VMware Flings took off with a bang this year when four Flings made it into products by March. These Flings were popular as soon as they were released, and with enthusiastic customer feedback, it didn’t take long for VMware to integrate the functionality into our products.
Fling functionality in vSphere 6.7
ESXi Learnswitch was hit amongst our customers and partners because it greatly improved the performance when “Promiscuous Mode” is enabled on a Virtual or Distributed Virtual Portgroup, which is a requirement for using Nested ESXi.
ESXi Learnswitch was a complete implementation of MAC Learning and Filtering, designed as a wrapper around the host virtual switch. It supported learning multiple source MAC addresses on virtual network interface cards (vNIC) and filters packets from egressing the wrong port based on destination MAC lookup. This substantially improved overall network throughput and system performance for nested ESX and container use cases.
VMfork for pyVmomi enabled customers to access the private VMFork APIs using Python. VMFork or, Instant Clone as it was known to our customers, allowed users to “fork” instances of a live, powered-on VM, each with its own unique identity. By leveraging the existing linked-clone technology for disks and extending the hypervisor to enable Copy-on-Write memory and VM state, VMFork fosters instant creation of VMs with little CPU overhead.
The Instant Clone feature was re-architected in vSphere 6.7 and public APIs are now available for customers to consume using any one of the vSphere Automation SDKs including PowerCLI.
Fling Functionality Now in PowerCLI 10.1
PowerCLI Core used Microsoft PowerShell Core and .Net Core to enable users of Linux, Mac and Docker to use the same cmdlets, which were previously only available on windows.
PowerCLI Core enabled a multi-platform scripting language for managing your VMware infrastructure on any OS. Scripts written previously against the Windows version are now made portable to a number of operating systems and can simply be loaded and run on these new OS versions without change.
PowerCLI Extensions The vSAN cmdlet and Instant Clone functionality of this Fling has been integrated into the latest release of PowerCLI.
The PowerCLI Extensions gave PowerCLI users access to early functionality by extending the core PowerCLI cmdlets to include new experimental features and enabled customers to provide early feedback.
Flings is a program from the Office of the CTO, with the purpose of providing a fast path for innovators at VMware to create and share tools and product improvements with customers. As illustrated above, many of these innovations make it into VMware products after feedback and enthusiasm from customers, while other Flings remain useful tools.
Many Flings are updated regularly and appear on the Flings front page along with new Flings that have been released.
– written by Dana Nourie, Program Manager, Xplorer Group and William Lam, Senior SDDC Integration Architect