Those of you who manage and administer medium, large, or even small VMware environments know that managing VMware’s virtual environments from the GUI requires lots of repetitive tasks, tasks that cuts into precious time that could be spent doing something that you like more than just work.

Whether you want to spend more time with your spouse and kids, boyfriend or girlfriend, or my personal favorite… getting loose with the boys at the local pub (Hell Yeah!!!!),  or whatever it is that you might be into,  VMware has some really awesome tools that can help you get some of the time back.  Well unless you’ve been working really hard or living under a massive rock, you should be aware of the VMware VI Toolkit for Windows.  This toolkit is based on Microsoft PowerShell and can do some really awesome things in a VMware environment to help you be more productive and efficient.

Don’t worry you wont have to learn PowerShell from scratch to use it. All you have to learn is how to use the VMware predefined functions that have been developed for the VI Tool Kit. As I listed in a previous post, VMware is currently re-branding their tools and applications so when VMware vSphere is released later this year, look for the new name of the toolkit which is now vSphere PowerCLI.

There are so many things you can do with this tool:

  • Check virtual machines for VMotion compatibilities
  • Check active connections to CD-ROM’s, floppies, virtual networks, etc.
  • Check for virtual machines host locations
  • Disconnect virtual devices
  • Retrieve performance information from ESX Servers and Virtual Machines
  • Perform bulk migrations

This are only a few of the many of the many fucntions that the tool can help you with.  I hight recommend visiting the VMTN community site and look at what is available to you.  There are always great posts from everyone, specially from Luc (this guy is a VI Toolkit/PowerShell genius, who even won a contest VMware was hosting last year)  The toolkit is currently being enhanced and more features are being added to it for the current version of vCenter and ESX Server as well as the upcoming vSphere products.  Below you can see some video demos by Carter Shanklin in which he shows how you’re going to get that precious time back when you use the VMware VI Toolkit (vSphere PowerCLI).  Enjoy. Carter Shanklin currently has a few more posting that are hosted at vimeo you should definitely check them out.