General Guest Learning

PowerCLI Customer Spotlight #4: Amy Manley


As we continue to highlight PowerCLI users in the community and find out more about them, we are excited to introduce Amy Manley!


  • Name: Amy Manley
  • Twitter: @wyrdgirl
  • Blog:
  • Github:
  • Current City: Chicago
  • Works for: University of Chicago Medical Center
  • Job Title: Systems Engineer Specialist
  • Years using PowerCLI: 4

Amy started out as most of us do rising through the ranks of help desk.  She actually earned a degree for web design in 2000 and that’s when the .com bust happened so she had to transition to other opportunities.  Amy had done a bit of telecom and ended up in networking.  There never seemed to be enough network work to do where she was employed so she helped out the Windows server team.  Amy became jack of all trades (master of none) so to speak with learning unix and supporting various applications.  One beautiful day, her company decided to load up a GSX server and go from there.  No more home grown NAS devices but a real FC array!  Fast forward to a 98% virtualized environment that she was managing.  With a lean crew, they earned best in IT awards for supporting a large environment and having  one storage admin, one unix admin, a network admin,  windows admin and a virtual admin but all cross trained.  Some of her best memories in IT were working with that crew.  Eventually, Amy was introduced to vCenter Orchestrator for automation, which blew her mind and she fell in love.  Amy loves all things virtual but now automating is a great passion of hers.  she hopes to continue to learn and share her experiences with the great VMware community we have online.  Amy is now a two time presenter at the VMware end user conference and 2 time vExpert.

How did you learn about PowerCLI in the beginning?:

I learned PowerCLI from the community.  I would search for something I wanted to do and most likely someone wrote a script.  I would tweak it until it worked for me or add additional code in order to fit my need.  I did attend a formal PowerShell class and that helped immensely as well.  Through time and with the help of others, I was able to write scripts on my own.  Alan Renouf and Luc Dekens have been great resources in the community.  Everytime, I’m in the VMTN PowerCLI community, Luc is answering questions.  In the early days, VI Toolkitswas a great help. Now tools like PowerGUI, which has the VMware Community PowerPack, are helpful with daily scripting.  There are a lot of similarities with Javascript and PowerCLI so it helped to have that web degree after all!


What have been three accomplishments, scripts, or major wins for your job because of PowerCLI?:

PowerCLI definitely assists me in being the snapshot police for the environment. I never want to experience an outage due to an out of control snapshot. I’ve lived through that too many times.

A major win would be using PowerCLI to help automate resource pool allocation. I don’t have to worry about Production having it’s fair share, an automated script takes care of that for me.  Reporting on thin provisioned disks and the over allocation amount (used vs provisioned).  Having that report allows us to utilize thin provisioning and keep an eye on the state of the environment.  I like to stick with 150% allocation to make the most use of our storage.

Lastly, a huge win was using PowerShell and PowerCLI for a huge datacenter migration effort.  A lot of pre-work and cut-over was scripted out and it helped speed up the process and lessen the likelihood of error.

Any other words of wisdom you’d like to share with the community?:

The VMware forums are your friend.  There are many experts willing to lend a hand.  Start with a simple script and make it your own.  Get-help or hitting tab can help and save time. I start a command and tab it out .  You can grab information in your environment so easily and export it to a file, as well ,with the export cmdlet  Over time and jobs, I’ve kept a health-check report that reports on snapshots, datastore usage, errors for the past day, etc. for the virtual environment.  Using PowerCLI, can make your job that much easier.


Thanks Amy for becoming a presence in the PowerCLI community and for sharing your experience and your thoughts with the community!


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