Category Archives: VMware

Screen Sharing and Recording a Oculus Quest 2 with a Windows or Mac Computer

With the Oculus Quest 2 coming out recently and having a new better screen resolution, the previous command line options for Oculus Quest 1  screen sharing I blogged don’t quite work for a good sharing mechanism.

I have played around a little and have come up with some numbers that work quite well with scrcpy, follow the below details to install the packages needed and get up and running with screen sharing of the Oculus Quest 2.

Initial Install and Setup

  1. Enable developer mode on your Oculus Quest 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PTFkLnJRLs)
  2. Plug the USB-C cable into your computer and the Quest, this also works with USB to USB-C
  3. If its your first time plugging into this computer you will need to accept the prompt within the device that allows you to access the device from the computer as per below and check the box to always allow if you want to skip this section in the future
  4. For Windows download and unzip the latest build of scrcpy from https://github.com/Genymobile/scrcpy/releases a direct link for the current version when writing this is here: https://github.com/Genymobile/scrcpy/releases/download/v1.10/scrcpy-win64-v1.10.zip
  5. For Mac the application is available in Homebrew. Install it using the following from a terminal window:
    brew install scrcpy
  6. You will also need adb. you can install this by running the following from a terminal window:
    brew cask install android-platform-tools

Sharing the Screen connected via cable

  1. Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) or and CD into the extracted folder from above
  2. Run the following command:
    scrcpy--crop 1632:1220:100:320 -m 1600 -b 25M

Sharing the Screen connected wirelessly

You will still need a cable to make an initial connection and start the client on the Quest and then you can disconnect and use wirelessly, use the following steps to connect wirelessly:

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above in the setup section
  2. Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and CD into the extracted folder from above
  3. While the device is connected via a cable run the following to find out what your Quests IP address is in the src section:
    adb shell ip route
    192.168.1.0/24 dev wlan0  proto kernel  scope link  src 192.168.1.198
  4. Now run the following replacing the IP address below (192.168.1.198) as yours:
    adb tcpip 5555
    adb connect 192.168.1.198:5555
  5. Disconnect the cable from the PC and with the device disconnected run the command to connect to the device as below
scrcpy--crop 1632:1220:100:320 -m 1600 -b 25M

Sharing Window

If everything worked above a new window should appear showing the device screen, you can then maximize this for a better demo window.

Testing was done with variations of the scrcpy command but the above was found to be the best viewing size to enable a good demo.

Recording the screen

There is also a great way to capture the screen while mirroring, add the following command options to the end of the scrcpy command above to do this:

 --record file.mp4

To disable mirroring while recording:

 --no-display --record file.mp4

Troubleshooting

Connection Issues

If you get a blank window or are unable to connect when device is plugged in you should be able to run the following command from the same folder above:

PS C:\Users\alan\Downloads\scrcpy-win64-v1.10> .\adb.exe devices
List of devices attached
1PASH9AF839266 device

The device should show above rather than:

PS C:\Users\alan\Downloads\scrcpy-win64-v1.10> .\adb.exe devices
List of devices attached
1PASH9AF839266 unauthorized

If you get the latter then make sure you have enabled developer mode and authorized the device as per step 1-3 above.

Target Machine refused connection when in wireless

If you receive a message like the following: “cannot connect to 192.168.1.198:5555: No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it. (10061)”

Reconnect the Quest to the computer and go from Step 3 in the wireless connection steps above, this is caused because the client on the quest stopped, normally as you reset the device.

Thank You Everyone!

“Thank You”…. words that just really do not convey the magnitude of what I am feeling right now for friends, family, my VMware colleagues and the vCommunity.

I have always prided myself on being the person who helps others, whether its through my blog, my scripts, being a PM and pointing my products in the right direction or just in general life, I have enjoyed being the one who supports others…. recently the shoe has been on the other foot.  As I’m sure most of you know by now, my family home was completely obliterated by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire along with 100’s of other houses.  We were evacuated at 3AM in the morning and were able to grab the basics like passports, a change of clothes and most importantly the family were able to escape safely to a nearby town and a friends house.

We had the bad news a few days after, everything we have ever owned was destroyed 🙁

We are completely overwhelmed and thankful for the incredible response to the Go Fund Me account and Venmo account that was set up for us by friends and contributed to by 100’s of people.

We can’t describe how we are feeling very well as every hour brings a roller coaster of emotions, we have such highs when we see how much everyone wants to help us and how much we are loved and then we have such lows when we remember the little things that we have lost, the kids yearbooks, cheer and softball trophies, all my youngest sons toys and books, My wife’s Tupperware collection, My clown picture that terrified me as a child, so when my Nan passed away of course that was what I wanted from her house!!

This incredible amount of money will make such a difference, there is so much that we have to organize and pay out for even before we can get up to our land and find out where we even begin to start.

Again we thank each and everyone of you that has so generously donated to us, no money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy peace of mind and at the moment that’s priceless, without this fund we would have no peace of mind and I can’t imagine how much harder that would make this horrendous situation.

I hope people reading this never have to go through this kind of experience, especially with children, my biggest worry is making sure I provide a stable environment for them.

I have no doubt we will rebuild a better, bigger house once everything is all sorted out and I work through the insurance mine field! My family arrived in America 8 years ago with 8 suitcases and now we are starting again, we know we can do this as the amount of friends we have made is clearly visible through the support we are getting at the moment!

During the bad times there were definitely things that brightened our spirits, far too many to mention here as the help and comments and messages were literally hundreds a day, here are a few that my family found touching, inspiring and funny…

  • The Matlocks, you are amazing! Everything you do for us is fantastic, we are so lucky to have you
  • Pat Gelsinger and the entire C level team at VMware for helping me in every way possible they could
  • Matt Coppinger for being there for me when I melted down in the midst of all the stress!
  • Duncan, Cormac, William, Frank, we have been together since the start and I don’t know what I would do without you guys.
  • Tina & Rick Walsworth, you are amazing, enabling us to get back on our feet in the darkest of our times and have a fresh mind while we worked on insurance and next steps.
  • Andy Banta for making me laugh when my wife couldn’t understand why the donated amount was $256 – Anyone in IT will get the joke!
  • Michael Dell for reaching out to me and making sure we were ok
  • Chris Wolf (You know what you did! WOW!)
  • Tisa Murdock – You really touched our hearts, thank you!
  • My team for picking up the slack while I wasn’t around and we still had deadlines to meet
  • The Rolen Clan, the Adams Family, the Boose Family, all our other friends who were there for us, what ever we needed!
  • Bess and her team at Studio 3 Design for helping us move forward and thing about the memories we want to make in our new home!
  • The vCommunity, I have known the VMware community has been special since I joined it but it astounds me just how fantastic it really is and how much people help and care for each other!
  • The comments on the Go Fund Me page kept us going, my family read every one of them and loved them.

Again, if I didn’t mention you its not that I don’t appreciate you its just that my brain is still fried from working things out! Thank you.

THANK YOU ALL!

And finally a few more pics from the rubble which I will one day print out…

 

Using Curl with the VMware Cloud on AWS API

Sometimes the initial steps of working with a new API can be hard, often working out how to authenticate and call the APIs can be the hardest part.

I have found that if I break it down into industry standard tooling I can often get a better understanding of how to form this in other languages which I use.

For REST other than calling the API through an API Explorer (like the awesome API explorer built into the VMware Cloud on AWS console) clearly curl is the easiest and probably best industry standard way to test a REST based API.

With this in mind I wanted to show an example of how to use the VMware Cloud on AWS API using CURL, the below example shows how to exchange your refresh token (obtainable from your account) for an access token and then use this to work with all the subsequent APIs in VMware Cloud on AWS or as my example shows, listing the organizations I have access to.

You can download this sample from code.vmware.com here.

New Year, New Look vCheck

Its been a while since I blogged about vCheck but that doesn’t mean there has been lots of work ongoing with the project, in fact there has been multiple releases and hundreds of pull requests with great new plugins checking for even more issues with your vCenter and lots of bug fixes, in fact this project and the community updating and using it is awesome, here are some the current stats:

  • 954 Commits
  • 64 Contributors (Thanks to all here)
  • 66 Open Issues and 269 Closed Issues

Whats more, one of the most recent releases 6.25 here includes a great new look, the new look is based upon VMwares Clarity framework and personally I think it looks fantastic as you can see below:

vCheck Clarity

Also available (currently in the dev branch) is the brand new dark version of the theme as seen below:

vCheck Clarity Dark

Download for free now!

Download the latest version here:  https://github.com/alanrenouf/vCheck-vSphere/archive/master.zip

And the dev branch version here: https://github.com/alanrenouf/vCheck-vSphere/archive/dev.zip

 

Using PowerCLI to manage VMware Cloud on AWS

Recently VMware released PowerCLI 6.5.4 and one of the great enhancements in this new version is the ability to work with VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC), but what does that mean?

As you may know by now, VMware Cloud on AWS is a great new joint offering from VMware and AWS to provide a VMware SDDC in the public cloud.

If we break this down a little and think about how we might manage this with PowerShell we can see that we are in pretty good shape.

VMC

PowerCLI has always been able to manage our On-Premises SDDC and as the SDDC deployed in VMware Cloud on AWS is still the same software we have always been able to manage that through PowerCLI as well.  With the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell we have also been able to work with the AWS Services.

So whats new then? Added in PowerCLI 6.5.4 was the ability to manage the VMware Cloud on AWS Service features depicted by the green dotted line in the diagram above. For example, what if i wanted to list all my SDDCs available to me or what if i wanted to automate the creation of a new SDDC or what if I wanted to provision or de-provision a new AWS bare metal instance into my SDDC, well now you can, and all from the same shell.

PowerCLI 6.5.4 VMware Cloud on AWS Module

As mentioned in the VMware PowerCLI 6.5.4 Release Blog Post we now have a new module that allows us to work with the VMware Cloud on AWS service, it gives us 3 new cmdlets:

Connect-Vmc –This cmdlet establishes a connection to a VMware Cloud on AWS server.                              

Disconnect-Vmc – This cmdlet closes the connection to the servers specified by the Server parameter.                

Get-VmcService – This cmdlet retrieves PSObject objects that represent a proxy to a VMware Cloud on AWS API service, it essentially allows us to access 100% of the public VMware Cloud on AWS API.

Whilst these are a great start you really need to work with the Get-VMCService and the properties and methods it brings back to really automate the features.  Luckily William Lam, Brian Graf and I have already been working with this cmdlet and wanted to make it easier to use and also provide examples of how to use the cmdlet to work with any of the features available in the VMware Cloud on AWS API now and in the future…..

VMware Cloud on AWS simple functions

This module adds more functions to enable you to easier work with VMware Cloud on AWS, the included functions so far are:

Get-VMCCommand – Returns all cmdlets for VMware Cloud on AWS in both this module and the VMware official module.

Connect-VMCVIServer – This Cmdlet pulls the default SDDC credentials and connects to your VMC vCenter Server to ease the connection from service to SDDC. 

Get-VMCOrg – Returns the Orgs that you have available in VMware Cloud on AWS.                          

Get-VMCSDDC – Returns all of the SDDCs that you have available to you in VMware Cloud on AWS.

Get-VMCSDDCDefaultCredential – Returns the default credential for a given SDDC.

Get-VMCSDDCPublicIP – Returns your Public IPs for a given SDDC.

Get-VMCSDDCVersion – Returns the SDDC Version.

Get-VMCTask – Returns all of the VMC Tasks.                                             

Get-VMCVMHost – Returns the Host information within VMware Cloud on AWS.

Clearly these are just the first set we have worked on as an example, more functions will be added in the future and probably have been by the time you read this post!

An example of some of these being used is below:

How do I get the module?

The module is available in the PowerShell Gallery here so installing could not be simpler, but of course make sure you have PowerCLI 6.5.4 installed first otherwise this module wont do you much good!

PS> Install-Module -Name VMware.VMC -Scope User

How do I contribute to the module?

This module is also available in Github as part of the /PowerCLI-Example-Scripts repo so please do clone the repo, edit the module and contribute back to make this easy for everyone!

 

Tech Confessions at VMworld BCN 2017

This year I was introduced to a new show put together by Amy Lewis from http://commsninja.com/ and her team called Tech Confessions or as I like to call it “Bedside confessions of a geek”, unofficially of course!

In this show I was able to relax on the comfy couch while Amy quizzed me on how i got started with virtualization, there was something about that couch that made me very relaxed as I think I took Amy pretty much through my entire career up to the point where I made it on stage with Pat during the VMworld 2017 Barcelona conference.

I was proud to be the first of many to share their bedside confessions so make sure you subscribe to the youtube channel or the podcast to keep up to date with other people sharing their software defined experiences.

Ways to Watch/Listen

You can subscribe to the podcast here, check out the Tech Confessions website here or Follow their Youtube channel here

For now, here is my video to keep you going….

Announcing VMware VR Datacenter Experience

It gives me great pleasure to announce a new open source project from VMware called VMware VR Datacenter Experience, this is an immersive experience that allows you to put on your virtual reality headset and take yourself into a virtual management environment where you will be able to control your vSphere Environment with the wave of a hand or click of a button.

Details

The VMware VR Datacenter Experience allows you to use a HTC Vive headset to enter a virtual datacenter where a virtual representation of each of your hosts is created by integration with the vSphere 6.5 REST API, once these are created the VM’s are dropped onto these hosts, one for each VM currently registered with the host.  In this environment you are able to teleport yourself to each of these hosts and interact with the VMs.

You can pick them up to find out more information about their configuration:

VM Details

 

 

 

 

 

You can even drop them into a trashcan to remove them from your datacenter:

VM Trash

 

 

 

 

 

 

We even extended it to work with VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) where you could literally throw (vMotion) your VM’s from your On-Premises datacenter into VMC.

Showing you the 2D pictures of this virtual reality environment really does not do it justice, you need to try it to believe it!

Background

At VMware we have internal Hackathon’s where we are able to take a couple of days away from our day job to work on projects which we think are interesting and could provide valuable to VMware, this is a great initiative that fosters

innovation, personally I love working for a company that provides this level of free thinking!  Together with William LamYateendra KulkarniVinod Pai and Steve Trefethen, I put a team together and we set out to work on what a VMware Datacenter would look like in Virtual Reality.

I should mention at this point that none of us had developed for VR before, in fact we had never even used the IDE (Unity) before, that was fun!  After a couple of days we were pleased when we managed to produce a single host and VMs on that host all by calling the vSphere 6.5 REST API.

After this and some internal marketing and some spare time hacking away at the project we came up with something pretty cool that later allowed me to realize one of my bucket list items and present on the main VMworld Keynote stage with Pat Gelsinger (VMware CEO).

VMworld Keynote

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the VMworld Barcelona Keynote then please do take 5 minutes out of your time to watch the demo below that shows the full remit of what we expanded this project to work with.

Where Can I Get this?

The initial project is now available and ready for you to download, it has been cut down to its basics so we can build on it and ensure the code we are adding and the functionality is based around user input.

Of course you will need the following:

Check out the project landing page here for more details: https://vmware.github.io/vr-dc-ex/

And if you want to take a look at the code, ask for more features or even contribute back to the project then please checkout the github repo here: https://github.com/vmware/vr-dc-ex

The Full story

At VMworld I had the chance to catch up with Barry Coombs who interviewed my on this complete story, check out the clip below to learn how a small town boy ended up on stage with a Silicon Valley CEO…

Checking you are up to date with PowerCLI

Now that PowerCLI is a module and in the PowerShell Gallery there have been a lot of releases and bug fixes, you would be forgiven for not having the latest version installed or even knowing what the latest version is.

With this in mind and with the latest 6.5.3 version triggering this in my mind, I created a function that checks your installed PowerCLI version against the one thats in the PowerShell Gallery online and lets you know if there is a new version.

Now of course this can be run manually and it will return the results letting you know which modules are out of date:

And once completed of course its easy to update PowerCLI to the latest version:

Even better why not add it to your profile. It does take a couple of seconds to run so maybe you will want to run it on a certain day past a certain time in your profile so it doesn’t slow down every launch of PowerShell you have, here is an example of what I have in my profile where I check every Wednesday after 2PM.

if ( ((Get-Date).tostring('%H') -ge "14" ) -and ( (Get-Date).DayofWeek -eq "Wednesday" ) ) {
        Check-PowerCLIUpdate
}

Check-PowerCLIUpdate Script

Here is the function that allows you to check for updates:

Function Check-PowerCLIUpdate {
    #Based on great module by Jeff Hicks here: http://jdhitsolutions.com/blog/powershell/5441/check-for-module-updates/
    [cmdletbinding()]
    Param()

    # Getting installed modules
    $modules = Get-Module -ListAvailable VMware* | Sort Version -Descending | Select-object -Unique

    #Filter to modules from the PSGallery
    $gallery = $modules.where({$_.repositorysourcelocation})

    # Comparing to online versions
    $AllUpdatedModules = @()
    foreach ($module in $gallery) {

         #find the current version in the gallery
         Try {
            $online = Find-Module -Name $module.name -Repository PSGallery -ErrorAction Stop
         }
         Catch {
            Write-Warning "Module $($module.name) was not found in the PSGallery and therefore not checked for an update"
         }

         #compare versions
         if ($online.version -gt $module.version) {
            $AllUpdatedModules += new-object PSObject -Property @{
                Name = $module.name
                InstalledVersion = $module.version
                OnlineVersion = $online.version
                Update = $True
                Path = $module.modulebase
             } 
         }
    }
    $AllUpdatedModules | Format-Table
    #Check completed

}

Virtual Machines meet Virtual Reality at VMworld US 2017

Normally when I create blogs and use the word “virtual” it of course refers to the awesome virtualization technology invented by VMware, this post however is a little different but still just as awesome!

The virtual word that I speak of in this post refers not just to virtual machines but also to virtual reality.  Having purchased a HTC Vive earlier this year and being totally inthralled by virtual reality (VR), I started to wonder what an enterprise world would look like if we all had VR headsets, how would we control todays applications in a VR world?

I don’t want to give away too much information just now as the excitement will be at VMworld and on stage, lets just say that managing your virtual infrastructure has never been so much fun, here is a teaser for now:

Want to win a HTC Vive and Alienware laptop?

This year at VMworld I will be presenting an awesome demo on stage with the following members of the VMware executive leadership team and VPs:

  • Raghu RaghuramChief Operating Officer – Products & Cloud Services
  • Mark LohmeyerVP Products for Cloud Platform Business Unit
  • Guido AppenzellerCTO Cloud & Networking

During this session we will be showing some cool integrations with Virtual Reality and VMware products.

As part of this session we will also be giving away a fully spec’d Dell Alienware laptop and a full HTC Vive headset and accessories.

Believe me, this is an awesome piece of equipment that will blow your mind!

To enter all you need to do is attend the following session, watch the demo and wait for the chance to win this amazing prize!

Session: Simplifying and Accelerating Your Multi-Cloud Strategy [IPC7001KU]

Add it to your session list here: https://my.vmworld.com/scripts/catalog/uscatalog.jsp?search=[IPC7001KU]&showEnrolled=false

Im looking forward to blowing some minds in this session!

 

Ensuring peak configuration for vSphere with Runecast

Back in the day when I could spend time working on vCheck (I miss those days!) I always wished there was a programmatic way to look at the data in the VMware KB articles and be able to mine the information for potential issues or be aware of enhancements to the configuration I had made with my specific version of vCenter or other VMware products.

A few weeks back, whilst at the Melbourne and Syndey VMUGs in Australia I was introduced to a pretty awesome company and product that sparked my interest.. Runecast (https://www.runecast.biz/)

Recently I managed to find time to install this in my home lab and get started, I have to say, I was impressed.

What is Runecast?

Runecast is a virtual appliance which checks your environment, vCenter, ESXi servers and VMs to ensure they are running at peak performance with no known configuration issues or security issues.

The appliance is updated from the internet or can also be updated via a ISO image attached to the virtual appliance for environments without internet access.  It is updated with information which has been mined from the VMware KB articles and is used to proactively check log and configuration for issues in the virtual environment.

Additionally the information from the security hardening guide or what is now known as the vSphere Security Configuration Guide is also added to the virtual appliance to ensure security configuration is also taken into consideration. Continue reading Ensuring peak configuration for vSphere with Runecast