Thursday, 13 November 2014

Web Client Sucks - Use VM Remote Console (VMRC)

Lets face it, there's lots of things the web client sucks at. Using a console window in the browser is one of them.

This bar at the top of the console window just takes up space. How about a useful hint, tell me how to get rid of this to make more use of the screen.

Thankfully, on October 21st, 2014, VMware released the VM Remote Console (VMRC). You can use this to open a console of the VM from the web client. You can find links to it from within vCenter while viewing a VM. Check you've got the latest version of vCenter to get these links.

Since this seems to be the newest piece of software from VMware, it's interesting the choice of colour scheme it's using. Nothing like the green/blue/black they've used in the past. I'm wondering if this is the start of a new colour scheme, or just a one off.

During the install, it gives you the options to check for updates on system startup.

After the install, it will  prompt you to restart your system.

Using the VMRC, you can view the console, and it brings back most of the functionality from the C# vSphere client (remember the good old days?), like power off/on, attach CDROM, and the usual 'Edit Settings' window to even add/remove hardware. You can easily change the network portgroup from the menu, without going into the 'Edit Setting' window. The best thing for me, is you can open a console window, then power it up to see either choose the boot device, or get into BIOS.

Using VMRC - an easier way to manage hardware settings

This is a great addition to the web client. Install the latest version of vCenter and check it out.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Learning Powershell - Beginner Steps

I had a lot of trouble getting into PowerCLI. I knew some of the basic commands, but I never used it to do anything productive. The biggest site I managed had 150 VM's, and I could do most tasks quickly through the vSphere client.

Since then I've changed jobs, and now there's thousands of VM's to manage!

Coming into such a large environment, I've had to learn Powershell and PowerCLI out of necessity.

The thing that gave me the biggest kickstart, was watching Pluralsights's Play by Play: Discovering PowerShell with Mark Minasi.

This is like watching over the shoulder of a student learning how to use Powershell from an instructor as they discover how to use commands, and extend what they've learnt to other commands.

The discovery process is fantastic. It seems very organic, the way they use a command, and then see what else they can do using that same process.

Mark Minasi is excitedly animated, and enjoyable to watch. He's the type instructor you'd hope to get in person.

If learning Powershell has been on your todo list for a while, I highly recommend you watch Play by Play: Discovering PowerShell with Mark Minasi.

Pluralsight has given vExperts & MVP's free access to 1000's of courses. If you're not lucky enough to win access, I still think it's a worthwhile investment for $30 a month.