My Upcoming VMUG Presentation

Hello everyone! I want to take this opportunity to let you all know that I’ll actually be presenting at the Western PA VMware User Group meeting on Friday, October 20th! We’re going to meet at Alloy 26 (100 South Commons in Pittsburgh’s North Shore) starting at 11:00 AM. Official registration and full meeting information can be found on the official VMUG page. If you’re a VMware user working or living in the Western Pennsylvania region or surrounding areas, c’mon out and use this opportunity to collaborate and network with other users I’m the VMware community! After all, events like this are put together specifically to get VMware users, administrators, engineers, etc. together to talk about their experience in using VMware products and services.

I will actually be presenting after Kyle Ruddy’s (@kruddy on Twitter) “PowerCLI and vSphere REST APIs: Your Path To Automating All the Things” session. My presentation will cover automation using PowerCLI to manage things like RDM disks, virtual standard switches, NTP settings, and more. You’ll learn how I develop the scripts to simplify repetitive tasks, but also how I use PowerCLI to perform tasks that you may not even be able to do in the GUI! Not only can scripting save time, it can also maintain consistency across within your environment! My goal is to show give you some examples and insight into how you can utilize both PowerShell and PowerCLI to augment the management of your vSphere environment.

Also scheduled to speak at the VMUG are Adam Osterholt (@osterholta on Twitter) and Bhavin Shah (@ABhavin on Twitter). Adam will be presenting “VMware Cloud on AWS: What You Need to Know,” and Bhavin’s session is about “AppDefense and Why it Changes the Security Game.” There’s definitely going to be a lot of great content here, folks!

This will actually be my first time ever presenting at a VMUG, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity! I’ve given presentations about my experience with VMware in the past, but never at a local or regional user group meeting. Again, please be sure to register so the VMUG leaders can get a more formal head-count. The finalized itinerary should also be published over on the registration page as well.

Help us spread the word about this upcoming VMUG event! Please be sure to share either this blog post or the official registration link on Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, Facebook, email, or whatever platform you typically use to engage with other VMware users in the #vCommunity. Hope to see you there!


PowerCLI: Add/Remove NTP Servers in a VMware Cluster

I recently built out a new VMware cluster, and in doing so, needed to configure the NTP servers for each host. While this can certainly be done manually, it’s very repetitive and opens up the possibility of missing or misconfigured setting. Fortunately, there’s a way to automate that using PowerCLI!

Now, the way I wrote this script makes it a bit more interactive for the person running it. Typically, you could just define the NTP servers you want to remove, the ones to want to add, and let it run. With this script, it asks the user several questions along the way. Questions like, “What vCenter do you want to connect to?”, “What cluster do you want to scan?”, “Do you want to remove all existing NTP servers? [Y] / [N]”, and so on. There’s also validation included on the responses to the Y/N questions. And at the very end of the script, it checks the NTP services on each host in the cluster. If the NTP service is already running, it will restart the service. If it’s not running, it will start the service. All automatically. Continue reading “PowerCLI: Add/Remove NTP Servers in a VMware Cluster”

PowerCLI: Create New VM Port Groups in a Cluster

Hello again, everyone! Recently, I’ve been working on a script that will create new VM Port Groups on a virtual standard switch (vSS) in a given cluster. While this could probably be alleviated by using a virtual distributed switch (vDS), let’s assume that you have a need to stick with vSS for whatever reason (licensing, company standards, etc.).

In this script, it validates that the VLAN number is in fact a whole number within the range of 1 through 4905. At the end of the script, it asks if you’d like to add another port group to the same cluster or not. I found this to be very handy if you’re standing up a new cluster that only contained vSS, or simply adding more port groups to an existing cluster. Continue reading “PowerCLI: Create New VM Port Groups in a Cluster”

PowerCLI: Get or Set VAAI Settings for VMware Hosts

During a recent technical engagement with a vendor, my team was asked to verify that VAAI was disabled for all hosts attached to that vCenter. There are several different ways to go about doing this, so I figured I would put this blog post together to showcase some of the different ways in which this can be accomplished. There are three settings that need to be reviewed (or changed). They are: DataMover.HardwareAcceleratedMove, DataMover.HardwareAcceleratedInit, and VMFS3.HardwareAcceleratedLocking. A value of 1 means the setting is enabled, and a value of 0 means the setting is disabled.
Continue reading “PowerCLI: Get or Set VAAI Settings for VMware Hosts”

PowerCLI: Find a VM Based on RDM’s LUN ID

Let’s say you have a LUN ID that you clearly know is a RDM. How do you determine what virtual machine is associated with that disk?

Recently, I was prepping a cluster for routine ESXi patching. As part of my preparation, I scanned the cluster for RDM disks first to ensure that they were set to Perennially Reserved = True. After doing the RDM scan, I found a cluster that had a single RDM disk, but didn’t know which VM it was associated with. Although VMware has a Knowledge Base article (KB2001823) on how to do find RDM’s and which VM’s they’re associated with, it looks like it will find all RDM’s and VM’s across the entire vCenter Server. Since I know the cluster, and I know the RDM LUN ID, I wanted to narrow down the results for my particular needs.
Continue reading “PowerCLI: Find a VM Based on RDM’s LUN ID”

Creating a UEFI-Enabled VM in VMware Fusion

Let’s say you want to build a new VMware Fusion virtual machine using the newer UEFI firmware instead of the traditional BIOS. How is that done in VMware Fusion? Unlike VMware Workstation and ESXi, there’s no GUI-based option to choose EFI over BIOS (at least as of this writing). So, I decided to put this post together to walk you through the process. I should also point out that this needs to be done before an operating system is installed to the VM.

If you’re not sure what the differences are between UEFI and BIOS, How-To-Geek has two great articles that explain how newer UEFI firmware differs from traditional BIOS; “What Is UEFI, and How Is It Different from BIOS?” and “What You Need to Know About Using UEFI Instead of the BIOS.”
Continue reading “Creating a UEFI-Enabled VM in VMware Fusion”

Building a New Virtual Machine in VMware Fusion

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to setup and install a brand-new virtual machine using VMware Fusion. For this post, I’ll be installing a fresh copy of Microsoft Windows to use as an example, but these same steps should apply to just about any operating system. Let’s get started!
Continue reading “Building a New Virtual Machine in VMware Fusion”