VMFS Datastores – Expand and Extend

We all know, and love, PowerCLI‘s New-Datastore and Set-Datastore cmdlets to create and manipulate VMFS datastores. But when we look at the functionality available through the Web Client, there is one interesting feature for manipulating VMFS datastores that is missing from the PowerCLI cmdlets. The Increase button, which allows us to Expand or Extend an existing VMFS datastore*.

DS-Increase

Recently there were a couple of threads on this subject in the VMTN PowerCLI Community, so I decided to streamline my quick-and-dirty scripts into something more presentable, and create a PowerShell module to bundle the functions. I present the VMFSIncrease module!
The VMFSIncrease module will also be my first contribution to the PowerCLI Community Repository! More on that further on in this post.

 

 

* The expand and extend functions for a VMFS datastore depend on the availability of free space on the VMFS datastore extents and/or the availability of free LUNs

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vSphereDSC – VmwFolder

In this post I’ll introduce the first DSC resource from the vSphereDSC module, the VmwFolder resource. Since this is the first post in the series, I will also expand a bit on how the vSphereDSC module is set up and which conventions I’m using.

VmwFolder

A vSphere Folder is a resource which can exist rather independently in an existing vSphere environment. You can easily create some test Folders to get the hang and feel of the vSphereDSC module and play with DSC Configurations based on this vSphereDSC resource.

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vSphereDSC – Intro

My attempts to marry DSC and vSphere have been going on for nearly a year* now. I showed some of my attempts and intermediate results at VMworld 2015, in two sessions at the PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit and recently during a session at the 24th VMUGBE+. But now I’m finally going public with the vSphereDSC module.

Since WMF 5 has been made available in preview, and still is in RTM at the moment I’m writing this, there have been constant changes to the way I was writing the DSC resources for vSphere. Since the February 2016 WMF 5 release, I now have a (somewhat) stable, working class-based solution. At least, that is what my initial tests seem to indicate.

vSphereDSC-Logo

This intro for my vSphereDSC series, will lay out the playing field. I’ll explain the concept I’m using, show some of the issues I encountered and explain the layout of the vSphereDSC Resource module.

 

* “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene III

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vSphere Object by Path

In an older post, named Folder by Path, I provided a function to retrieve a Folder object by it’s path.

With the recent publication of my Get-InventoryPlus function, I can now get the path to all vSphere objects. So the obvious next step was to create a function, that would be able to use that information and retrieve any vSphere object by it’s path.

IMG_20160602_084338

The function was first demonstrated during the 24th VMUGBe in Mechelen.

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Get-InventoryPlus – Inventory of all vSphere objects

Often I have to get a complete list of all the objects in a vSphere environment. From the PowerCLI cmdlets, the Get-Inventory cmdlets looks like the obvious candidate to tackle such a request. But the cmdlet seems to have some shortcomings. It definitely does not return all vSphere objects.

Hence I set out to write this Get-InventoryPlus function.

The function was demonstrated for the first time during the 24th VMUGBe in Mechelen.

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VMSA-2015-0007 Report

On October 1st 2015 VMware published Security Advisory VMSA-2015-0007. In that advisory you will find three vulnerabilities: CVE-2015-5177, CVE-2015-2342 and CVE-2015-1047.

VMSA-2015-0007

To anticipate the questions you will surely get from your local Security Officer, I created a function to report which vSphere Servers in your environment are impacted, and which action to take.

Update October 5th 2015:

  • Updated build numbers in $vmsaTab
  • Corrected build number testing (thanks Richard)

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Answer the question!

An automation scripts that prompts you is a letdown, to say the least.

cdlock

A typical example of such an event is the question you get when you try to unmount a CD or DVD drive from a VM. Some Linux guest OS will place a lock on the CD or DVD, and vSphere will ask you if you want to bypass this lock. And your script just hangs there, waiting for you to reply 🙁

I have been looking for some time to come up with a solution for this automation “issue”. And finally I came up with a working solution 🙂
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DRSRule – a DRS rules and groups module

One of the nice vSphere features is the ability to define DRS rules.

DRSRule-introThe feature allows a vSphere administrator to control the placement of virtual machines in a vSphere cluster. There are the VM to VM affinity and anti-affinity rules, and the newer VM to VMHost rules. With the VM to VMHost rules, vSphere introduced the concept of VM and VMHost groups, and the ability to have rules that are a requirement (‘shall’) or a preference (‘should’).

In a recent VMTN PowerCLI community thread a PowerCLI user had a query about exporting and importing DRS rules and groups. At that point Matt Boren and myself developed the idea to provide a PowerShell module. The PowerShell module, which we named DRSRule, provides all the functions we deemed useful for working with DRS rules and groups. And yes, the module includes an export and an import cmdlet !

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PowerCLI and the Linux Shellshock vulnerability

With all the fuss going round about the latest Linux vulnerability you will probably get a request from your local Security Officer to produce a report which of your Linux systems are vulnerable to the Shellshock bug. And, seen there are already several known exploits, who can blame him for asking such a report.

shellshock-main

Since a lot of these Linux boxes are running under vSphere, we can use PowerCLI to produce such a report. The Invoke-VMScript cmdlet is the vehicle I use in the following function. With the Invoke-VMScript cmdlet it is very easy to execute, what is considered the best test to check for the vulnerability.

Update2 September 29 2014: the 2nd test from the Shellshocker gives a syntax error. The test is replaced by the one found on Michael Boelen‘s website in How to protect yourself against Shellshock Bash vulnerability. Big thanks to Wil van Antwerpen for the pointer.

Update1 September 29 2014: the function was updated to include tests for most of the known Shellshock vulnerabilities. The tests were collected from the Shellshocker site.
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Stats Toolbox – A vSphere Server Performance Counter tool

Finding out which performance counters are available on your vSphere server over which time interval, is not always an easy task. There is of course the Performance Manager entry in the VMware vSphere API Reference, but that is not always the easiest task. Let alone finding out what a specific counter actually represents.

For that reason I decided to create a tool, which I called the Stats Toolbox, that would query the vSphere server to get the actual list of counters it collects for each interval. In the tool I added some extra features that would make working with the performance counters easier.

Stats-ToolboxDuring our VMworld 2014 US breakout session I demonstrated the features of the Stats Toolbox, and I received quite some positive feedback.

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