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What Are Flings from VMware Labs? (And Why Should You Care?)

What are flings from VMware Labs?

Like most large enterprises, VMware has a many very smart people working in their development teams. Often these teams directly  drive innovation or they take feedback from customers and the community on needed features. It can often take a long time for desired features to be released in the final product delivery, so in the meantime, many of these developers and engineers have pet projects that are released as “flings” from VMware Labs. Let’s take a closer look at what VMware flings are and why you should care.

VMware flings: free apps and tools

The VMware Labs team has been releasing flings for a while now, and in the last year the number and rate of flings being released has increased. A fling is an application or tool built by a VMware engineer that is generally focused on adding functionality to a product or simplifying the administration of a VMware product. On the VMware Labs blog, a fling is described as such:

Our engineers work on tons of pet projects in their spare time, and are always looking to get feedback on their projects (or “flings”). Why flings? A fling is a short-term thing, not a serious relationship but a fun one. Likewise, the tools that are offered here are intended to be played with and explored. None of them are guaranteed to become part of any future product offering and there is no support for them. They are, however, totally free for you to download and play around with them!

Many of these flings offer some pretty cool features and have become popular with the VMware community. I highly recommend that you start visiting the VMware Labs website and look at fling releases to see if there is anything that might be helpful for your environment.

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VMware Flings

 (Image via VMware Labs.)

These Are a Few of my Favorite Flings

To get you started, here’s a list of a few popular flings and ones that are my favorites. These would be a great place to start with VMware flings. I selected most of these because the help simplify some tedious and difficult tasks.

  • VMware OS Optimization Tool – This fling is brand new and I’m pretty excited to try it. The tool helps admins optimize their Windows OS templates for use with VMware View in VDI environments. In the past these needed to be done manually or with a script.
  • VisualEsxtop – A great tool that brings a visual interface to a command line tool. Makes esxtop easier to use and exposes to a new set of admins.
  • I/O Analyzer – An easy to deploy appliance that helps simulate I/O loads on the storage infrastructure.

I would love to hear from anyone who is already using VMware flings or if you have questions about working with flings. Drop me a note in the comments and start up a conversation and share with the community!

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