When vCenter Alone Is Just Not Enough

One thing I have learned in the time I have spent working in IT is that no software product,  out of the box,  will do everything that you want it to do.  This especially goes for VMware’s vCenter Server.  This is a great product but yet still has its shortcoming.  vCenter will perform a lot of the tasks that we need to do and has the ability to report on a information we need to know about in our virtual environments but unfortunately not everything we need to know about can be easily found in bulk about multiple servers.

Anyone that works in IT knows that we spend a great deal of our time performing tasks like gathering information or installing patches as an example.  Powershell has become a leading tool in helping fill the gaps that vCenter leaves behind as well as a tool to help administrate and take control of any virtual environment. Powershell is very powerful and flexible, which can help with just about any task and  especially help with gathering information.  There have been many powershell scripts that have been posted and shared online and when you find yourself tasked to do something, one of the first things you do is to look to see if you can find a script that comes close to what you are looking to do.  It is much easier to find a script that is close to your needs, and tailor appropriately, then it is to create a tool from whole cloth.

For one specific example I had when working in a clients environment,  they have been getting a lot of alerts on low disk space and I was tasked to create a report on the disk sizes for all the virtual machines in the environment. vCenter can report on the independent servers but not report on all I once.  I found a script that was created by Hugo Peeters and this script did exactly what I needed without having to change a thing.  I found this script and others to be very helpful.

Management is truly not only about the hypervisor vendor’s management suite, scripts and other tools are invaluable assets to any environment; as is a good collection of script repositories such as:

Finding a good set of scripts can be quite difficult and google is your friend. Scott Herold’s project The Virtualization EcoShell Initiative (TheVESI) tries to accumulate many of these scripts into one location and provide one more tool for the virtual environment’s administrator Tool Box.

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