Book Review – PowerCLI Cookbook

How many infrastructure administrators are repeating the same task many times? Unfortunately, it happens again and human mistakes are in the nearest corner!

PowerCLI is giving a great hand that really contribute to stopping “monkey works” on vSphere based infrastructure and solve a lot of infrastructure automation tasks like deploy and manage, migrations, making detailed health check report and more.

In this blog, I already post some tricks on PowerCLI and during VMworld Europe 2018 I had my first ever presentation about wrapping and executing PowerCLI scripts in a user-friendly GUI. But to better understand the meaning of the statements included on my examples or start seriously writing PowerCLI code, I highly suggest giving a look to PowerCLI Cookbook by Philip Sellers (VCIX6.5-DCA. 2013-2018 vExpert. MSITP)

The book

This book is well written: every chapter has a “Getting started” section, “How to do it”, “How it works” and further information on concepts involved in every example. The author uses the “by example” approach: the way that I really appreciate because let people to write and apply PowerCLI scripts during the reading.

All starts with a basic and advanced way of “Connecting to ESXi host and vCenter”. How many times I see the newbie sysadmin driving crazy due lacks on connection, lacks and insecure store of credentials. And when it’s time to industrialize the connection and configuration process, the connection phase becomes mission critical. Here this book is showing by example how to do it and what you should pay attention during the launch of PowerCLI instructions.

The VM management is another interesting topic described in this book: there’s a deep explanation on how to automate OVA/OVF Template, deploy VM and how to troubleshoot via PowerCLI the common issues.

Then some pages are dedicated on management task like VM Snapshots that IMHO deserve a mention. How many times has happened that a VM is still handling a snapshot? Failed backup job or forgotten removal processes are in the roots of the cause of this problem, and a VM with a long time snapshot could perform badly. Some simple PowerCLI commands can save your a**.

This book continued with some advanced management tasks like balancing workload using the resource pools and creating reports that could be decisive to show to management how is going the workloads on your virtual datacenter.

The book closes with some commands useful in vCloud Director, covering the principal aspects, like Tenancy, vApp, and Networking.

Summarizing, this is a well-explained guide to start and improve your PowerCLI knowledge: near the theories around the statements you’ll find some useful tips and tricks coming from an author that is using this technology every day!

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