Ravello PowerShell Module

The first time I heard about Ravello Systems and their solution was way back in August 2013. Through pointers in blogs posts by Duncan (here) and William (here), I found an early research paper which explained what the HVX platform was all about. Needless to say I was very interested !

When Ravello Systems announced a beta for their Inception solution in April 2015, I was game. After a 2 week trial, I took a subscription. In June 2015 they also announced free access for vExperts (1000 CPU hours per month). And to top it off, I witnessed an excellent presentation during Virtualization Field Day 5 in June 2015 in Boston.

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One aspect of the Ravello Systems solution that immediately captured my attention, was the availability of a REST API, that offers all the functionality that is available through their Web Gui, and more. While a Web Gui might be nice, for automation purposes that will not really work. That’s when I decided to start writing a Ravello PowerShell module based on the REST API.

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PowerCLI and PowerShell Workflows

In PowerShell v3 the Workflow feature was introduced. But until now there haven’t been too many examples available on how to use PowerCLI in PowerShell Workflows. Today I was triggered by a thread from Mark in the PowerCLI VMTN community, to revise some of my Workflow code snippets I had laying around.

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And if you didn’t have enough arguments yet to upgrade to PowerCLI v6, which brings MODULES, the Workflow feature will give you another one !

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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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Tintri Automation Toolkit – Part 2 – VM Protection and Reporting

After Part 1 – The Basics in this series, I will show in Part 2 how you can set up Tintri’s VM Protection through Replication. And to conclude this post I will show some Reporting that you can do with the Tintri Automation Toolkit.

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Tintri Automation Toolkit – Part 1 – The Basics

There are numerous companies that recognized the usefulness of PowerShell, and how it can help automate their product. The PowerCLI PSSnapin from VMware is a great example.

And now Tintri, the creators of the VMstore, have joined the ranks. Tintri delivers a PowerShell module, called the Tintri Automation Toolkit, that allows administrators to automate the monitoring and management of a VMstore system. The Toolkit also nicely leverages PowerShell constructs such as object piping for enabling end-to-end VM-level automation.

PS-PCL-TintriThese posts will not be providing a detailed description of the VMstore, and all its merits. There are ample other sources available for that. Needless to say you should definitely have a look at the Tintri website if you want to learn more about the VMstore. I listed a couple of other sources at the end of the series.

I was given the opportunity to have a preview of the of the Tintri Automation Toolkit module, and was permitted to play around with the cmdlets in the Tintri lab.

To take away all suspense, I was quite impressed!

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Event-O-Matic

One of the questions, related to working with vSphere events and tasks, that often appear in the PowerCLI Community, is how do we know which events to select for a query.

To make that task a bit easier, I wrote the Event-O-Matic script. It’s a GUI that allows you to pick a number of events, and the script will generate the PowerShell code, and place it in the clipboard. The Event-O-Matic script was mentioned during our VMworld 2013 US session VSVC4944.

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Update September 7th 2013:

  • added at least PowerShell v3 test
  • added PowerCLI core pssnapin loaded test

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HL Tools – Part 2 – Create a Nested Hypervisor

During last year’s VMworld #NotSupported sessions one of the hot topics was William Lam‘s vInception talk. “Nested ESXi” has since then become indispensable in the homelab of everyone tinkering with virtualisation !

As a follow-up to that session, William posted several blog posts on the subject. You can find them all in a handy overview.

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But as much as I like his clear instructions on how to set up nested ESXi, I wanted to automate the process 🙂 In my homelab I create, and remove, ESXi VMs on a regular basis. So with the “If you do it more than once, automate it” in mind, I decided to create a function for the process.

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Dutch VMUG: The Statistics Reporting Session

I had the pleasure to present a session on “PowerCLI and vSPhere Performance and Capacity reporting” during the Dutch VMUG meeting of February 8th 2013. Although the meeting took place in the “Karnaval” weekend, there was a great turnout and, as always, a very attentive and interested audience. Thanks for attending the session guys !

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In the session I tried to show how easy it is to produce decent performance and capacity reports about your vSphere environment with PowerCLI. During the session I did some demos to show some aspects of PowerCLI and statistics. This post contains the code, and some annotations, I used during these demos.

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Export-Xlsx, the sequel, and ordered data

Some time ago I published the Export-Xls function to the world in my Beyond Export-Csv: Export-Xls post. And it has been one of the more popular functions on my blog.

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Just before Christmas 2012 I got a comment from Gilbert where he informed me that he had written an Export-Xlsx function and had borrowed some of the parameters that were on the original Export-Xls function. We exchanged a couple of emails with suggestions and ideas, and yesterday the finalised Export-Xlsx function was posted on Gilbert’s ITPilgrims blog (which you should follow btw) in his Export-Xlsx post.

In this post I will publish this new Export-Xlsx function with some annotations, and I will also show how you can now export your data in the order you want, provided you’re using PowerShell v3.

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Monitor the size of your vDisks

In a recent thread on the VMTN PowerCLI Community someone asked if it is possible to get historical hard disk statistics. I referred the user to my Datastore usage statistics post, where I showed how to use the “disk” metrics to get that information.

But getting the individual vDisk statistics is a bit more tricky compared to getting the datastore statistics, as I showed in that post. The “disk” metrics hold the information, but the Instance that points to the MoRef value of a VM makes it a bit more tricky to retrieve.

Be forewarned, the “disk” metrics hold usage data for all the vDisks that a specific VM has on a specific datastore. You will not be able to get individual vDisk statistics, unless the vDisks are stored on different datastores !

On the positive side, the “disk” metrics will allow you to see how your vDisks increase in size over time. For your Thick vDisks that increase will be by expanding them, and for your Thin vDisks it will also show the natural growth.

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