Automating VMware Workstation LAB

I am often working with quite large test environments. Powering on ESXi hosts with nested VMs can be a pain when you need to get it running quickly.

Here are some of my tricks to automating VMware Workstation

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PowerCLI: TPM Encryption Recovery Key Backup

FromvSphere 7.0 Update 2 and onwards VMware encurage you to make a backup of your host encryptions keys, when you are using TPM. https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/81661

Here is a script that will make it easy for you if you cannot be bothered with logging in to each host using SSH.

The script will list all hosts and their keys for safe keeping.

Import-Module VMware.PowerCLI
Connect-VIServer <vCenter>

$VMHosts = get-vmhost | Sort-Object

foreach ($VMHost in $VMHosts) {
    $esxcli = Get-EsxCli -VMHost $VMHost
    try {
        $key = $esxcli.system.settings.encryption.recovery.list()
        Write-Host "$VMHost;$($key.RecoveryID);$($key.Key)"
    }

    catch {
        
    }
}

PowerCLI: Migrate DRS VM Group Members

When ever you need to migrate to from one vCenter instance to another there are lots of things you need to migrate.

This PowerCLI script will help you migrate members from one DRS VM group to another. It can easily be modified to be part of a bigger context, or migrate all groups available.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites are that you have both the new and the old vCenter running, and that you have disconnected you hosts in the old vCenter and connected them to the new one. Do NOT remove them from you old vCenter. Leave them disconnected.

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VMware HA Cluster: Set-Advanced HA Settings

Recently a adjustment was made to the vCenter Cluster HA Agent timeout Settings.

Ref: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2017778

Performing a Reconfigure for VMware HA operation on a primary node causes an unexpected virtual machine failover

This calles for at script, because there is no way we are going to do this by hand! Feel free to use or alter the script, just remember. It is all done at your own risk.

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PowerCli Script: Migrate host from missing dvSwitch to new dvSwitch with same Id’s

The purpose of this script is to migrate from one vCenter to another when using dvSwitches. The dvSwitch is bound to vCenter, so in order to migrate hosts from one vCenter to another you can map the networks using this script. All you need to do is disconnect the host from the original vCenter with the VMs still running, but not remove it. Then you connect it to the new vCenter.

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Migrate Tags from one vCenter to another

When upgrading to vSphere 7 or any other version, you might choose to create a brand new vCenter instead of migrating the old one. But what about folder structure, tags, distributed switches and so on.

Here I will demonstrate how you can easily migrate your tags from one vCenter to another using VMware PowerCLI.

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vRA 8.1 Custom Resources

Todays announcement of vRealize Automation 8.1 reveals the possibility to use Custom resources in vRA.

I am super exited about that ability. Those who know me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of vRO (vRealize Orchestrator) and the possibility to add anything as a resource in a vRA really opens the product to so many possibilities.

Anything you can imagine, and that you can make vRO do, you can put in a blueprint.

Spoiler alert. New vRA 8.1 feature
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Applying automatic fix for PowershellScriptExecution prerequisite failed

When upgrading from vRealize Automation 7.4 to 7.5 or other versions you might get the error:

Applying automatic fix for PowershellScriptExecution prerequisite failed

or

Pre-install: failed (code p-1)

There can be many reasons for this, but in my case it was a GPO that prohibited PowerShell from executing scripts. as referenced here: VMware

For you it might be something else. Tto figure out what the error was you can start of by looking in the logs, but there is actually much more information available in the original output which gets parsed, and then deleted.

Please be aware that the following is quite technical, and it is not very likely that you can use the fix demonstrated here out of the box, but I might give you a hint or two on how to troubleshoot your own issue.

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Migrate folder structure from old to new vSphere vCenter

Sometimes I find it easier to create a new vCenter server then migrate the old one, and it is a perfectly good solution in many cases.

But annoyingly there is a lot of manual work involved.

One problem is the VM’s and Templates folders. They do not follow the host, so you have to create the folder structure manually and move each VM into the correct folder. Well I am way to lazy to do that by hand, so it’s time to Automate!

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