Virtualization EcoShell and the VMware Infrastructure PowerPack

Wow, have I been busy.  In case you hadn’t noticed from my blog posts late last year and early this year, I’ve been working very hard at putting together multiple back-to-back updates for the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack for the past several months.  This has involved working long hours with many thousands of lines of PowerShell script and figuring out how to do some really cool things with both PowerShell and VMware’s PowerCLI (formerly known as the VI Toolkit).  The end result is always fulfulling, and I’m usually pretty good at setting up the really cool functionality so that I can leverage it in any PowerPack so all my hard work pays off in the long run.

A few weeks ago I finished off yet another update with some really cool new features, however this update isn’t available for the PowerGUI admin console just yet.  That update is coming shortly after we release the next version of PowerGUI, which has some functionality that it is dependent on.  If you can’t wait until then though, you can take a look at the new functionality now as part of the first public beta release of the Virtualization EcoShell that came out on April 15th.

What is the Virtualization EcoShell?  The Virtualization EcoShell is a project started by Scott Herold that was designed to provide an administrative experience that is tailored for virtualization administrators.  It is powered by PowerGUI and comes with a script editor and an admin console just like PowerGUI.  The out of the box experience is different though because it doesn’t come with PowerPacks for Exchange and Active Directory.  Instead it includes functionality that virtualization administrators care most about.  At the moment this is simply the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack, but over time this will grow to include other virtualization-related administrative functionality (think: additional VMware features, functionality to work with virtualization platforms from other vendors, and capabilities to extend into important technologies surrounding virtualization such as storage).

If you want a preview of the next generation of the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack a little early as well as a look at a new virtualization administration platform, all you have to do is pop over to the Virtualization EcoShell site and download it.  You can install and use it side-by-side with PowerGUI, so you won’t need any secondary systems or a VM to run it on either.  Once you’ve taken a look, let us know what you think or what you would like to see next on the forums!  Your feedback directly influences the features we add, and we’re listening!

Kirk out.

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VMware Infrastructure PowerPack 2.1.5 released

The PowerGUI VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack seems to be really popular with people, so I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past four months significantly enhancing that PowerPack.  Some of the enhancements are things that we wanted to put in and others are things that community members had requested (note to the reader: if you like a particular PowerPack and would like to see it improved, speak up on the PowerGUI Forums…we really take your feedback very seriously! :)).  Today I just finished posting another release of the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack with a few more enhancements, and I’m particularly happy with this one.

This release greatly improves usability through the new icons that were added (and I mean *greatly* improves…the value the icons add is huge).  It’s also the first PowerPack release that takes advantage of some really cool Visio scripts that I’ve been working on.  The Visio scripts I’m referring to were largely inspired by Alan Renouf’s vDiagram script, although the Visio script I ended up with doesn’t look anything like the original.  I’m itching to talk more about those scripts, but I want to write a blog post specifically on that topic so watch for more on this soon.  For now I’ll simply point out that to use the Visio functionality, you have to download the additional VESI_Visio.zip file that was added to the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack document page and install it as per the instructions in that document (see the “How to enable vDiagram support” section).  Visio 2007 is required.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to attend VMworld Europe in Cannes at the end of February, this release contains the icons and Visio features that Scott Herold was showing off during that show.  You can see a live demo of the new features on Scott’s website, here.

If you want to learn more about this PowerPack, including version history and other details, you can go here.  You can download the PowerPack from that location as well.

Kirk out.

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VMware Infrastructure PowerPack 2.1 released

Hot on the heels of the new release of the VMware VI Toolkit, I just finished uploading version 2.1 of the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack for PowerGUI.  This PowerPack facilitates management and automation of VMware Infrastructure servers using the VMware VI Toolkit with PowerGUI’s extendable administrative console.

Version 2.1 of the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack includes the following highlights:

  • Significant performance improvements when loading datacenters and clusters.
  • New top-level container nodes to facilitate viewing objects without having to browse into the Managed Hosts node.
  • Links allowing you to browse into log files from hosts.
  • Support for the VMware VI Toolkit 1.5 release.
  • VMotion support for virtual machines.

In addition to these changes, several links have been added and quite a few defects have been fixed.

You can learn more about this PowerPack, including version history and other details here.  You can download it from that location as well.

As always, feedback on this PowerPack and all others is welcome and appreciated.  If you want to see something in the PowerPack, just ask!  You can either contact me directly (see my about page), or you can post your request using the PowerGUI forums.  We’re listening!

Kirk out.

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VMware Infrastructure PowerPack 2.0 is now available

Were you  curious what was hiding inside that gold box in theimage  PowerGUI train?  Keeping with the spirit of giving, I just finished publishing version 2.0 of the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack.  A lot of effort went into this PowerPack, which ended up including a complete restructuring of the elements in the tree, as well as the addition of a lot of new functionality that was not available in previous versions, all for free just like the many other PowerPacks that are available for PowerGUI.

A few highlights in this version include:

  • Easy management of multiple VMware Virtual Center, ESX, ESXi or Virtual Server hosts from within one console.
  • Single sign-on to multiple hosts that use the same credentials.
  • Support for browsing through any of the inventory hierarchical views that are available in Virtual Center.
  • Management of virtualization elements within one host or across many hosts through the same set of links and actions.
  • Reporting and management of sessions, datacenters, clusters, resource pools, hosts, folders, virtual machines, templates, snapshots, networks, datastores, files, tasks and log files.

You can learn more about this PowerPack, including version history and other details here.  You can download it from that location as well.

Still not convinced you should give the VMware Infrastructure Management PowerPack a look?  Below you can click on a few screenshots to get a taste of what you’ll find if you do.

Browsing the Virtual Center hierarchy while managing snapshot files

Managing host sessions

Managing virtual machines

Looking into log files

If you manage VMware hosts or if you are interested in writing scripts against VMware hosts using PowerShell, I strongly encourage you to give this PowerPack a look.

As always, feedback on this PowerPack and all others is welcome and appreciated.  If you want to see something in the PowerPack, just ask!  You can either contact me directly (see my about page), or you can post your request using the PowerGUI forums.  We’re listening!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Kirk out.

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