VMware vSphere and vCenter in Visual Basic .NET

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Experimenting in a test environment (like a virtual machine) to avoid breaking anything
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Mix in a little Google or Bing searching on the side, and you should be able to figure out any of it.
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26.3 VMware vSphere and vCenter
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VMware vSphere, including its vCenter management tool, is a product I ve never even used before. I work with several ESXi servers, but I haven t ever been called upon to do any automation with VMware. Their PowerShell extensions are based on the same models as their other scripting toolkits for VBScript and so on, and I ve heard that
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they re not quite as well-structured as the cmdlets Microsoft has produced for their products. We ll see! Again, the goal here isn t to provide you with a tutorial on these cmdlets (I m not sure I m qualified to do so), but to help you see how I tackle a completely unknown set of cmdlets and teach myself to do at least a basic task. As usual, I start by installing the cmdlets (which are in VMware s VI Toolkit), and adding the snap-in into PowerShell. I m looking to do a simple inventory of VM configuration settings, so I run this command:
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PS C:\>Get-Command -verb get -noun *config*
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I use config instead of configuration in case the folks who developed these cmdlets were using abbreviations and shortened word forms. One of the cmdlets that pops out at me is Get-VMResourceConfiguration excellent! I run it with a single virtual machine on my host and see this:
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PS C:\> Get-VMResourceConfiguration MyVM VirtualMachineId NumCpuShares CpuReservationMhz CpuLimitMhz CpuSharesLevel NumMemShares MemReservationMB MemLimitMB MemSharesLevel DiskResourceConfiguration HTCoreSharing CpuAffinity : VirtualMachine-vm-3674 : 1000 :0 : -1 : Normal : 5120 : 0 : -1 : Normal : {2000} : Any : NoAffinity
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That s exactly what I was looking for. Browsing through the list of cmdlets that have a noun prepended with VM, I also see Invoke-VMScript, which according to the help appears to be a way to inject a script or command directly into a virtual machine. It requires that PowerShell be installed within each VM, which is fine by me. This is an excellent extension to PowerShell s own remoting, because it lets me target virtual machines without needing to know their computer names. The command runs through the VMware Tools link, so I don t even need to enable regular PowerShell remoting.
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Beyond the operating system: taking PowerShell further
These are just two quick examples of how easily I was able to discover useful commands, simply by loading the snap-in, exploring the commands that were added, and reading their help. If you re interested in a more complete guide to the VMware cmdlets, check out Managing VMware Infrastructure with Windows PowerShell: TFM by Hal Rottenberg (http://www.sapienpress.com/vmware.asp).
26.4 Third-party Active Directory management
I want to wrap up this chapter with a quick note about managing Active Directory. In this book, I ve used Microsoft s AD cmdlets, which ship with Windows Server 2008 R2 and are available in the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7 and later. A lot of experienced PowerShell/AD gurus don t like the Microsoft cmdlets for a number of reasons, one of which is their inability to access schema extensions, Terminal Services attributes, and so forth. I use them because they re a great example of how to use pipeline parameter binding (that s why I used them in chapter 7, for example). But I readily acknowledge their shortcomings. If you re a serious AD administrator, you ll want to check out Quest Software (http://quest.com/powershell) and download their free PowerShell Commands for Active Directory. These don t require any additional software on your domain controllers (the Microsoft ones do on DCs prior to Win2008R2), and they ll even work with Win2000-based domains if you still have any of those lying around. They also work with Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), where the Microsoft cmdlets won t. These Quest cmdlets are well written, although they initially lacked the same rich pipeline parameter binding of the Microsoft cmdlets. Originally you couldn t do the same Import-CSV trick that I did in chapter 7, although you could do something similar. For example, assuming you started with a CSV file like this one,
LoginName,Department,City,Title,FirstName,LastName DonJ,IT,Las Vegas,CIO,Don,Jones GregS,Janitorial,Denver,Custodian,Greg,Shields JeffH,IT,Syracuse,Technician,Jeffery,Hicks ChrisG,Finance,Las Vegas,Accountant,Christopher,Gannon
you could run a command like this:
Import-CSV c:\users.csv | ForEach-Object { New-QADUser -name $_.LoginName -sAMAccountName $_.LoginName -department $_.department -city $_.city -title $_.title -sn $_.lastname -givenname $_.firstname }
It s a lot more typing, but it gets the job done. Notice that Quest uses an additional Q prefix on the nouns of their cmdlets, nicely distinguishing between Microsoft s Get-ADUser and Quest s Get-QADUser. As of v1.0.6 of Quest s cmdlets, however, parameter binding has been added, so provided your CSV column names match the parameter names, you could just do this:
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