VMware VI Toolkit For Windows

Ok, I’m a little excited… well a lot excited!

PowerShell, imho, is one of the best and most powerful tools that Microsoft has released in quite some time.  Now toward proving that statement, VMware has created a PowerShell snap-in for VI (Virtual Infrastructure).  If you’re not sure what PowerShell is, a little research would help you greatly, but suffice it to say that it is a scripting engine that will not only allow you to manage Microsoft infrastructure, but also can also script against the .NET framework.  That’s right, no Visual Studio needed for quick tasks.  Some scripting background will help you out with this, but it’s not difficult to pick up if you’ve never scripted before.  If you don’t know what VI is, you probably shouldn’t be reading this entry. ;)  But alas, I digress…

I just finished watching a webcast by VMware that demonstrated the functionality of their new PowerShell snap-in (VI Toolkit for Windows) – the webcast was recorded and should be available in the next 48 hours at http://www.vmware.com/go/webcasts.  At first pass it appears to be a very powerful product, one definitely worth spending some time getting to know if you manage ESX environments (and it also works with the new, free, ESXi.  Some highlights of the product, as stated in the webcast:

– Remotely manage and automate VI
– Don’t have to be a developer *WOW – but it would help to at least have a scripting background*
– Heavily supported via VMware’s blog and Forum. *there’s also an FAQ but the link I had didn’t work*

Just to give you an example, have you ever tried to VMotion a bunch of VMs only to find that they had mounted drives?  Not a problem.  You can run the following at the PowerShell prompt:

     >get-vm | get-CDDrive | set-CDDrive -connected:false

There’s also some really power features for managing SnapShots.

I could go on and on with this, but I’d advise you to take the hour or so needed to view the webcast.  I’ll definitely be playing with this!

125 PowerShell cmdlets (commands) for VI
13 PowerShell cmdlets for Update Manager

I’m attaching some useful links, to just to help you get to what you need:

VMware Toolkit for Windows Forum
VMware Toolkit for Windows Blog
VMware Toolkit for Windows Download
PowerShell Download
PowerShell Team Blog
VMware Toolkit for Windows Contest – hurry, it ends August 30th and has great prizes.
VMware Webcasts
PowerGUI – GUI for PowerShell
PowerGadgets – Visual dashboards and reports
NetCmdlets – Provides network remoting (SSH)
Quest AD Cmdlets – Used to manage AD
SpecOps Software – Execute PowerShell using Group Policy

I think that about covers this post.  Back to work!


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