Automate Daily Operations with Scripting Tools
To automate the management of vSphere hosts, VMware has created easy-to-use scripting tools for managing day-to-day operations. You can write scripts with the same functionality as the vSphere client to automate manual tasks, allowing you to manage small-to large-scale environments efficiently. These tools work well with vSphere hosts using the ESXi or ESX architecture, allowing you to easily administer mixed environments.
VMware vSphere PowerCLI
VMware vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command line tool for automating all aspects of vSphere management, including host, network, storage, VM, guest OS and more. PowerCLI is distributed as a Windows PowerShell snap-in, and includes more than 150 PowerShell cmdlets, along with documentation and samples. PowerCLI seamlessly blends the vSphere platform with Windows and .NET, which means you can use PowerCLI by itself or within many different 3rd-party tools.
VMware vSphere Command Line Interface (vCLI)
VMware vSphere Command Line Interface (vCLI) is a set of command-line utilities that help you provision, configure and maintain your vSphere hosts. The vCLI command set allows you to run common system administration commands against vSphere hosts from any machine with network access to those hosts. You can also run most vCLI commands against a vCenter Server system and target any vSphere host that the vCenter Server system manages. There are commands that can completely automate the initial configuration of a vSphere host and others that provide troubleshooting and diagnostic capabilities. VMware provides vCLI packages for installation on both Windows and Linux systems.
Both PowerCLI and vCLI are built on the same interface as the vSphere Client. They can be pointed directly at an individual vSphere host or they can be pointed at vCenter. When pointed at a host, they can execute commands directly on the host, similar to how a command might be traditionally be run from the COS. Local authentication is required in this case. Alternatively, when communicating through vCenter, the vCLI and PowerCLI commands benefit from the same authentication (e.g. Active Directory), roles and privileges, and event logging as vSphere Client interactions. This provides for a much more secure and audit-able management framework.
VMware vSphere Management Assistant (VMA)
The VMware vSphere Management Assistant (VMA) is a virtual appliance that brings together all the tools you need to manage vSphere. VMA packages the vSphere Command Line Interface, the vSphere SDK for Perl, as well as logging and authentication modules into one convenient bundle. VMA can also host 3rd-party agents for added management power.