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PowerCLI is official! What’s new?

As you’ve probably seen by now,VMware vSphere was launched late last night and people all over the world are busily downloading it. If you want full details on the release the best place to find it is this excellent blog post by Eric Siebert.

At the same time, we’ve also released PowerCLI 4.0, which is the successor to VI Toolkit 1.5.

The mathematically astute amongst you may have noticed that the version number jumped from VI Toolkit 1.5 all the way to PowerCLI 4.0. Does that mean there were huge changes between 1.5 and 4.0? Not really. The numbering was changed to be in line with the version of vSphere that is released on the same day. In the past there had been a lot of confusion around what version numbers were needed, especially since ESX 3.0 was released at the same time as VirtualCenter 2.0, and later ESX 3.5 was paired with VirtualCenter 2.5. To simplify things, many of our products have begun to use the same version number, 4.0. This will also be true going forward.

Does that mean that PowerCLI 4.0 only works with vSphere 4.0? Not at all, in fact you can use PowerCLI to manage ESX and VC all the way back to 3.0 and 2.0, respectively (see how confusing that is?) Best of all, the code you wrote for managing ESX 3.0 or 3.5 will most likely work on vSphere with no modification, and you can use it to manage and automate a mixed environment of all these versions.

So what is actually new? It’s easier to describe if I share a bit of backstory. Originally there was not going to be a VI Toolkit 1.5, all of the planning we did assumed these features would be shipped with vSphere. Because PowerCLI finished development well before vSphere was ready, we decided to remove a few vSphere-specific features and release the rest of them as VI Toolkit 1.5. We kept the PowerCLI release in reserve, waiting for the big day. In the meantime we’ve been hard at work on our next feat of engineering wonder, PowerCLI 4.0 U1, which will arrive later this year.

To put it another way,

PowerCLI 4.0 = VI Toolkit 1.5 + Bug Fixes + Host Profile Cmdlets

Host profiles is a nice new feature added in vSphere that helps in large-scale provisioning and configuration auditing of ESX servers. Yavor Boychev from the PowerCLI team even put together a nice video that explains when, why and how to use the feature.

Managing host profiles with vSpherePowerCLI! from Yavor Boychev.

If you’re looking to get started right away, Hugo has a terrific Quick Start Guide on his blog.

As always, the best part about PowerCLI is our strong community, which continues to grow stronger every day. Hope to see you there.

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