Shutdown/Power up a vSAN cluster with PowerCli

I have been doing a lot of lab testing lately and using  vCloud Director is a great way to be able to run side by side tests (sometimes destructive!) against multiple environments without requiring multiple physical clusters. I wanted to emulate a Dell EMC VxRail appliance so I created a 4 node nested vSAN cluster with a vCenter appliance & external PSC running on the cluster, to use as a vCD template. When creating vCD templates it is preferable to power down the environment before adding to the vCD catalog. When it comes to powering down this environment, because the vCenter & PSC are running on the cluster, there is a chicken and egg scenario as you need to power down in this order:

  1. vCenter
  2. PSC
  3. Put ESXi hosts in maintenance mode (vSAN aware operation)
  4. Power down ESXi hosts

The inverse applies when powering up the environment.  So rather than connect to multiple different interfaces to execute the power down or power up operations I put together the following Menu based PowerCli script with the following Options

These options will call the following functions

Option 1. Shutdown vSAN Cluster & PSC/vCenter

  • ConnectViServer $vCenterFQDN $vCenterUser $vCenterPassword
    • Generic function to connect to a VIServer (ESXi or vCenter). Just pass the hostname, user & password. This instance connects to vCenter as we need to perform a DRS operation.
  • ChangeDRSLevel $PartiallyAutomated
    • The ChangeDRSLevel function takes an argument for the level to set it to. In this case it sets it to partially Automated to stop DRS from moving VMs around.
  • MoveVMs
    • This function will move the VMs defined in $VMList to the host defined in $VMHost. This ensures that we know where the VMs are when we come to power the cluster back up
  • ConnectViServer $VMHost $VMHostUser $VMHostPassword
    • Generic function to connect to a VIServer (ESXi or vCenter). Just pass the hostname, user & password. This instance connects to the host defined in the $VMHost variable
  • ShutdownVM
    • This function will gracefully shutdown the VMs in the order defined in $VMList. In this case it will shutdown the vCenter first & then the PSC. This list can be expanded to include other VMs or could be refactored to use a CSV for a large list of VMs
  • EnterMaintenanceMode
    • This function will put all hosts defined in $VMHosts into maintenance mode. As this is a vSAN cluster it passes the NoAction flag to prevent any data moment or rebuild
  • ShutdownESXiHosts
    • This function will shutdown all hosts in the cluster

Option 2. Startup vSAN Cluster & PSC/vCenter

  • ExitMaintenanceMode
    • This function will exit all hosts from maintenance mode
  • ConnectViServer $VMHost $VMHostUser $VMHostPassword
    • Generic function to connect to a VIServer (ESXi or vCenter). Just pass the hostname, user & password. This instance connects to the host defined in the $VMHost variable
  • StartVMs
    • This function will startup the VMs in the reverse order defined in $VMList. In this case it will startup the PSC first & then the vCenter.
  • PollvCenter
    • This function will Poll vCenter until it is up and available
  • ConnectViServer $vCenterFQDN $vCenterUser $vCenterPassword
    • Generic function to connect to a VIServer (ESXi or vCenter). Just pass the hostname, user & password. This instance connects to vCenter as we need to perform a DRS operation
  • ChangeDRSLevel $FullyAutomated
    • The ChangeDRSLevel function takes an argument for the level to set it to. In this case it sets it to Fully Automated as we are done with the maintenance.

The script is posted to Github here and is also posted below. This was written and tested against vSphere 6. I will update it in the coming weeks for vSphere 6.5 and hopefully leverage some of the new APIs

# Script to shutdown & startup a vSAN cluster when vCenter/PSC are running on the cluster
# Created by Brian O'Connell | Dell EMC
# Provided with zero warranty! Please test before using in anger!
# @LifeOfBrianOC
# https://lifeofbrianoc.com/

## User Variables ##
$vCenterFQDN = "vcs01.domain.local"
$vCenterUser = "VC_Admin@domain.local"
$vCenterPassword = "Password123!"
$Cluster = "MARVIN-Virtual-SAN-Cluster"
$VMList = @("VCS01", "PSC01")
$VMHosts = @("esxi04.domain.local", "esxi05.domain.local", "esxi06.domain.local", "esxi07.domain.local")
$VMHost = "esxi04.domain.local"
$VMHostUser = "root"
$VMHostPassword = "Password123!"

### DO NOT MODIFY ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ###

# Add Required PowerCli Modules
Get-Module -ListAvailable VM* | Import-Module

# Function to Connect to VI Host (vCenter or ESXi). Pass host, username & password to the function
Function ConnectVIServer ($VIHost, $User, $Password) {
    Write-Host " "
    Write-Host "Connecting to $VIHost..." -Foregroundcolor yellow
    Connect-VIServer $VIHost -User $User -Password $Password | Out-Null
	Write-Host "Connected to $VIHost..." -Foregroundcolor Green
    Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor Green
}

# Define DRS Levels to stop Vms from moving away from the defined host
$PartiallyAutomated = "PartiallyAutomated"
$FullyAutomated = "FullyAutomated"

# Function to Change DRS Automation level						
Function ChangeDRSLevel ($Level) {						

    Write-Host " "
    Write-Host "Changing cluster DRS Automation Level to Partially Automated" -Foregroundcolor yellow
    Get-Cluster $cluster | Set-Cluster -DrsAutomation $Level -confirm:$false | Out-Null
    Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
}
						
# Function to Move the Vms to a defined host so they can be easily found when starting back up
Function MoveVMs {

    Foreach ($VM in $VMList) {
        # Power down VM
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Moving $VM to $VMHost" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Get-VM $VM | Move-VM -Destination $VMHost -Confirm:$false | Out-Null
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
    }   
    Disconnect-VIServer $vCenterFQDN -confirm:$false | Out-Null
}

# Function to Shutdown VMs
Function ShutdownVM  {

    Foreach ($VM in $VMList) {
        # Power down VM
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Shutting down $VM" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Shutdown-VMGuest $VM -Confirm:$false | Out-Null
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Waiting for $VM to be Shutdown" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        # Check VM powerstate and wait until it is powered off before proceeding with the next VM
        do {
            sleep 15
            $powerState = (get-vm $VM).PowerState
        }
        while ($powerState -eq "PoweredOn")
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "$VM Shutdown.." -Foregroundcolor green
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow	
    }
}

# Function to put all ESXi hosts into maintenance mode with the No Action flag for vSAN data rebuilds
Function EnterMaintenanceMode {

    Foreach ($VMHost in $VMHosts) {
        Connect-VIServer $VMHost -User root -Password $VMHostPassword | Out-Null
        # Put Host into Maintenance Mode
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Putting $VMHost into Maintenance Mode" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Get-View -ViewType HostSystem -Filter @{"Name" = $VMHost }|?{!$_.Runtime.InMaintenanceMode}|%{$_.EnterMaintenanceMode(0, $false, (new-object VMware.Vim.HostMaintenanceSpec -Property @{vsanMode=(new-object VMware.Vim.VsanHostDecommissionMode -Property @{objectAction=[VMware.Vim.VsanHostDecommissionModeObjectAction]::NoAction})}))}
        Disconnect-VIServer $VMHost -confirm:$false | Out-Null
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "$VMHost in maintenance mode.." -Foregroundcolor green
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow	
    }
}

# Function to Exit hosts from maintenance mode
Function ExitMaintenanceMode {

    Foreach ($VMHost in $VMHosts) {
        Connect-VIServer $VMHost -User root -Password $VMHostPassword | Out-Null
        # Exit Maintenance Mode
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Exiting Maintenance Mode for $VMHost" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Set-VMHost $VMHost -State "Connected" | Out-Null
        Disconnect-VIServer $VMHost -confirm:$false | Out-Null
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "$VMHost out of maintenance mode.." -Foregroundcolor green
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow	
    }
    Write-Host "Waiting for vSAN Cluster to be Online" -Foregroundcolor yellow	
	Sleep 60							
}

# Function to shutdown hosts
Function ShutdownESXiHosts {

    Foreach ($VMHost in $VMHosts) {
        # Exit Maintenance Mode
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Shutting down ESXi Hosts" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Connect-VIServer -Server $VMHost -User root -Password $VMHostPassword | %{
            Get-VMHost -Server $_ | %{
                $_.ExtensionData.ShutdownHost_Task($TRUE) | Out-Null
            }
        }
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "ESXi host $VMHost shutdown.." -Foregroundcolor green
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow	
    }
		Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "All ESXi Hosts shutdown.." -Foregroundcolor green
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
}

# Function to Start VMs in the reverse order they were powered down									
Function StartVMs {
    # Reverse the VM list to start in reverse order
    [array]::Reverse($VMList)

    Foreach ($VM in $VMList) {
        # Power on VM
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Powering on $VM" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Start-VM $VM -Confirm:$false | Out-Null
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "Waiting for $VM to be Powered On" -Foregroundcolor yellow
        # Check VM powerstate and wait until it is powered on before proceeding with the next VM
        do {
            sleep 15
            $powerState = (get-vm $VM).PowerState
        }
        while ($VM -eq "PoweredOff")
        Write-Host " "
        Write-Host "$VM Powered On..proceeding with next VM" -Foregroundcolor green
        Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow	
    }

}

# Function to Poll the status of vCenter after starting up the VM
Function PollvCenter {

    do 
    {
        try 
        {
            Write-Host " "
            Write-Host "Polling vCenter $vCenterFQDN Availability...." -ForegroundColor Yellow
            Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor yellow
            # Create Web Request
            [System.Net.ServicePointManager]::ServerCertificateValidationCallback = {$true}
            $HTTP_Request = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create("https://$($vCenterFQDN):9443")

            # Get a response
            $HTTP_Response = $HTTP_Request.GetResponse()

            # Get the HTTP code
            $HTTP_Status = [int]$HTTP_Response.StatusCode

            If ($HTTP_Status -eq 200) { 
                Write-Host " "
                Write-Host "vCenter $vCenterFQDN is Available!"  -ForegroundColor Green
                Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor Green
                # Close HTTP request
                $HTTP_Response.Close()
            }
        }
        catch { 
            Write-Host " "
            Write-Host "vCenter $vCenterFQDN Not Available Yet...Retrying Poll..."  -ForegroundColor Cyan
            Write-Host "------------------------------------------------" -Foregroundcolor Cyan
    } }
    While ($HTTP_Status -ne 200)	
}

# Function to display the main menu 
Function Menu 
{
    Clear-Host         
    Do
    {
        Clear-Host                                                                        
        Write-Host -Object 'Please choose an option'
        Write-Host     -Object '**********************'	
        Write-Host -Object 'vCenter & vSAN Maintenance Options' -Foregroundcolor Yellow
        Write-Host     -Object '**********************'
        Write-Host -Object '1.  Shutdown vSAN Cluster & PSC/vCenter '
        Write-Host -Object ''
        Write-Host -Object '2.  Startup vSAN Cluster & PSC/vCenter '
        Write-Host -Object ''
        Write-Host -Object 'Q.  Exit'
        Write-Host -Object $errout
        $Menu = Read-Host -Prompt '(Enter 1 - 2 or Q to quit)'

        switch ($Menu) 
        {
            1 
            {
				ConnectVIServer $vCenterFQDN $vCenterUser $vCenterPassword
                ChangeDRSLevel $PartiallyAutomated
                MoveVMs
                ConnectVIServer $VMHost $VMHostUser $VMHostPassword
                ShutdownVM
                EnterMaintenanceMode
                ShutdownESXiHosts   
            }
            2 
            { 
				ExitMaintenanceMode
                ConnectVIServer $VMHost $VMHostUser $VMHostPassword
                StartVMs
				PollvCenter
                ConnectVIServer $vCenterFQDN $vCenterUser $vCenterPassword
                ChangeDRSLevel $FullyAutomated
            }
            Q 
            {
                Exit
            }	
            default 
            {
                $errout = 'Invalid option please try again........Try 1-2 or Q only'
            }

        }
    }
    until ($Menu -eq 'q')
}   

# Launch The Menu
Menu

Snapshot Management with PowerCli

I’ve been doing some lab work recently, testing out some new automation for deploying Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (EHC) and as part of the testing we needed to be able to quickly and easily create on the fly rollback points at incremental steps in the build to assist with troubleshooting (outside of the standard rollback points created by the EHC Automated Install Tool (AIT) ).

Note: AIT is currently an internal Dell EMC tool used by our professional services organisation to deploy and configure EHC on a customer site.

Disclaimer: As with all scripts and code that you find on the web you should thoroughly test this in a lab environment before considering to use it in production. This script comes with zero warranty as it was something that was created quickly for lab use only!

Snapshots were enough to give us a rollback point, so to achieve this I put together a menu based PowerCli script that will take snapshots of a defined list of VMs with a defined snapshot name, rollback to the last snap taken, or rollback to a defined snapshot.

For more information on how to add a menu to a PowerShell script go here, and for how to add a “Press any key to continue..” to a script go here.

Here is the script for snapshot management. It is broken up into the following PowerShell Functions:

  • CreateVMSnapshot
  • RevertLastVMSnapshot
  • RevertSpecificVMSnapshot
  • anyKey
  • Menu

Before running the script you need to edit the user variables for your environment. The $VMList variable is a comma separated list of VM names as they appear in vCenter. In my example these are the components of a distributed vRA deployment. The $SnapshotName vaiable will be used when creating snapshots or when executing the Revert To Specific Snapshot option

# User Variables
$vCenterFQDN = "vcs01.domain.local"
$vCenterUser = "administrator@vsphere.local"
$vCenterPassword = "Password123!"
$VMList = @("vra01", "vra02", "web01", "web02", "mgr01", "mgr02", "dem01", "dem02", "agt01", "agt02")
$SnapshotName = "Snap01"

To execute the script just browse to the directory you saved the script in a PowerShell or PowerCli console, run ./SnapshotManagement.ps1 and you will be presented with a menu

Select the desired option from the menu. The operations are running Async so are quite quick to complete.

The raw code is below. I’ve also posted the script to GitHub here

# User Variables
$vCenterFQDN = "vcs01.domain.local"
$vCenterUser = "administrator@vsphere.local"
$vCenterPassword = "Password123!"
$VMList = @("vra01", "vra02", "web01", "web02", "mgr01", "mgr02", "dem01", "dem02", "agt01", "agt02")
$SnapshotName = "Snap01"
###############################
# DO NOT EDIT BELOW THIS LINE #
###############################
# Add Required Snappins
Get-Module -ListAvailable VM* | Import-Module

Function CreateVMSnapshot {
# Connect to vCenter
Connect-VIServer $vCenterFQDN -username $vCenterUser -password $vCenterPassword
	Foreach ($VM in $VMList) {
	Write-Host "Creating Snapshot for $VM"
	New-Snapshot -VM $VM -Memory -quiesce -Name $SnapshotName -RunAsync
							 }							 
									}
									
Function RevertLastVMSnapshot {
# Connect to vCenter
Connect-VIServer $vCenterFQDN -username $vCenterUser -password $vCenterPassword
	Foreach ($VM in $VMList) {
	Write-Host "Reverting Snapshot for $VM"
	$snap = Get-Snapshot -VM $VM | Sort-Object -Property Created -Descending | Select -First 1
    Set-VM -VM $vm -SnapShot $snap -Confirm:$false  -RunAsync | Out-Null
							 }							 
									}

Function RevertSpecificVMSnapshot {
# Connect to vCenter
Connect-VIServer $vCenterFQDN -username $vCenterUser -password $vCenterPassword
	Foreach ($VM in $VMList) {
	Write-Host "Reverting Snapshot for $VM"
	#$snap = Get-Snapshot -VM $VM | Sort-Object -Property Created -Descending | Select -First 1
    Set-VM -VM $vm -SnapShot $SnapshotName -Confirm:$false  -RunAsync | Out-Null
							 }							 
									}									

Function anyKey 
{
    Write-Host -NoNewline -Object 'Press any key to return to the main menu...' -ForegroundColor Yellow
    $null = $Host.UI.RawUI.ReadKey('NoEcho,IncludeKeyDown')
    Menu
}
									
Function Menu 
{
    Clear-Host         
    Do
    {
        Clear-Host                                                                        
        Write-Host -Object 'Please choose an option'
        Write-Host     -Object '**********************'	
        Write-Host -Object 'Snapshot VM Options' -ForegroundColor Yellow
        Write-Host     -Object '**********************'
        Write-Host -Object '1.  Snapshot VMs '
		Write-Host -Object ''
        Write-Host -Object '2.  Revert to Last Snapshot '
		Write-Host -Object ''
		Write-Host -Object '3.  Revert To Specific Snapshot '
		Write-Host -Object ''
        Write-Host -Object '4.  Exit'
        Write-Host -Object $errout
        $Menu = Read-Host -Prompt '(0-3)'

        switch ($Menu) 
        {
           1 
            {
                CreateVMSnapshot 			
                anyKey
            }
            2 
            {
                RevertLastVMSnapshot
                anyKey
            }
			3 
            {
                RevertSpecificVMSnapshot
                anyKey
            }
            4 
            {
                Exit
			}	
            default 
            {
                $errout = 'Invalid option please try again........Try 0-4 only'
            }

        }
    }
    until ($Menu -ne '')
}   

# Launch The Menu
Menu

Use PowerCli to answer VM questions

Recently had a datastore in the lab briefly fill up and some VMs go into a suspended state awaiting a Retry/Cancel question to be answered. Rather than manually answer the question on each affected VM i looked to use PowerCli. With a little digging in the PowerCli documentation I found the Get-VMQuestion & Set-VMQuestion cmdlets. In an ideal world all you would need to do is this

Connect-VIServer -Server VC01
Get-VM | Get-VMQuestion | Set-VMQuestion -Option "Retry" -Confirm:$false
Disconnect-VIServer -Server VC01 -Confirm:$false
As i am using vCD all VMs have a UID appended with a space like this
IaaS01 (c4920308-f901-45be-b99c-0095175099e9)

So when you try to pass the VM name to Get-VMQuestion it does not handle the space in the VM name and the command fails. To get around this i created a simple script to first create an array of VM names thereby avoiding the issue with the space. Running the script below against my vCenter answered about 65 VM questions while i made a coffee!

Connect-VIServer -Server VC01
$vm = @()
$vm = Get-VM
$answerQuestion = $vm | Get-VMQuestion | Set-VMQuestion -Option "Retry" -Confirm:$false
Disconnect-VIServer -Server VC01 -Confirm:$false