sobota, 29. decembra 2012

Power GUI - swiss army knife of every administrator

Every once in a while you as an administrator face the problem to combine data from vcenter, be it virtual machine HW configuration, or ESX(i) machine inventory. Now imagine you have multiple vcenters and you want to see combined data for all virtual machines + their host and cluster relationships including subnets they are in. Or you want to list all machines with RDMs and whether RDM mode is physical or virtual.

Let me introduce you to Power GUI.

Power Gui is a free tool (or framework to be more precise) from Quest (now subsidiary of Dell) which creates front-end powershell interface for lazy admins as I am. Basic idea is to have one common interface grouping all objects of interest together and enable you to easily run reports (csv, html) or scripted tasks on any of them.

In addition to standard installation you can download power packs directly from PowerGUI interface. Power packs are special bulks of scripts customized for certain technology. For instance Active Directory, Network or VMware.

You can start playing around with queries after you add at least one host or vcenter and credentials into inventory.

If you checked VMware addon during installation you can now start listing and querying you virtual infrastructure for data.

I would like to point out one particular VMware powerpack called "VMware community powerpack". This one can run special predefined queries against all connected vcenters which are focusing on most day to day administration tasks. You can check for alarms, esx(i) HA slot availability, list RDM drives, current cluster CPU %Ready values etc.

You can export results into csv files and work with the data further in excel spreadsheets. I usually gather raw data from Power GUI and then do some vlookup stuff to put data together creating more complex inventories and reports.

Each powershell query you are about to run can be reviewed prior to execution. If you are more powershell capable person you can even run the console in authoring mode and edit/customize the scripts yourself.

I hope you will find this useful and this little summary will help you battling everyday challenges as a VMware administrator.

Download PowerGUI - for VMware addon you need to have VMware PowerCLI installed from link below
VMware PowerCLI

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