PowerCLI 5.0 – Better than ever before

With the recent release of PowerCLI 5.0 there have been some great new enhancements, not only to the core vSphere management snap-in but also to other areas of the 5.0 release. As you would expect PowerCLI has been updated to work with the latest 5.0 version of vSphere whilst still maintaining its support for previous versions – Now you can automate the build of your Monster VMs !

Core enhancements

As with previous releases various performance benefits have been added to the latest release of PowerCLI and additional functionality has been enabled to further expand the reach of PowerCLI, some of these include:

  • Cloning templates
  • Copying files and folders from and to the guest OS
  • Joining domains
  • Joining ESX hosts (version 4.1 and later) into an active directory
  • Retrieving vCenter Server users and groups
  • Support for vCenter Servers in linked mode
  • Moving virtual appliances
  • Importing compressed and chunked files
  • Importing and exporting virtual appliances in OVA format
  • Support for the SSPI passthrough feature of VIX
  • Support for storage DRS
  • Support for creating VMs and hard disks on datastore clusters
  • Support for defining anti-affinity rules

For more information on the new core cmdlets please refer to the PowerCLI Change Log located here.

Additional Snap-ins

image_thumb12Additional to the core snap-in which allows you to manage vSphere, when you install PowerCLI you will now see multiple new snap-ins, these include the ability to use PowerShell to manage the following:

VMware Licensing

A snap-in has created which will add addition cmdlets to PowerCLI, enabling you to find information on the current license information.

Cmdlet Overview:

Name Description
Get-LicenseDataManager Returns the vSphere LicenseDataManager objects for the specified vSphere servers.

VMware Image BuilderSNAGHTML66b56a4_thumb2

This snap-in can be used to manipulate the core ESXi Image, it can be used to add drivers, CIM providers and Other components to the base ESXi image and then export this as a custom built ISO ready for creating the installable media or also export to a Software Depot ready for use with VMware Auto Deploy.

Cmdlet Overview:

Name Description
Add-EsxSoftwareDepot Adds an ESX software depot or offline depot ZIP file to the current PowerCLI session.
Add-EsxSoftwarePackage Adds new VIBs to an image profile or updates existing VIBs in an image profile.
Compare-EsxImageProfile Returns an ImageProfileDiff object that specifies whether two profiles have the same VIB list and acceptance level.
Export-EsxImageProfile Exports an Image Profile object as either an ESXi ISO image that can be booted up and used as an ESXi installer, or
an offline depot ZIP file that contains metadata plus the VIB packages.
Get-EsxImageProfile Lists the image profiles from software depots as well as image profiles created by the user.
Get-EsxSoftwarePackage Returns a list of SoftwarePackage (VIB) objects from all the connected depots.
New-EsxImageProfile Creates an image profile on the client machine, either by cloning or from scratch.
Remove-EsxSoftwareDepot Disconnects the current PowerCLI session from the specified software depots.
Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage Removes existing packages from an image profile.
Set-EsxImageProfile Used to modify a user-created image profile.

VMware Auto DeploySNAGHTML6415f5a_thumb4

This snap-in gives us over 15 new cmdlets to work with VMware Auto Deploy,

The VMware Auto Deploy snap-in allows VMware customers to use a rule based engine to deploy ESXi to bare metal hosts.

Cmdlet Overview:

Name Synopsis
Add-DeployRule Adds one or more rules to the rule set.
Apply-ESXImageProfile Associates the specified image profile with the specified ESXi system.
Copy-DeployRule Clones an existing rule.
Get-DeployRule Gets a DeployRule object.
Get-DeployRuleSet Gets the current working rule set or the current active rule set.
Get-VMHostAttributes Gets the identifying attributes of a host.
Get-VMHostImageProfile Gets the image profile associated with the specified ESXi host.
Get-VMHostMatchingRules Retrieves the list of rules in the rule set that match a specified host.
New-DeployRule Creates a new rule.
Remove-DeployRule Removes a rule from the working rule set.
Repair-DeployImageCache Repairs the image cache. Use this cmdlet only when working with
VMware Technical Support.
Repair-DeployRuleSetCompliance Remediate any non-compliant associations discovered by
Set-DeployRule Updates an existing rule.
Set-DeployRuleSet Sets the list of rules in the working rule set.
Switch-ActiveDeployRuleSet Activates a rule set.
Test-DeployRuleSetCompliance Checks whether hosts are compliant with rules.


The latest version of PowerCLI can be downloaded from here:



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