WavebreakMediaMicro - Fotolia


PowerCLI 6.5 adds new cmdlets, upgrades existing options

You can now move virtual machines between vCenter instances that aren't a part of the same single sign-on domain with the upgraded PowerCLI cmdlets.

While the majority of headlines focused on the new security features of vSphere 6.5, VMware also debuted PowerCLI 6.5, along with a number of new cmdlets to manage vSAN. With PowerCLI 6.5, administrators can automate vSAN cluster creation.

VSphere PowerCLI 6.5 is the VMware standard for command-line interface management. While Microsoft uses PowerShell to manage Hyper-V environments, PowerCLI is a PowerShell snap-in for VMware users.              

The new PowerCLI cmdlets introduced to manage Virtual SAN (vSAN) 6.5 are part of PowerCLI 6.5 Release 1. You can use these cmdlets to monitor performance, show your current vSAN cluster configuration and even create a vSAN configuration.

Early vSAN releases had a lot of hidden tools, which you could only find through the CLI. But, as time passed, these tools have surfaced, and are available through the GUI.

Here are some new cmdlets in PowerCLI 6.5 for creating new vSAN disks, vSAN disk groups and vSAN Fault Domains:

  • New-VsanDisk
  • New-VsanDiskGroup
  • New-VsanFaultDomain

If you want to remove a vSAN disk, vSAN disk group or vSAN Fault Domain, simply replace New- with Remove- in the command.

One of the other options with PowerCLI is setting configuration settings. Use Set- at the beginning of the command -- for example, Set-VsanClusterConfigurtion or Set-VsanFaultDomain -- to automate the configuration setup.

Move-VM cmdlet gets upgrade with PowerCLI 6.5

While there are many new PowerCLI cmdlets, there have also been upgrades to existing ones. The Move-VM cmdlet already had a lot of uses before -- moving VMs between clusters, data stores and even to new folders -- but it has even more options with PowerCLI 6.5.

VSphere 6.0 allowed users to use the Move-VM cmdlet to move VMs between vCenter instances in a process called Cross vCenter vMotion. In vSAN 6.5, users can even move VMs between vCenter instances that aren't linked by single sign-on domains -- something you can't even do with the GUI. The reason for this is that PowerCLI can connect to multiple vCenter instances at the same time.

In order to move a VM between vCenter instances, the source vCenter needs the VM and a network adapter. The destination vCenter needs an ESXi host, a data store and a port group. You also need an active connection between the source and destination vCenter instances, and both need to be version 6.0 or later.

While you can update the vSAN Hardware Compatibility Guide manually by signing into vCenter, going into the vSAN cluster, checking the Health section and so on, there's a new PowerCLI 6.5 cmdlet that automates this task: Update-VsanHclDatabase.

It's also possible to use PowerCLI 6.5 to run tests using the following cmdlets:

  • Test-VsanClusterHealth
  • Test-VsanNetworkPerformance
  • Test-VsanStoragePerformance
  • Test-VsanVMCreation
  • Update-VsanHclDatabase

You can use the following PowerCLI cmdlets to show details of the vSAN configuration, display which disks are part of vSAN and display space usage or check resyncing components:

  • Get-VsanClusterConfiguration
  • Get-VsanDisk
  • Get-VsanDiskGroup
  • Get-VsanFaultDomain
  • Get-VsanResyncingComponent
  • Get-VsanSpaceUsage

Storage in VMware has never been easier to manage than with vSAN and the latest PowerCLI 6.5 cmdlets. You only need a single data store, instead of tens or even hundreds. Simplicity is the future.

Next Steps

Test your vSphere 6.5 feature knowledge with this quiz

Browse your vCenter Server upgrade options with vSphere 6.5

HTML5, vSphere 6.5 release among biggest VMware stories of 2016

Dig Deeper on Backing up VMware host servers and guest OSes