Tools

3

New Version of OVF Transfer Plugin for vCO released

After a long time of development I am pleased to announce the availability of the New Version of the OVF Transfer Plugin. We reviewed the whole code of the old Plugin and rewrote it. With this Version we also improved the available feature.  The Plugin Description reads as flowing:

The OVA/F Transfer plug-in allows you to import and export virtual machines as OVF/OVA template to/from the VMware vCenter via the VMware vCenter/vRealize Orchestrator.

This plug-in provides actions and workflows to use the OVF/A functionalities directly in your own workflows.

Here are some functions of the new Plugin:

This plug-in includes amongst others following features:

  • [Export]  Export of virtual machines as OVF templates
  • [Import]  Import of virtual machines as OVF or OVA templates
  • [Import]  Support for vSS and vDS PortGroups
  • [Import]  Support for multiple vNics
  • [Import]  Support for OVF properties, e.g. used for virtual appliance imports
  • [Import/Export] Supported sources/destinations: Locale file, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, CIFS

We included a lot of new functions which some of you required and fixed all Bugs which were reported.

For this Plugin the following types of sources are supported:

–       Local file (local means on vCO Server e.g. vCO appliance or vCO Windows installable)

–       HTTP, HTTPS

–       FTP

CIFS/Network Share (only with vCO Windows installable version

The Plugin is available at the VMware Solution Exchange https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/vmware-vcenter-orchestrator-ovf-transfer-plug-in  and is free of charge.

Many thanks to my colleague Sascha Bitzer who wrote and maintains the Plugin!

4

The Standalone VMRC Console and permissions…….

This Week I had a Customer requirement were the usage of the VMRC Plugin could be a good solution to resolve the issue. The customer had the requirement to use virtual machines as VPN gateways for connections outside his network. Therefore virtual machines were created and placed into a DMZ Zone. The customer Idea was, that his service staff could use the virtual machines to make VPN connections to external customers. One of the problems here is, that most VPN connections cut all other connections when the VPN connection is established.  These leads to the problem that RDP or VMware View connections could not be used because they are dropped when the tunnel came up……The Service people should not use a “full” Web Client therefore I made the suggestion to use the Standalone VMRC Console.

For those who are not familiar with the Standalone VMRC Console William Lam made a good post on it which could be found here: http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2014/10/standalone-vmrc-vm-remote-console-re-introduced-in-vsphere-5-5-update-2b.html

After installing and configuration of the VMRC Console I created a new role on the vCenter Server. This role had the permissions to interact with the Client Console and some other stuff like stopping and starting the VM.

After that, I created used a group which was provided with the created role and permissions.

When I was finished, I made a test with the VMware Web Client and could access the console without any problems. I created links for the user so that could connect directly with the virtual machine without starting the VMware Web Client. The links I created was from type: vmrc://[VC]/?moid=[VM-MOREF-ID]

I didn’t used a Username in the call so every user could start the VM Console with his user and password. For me as administrator of the environment everything worked link expected…..

We rolled out the solution to the user. The user were requested to provide a Username and password but then get and error message.

I did some research and that but could find an answer in the first step…..after a chat with Joerg Lew  he pointed me to the right direction……Thanks Jörg!

When you use the Standalone VMRC Console with Username and Password the VMRC Console redirect the connections after the initial connection with the vCenter Server to the ESXi host. So I had to include the group with the permissions on the ESXi Hosts.

After that, the VMRC Console worked like a charm and we could solve the customer requirement without the usage of the VMware Web Client.

So have fun and orchestrate the World 😉

3

Import workflow package to your vCO server via command line

vCenter Orchestrator’s REST API allows not only to start and monitor workflows, but also manage the content of your vCO server. With the Packages manager of the API it’s for example possible to import workflow packages via  the API. Example to do exactly this via command line using curl:


curl --form "name=file" --form "file=@de.vcoportal.someTest.package"  -X POST -u vcoadmin:vcoadmin -k https://172.16.96.130:8281/vco/api/packages

…with de.vcoportal.someTestPackage is the full filename of the package to upload.

See more details in the API reference documentation on https://your-vco-server:8281/vco/api/docs

9

Generate VMs based on load with vCO and vCAC

You do remember my video with the topic „Generate VMs based on actual load in a Resource Pool” (http://www.vcoportal.de/2012/11/generate-vms-based-on-actual-load-in-a-resource-pool/)?

In that video I showed a vCO workflow which provisioned new VMs when the load on a specific Resource Pools reached a defined Value. When the load was decreased, the VMs were thrown away. In this video, I worked on a simple vCenter Server base. A colleague of mine, Carsten Schäfer, took my Workflow and modified it to work with vCAC.  They changed the workflow so, that virtual machines will not provisioned as a “Single” VM, instead he used the add components function to deploy them to an existing Multi-Machine Service.

Oh yeah, one might call it some first PoC for auto-scaling in vCAC (yep, that’s just for the robots :mrgreen: )

Here is the video:

As I found great stuff 😉

4

Using Onyx to speed-up Workflow development

In the VMTN Community Forums for Orchestrator recently one question came up:

“…how to use orchestrator to change the Video Card Setting of a VM to “Auto-detect settings” the next time the VM reboots?” (read the full thread here: http://communities.vmware.com/message/2040860#2040860)

That is a typical task for a workflow developer: Automate something you can easily click in vSphere Client, but it maybe hard to figure out, how to automate it.

ONYX to the rescue!

See this video how to get to the solution in less than 15 minutes  :-D… (You can download the resulting workflow below, but that shouldn’t be necessary anymore 😛 !)

It’s a quick shot screencast, so no audio….

If you like the style, drop me a comment, and I will create more videos (with explanations  😎 ) in future!

Change VM Video Settings Workflow
Change VM Video Settings Workflow
Change-VM-settings-to-auto-detect-video-memory.workflow
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