VM Junkie

September 1, 2009

VMworld Session VM2241 – PowerCLI (4.0 Update 1 and Onyx)

Filed under: powershell, vmware, vmworld, vSphere — Justin Emerson @ 1:54 pm

One of the sessions I was most looking forward to today was the PowerCLI session from Carter and Friends. After teasing Project Onyx at their blog a few days back the anticipation was at a fever pitch.

Some great info in the session for PowerCLI newbies, but the good stuff was info on PowerCLI 4.0 Update 1 which is scheduled to be out “before Christmas” according to Carter (to which someone in the audience quipped, “what year?”)

  • PowerCLI 4u1 has 229 cmdlets in the current internal beta build
  • New cmdlets for vApps (get, new, start, stop, import, export)
  • Better Storage Management:
    • iSCSI improvements, get/set-vmhosthba.
    • You can now turn on the SW iSCSI initiator and add a Send Targets IP, rescan, and format LUNs all from PowerCLI.
  • Huge improvements to Guest operations.
    • Set-VMGuestNetwork (name approximate) allows you to set the networking information of Virtual Machines (Windows OR Linux with same syntax). Will be great for post-SRM failver scripting!
    • Copy files in and out of guests (Win or Linux)
    • Invoke-VMScript can run arbitrary commands and batch files (no longer requires PS in VM, can run BASH scripts in Linux VMs, too). Still require Host and Guest credentials.
  • NIC Teaming and Load Balancing policies
    • Set standby NICs, unused NICs, changed load balancing policy to IPHash, etc.
    • Forgot to ask if you can remove a VMNIC from a vSwitch yet…
  • vCenter Permissions and Role cmdlets.

Stuff I wish I had seen:

  • License management cmdlets (adding licenses to vCenter’s license database, assigning licenses to servers)
  • DPM Cluster- and Host-based cmdlets

Carter also said that performance in large vCenter servers will improve a lot – getting a single VM won’t take as long as getting them all.

The last thing was a demonstration of Project Onyx. Onyx is a proxy that sits in between your vSphere client and your vCenter server. It functions a lot like a sysinternals tool – you turn on “capture” and whenever you issue a command in the client it spits out PowerShell code that breaks out to the vSphere API to do what you just did. You then can save this to a PS1 file, edit out the stuff you don’t want to put in a script, generalize it (so it runs on a variable) and wrap it in a function.

The example they used was turning on DPM for a cluster. We ran Onyx and made the change to one cluster manually. Onyx spits out a giant chunk of code that creates a VMware.vim.ClusterConfigSpecEx object. We checked the API documentation to confirm that all the stuff related to HA and DRS (which we don’t want to modify) is optional, then remove all that junk from the code. We then wrap it in a function and call it using foreach object after grabbing all the clusters using get-cluster.

It’s a pretty slick process. I dropped off my business card to hopefully get into the Beta. Carter, hook a brotha up!

Lastly Scott Herold from Quest/Vizioncore showed off the Virtualization EcoShell, which I guess I’m way late to the party on but I’m totally switching to that from PowerGUI that I use now.

Overall GREAT session.



  1. Sounds great, thanks for letting us know what was in the session !

    Comment by Virtu-Al — September 1, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

  2. Have you looked at licensing in vSphere 4? I understand that 3.5 will be with us a long time, but do you feel that vSphere 4 still needs any license automation capabilities?

    Comment by Carter Shanklin — September 6, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

  3. […] Justin Emerson – VMworld Session VM2241 – PowerCLI (4.0 Update 1 and Onyx) […]

    Pingback by VMworld 2009 (San Francisco) – Linkage » Yellow Bricks — September 7, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  4. […] Manager Best Practices (Scott Lowe) TA4820 – What keeps a cloud up? (It’s Just Another Layer) VMworld Session VM2241 – PowerCLI (4.0 Update 1 and Onyx)(VM Junkie) Author: esiebert7625 Categories: VMworld 2009 Tags: Sessions, VMworld 2009 Comments are […]

    Pingback by Welcome to vSphere-land! » Session Links — September 8, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: