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.

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.


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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Control OpenSLP on ESXi hosts using PowerCLI

I light of recent security vulnerabilities found in the OpenSLP service on ESXi. A recommended workaround is to disable the OpenSLP service all together.

Vulnerability information:

Workaround KB:

This powershell script will help you control the OpenSLP service.

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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.

Continue reading Migrate Tags from one vCenter to another

PowerCLI: Get ESXi Hosts Version and Uptime

This is a quick and easy script to get all hosts from a vCenter sorted by Cluster and Host name. You will get the Cluster, Hostname, Version, Build and Uptime in days.

Connect-VIServer <vCenter FQDN>

$clusters = Get-Cluster | Sort-Object
$objects = @()

foreach ($cluster in $clusters) {
    Write-Host "Gathering from cluster: $($cluster.Name)"

    $vmhosts = $cluster | Get-VMHost | Sort-Object
    foreach ($vmhost in $vmhosts) {
        $object = New-Object -TypeName PSObject
        $object | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "Cluster" -Value $cluster
        $object | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "Host" -Value $vmhost
        $object | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "Version" -Value $vmhost.Version
        $object | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "Build" -Value $vmhost.Build
        $object | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name "Uptime (Days)" -Value (New-TimeSpan -Start $vmhost.ExtensionData.Summary.Runtime.BootTime -End (Get-Date) | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Days)
        $objects += $object

$objects | ft -AutoSize

Powershell: Find largest VM disk

Sometimes you need to find the largest virtual disk. Lets say if you are sizing LUNs for datastores.

Here is a script that help you do that.

Requirement are powershell and the VMware.PowerCLI module.

Use it at your own risk.

Import-Module VMware.PowerCLI

Connect-VIServer <vCenter Name>

Function Get-LargestDisk {
  $largest = 0

  if ($Datastores -eq $null) {
    Write-Host "Searching through all VMs."
    $vms = Get-VM
  } else {
    Write-Host "Searching through VMs on datastores: $Datastores"
    $vms = $Datastores | Get-VM

  foreach ($vm in $vms) {
    $hdds = $vm | Get-HardDisk

    foreach ($hdd in $hdds) {
      $size = $hdd.CapacityGB

      if ($size -gt $largest) {
        Write-Host "Found a larger VM: $vm Size: $size GB"
        $largestVm = $vm
        $largest = [math]::Round($size)
  Write-Host "Largest Disk: $largest GB Largest VM: $largestVm"

Get-LargestDisk -Datastore (Get-Datastore V7000*)

Powershell: Migrate Standard Portgroups

Hi, just wanted to share this piece of code with you. This short script creates a mirror of virtual portgroups from one vSphere ESXi host to another.

I only takes the name and vlan id into account, so all policies, nics and other settings are not migrated at this time, but it is easy to do. I however does not always want that.

You need VMware.PowerCLI module for it to work.

Use it at you own risk.

Import-Module VMware.PowerCLI

connect-viserver <vCenter Name>

$srcHost = Get-VMHost <Source Host Name>
$dstHost = Get-VMHost <Destination Host Name>

# Change the source and destination switch names if you need to
$srcSwitch = $srcHost | Get-VirtualSwitch -Name vSwitch0
$dstSwitch = $dstHost | Get-VirtualSwitch -Name vSwitch0

$srcPGs = $srcSwitch | Get-VirtualPortGroup
$dstSwitch = $dstHost | Get-VirtualSwitch -Name vSwitch1 -ErrorAction:SilentlyContinue
if ($dstSwitch -eq $null) {
  $dstSwitch = $dstHost | New-VirtualSwitch -Name $srcSwitch.Name

foreach ($srcPg in $srcPGs) {
  $pgName = $
  $pgVlan = $srcPg.VLanId

  $pgExists = $false
  foreach ($dstPg in $dstPGs) {
    if ($dstPg.Name -eq $pgName) {
      $pgExists = $true
  if (-not $pgExists) {
    #Write-Host "Creating portgroup $pgName with vlan $pgVlan"
    $dstSwitch | New-VirtualPortGroup -Name $pgName -VLanId $pgVlan