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

Script to create vCenter clusters, switches, portgroups & VLANs

When setting up a new environment it is always good practice to plan out and document everything to avoid errors. From hostnames, cluster names, vDS names, portgroup names & VLANs etc. I was recently asked to help script the creation of the above from a csv to avoid fat fingers and to save time through automation. Enter PowerCli! Here is the script i created. Disclaimer: Its version 1…no error checking and can be made more efficient but it works and may be helpful to others! I’ve also posted it to GitHub with an example csv here https://github.com/LifeOfBrianOC/vmware_scripts


# Script to create vCenter Clusters, Distributed Switches & portgroups from CSV
# Edit the CSV location variable and the vCenter FQDN and run the script
# Tested with PowerCli 6.3.0
# This is version 1.0 There is no error checking in place so if an item
# already exists or cannot be found the script will error but should continue

#
$CSVPath = "C:\Scripts\Example.csv"
$vCenter = "vc01.domain.local"

#####################################
# DO NOT EDIT ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE
#####################################

# Load VMware PowerCli Snapins
add-psSnapin VMWare* | out-null

# Connect to vCenter
Connect-VIserver $vCenter

# Get vCenter Datacenter Name
$datacenter = Get-Datacenter

@"
====================================
Creating Clusters
====================================
"@

# Import CSV and only read lines that have an entry in clusterName column
$csv = @()
$csv = Import-Csv -Path $CSVPath |
Where-Object -FilterScript {
$_.clusterName
}

# Loop through all _s in the CSV
ForEach ($_ in $csv)
{
New-Cluster -Location $datacenter -Name $_.clusterName -HAEnabled | out-null
}

@"
====================================
Creating Distributed Switches
====================================
"@

# Import CSV and only read lines that have an entry in switchName column
$csv = @()
$csv = Import-Csv -Path $CSVPath |
Where-Object -FilterScript {
$_.switchName
}

# Loop through all _s in the CSV
ForEach ($_ in $csv)
{
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Vds
New-VDSwitch -Location $datacenter -Name $_.switchName -Mtu 1600 | out-null
}

@"
==========================================
Creating Distributed Switch Portgroups & Assigning VLANs
==========================================
"@

# Import CSV and only read lines that have an entry in portgroupName column
$csv = @()
$csv = Import-Csv -Path $CSVPath |
Where-Object -FilterScript {
$_.portgroupName
}

# Loop through all _s in the CSV
ForEach ($_ in $csv)
{
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Vds
New-VDPortgroup -Name $_.portgroupName -VDSwitch $_.addToSwitch -VlanId $_.vlan | out-null
}
@"
==========================================
Setting Trunk Ports
==========================================
"@

# Import CSV and only read lines that have an entry in trunkPortgroup column
$csv = @()
$csv = Import-Csv -Path $CSVPath |
Where-Object -FilterScript {
$_.trunkPortgroup
}

# Loop through all _s in the CSV
ForEach ($_ in $csv)
{
Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Vds
Set-VDPortgroup $_.trunkPortgroup -VlanTrunkRange $_.trunkRange | out-null
}

@"
============================================
Disconnecting from vCenter....Done!
============================================
"@
# Disconnect vCenter
Disconnect-VIServer $vCenter

Reload all invalid virtual machines on a single host

From time to time VMs can show in an invalid state in vCenter. It can be difficult to get them back to a normal state. This is a useful command that i found at the end of this KB https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003742

for a in $(vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms 2>&1 |grep invalid |awk '{print $4}'|cut -d \' -f2);do vim-cmd vmsvc/reload $a;done

If you get an Unexpected token error when running the above command it is probaby due to wordpress messing up the ‘ characters so either replace them or copy the command from the KB!

Failed vRA IaaS Web Server Install

There are many reasons why a vRealize Automation IaaS Web server install can fail

  • MSDTC Issues
  • NTP Issues
  • DNS Issues
  • Certificate Issues
  • Mental Issues…. (Caused by all of the above!)

I hit this error in the lab and the fix was a new one to me so said i’d document it. The IaaS web server was failing to install and the error in the logs is below which pointed to the certs

The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel. —> System.Net.WebException: The underlying connection was closed: Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel. —> System.Security.Authentication.AuthenticationException: The remote certificate is invalid according to the validation procedure.

I checked and double checked all certificates and SAN attributes of each component, checked DNS resolution forward and reverse, verified NTP etc. Then it occurred to me that the signing CA is from a different domain than the domain i was installing in so i added the root cert to the local trusted root certification store and low and behold the install completed successfully. Had to do the same on all other IaaS VMs. So even though the root and signing certs were in the personal store with the SAN certs it was not sufficient.

 

Find MoRef ID using powercli

From time to time you need to find the moref of an object in vCenter. This is a quick powercli one liner to get the name and ID of an object type (VM, Datastore etc)

This assumes you are already connected to vCenter using Connect-VIServer

# Datastores

Get-Datastore | Select Name,ID

This command returns output like below. In this example i have 1 datastore

Get-Datastore

#VMs

Get-VM | Select Name,ID

This command returns output like below

Get-VM

Reset VMware appliance root password

Use the following procedure to change the root password for a VMware appliance. This process uses single user mode so it allow you to change the root password if you have forgotten it!

Open the VM console and reboot the appliance

 

Select the line that starts with kernel and type e to edit the line

At the end of the line, press the spacebar and type init=/bin/sh

Press Enter to exit edit mode.

On the GRUB screen, type b to boot into single-user mode.
The virtual appliance boots in single-user mode.

To change the root user password, type passwd root and follow the on-screen prompts to enter a new password for the root user

To restart the virtual appliance, type reboot and press Enter.

When the virtual appliance restarts, you can log in using the new password.