VMware Flings – Investigate New Tools and Apps
VMware Flings can be quite amazing but may not have the visibility that they deserve. So what are Flings?
Well, VMware Flings have been around for quite a long time and can be found at: https://flings.vmware.com/
Flings are designed to allow engineers and the community to explore new apps and tools. The flings themselves will only have community support on them and are definitely not designed to be run across a large production environment. This is a bit like a beta area for ideas, but unlike other similar sites, there have been quite a few flings from the past that have been developed from their fling into a main product or feature at VMware. One notable recent example of this is the Advanced Cross vCenter vMotion feature that was recently added into vSphere 7 Update 1c (you can read more about that in my blog post here: https://virtualworlduk.co.uk/vsphere-7-u1c-advanced-cross-vcenter-vmotion/)
Currently there are 158 flings published on the VMware Flings website and I thought that I would take a look at some of the more recent ones and the types of tool that is available:
- Workspace ONE Discovery – This was updated on 14th January 2021 with the contributors being Andrew Morgan and Matt Evans. This particular tool is designed to help with troubleshooting Workspace ONE managed devices. It enables you to view Windows 10 endpoints from the device point of view to review the Workspace ONE related services, which applications have been successfully deployed, look at the profile settings, view User & Machine certificates and check what Microsoft Windows Updates have been deployed.
- DRS Dump Insight – This was updated on 13th January 2021 with the contributors being Anil Bhargav Paindla, Avudaiappan Kannan, Brian Frag, Priyanka Gayam, Sai Inabattini, Shimona Verma, Vijayakumar Subbarayan and Vikas Madhusudana. This tool is a service portal to allow analysis of a DRS run. You can have the possibility to get answers to questions like: Why did DRS make a certain recommendation?; Why is DRS not making any recommendations to balance my cluster?; What recommendations did DRS drop due to cost/benefit analysis?; Can I get all the recommendations made by DRS?
- vSphere Software Asset Management Tool – This was updated on 13th January 2021 with the contributors being Frank Che, Grace Tang, Junfeng Wang, Yajing, Yu Wang and Zhiqi Ni. This is a software asset reporting tool that helps to collect and summarise vSphere product deployment information to produce a PDF report. This could be particularly useful for understanding your licenses and where they have been deployed or what support you have available on different licenses.
- VMware OS Optimization Tool – This was updated on 13th January 2021 with the contributors being Graeme Gordon, Hilko Lantinga, Nan Wang and Tianqi Chen. If you have used VMware Horizon at all in the past few years, you will have probably come across this tool. It hasn’t made itself across into a fully support product yet but it is only a matter of time. The idea behind this tool is to help you to prepare and optimise desktops for use with VMware Horizon. To get the best performance from the VDI desktops or sessions, and to help get the most out of your hardware, it is a good idea to optimise the desktops/sessions to get rid of stuff that is not needed and utilises a lot of resources… this tool takes away the manual steps for this by helping to optimise that Golden Image for you.
- Power vRA Cloud (Open Source Fling) – This was updated on 7th January 2021 with the contributor being Munishpal Makhija. As you can see this is an Open Source Fling and is a PowerShell module that abstracts the APIs used by VMware vRealize Automation Cloud into a set of easy to use PowerShell functions. More information on the VMware Open Source initiative can be found here: https://www.vmware.com/opensource.html
- Demo Appliance for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid – This was updated on 5th January 2021 with the contributor being William Lam. This is actually a virtual appliance that pre-bundles all of the required dependencies of a standalone Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) cluster. It can be deployed onto VMC on AWS and/or vSphere 6.7 Update 3 or above. It is designed to be a Proof of Concept, Demo or Test/Dev environment. The beauty of utilising this appliance is that you can go from zero to Kubernetes is less than 1hr.
- App Volumes Packaging Utility – This was updated on 21st December 2020 with the contributors being Manigandan Bakthavatchalam and Predeep Kumar. This utility helps to package applications. This fling helps packagers to add the necessary metadata to MSIX apps to attach VHDs so they can be used alongside existing AppVolume format packages.
- Supernova – Accelerating Machine Learning Inference – This was updated on 17th December 2020 with the contributors being Gavin Lu, Huaqiao Zhang, Jin Lai, Lanjun Cong, Tiejun Chen and Yongtao Huang. Supernova is designed to be a common machine learning inference service framework enabling machine learning inference accelerators across edge endpoint devices, edge systems and cloud, with or without hardware accelerators. As machine learning is becoming more widely utilised in enterprises, this is aiming to allow anyone to investigate machine learning.
- ESXi Arm Edition – This was updated on 30th November 2020 with the contributors being Alexander Fainkichen, Andreas Scherr, Andrei Warkentin, Cyprien Laplace, Daniel Beveridge, Regis Duchesne, Shruthi Hiriyuru, Sunil Kotian, Will Pien, William Lam and Ye Li. This fling has been in development for a number of years and it was great to see it finally become a fling. The idea behind this is to have a working ESXi version that will run on ARM-based processors. This will run on anything from a Raspberry Pi 4 right up to some of the most powerful ARM-based servers in the industry. You could have an x86 based vCenter server managing a cluster of x86-based hosts running x86 optimised applications AND a cluster of ARM-based hosts running ARM optimised applications.
- VMware Appliance for Folding@Home – This was updated on 18th November 2020 with the contributors being Amanda Blevins, Dean Lewis, Sean Massey and William Lam. This is a vSphere appliance that contains the Folding@Home client software. For those that are unaware, the Folding@Home Project is designed to allow unused processing power of home and office computers to be used as a Force for Good against diseases such as Coronavirus. This is a similar idea to the SETI@Home project. By large numbers of home and office computers being used for this project, the project becomes a massive supercomputer allowing for a larger number of working units to be processed, crunching figures and options to help find solutions to combat these diseases.
This is just a small selection of the flings that are available but it is well worth spending a few minutes looking over the flings to see if there are others that may be able to help you.