Tag Archives: Automation

VMware VI Toolkit for Windows – Tip: Regular Expressions

The importance of having a naming schema for your virtual machines in VMware VI (ESX / Virtual Center) has become much more important with the release of the VI Toolkit for Windows.

If you’re not sure what the VI Toolkit for Windows is, please see a post that I wrote earlier this month: VMware VI Toolkit For Windows.

The VI Toolkit can allow you to automate and script a lot of tasks that would require quite a bit of UI interaction with the VI client.  Something that you can do to facilitate this effort is by naming your virtual machines with a consistent pattern.  A typical naming convention might end with a tag about the server’s function and a number representing the server’s redundancy.

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Windows PowerShell sticker, and /n Software for free

So after following a link from a buddy’s blog, Bobby Shea, I started browsing around /n software’s web site. I filled out the form for a free Windows PowerShell Sticker, again – yes, they didn’t send it months ago the first time I tried, and I found something else interesting on their site.

Months ago, the first time I visited /n’s site, I downloaded a trial version of Netcmdlets.  Netcmdlets is /n’s PowerShell snap-in that extends PS into remoting, SSH, and other network protocols.  I ended up uninstalling the software after the trial was over.  Now, the software is FREE for hobbyists!  Since I’m not using PowerShell for work with clients, restricting my PS activities to my home network and ‘playing around’, I’m qualified as a hobbyist!  I’m on my way to download right now!

If you’re not familiar with NetCmdlets, you should definitely check out the site, the description, fill out the form for your sticker and keep your fingers crossed, then download the hobbyist version, unless you’re planning on using it commercially in which case, pay /n some money. 🙂

A quick list of the features, taken from the /n site are:

Device Management SNMP device monitoring and management capabilities, complete with SNMPv3 Security.
Remote Access Secure Shell enabled remote execution using Rexec, Rshell, or SSH.
Directory Administration Access Active Directory or OpenLDAP servers through LDAP Directory Access.
Email Send & Receive Send HTML Emails or Emails with file attachments. Retrieve Email through POP or IMAP Connectivity.
File Transfer File transfer capabilities through FTP, TFTP, & RCP connectivity.
Instant Messaging Jabber Instant Messaging, SMS messaging, and Alphanumeric Paging.
Network Monitoring Listen and react to SNMP Traps and Syslog event messages or access raw Ethernet Packet captures.
Access to Web Services Connect to web services through HTTP and RSS client capabilities.
DNS Configuration Monitor DNS and other network configuration changes.
Encoding / Decoding A complete array of utility encoding and decoding capabilities including MIME, UUEncoding, URL, Hex, etc.
Zip Compression File compression including password protection, AES Encryption, and 4GB+ archive support.

This is really good stuff, at a great price, free!  Check it out.  If you type instead of click, and you know who you are, you really need these tools.

/n software inc. – Show your support for Windows PowerShell!

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…

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