PowerCLI – A great tool for VMware management and reporting

PowerCLI is a powerful tool in your tool belt to manage and report on your VMware environment. It is a set of snap-ins based upon Windows PowerShell that provides administration and automation for VMware vSphere. vSphere PowerCLI ships with over 200 commandlets (pre-built commands) to help administrators manage vSphere.

This post will summarize many of the resources and links that you can use to get started using PowerCLI and get up to speed quickly.

This website is the official community and getting started page that will help you get off your feet with PowerCLI
Getting started with PowerCLI – PowerCLI community – great resource

Another great resource to get started.
PowerCLI 101 slide deck from VMworld 2011 as posted by Professional VMware

Blog Resources, below are links to several prominent PowerCLI / VMware community members, I recommending looking here first if you need a script. The community site linked above is a great resource for scripts as well.

One of the first scripts that I would work on using in any environment would be the vCheck script by Alan Renouf, use it, automate it and improve your environment with it.

If you prefer to use a GUI for managing and working with code such as PowerCLI, Quest has you covered here as well with PowerGUI. PowerGUI goes well beyond just using it for VMware as they have Exchange, AD and other community packs for using PowerShell.

You can find the community PowerPack on Alan Renouf’s site. The VMware Community PowerPack is a community driven project which enables us as VMware admins to share our day to day problems and fixes through the format of scripts with a nice GUI front end making it even easier for us all to help each other out as at the end of the day we are all managing the same systems and probably hitting some of the same issues or requests for information.
The PowerPack contains a variety of scripts from Virtu-al.net and now other blogs such as ict-freak.nl, van-lieshout.com and ntpro.nl transformed and enhanced into a useful PowerPack for PowerGUI.

Finally there are several great books (which are on my book shelf) for PowerCLI / Powershell for VMware.

In summary PowerCLI is a very powerful tool that I have used time and time again to manage and report on the VMware environment. When I show people the power and versatility that it provides sometimes even with just a few lines, they are amazed at how simple the benefits can be obtained.