VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration

It has been quite a journey, but it has finally arrived. Today our book: “VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration” will be released by Sybex. The journey started about a year ago when Alan Renouf and Luc Dekens decided to write a PowerCLI book that should have a practical approach to vSphere administration. Later that year they contacted 3 co-authors to help them out in order to keep meeting the deadlines. The PowerCLI book team was born and the book was to be written by “4 vExperts and a MVP”.

From this point I would like to personally thank Alan and Luc for the opportunity to realize a dream. I would also like to personally thank Mary Ellen Schutz, Developmental Editor, for transforming my technical gibberish into readable and most importantly understandable language. Last but not least I would like to personally thank our Technical Editor, Stuart Radnidge. He left no script unturned and served as the gatekeeper, ensuring that any code you find in the book will run the first time, every time. You might think that’s all there is to it, but then you’re wrong. I’ve never written a book before and I was impressed by the number of people that were involved behind the scenes in this book thing. On the Sybex team there were numerous people involved including but not limited to: Editorial Manager, Acquisition Editor, Production Editor, Copyeditor, Indexer, Proofreader and Compositor. Without each of their contributions, this book would have never made it to the presses.

Target Audience

The book is, of course, primarily targeted at administrators of vSphere environments who want to automate tasks. But the subjects that we discuss in the book cover so many aspects of the management of a VMware vSphere environment that everyone who comes into contact with a VMware vSphere environment will be able to pick up something useful.

In our day-to-day contact with PowerCLI users, we noticed that most of them start with what we like to call the reporting phase. Thanks to the natural look and feel of PowerShell and PowerCLI, it is quite easy for beginners to produce impressive reports about their vSphere environment. That’s why we included several chapters on different types of reporting. The somewhat more advanced user will go into the configuration phase. That is the moment when you start changing settings on your virtual guests and in the vSphere servers. There are an extensive number of chapters for this phase in the book.

The ultimate phase you can achieve through the use of PowerCLI is the process automation phase. As an administrator, you are now going to automate complex processes in your vSphere environment. This process can range from automating the deployment of vSphere servers all the way to automating the switch to a disaster recovery center. Again, the book offers several chapters for this phase.

What’s inside

This book shows you how you can use PowerCLI to automate your administrator tasks—not an alphabetical listing of the 250+ PowerCLI cmdlets—but a practical guide with example scripts that you can use immediately in your environment. The chapters are organized in such a way that each of them reflects a specific type of task. You probably already have done most of these tasks more than once. Now, we will show you how to automate them. In other words, you script them once and run them multiple times.

The book consists of 5 parts:

Part I: Install, Configure, and Manage the vSphere Environment
Chapter 1 through Chapter 4 show you how to automate the installation and configuration of your VMware vSphere environment. They include the vCenter server, the ESX and ESXi servers, storage, and networking as well as some advanced vSphere features like host profiles and dvSwitches.

Part II: Managing the Virtual Machine Life Cycle
Chapter 5 through Chapter 9 tackle all the automation aspects of guests—from creating a virtual machine over linked clones and svMotion all the way to vApps. We will show you how to mass-deploy a number of guests and how to manipulate snapshots.

Part III: Securing Your vSphere Environment
In Chapter 10 through Chapter 13, we discuss the security aspects of your VMware vSphere environment. First, we show you how to handle backups and restores. Then, we continue with the automation of your disaster recovery. Patching and hardening of your environment conclude this part.

Part IV: Monitoring and Reporting
Chapter 14 through Chapter 17 show how you can automate all the reporting aspects of your VMware vSphere environment. These chapters discuss how to report on the physical hardware, virtual hardware, and the configuration parameters; how to gather statistical data for performance and capacity planning reports; how to create an audit trail; and how to monitor the environment.

Part V: Scripting Tools and Features
In Chapter 18 through Chapter 23, we expand on the automation scripts themselves. We’ll show you how you can schedule your scripts, how to use the methods and properties from the SDK in your scripts, and how to use Onyx to help you with the SDK methods and properties. You’ll learn how to run your scripts in graphical environments like PowerGUI, and how to provide your own graphical interface for your scripts. We also introduce PowerWF Studio, a novel way to work with PowerShell and the PowerCLI snap-in.

A complete table of contents can be found on www.powerclibook.com or even better, have a look inside the book on amazon.

As you might already know, we created a dedicated website at www.powerclibook.com, to provide you with any additional information regarding our book. If you have any book related questions, please visit our PowerCLI book forum and let us know.

We hope that you will enjoy reading this book as much as we did writing it.

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2 Comments on “VMware vSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating vSphere Administration”

  1. #1 Troy Clavell
    on Apr 6th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Fantastic job Gentlemen!! The book arrived today. We have 6 copies for the team.

    Thank you!

  2. #2 Arnim van Lieshout
    on Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Thank you Troy. Enjoy your read!

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