Cloud Native Apps for the Ops Guy – 3 Containerised Tools for the VMware Engineer…

Over the last year (give or take a few months), VMware has been diligently tweaking a variety of its products to integrate container functionality as it becomes more prevalent in the enterprise. With this in mind, I thought I’d put together a quick post detailing three VMware tools which can be used in a simple containerised format.

Update: The below tools are intended to be run as single Docker commands rather than launching a terminal session on the container as you would with William Lam’s much more comprehensive vmware-utils Docker appliance. If @lamw‘s approach is more your bag, you can read about it here.

OVFTool v4.2

For me, OVFTool is a great CLI utility for migrating VM templates and ISOs to & from vCloud Air, although it’s functionality extends way beyond VCA. As a little side project I thought it would be a great idea to containerise the most recent release (v4.2), instead of installing it on my Mac and dealing with potential conflicts. To my delight this was a relatively easy task and took less than 10 mins to build, commit and push to my public repo.

Disclaimer: This image is hosted on my public Docker Hub registry, however  it is not officially endorsed or supported by VMware in any way. That said, please feel free to use (but at your own risk).

To use, simply enter the below Docker command which will allow you to interactively (-i) run the skinnypin/ovftool image and execute an OVFTool command, in this case ovftool –help.

~> docker run -i skinnypin/ovftool ovftool --help
Example output

PowerCli Core

PowerCLI Core builds upon the open source Microsoft PowerShell Core and .Net Core enabling the use the of PowerCLI on non-Windows operating systems. As a Mac user, having to open up a Windows VM in VMware Fusion just to use PowerShell has been a little inconvenient. But no more…

In addition to availability on OSX and Linux, the awesomeness of PowerCLI Core can also be accessed via an offical VMware Docker image. For more info on PowerCLI Core see here.

To use, enter the below Docker command which will give you interactive (-i) access to the PowerCLI prompt.

~> docker run -i vmware/vmwarepowercli
Example output

Project Platypus

Project Platypus is a very nice tool built by my good friend Grant Orchard (and other VMware folks) which details supported VMware product API’s and their usage. If you’ve ever tried to utilise VMware APIs by referencing official documentation, you understand why this tool is absolutely necessary. To the best of my knowledge Platypus is only available in this containerised format, so if you want the goodness you’re going to have to get familiar with Docker…

Details available on Github here.

To use, enter the below Docker command which will run a detached (-d) container which is accessible from your web browser on port 8080 (-p 8080:80) using the IP address of your container host.

~> docker run -d -p 8080:80 vmware/platypus
Example output
Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 11.57.41 AM.png
VMware Platypus Web UI

So there you have it. Three easily accessible VMware tools that can be distributed without having to read any installation documentation (as long as you have access to a Docker environment ). As always, feedback is appreciated, especially if this is useful and you want to see other tools available in this format.


Update 2 > BONUS TOOL: I also spend some time Dockerizing VIC Machine (v0.8.0-rc3), the container host provisioning utility used with vSphere Integrated Containers. Details on VIC here.

Example output

To use, simply enter the below Docker command which will allow you to interactively (-i) run the skinnypin/vic image and execute a VIC Machine command, in this case vic-machine-linux –help.

~> docker run -i skinnypin/vic /vic-machine-linux --help



Author: @Kev_McCloud