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While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that PowerGadgets is the greatest thing in the history of history, it is easily my favorite tool for Windows PowerShell, because of how easily it can be integrated with the VI Toolkit (for Windows) to create some great ways to monitor Virtual Infrastructure.

Getting insight into your entire Virtual Infrastructure

Currently it is not very easy to get an overall picture of your VMware Virtual Infrastructure using the VI Client. The VI Client comes with a number of nice charting tools, but for the most part they focus on one object at a time — a single VM, a single resource pool or a single host. How can we get a picture of the overall status of our Virtual Infrastructure?

The VI Toolkit (for Windows) includes a cmdlet called Get-Stat, which gives you raw access to the performance statistics of VMware objects. When we combine that with the Toolkit’s ability to easily retreive all of a certain type of object, it becomes easy to start making reports that cover the entire datacenter.

Here are two examples that illustrate the point. The first example, cpu.ps1 , creates a graph that shows us the average CPU utilization of all ESX hosts under management. (Note that if you want to run the script against your Virtual Infrastructure you will need to log in using the Get-VC cmdlet first.) Here’s a sample that I ran against my Infrastructure:

Cpu_3

In the same vein, memory.ps1 shows us the average memory utilization across all our hosts. Here’s the output I got when I ran against my systems:

Memory

Monitor All The Time

Another nice feature of PowerGadgets is the ability to publish a gadget as a Vista Sidebar. With this feature you could easily take the examples above and have a pervasive and continuously-updated view of the health of your Virtual Infrastructure, whether you are logged in through VI Client or not.

PowerGadgets: Worth the price?

PowerGadgets is not a free tool, so you’ll have to decide for yourself whether its benefits cover the costs. If monitoring your Virtual Infrastructure is important to you, you should at least download the trial and try it out, I think you’ll find that with the VI Toolkit (for Windows) and PowerGadgets it’s pretty easy to develop a gadget that monitors the things that are most important to you. If you’ve got feedback, or need a bit of help getting started, please share your feedback with us in the VI Toolkit (for Windows) Community.