The VMware Labs flings monthly for January 2020

Here we go again with the new and updated flings for January 2020. It’s been a busy month for me including a visit to Israel but more on that in a future blog post. There have been three new releases in January with the App Volumes Migration Utility, vSphere Software Asset Management and Power vRA Cloud. No less than six received updates: DRS Dump Insight, Horizon Reach, Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility, vCenter Event Broker Appliance, vSphere Mobile Client and the one and only VMware OS Optimization Tool.

New Releases

App Volumes Migration Utility

The App Volumes Migration Utility has been build to migrate App Volumes 2.18 app stacks to the brand new App Volumes 4 format.

App Volumes Migration Utility allows to migrate appstacks, which are managed by VMware App Volumes 2.18, to the new appstack format of VMware App Volumes 4.0. The format of appstacks in VMware App Volumes 4.0 have changed in order to provide improved login to desktops among many other features. This utility addresses the migration of appstacks so that applications don’t have to be provisioned again after upgrading to VMware App Volumes 4.0.

vSphere Software Asset Management Tool

The vSphere Software Asset Management Tool gives the user insight into license usage of and vSphere environment version 5.5 and up.

The vSphere Software Asset Management (vSAM) is a tool that collects and summarizes vSphere product deployment information. It calls on vSphere APIs for deployment data and produces a PDF report that the customer can consult as a part of their infrastructure review and planning process. This lightweight Java application runs on Windows, Linux or Mac OS.

Features

  • Support both vCenter Server cluster and Standalone ESXi host with a version of vSphere 5.5, 6.X or newer.
  • Generate comprehensive report from various aspects:
    • High-level product deployment summary
    • Product deployment report by targets (standalone ESXi or VC cluster)
    • High level license key usage report
    • License key usage by targets
  • Provide Software Asset Management suggestions on:
    • Evaluation license warning
    • License term
      • Pre-expiration 90 days warning
      • Expiration alert
    • License capacity
      • Potential capacity waste warning based on customized threshold
      • Potential capacity shortage warning based on customized threshold
      • Capacity over-use alert
    • Product support
      • End of General Support info
      • General Support pre-expiration 90 days warning
      • Unsupported product alert
    • Protect customer sensitive information by:
      • Collecting minimal set of information relative with Software Asset Management
      • Masking sensitive info in the report
      • Supporting encryption of raw data file
  • Support merging multi reports into one report
  • Support English and Chinese report
  • Support customization of report

Power vRA Cloud

Power vRA Cloud is a PowerShell module that abstracts the VMware vRealize Automation Cloud APIs to a set of easily used PowerShell functions. This tool provides a comprehensive command line environment for managing your VMware vRealize Automation Cloud environment.

This module is not supported by VMware and comes with no warranties expressed or implied. Please test and validate its functionality before using this product in a production environment.

Updated Flings

DRS Dump Insight

The DRS Dump Insight flings gives an explanation why in the bloody hell a VM was moved from one host to the other.

Changelog

Version 1.1

  • Users can now upload multiple dumps as a folder.
  • Creates a vMotion timeline based on the dumps uploaded, users can navigate through multiple dump analysis.
  • Users can export multiple dump analysis as a PDF at once.
  • Added support to 65u2, 65u3 and 67u3 dumps.
  • Bug fixes and backend improvements

Horizon Reach

I have said this before but Horizon Reach is awesome and gives you an proper overview over all pod’s in an Horizon Cloud Pod setup.

Changelog

Version 1.0.1 brings vCenter performance data along with a myriad of bugfixes!

New Features

  • Gauges, gauges everywhere.
  • Search field! for those huge customers who hate to dig.
  • vCenter performance statistics will now be captured for Pods running version 7.8 or better.
  • vCenter RAM, CPU, sesions and Datastore Usage have all been added to the historical data views.
  • Datastore usage is now calculated only for datastores used by pools or farms.
  • New layouts for Pools, Farms, Pods, Vcenters etc..
  • RDSH Servers load is now correctly measured and a new view is available.
  • Page headers look much better.
  • vCenters now have the pod name listed.
  • Added support for nested groups and some additional LDAP logging on startup.
  • Added the ability to modify a connection rather than just add and delete.
  • Side nav will now collapse if screen space is low.
  • Don’t use internet explorer, friends don’t let friends do that, I’ve added a warning too.
  • Further logging enabled for LDAP integration including a self test on service start.
  • LDAP now supports nested groups.
  • Events view has been deprecated due to a thread exhaustion issue on the server side.

Bug Fixes

  • Farm usage is now accurate, wow that was broken!
  • Many cast errors were found and dealt with.
  • Problem machines now correctly display the vCenter.
  • Fixed a health score bug in the page header.
  • Fixed a problem machines bug in pools and farms.
  • Fixed a bug in pod numbers calculation.
  • Improved the speed of database enumeration of sites and pods.
  • Fixed a bug in global application entitlements where the lack of shortcuts would cause the UI to freak out.
  • Fixed a bug in Datastore usage where it was reporting the wrong value.
  • Fixed a bug where Reach sessions may not be logged off correctly during polling.
  • Fixed a bug where applications were being requested for each farm multiple times.
  • Fixed a bug where pod health would be called twice for no reason.

Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility

The Cross vCenter Workload Migration Utility helps in moving vm’s between vCenter servers even if they are not connected.

Changelog

Version 3.1, January 22, 2020

  • Support for disk format conversion between Thick (Lazy Zeroed), Thick (Eager Zeroed) and Thin provisioning
  • Support for VM rename pattern for Clone operation
  • Fixed duplicated network selection when performing bulk migration
  • Fixed startup failure when a new home vCenter is specified as a command line argument

vCenter Event Broker Appliance

Sadly there is no real changelog available but just a tweet for the vCenter Event Broker Appliance, a tool that helps the user to create their own events inside vCenter.

Changelog?

Features:

  • Setup no longer require Internet
  • NTP & Proxy Support

vSphere Mobile Client

If you think your Smartphone screen is big enough to manage vSphere the vSphere Mobile Client will help you in that.

Changelog

Version 1.9.1

Features:

  • Added host shutdown quick action

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where the app would crash when using face ID authentication (iOS)
  • Fixed an issue in the VM card (reversed icons for Windows and Linux)

Version 1.9.0

New features:

  • Ability to save information around a vCenter server (address/username)
  • Use FaceId/Fingerprint recognition to login to a vCenter server

Bug fixes:

  • Do not make first letter uppercase on input fields on the login form
  • Better compatibility with auto-complete applications on the login form

VMware OS Optimization Tool

The one, the only and the real VMware OS Optimization Tool. Simply the best tool out there to optimize your windows image.

Changelog

January, 2020, b1140

Includes various bug fixes.

Optimize Results

  • A new button has been added to the results page that displays once an optimization job has completed. This Export button allows you to save the results page as an HTML file.

Generalize

  • New option and button that simplifies the task of running Sysprep using a standard answer file. You can edit the provided answer file before running Sysprep with it.

Finalize

  • New option and button to automate many common tasks that are typically run as a last step before you shut down Windows to use the VM in Horizon. These include the system clean up tasks (NGEN, DISM, Compact and disk clean up) that were previously provided in the Common Options dialog. This also includes clearing event logs, KMS information and releasing the IP address.

Common Options

  • System clean up tasks have been removed from the common options so will now not run during optimize but instead should be run as part of the Finalize process.
    New tab for Security options. This allows for the quick selection of common settings that might need to be left enabled depending on the security requirements. This offers control over Bitlocker, Firewall, Windows Defender, SmartScreen, HVCI.

Command Line

  • Added command line parameter to allow the tool to run without applying optimizations. This is part of the -o parameter called none that then allows you to run things like the system cleanup tasks (NGEM DISM, etc.) without also having to optimize at the same time.
  • VMwareOSOptimizationTool.exe -o none -t template -systemcleanup 0 1 2 3 WebCache
  • Changed default to not disable Webcache. In testing this was shown to break Edge and IE browsers ability to download and save files. The settings are still available in the Windows 10 templates if you want to disable Webcache.

Guides

  • Updated OSOT user guide: VMware Operating System Optimization Tool Guide.
  • Updated Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop guide coming soon.
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