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VI Toolkit (the PowerShell one) $5K contest + GA

[Update: mark your calendars for the VI Toolkit (for Windows) webinar on August 7.]

I think I’ve made it clear that I believe the VI Toolkit (for Windows) is one of the most powerful tools VMware has ever made for VI admins. It’s designed at just the right level of abstraction that lets a VI admin carry out commands with a very natural syntax — the commands and objects you want are just right there. It’s built on a technology (PowerShell) that is a damn powerful scripting language that lets you pipe objects between scripts, er, cmdlets. And it’s built on top of the VI SDK, which is enormously powerful (and complicated!), basically giving you access to everything that VC and the VI Client can do. And of course, you’re accessing the most powerful, robust, and complete hypervisor in existence.  I will have to admit that the name isn’t my favorite and is
(pretty) awkward to say (and type), and doesn’t even mention
PowerShell, but we won’t hold that against poor little VI Toolkit (for Windows). Once you put that stack all together, in just a few lines of code, you will find you now have amazing VI super powers.

So first of all, although it leaked out earlier this week, the VI Toolkit (for Windows) 1.0 is truly and officially now generally available. Even if you don’t normally consider yourself a scripter, every VI admin should check this out.

And I also think the team has done a great job connecting with the community, both at the VI Toolkit (for Windows) forum here at the VMware Communities, as well as with the greater PowerShell community. Lots of excitement, lots of contributed code, books on the way. People were blogging about this even before the NDA was lifted (I’m looking at you, Sloof), and product manager Carter Shanklin has gone out and connected, podcasted, and social networked his way around the world. (If any social media types are reading this, there’s a case study here.)

When you release an enablement tool like this, part of its process of creation is the co-creation together with the community — ok, here are the raw commands, now what can you do with it? What problems can you solve? How easy can you make it? Is the itch you need to scratch one of reporting, provisioning, maintenance? Something complex with one ESX server or something automated with dozens? To that end, Carter and Pablo scared up some extra cash and have announced the VI Toolkit (for Windows) PowerShell Scripting Contest.

 

The first prize is a trip to VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas; second prize is a MacBook Air; and third prize is an XBox 360 Elite. Or you can take the cash and run. They’re looking for realistic, elegant scripts that solve real world VI administrative problems. The deadline is August 30, so if this is up your alley, go ahead and get started. The worst thing that could happen is that you learn a lot more about VI Toolkit (for Windows), and I guarantee you that will not be bad for your career.

Good luck!

[Update: mark your calendars for the VI Toolkit (for Windows) webinar on August 7.]