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Starting vSphere automation with PowerCLI


Powercli

Introduction:

PowerCLI, developed by VMware, is a powerful command-line interface (CLI) and scripting language that allows administrators and IT professionals to manage and automate tasks in VMware vSphere environments. In this blog post, we will explore the capabilities of PowerCLI, its key features, and how it simplifies the management and automation of vSphere infrastructure.



Here are some basic PowerCLI commands that can be used to automate tasks in vCenter:


Connect to vCenter Server:


Connect-VIServer -Server <vCenterServerIP>


Get a list of all virtual machines:


Get-VM


Power on a virtual machine:


Start-VM -VM <VMName>


Power off a virtual machine:


Stop-VM -VM <VMName> -Confirm:$false


Get the details of a specific virtual machine:


Get-VM -Name <VMName> | Select-Object Name, PowerState, NumCPU, MemoryGB


Create a new virtual machine:


New-VM -Name <NewVMName> -Template <TemplateVMName> -Datastore <DatastoreName> -VMHost <HostSystemName>


Clone a virtual machine:


New-VM -Name <CloneVMName> -VM <SourceVMName> -Datastore <DatastoreName> -VMHost <HostSystemName>


Create a new resource pool:


New-ResourcePool -Name <ResourcePoolName> -Location <ClusterName>


Add a host to a cluster:


Add-VMHost -VMHost <HostSystemName> -Location <ClusterName>





Create a new virtual switch:


New-VirtualSwitch -Name <SwitchName> -VMHost <HostSystemName> -NumPorts <NumPorts>


Set CPU and memory resources for a virtual machine:


Set-VM -VM <VMName> -NumCpu <NumCPUs> -MemoryGB <MemorySize>


Create a new virtual disk for a virtual machine:


New-HardDisk -VM <VMName> -CapacityGB <DiskSize> -Datastore <DatastoreName>


Add an existing virtual disk to a virtual machine:


Add-HardDisk -VM <VMName> -Disk <DiskObject>


Set up NIC settings for a virtual machine:


Set-NetworkAdapter -VM <VMName> -NetworkName <NetworkName> -MacAddress <MACAddress>


Move a virtual machine to a different datastore:


Move-VM -VM <VMName> -Datastore <DatastoreName>


Create a new folder in vCenter:


New-Folder -Name <FolderName> -Location <ParentFolder>


Set permissions for a virtual machine:


New-VIPermission -Entity <VMName> -Principal <UserName> -Role <RoleName>


Generate a report of virtual machine inventory:


Get-VM | Select-Object Name, PowerState, NumCPU, MemoryGB, @{Name="Datastore";Expression={$_.Datastore.Name}}, @{Name="Cluster";Expression={$_.Cluster.Name}}


Enable vMotion for a virtual machine:


Set-VM -VM <VMName> -Confirm:$false -VMotionEnabled:$true


Take a snapshot of a virtual machine:


New-Snapshot -VM <VMName> -Name <SnapshotName> -Description <SnapshotDescription>



When working with VMware's vSphere API, objects are represented as managed objects, and each managed object has a corresponding view. The view provides a set of properties and methods that can be accessed to retrieve information or perform operations on the object.


The Get-View cmdlet allows you to access the managed object view directly and retrieve detailed information that may not be available through other PowerCLI cmdlets. It provides more flexibility and access to a broader range of properties and methods associated with the object.


To use Get-View, you typically need to specify the type of object you want to retrieve the view for and any relevant filters or criteria. For example, to get the view for a specific virtual machine named "MyVM", you can use the following command:


Get-View -ViewType VirtualMachine -Filter @{"Name" = "MyVM"}


This command retrieves the managed object view for the virtual machine object with the name "MyVM". Once you have the view, you can access its properties and methods to gather information or perform specific tasks on the virtual machine.


Github Links :

A collection of example scripts provided by VMware, showcasing different use cases and scenarios for automating vSphere tasks using PowerCLI.


A collection of PowerCLI scripts maintained by Alan Renouf, a VMware Technical Marketing Architect, showcasing various automation use cases and best practices.




Conclusion:

PowerCLI is a powerful tool that simplifies the management and automation of VMware vSphere environments. With its extensive command set and integration with PowerShell, PowerCLI enables administrators to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and automate various tasks such as VM provisioning, host configuration, networking, and reporting. It is a valuable asset for organizations looking to optimize their vSphere infrastructure management.






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