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VMware VSphere PowerCLI Reference: Automating VSphere Administration Paperback – 8 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (8 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470890797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470890790
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Your One–Stop Reference for VMware vSphere Automation

If you manage vSphere in a Windows environment, automating routine tasks can save you time and increase efficiency. VMware vSphere PowerCLI is a set of pre–built commands based on Windows PowerShell that is designed to help you automate vSphere processes involving virtual machines, datacenters, storage, networks, and more. This detailed guide using a practical, task–based approach and real–world examples shows you how to get the most out of PowerCLI′s handy cmdlets.

Learn how to:

  • Automate vCenter Server and ESX/ESX(i) Server deployment and configuration

  • Create and configure virtual machines and use vApps

  • Secure, back up, and restore your virtual machines

  • Monitor, audit, and report the status of your vSphere environment

  • Use the PowerCLI SDK, PowerWF Studio, and vEcoShell

  • Schedule and view automation

  • Add a GUI front end to your scripts

About the Author

Luc Dekens, VMware vExpert, has worked with operating systems for over 20 years and now focuses on virtualization, particularly platforms produced by VMware. He blogs about PowerCLI and the vSphere SDK at www.lucd.info.

Alan Renouf, VMware vExpert, is an EMC vSpecialist and has been working with VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft products for several years. Currently he focuses on virtualization products and their automation using PowerShell. He is also cohost, along with Jonathan Medd, of the Get Scripting podcast (www.get–scripting.blogspot.com).

Glenn Sizemore, VMware vExpert, started scripting early in his IT career, adopting PowerShell early on and conquering it when VMware PowerCLI first shipped. He shares scripts and automation techniques on his blog at www.Get–Admin.com.

Arnim van Lieshout, VMware vExpert, has been in the IT industry for 12 years, working mainly with operating systems. He has been focusing on virtualization for the last five years, especially automating tasks using PowerShell. Arnim blogs at www.van–lieshout.com.

Jonathan Medd, PowerShell MVP, is cohost of the Get–Scripting podcast and also shares his PowerShell knowledge at www.jonathanmedd.net.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Written by some of the top scripters in the VMware community the PowerCLI Reference book is really what it's title states - a reference. What it does (and does very well) is present both a 'cookbook' of useful scripts and explain how and why they work. While it does explain some concepts along the way it's not really pitched as an introductory guide or as the best way to learn PowerCLI (Hal Rottenberg's book might be better if this is what you're after).

At 700 pages it covers a lot of material but I'm impressed with the technical depth throughout - I picked areas where my knowledge is strongest (though not in the same league as these guys) and still found myself learning something new everytime. For example I've used the VIX API while creating scripted deployments for my test and dev environments at work and thought I knew it reasonably well. To my surprise the book delved into the inner workings of the cmdlets themselves and explained how they in turn called some guest OS scripts which ship with PowerCLI. The index lists the pages where each cmdlet is used so it's easy to look up the cmdlet you're interested in and see code examples. The scripts are downloadable from the book's website and the authors have even put together a module containing all the code along with instructions for how to use it. This is a major bonus - you get nearly 80 prewritten functions you can integrate into your own scripts! These are useful for day to day administration, not just esoteric or niche functions.

Disclosure - I've met both Jonathan Medd and Al Renouf at the VMware User Group on several occasions and was sent a copy of the book to review (I suspect a good chunk of the people interested in buying this book will be familiar with the authors through their social media presence if not in person). There was no obligation to write a positive review and I've said it as I see it.
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Format: Paperback
It's difficult to be objective when you know (and like) some of the authors. Fortunately it's not a problem in this case since I don't have anything bad to say about their work anyway so I don't need to be diplomatic!

Of course it could be argued that anything I say here might not be totally impartial but I leave it to you, the reader, to make that decision - I just wanted to be open and clear from the start.

"Clear" is definitely a word I'd use when describing the book. With a subject like this, which isn't exactly what you would call bedtime reading, any confusion would make the book unreadable. Maybe this is helped in my case by the fact that I've been using PowerCLI and PowerShell for quite a while now although I certainly wouldn't put myself anywhere near being in the same league as the authors.

Having some exposure to PowerShell I think is probably a pre-requisite for this book. Or at least you should have a willingness to learn a bit about the language first as the book drops you into some fairly sizable scripts right from the start (assuming you go from cover to cover that is). Thank fully these scripts can be obtained from the publisher's website - the days of typing in programs from a magazine are long gone!

One of the things that I like most about the book is that many of the day-to-day Virtual Infrastructure tasks that most people do repetitively through the GUI have been converted into PowerCLI scripts. Not all of them will be immediately useful to everyone but they give you the flexibility to change how you work whilst at the same time being fairly easy to follow. Having the way that PowerCLI works with the vCenter API explained (with examples) at various stages should give any reader the confidence to strike out on their own.
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Format: Paperback
This is an ideal book to have for reference.
I can't imagine starting at the beginning and working your way through it - though it looks like some people have. But if you have it handy, it will save you a lot of work if you have a reasonable size environment to manage.
Most things seem to have been covered in detail, and if not, then there is usually something there to get you started.
If you want to learn PowerCli then this won't be for you, but if you've got a basic grasp, then this will be a really handy reference.
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