+ partners (MSPs/VARs & Resellers).

The different products under Vembu BDR Suite are categorized on the basis of environments:

For Virtualized environments like VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V:

Vembu VMBackup, part of Vembu BDR Suite provides reliable, efficient, agentless VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V backups for small and medium businesses with enterprise level features at affordable pricing. With Round-the- clock Business Availability as its sole aim, Vembu VMBackup provides faster recovery options which ensures that the business continuity is not disrupted. With VM Replication for High Availability, Vembu CBT Driver for high performance incremental backups, VSS aware technology for application consistency, Automated Backup Verification, VembuHIVE File System, a File System of File Systems for efficient backup storage, Multiple migration options, Flexible & Configurable Retention Policies, Vembu VMBackup is tailor made for all Backup & DR requirements of a complete virtual Datacenter. Also, to empower small businesses to have business continuity, Vembu provides 50% discount on Vembu VMBackup for small businesses having up to 6 CPU-Sockets

For Windows IT environments:

Vembu ImageBackup, part of Vembu BDR Suite is a complete backup and disaster recovery solution for Windows IT environments. It provides an option to do entire system level backup or specific file level backup in Windows Servers and workstations. It also ensures RTO less than 15 minutes by delivering reliable recovery options like Bare Metal Recovery, Quick VM Recovery, Instant File Recovery, Partition level Recovery etc. Furthermore, Desktops/Laptops Backup is completely free.

For Applications, File Servers, Endpoints:

Vembu NetworkBackup, part of Vembu BDR Suite is designed for small medium businesses to protect business data across file servers, application servers, workstations and other endpoints. With NetworkBackup businesses can backup all their systems to a central location which is easier to manage.

Vembu OnlineBackup, part of Vembu BDR Suite provides File Server, MS Exchange, MS SQL, MS SharePoint & MS Outlook Backups directly to Vembu’s secure cloud using enterprise-grade AES 256-bit encryption with granular restores.

For SaaS applications like Microsoft Office365 and G Suite:

Vembu SaaSBackup, part of Vembu BDR Suite is designed for backing up the Mails, Drives, Calendar and Contacts of Office 365 and Google Apps. Vembu SaaSBackup’s core system will manage all backup and restore operations as per the user request. The backup data will be sent to the Vembu Cloud storage over secured network.

Free version

Vembu also offers a free version that has many great features. The paid version has even more very usable features that you can see in the comparison.

Back to basics: Daily checks

Something I still hear a lot that system engineers take their vSphere environment for granted and hardly check anything on a daily basis. I always point them at Alan Renouf‘s brilliant health check script while there are other ways to get your daily dose of health this one still rocks for me. You can remove unwanted plugins or make different selections of plugins for daily, weekly or monthly checks. Now and then I still hear people that had issues because of snapshots and there is no need for that anymore and hasn’t been for years! This script has saved me lots of times already + it helped me get management support for limiting other people’s access to the environment because they had no idea what they where doing.

Example of the output you can get:

2016-07-03 20_13_59-192.168.0.11 vCheck

 

Timecheck please!

Something I still see now and then, and have had big issues with in the past, is the time on ESXi hosts. Sometimes no ntp servers have been set or the ESXi hosts can’t connect to them. Other times ntp servers have been set but not the time so they’re still off. Normally this shouldn’t be a problem but since a VM always takes on the time of the hosts it is moving to during a vmotion this can cause issues on database servers.

In my last situation the ntp servers where correct but the time was off and somehow never properly synced to the ntp hosts. To fix this I created 2 scripts, one to check the ntp settings and current time and another to set the time.

Nothing fancy, you need to be connected to your vcenter in advance but it makes and opens a nice html file with your ntp settings and current time on your ESXi hosts.

This is the output it makes:

2016-05-24 20_23_21-Mozilla Firefox

Then it was time to make the other script, since sometimes it might take a few secs to set the time I decided to check my local time before every set of a time on an ESXi host.

Again nothing fancy but it does the trick perfectly.