Posts Tagged ‘VI Toolkit / Powershell’

Project Onyx – Alpha Build Release

December 11th, 2009

Just before this years VMworld event I wrote about a Project Onyx which was being run by Carter Shanklin over at VMware.  It was in it’s early stages back then and to be honest I haven’t looked back at it for a while, until today.

I got a comment today on my original article from Ben Neise who works over at Dell in Glasgow.  He kindly informed me that the Alpha edition of Project Onyx had been released and can be downloaded by clicking the link.  Project Onyx Alpha Release

Carter has produced a very quick video on the basic usage of the new alpha release. I’ll be taking a closer look at this myself when I get into the office tomorrow, hopefully this is the kick start my VMware CLI scripting needs.

VI Toolkit / Powershell, VMware ,

VMware Project Onyx – Turn vSphere Mouse Clicks into PowerCLI

August 31st, 2009

I stumbled across a tweet the other day by Carter Shanklin who I hope most of you know. For those that don’t, Carter Shanklin  is a product manager over at VMware specialising in the VMware PowerCLI and other automation tools.

His tweet was about a new project called Project Onyx, which on initial inspection is a tool that allows you to see and capture the powershell code behind actions in vSphere vCenter.  This project is at a very early stage as you will probably see in the video embedded below, however this is a very exciting development for those new to PowerCLI.

Some time back I sat my Hyper-V MCTS exam and one of the things I really liked about Microsoft’s SCVMM product was the ability to see the powershell behind the actions you were carrying out.  It was like a head start on powershell automation, giving you a chance to see what was happening, allowing you to dissect, copy it and re-use it however you wanted.

I’m hoping that VMware are planning something similar here,  perhaps a plug-in for vCenter! I personally struggle sometimes with the PowerCLI and the syntax, etc.  If I could see the code behind an action I was trying to automate a good part of the work would be done already.

This project is currently in the early stages of development.  In order to get this project up and running VMware are looking for people to help them Beta test project Onyx.  They have put the call out for a handful of “dedicated people with a burning need for automation”

Get yourself over to VMworld session VM2241 with your business card and put yourself forward to help this promising looking project gain some traction.

VI Toolkit / Powershell, VMware ,

Virtu-Al’s PowerShell VMware Daily Report

July 16th, 2009

For those of you that will have heard of Alan Renouf you will undoubtedly know of his talents in the dark art of VMware CLI / Powershell.  For those of you who don’t know him I suggest you check out his web site  to sample some of the many great articles and scripts he’s already produced.

His latest powershell creation has recieved a lot of attention in the last couple of days and with good reason. The Daily Report is a configurable script where you can set thresholds and variables such as snapshot age, datastore space free thresholds or number of days to look at for vCenter warnings and errors.  The script when run goes off and examines your Virtual  Infrastructure based on these variables and then proceeds to email you a nice html report on the following items.

·         VMs created in the  x number of days and who created them.

·         VMs deleted in the  x number of days and who deleted them.

·         Datastores which have less than x% of free space remaining.

·         VMs that have CD-Rom or Floppy drives connected.

·         VMs with no VMware Tools installed.

·         Snapshots that are older than x number of days.

·         Current state of vCenter Services.

·         vCenter events that have been logged in x number of days.

·         Windows events  on the vCenter server that relate to VMware.

·         Hosts in maintenance mode or a disconnected state.

Get yourself over  to Alan’s site and download a copy of the script and give it a try,  I did today and the results were enough for me to go ahead and implement this as a scheduled task.  If you’d like to see more features in Alan’s Daily Report script then give him some feedback,  there are a few good suggestions on the blog post already and I’m sure the next version isn’t far away.  Great work Alan, keep it up!

ESX, vCenter, VI Toolkit / Powershell, VMware , ,

VIToolkit V1.5 Released – New feature videos

February 11th, 2009

I’m a bit behind at present due to intense work commitments, but I always have time to have a quick look through my google reader at the end of the day to catch up on the latest happenings out there.

At the end of January VMware announced the release of the VIToolkit V1.5, introducing 32 new cmdlets, enhacing existing cmdlets and fixing ton’s of bugs (there words not mine).  Download the latest version of the VIToolkit V1.5 today and give it a try, for those looking to play spot the difference you can read the fine print in the release notes.

To go along with this release Carter Shanklin who blogs on the VIToolkit VMware blog has released a number of videos over on Vimeo.  These show off some of the new features and improvements made in the latest version and I have included a couple of them below. Now if you’ve never seen VIToolkit or powershell before,  these videos are a great introduction and really show the potential of powershell for automation.  Hell in some cases I can see it being easier for conducting day to day management of some tasks,  now I just have to find the extra time to immerse myself in all things VI powershell.  Easier said than done!!!

HA and DRS in VI Toolkit 1.5 from Carter Shanklin on Vimeo.

Some important fixes in VI Toolkit 1.5 from Carter Shanklin on Vimeo.

If you want to see more of Carter’s video’s check them out over on his video page at vimeo

VI Toolkit / Powershell

Powershell and Vmware Virtual Infrastructure

January 13th, 2009

There has been a lot of chat recently around the virtualisation Twitter community about the benefits of Powershell.  A lot of people have been asking whether or not they should switch scripting languages and dive into learning Powershell. Opinion appears to be varied as a lot of people are successfully using  languages such as Perl for VMware scripting and see no need to change.

I’ve only dabbled with Powershell a little,  primarily when the VI toolkit was released as I was intrigued  as to what it could do, I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve now decided to knuckle down and attempt to learn the Powershell basics by reading the Windows Powershell scripting guide. This book primarily covers Powershell from a Microsoft perspective but the principles should stand firm for VMware Powershell scripting,  I’ll just have to dedicate some time to experimenting with the VI toolkit  a little more.

Once I’ve worked my way through the Microsoft book, I’ll be looking to purchase Hal Rottenberg’s “Managing VMware with Windows Powershell” when it’s eventually released.  Virtu-Al conducted a technical review of the book and has written a blog post detailing his thoughts on this much awaited book. Sounds like just what’s needed to progress on the VMware automation skill set.

So what evidence is there that Powershell is taking over as the scripting language of choice.  Well the following little snippets of news certainly indicate that Microsoft are putting their weight behind it and in essence basing their key platforms upon it.


When you throw into the mix the continued development of the VI toolkit, powershell for Citrix and SAN vendors like Compellent getting in on the action, Powershell is rapidly gaining a foothold.

So where do I start?

So Powershell is where you want to be, we’ve established that.  so where should you start? Here are a few links to get you (and me) started with Powershell.

Download the one of the following versions of Windows Powershell

Windows PowerShell V1.0 or Windows Powershell V2.0 CTP3 (this is a pre-release version)

Download the following from Toolkit from VMware

Vmware Infrastructrue Toolkit V1.0 Update 1

Check out some of these sites on how to get started with Powershell

Microsoft Getting started with Powershell guide

Microsoft Powershell V1.0 Documentation pack

MSDN – Getting started with Powershell guide

Check out some of these sites for tips on how to get started with Powershell and VMware

Virtu-Al’s getting started with the VI Toolkit blog post

Managing Vmware with Powershell FAQ document

VMware Communities VI Toolkit site

Some Scripts to give you a taster of what is possible

Eric Seiberts top 10 Powershell scripts for Virtual Infrastructure

VMWorld 2008 VI Toolkit scripting contest winners

Some handy links to help you on your Powershell quest

Hugo Peeters – A one man scripting machine

Hal Rottenberg – Techprosiac blog site

Vmware VI toolkit Blog site

Windows Powershell Blog Site

The PowerShell Twitterers list courtesy of Mind of Root


Microsoft, VI Toolkit / Powershell, VMware