VMworld 2018 Goodness and the Purpose Motive

Greetings from VMworld 2018, my first VMworld in many years. To be honest, VMware had become like milk for me, couldn’t afford to not carry it in the convenience store, functioning as the catalyst for nearly every customer visit, but as the proprietor, my hope was that the patron who walked through the door looking for milk would buy some of my homemade Ho-Hos or better yet they showed up to buy milk at my convenience store because they couldn’t resist my homemade Ho-Hos. It’s always been my opinion that the tech business we are in is evolutionary and certainly Darwinian. “The Innovator’s Dilemma” in the context of first-movers and fast-followers has never been more relevant, we live in a world where the duality of cost and capability needs to be carefully managed, the subscription economy makes this delicate balancing act even more complex. Innovations early to market, the wrong balance of capability and cost become good ideas that die only to re-emerge at a time when the market is ready and the capability and cost balance is right. Most have heard the phrase “Imitate to Innovate”, or the idea that there are no original ideas, we live in a world of idea refinement, but there’s a twist called purpose. The paper straw was invented in 1888, we replaced it with the plastic straw because the paper straw sucked (no pun intended); guess what, the paper straw is back and it still sucks. I don’t really know what a paper straw in 1888 was like, the ones in 2018 suck pretty bad, so I wonder how much worse they could have been. While I am not sure when we replaced the paper straw with the plastic straw, I am pretty confident that our ability to thinly extrude a polymer gave us what seemed to be a better answer; the plastic straw was born and the paper straw was gone. So what’s different? We live in a purpose-driven society; this is what’s different. We are now willing to deal with a straw that falls apart in favor of the sustainability of our planet, some might say we are maturing. What does this have to do with VMworld or technology in general? It has everything to do with the consumer condition and the consumer condition creates a certain type of demand which is fulfilled by suppliers, it’s a simple model that impacts every sector. Purpose matters more than ever before and we live in a subscription economy, in enterprise information technology we call this subscription economy “The Cloud”, we measure purpose with things like carbon footprint and philanthropy, and we translate this into outcomes or economic value delivered. Outcomes like lower power consumption = lower power costs = lower carbon emissions; a financial win for the business with purpose. The technology is great stuff, but the velocity of innovation is driven by a purpose and the outcomes have a multifaceted deeper meaning. The purpose is the awesomesauce.

Let’s start with Pel Gelsinger’s (CEO, VMware) “Technology Superpowers” keynote on day one. Gelsinger starts by wishing VMware a happy 20th birthday, paying homage to the VMware community, the passion, loyalty and what he terms almost cult-like behavior. This is followed by a video montage which highlights VMware’s corporate culture showcasing a culture of innovation, passion, and commitment. Gelsinger finishes his opening by displaying his commitment with a VMware tattoo (obviously a temporary tattoo, but you get the idea).

Gelsinger’s close to his “Technology Superpowers” keynote on day one is an “I believe…” monologue that would make Simon Sinek proud.

  • “Together we have the opportunity to build on the things that collectively we have done over the last four decades and truly have a positive global impact.”
  • “I believe together we can successfully extend the lifespan of every human being.”
  • “I believe together we can eradicate chronic diseases that have plagued mankind for centuries.”
  • “I believe we can lift the remaining 10% of humanity out of extreme poverty.”
  • “I believe that we can reskill every worker in the age of the superpowers.”
  • “I believe that we can give modern education to every child on the planet; even in the remotest slums.”
  • “I believe that together we can reverse the impact of climate change.”
  • “I believe that together we have the opportunity to make these a reality.”
  • “I believe that this possibility is only possible together with you.”

Gelsinger starts with why and ends with why, driving home the idea that purpose matters most.

Gelsinger answers the question of “Why VMware” from the “Why” choose VMware perspective and “Why” there is a purpose imperative that is deeper than a hypervisor. Well done!

Let’s move on to the day two and Sanjay Poonen’s (COO, Customer Operations, VMware) “Possible Begins With You” keynote, this is going to blow your purpose-driven mind. Gone are the days of the sports superstar on stage talking about what it takes to win, because we’re trying to win on a totally different level now, a far more complex level, a level with true purpose, a level that brings more than one tear to your eye, a level of bravery and inspiration that you can feel course through your soul. More on this later.

Sanjay Poonen opens with his commitment to the VMware culture by showing his dual tattoos. Sanjay spends time talking about the engines that fuel VMware, innovation and customer obsession. Stating that innovation and customer obsession are what are core to VMware, core to the culture. Sanjay then moves on to the economic value (the outcome) that VMware has delivered, stating that the ~ 50 billion in VMware revenue has delivered ~ 500 billion in economic value.

The Technology Superpowers of Cloud, Mobile, AI/ML, Edge/IoT are the “What”. IMO “What?” is the easiest question to answer. The difficult question is always “Why?” and the most compelling answer is always the answer to the question “Why?” VMware did a good job of painting the picture of “How”, and asking and answering the question of “Why?” Creating a message with a purpose that is about more than the infrastructure or software, it’s about how the infrastructure will provide a foundation that will allow us to transform our lives.

The fireside chat between Sanjay Poonen and Malala Yousafzai was truly amazing. The talk touched my soul, so much so that it feels irreverent for me to try to summarize this amazing young woman’s journey, her incredible perspective and her impact on the world using my words. We live in a time where purpose can limit our perspective and cloud (no pun intended) our judgment, but Malala has elevated herself to a place filled with love, acceptance and a desire for change, not judgment and hate. To hear her speak about her experiences and her perspectives was truly an honor and perspective-altering experience for me and I imagine it was for the nearly 25,000 in attendance (this is my hope). I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to be present.

Okay, so let me pull this back to a place where I don’t have tears in my eyes. My main reason for being at VMworld this week was to continue to shepherd our relationship with OVHcloud, a partnership that I believe will help our customers (FusionStorm’s, OVHcloud’s and VMware’s) transform their businesses in such a way that they can focus on their core business, increase agility and reduce risk. Pat Gelsinger’s Technology Superpowers of Cloud, Mobile, AI/ML and Edge/IoT all have something in common, they are superpowers which have a clear line of sight to business and economic value.

What’s great about the subscription economy is it provides us (the consumer) with the ability to get what we want when we want it, in an agile and elastic delivery model. We have instant access to the assets, but we don’t have to be the custodian of these assets, we have the elasticity to increase, contract or terminate our subscriptions based on our needs or constraints. The subscription economy is everywhere, it’s a consumer condition, and consumers make up the enterprise. When I think about FusionStorm and OVHcloud I have a clear vision of what we can deliver to the market, together, and it looks something like this:

OVHcloud builds and operates data centers. They deliver Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in an agile, elastic and fully automated way. OVHcloud provides a strong foundation for the IT infrastructure subscription economy, this is OVHcloud’s core business, and they do it really well. OVHcloud provides FusionStorm the “Freedom to Build and the Freedom to Innovate” business solutions on behalf of our collective customers on a market leading IaaS platform.

FusionStorm takes cloud-based infrastructure provided by OVHcloud as either HPC (Hybrid-Private Cloud) or bare metal and builds, delivers and operates business Platforms-as-a-Service that deliver the right mix of cost and capability to meet the customer requirements. Delivering the business Platform-as-a-Service extends far beyond lifting and shifting workloads into the cloud or refactoring an application. FusionStorm helps customers build business platforms that focus on the infrastructure and operations in the public, private or hybrid-cloud, while considering all the nuance of a cloud transformation from connectivity, to the mobile workforce, to the edge. We do this by leveraging deep subject matter expertise in each area of the stack that allows us to design, build, deliver and operate a transformative and complete business solution.

Customers are now enabled and free to focus on their core business rather than on the designing, procuring, building, delivering and operating the underlying infrastructure. Customers can focus on solving business problems and changing the world.

This market is not about on-prem vs off-prem, it’s not about the public, private or hybrid cloud. It’s about focus, agility, and elasticity; it’s about enabling the innovation of game-changing technologies; it’s about speeding time to market for technologies that are consumer-facing; it’s about the realization that the number of new market entrants and disruptive technologies is unprecedented; it’s about realizing that the infrastructure barrier has been removed and anyone with a good idea can compete; it’s about creating the room to fail, the ability to expand, contract and pivot on demand to satisfy an evolving consumer condition; it’s about focusing and aligning human capital with the organizational purpose.

To close out my thoughts in the context of why, how and what regarding FusionStorm and OVHcloud.

Why?

  • The “Technology Superpowers” are Cloud, Mobile, AI/ML and Edge/IoT. Calculating kVA and BTUs, racking and stacking components, performing structured cabling, OS loads, patching, waking up at 3 AM to replace a failed component or restart a service, managing RMAs and logistics are not on the superpower list and there is a good reason.
  • If the metal provides the competitive advantage then you will build. E.g. – Cloud providers, these could be SaaS providers, CDN providers, etc… may opt to build their own cloud. These hyperscale customers will have bespoke designs, they will need someone to manage the supply change, perform zero defect builds against a defined specification, manage logistics, etc… While these organization may own and operate their own cloud I would argue they probably will not want to be a cloud builder, at least not at the physical metal and low-level logical level. FusionStorm can help here.
  • If the infrastructure is a commodity on which you run your core business, I believe you will look to the cloud. If you run legacy applications, if you have no plans to refactor applications, no need for auto-scaling, etc… you will still have the need to exit the data center business, maybe not today or tomorrow, but a decision will need to be made on where to focus finite resources, and building and maintaining data centers and infrastructure operations will not likely be the choice. This represents a massive segment of the market, a segment that FusionStorm and OVHcloud have a great solution for.
  • When it comes to virtualized workloads, it is estimated that VMware has a 75% market share regardless of market segment or sector. The quickest path to lift-and-shift is to move workloads without transforming them. Customers can experience the agility and elasticity of the cloud without the risk. Trust a skilled partner like FusionStorm, OVHcloud a VMware Cloud Verified partner with 28 global data centers and VMware the platform you know and trust to simplify, accelerate and de-risk your cloud transformation.
  • FusionStorm and OVHcloud can deliver the right balance of cost and capability.
  • As a FusionStorm and OVHcloud customer, you can focus on your core business and change the world. Knowing that an experienced organization has delivered the right design and is operating your infrastructure so you can focus on what matter most, all this backed by OVHcloud a leader in the IaaS space.

How?

  • FusionStorm will work with your organization to understand requirements and design a public or hybrid cloud infrastructure powered by OVHcloud an industry leading IaaS cloud platform that can accommodate virtualized and bare metal workloads. These workloads can be production workloads, they can be dev/test workloads, they can be disaster recovery workloads. If you can envision it we can help you design, build, deliver and operate it.
  • FusionStorm will help your organization seamlessly migrate workloads to OVHcloud taking into consideration all the aspects of a cloud transformation, not just workload migration. Everything from migrating the workloads, connectivity and user experience.

What?

  • A fully managed private, public or hybrid infrastructure with increased agility and elasticity in a paradigm aimed at accelerating the cloud transformation and de-risking you, the customer.
  • A pivot from CapEx to OpEx and the subscription-based economy.
  • On-demand agile and elastic cloud infrastructure providing the ability to expand or contract based on need.
  • Platform consistency with VMware, a platform that owns ~ 75% of the virtualization market. This means that there is no learning curve, tomorrow feels just like today with much greater agility and elasticity.

I believe that together we can accelerate cloud transformation for countless customers, delivering increased agility and elasticity and allowing them to focus on their core business. I also believe that together we can chart a course that dramatically reduces the risk associated with cloud transformation.

Finally, let me be clear, I am not anti abolishing the plastic straw. Personally, I don’t like straws, but why not just say no more straws? This is a great example of a shift driven by the purpose motive. The conspiracy theorist in me says some nascent paper straw manufacturer has a connection to a politician and there may be a financial win for someone here as well as an ecological win. One thing is for sure, there is plenty to read and debate regarding the move from plastic to paper straws.

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Ghetto Fabulous

Most environments running VMware would like some way to backup, protect and revision VMs. There are a number of commercial products that do a good job protecting VMs; products such as Veeam Backup and Replication, Quest Software (formerly Vizioncore ) vRanger and PHD Virtual Backup to name a few. This post will focus on the implementation of much lower cost (free) implementation of a backup and recovery solution for VMware. As with any free or open source software there is no right or wrong implementation model so this is a post that will talk about how ghettoVCB was implemented with Data Doman to enhance the protection of VMs.

Why?…

What was the driver behind the requirement for image level protection of VMs in this particular instance? Within the particular environment that I am referencing in this post the customer has a fairly large ESX farm at their production site. Most of the production infrastructure is replicated to a DR location with the exception of some of the “less critical” systems. The DR site also has some running VMs such as domain controllers, etc… also deemed “less critical” so these are not replicated. You may ask why these are not replicated, the short answer is the customer uses EMC RecoverPoint to replicate data from Site A to Site B in conjunction with VMware SRM to facilitate failover, until recently (VNX) RecoverPoint had a capacity based license so dollars were saved by only replicating critical systems. Backups are taken of all systems but this does not provide the ability to restore an older VM image. A storage migration was being done from an older SAN infrastructure to a new SAN infrastructure, the migration was deemed completed but there was one VMFS volume that was missed and never migrated, the OEM was contracted to a do a date erasure on the old SAN prior to removing it from the data center. It was at that time that the “less critical” systems were lost and everyone realized that they were not really “less critical”. VMs needed to be rebuilt, this was labor intensive and could have been avoided had a good VM backup strategy been in place.

Discussions around how to protect against this in the future started to occur, the interesting thing was as part of the new infrastructure Data Domain was implemented as a backup to disk target but there was no money left in the budget to implement a commercial VMware image level backup product. vGhetto ghettoVCB to the rescue! With a little bit of design vGhetto was implemented on all the ESX servers and has been running successfully for over a year.

How to get started…

Download the appropriate ghettoVCB code from the vGhetto Script Repository there are multiple versions (you should use the latest version, the implementation discussed in this post uses ghettoVCBg2). All of the prerequisites and usage is well documented on the vGhetto site. Take your time and read, don’t jump in to this without reading the documentation.

Note: You will have to edit configuration files for vGhetto to setup alerts, retention, backup locations, etc… be sure to read the documentation carefully.

The Implementation details…

High-level Topology

Note: Site A and Site B backups target share on each respective DD670 (e.g. \\siteADD670\siteAvmbackup for daily backups at Site A) these are replicated to the peer DD670. Replicated data is accessible at the target side by accessing the backup sharename (e.g. – \\siteADD670\siteAvmbackup replicated data would be accessible by accessing \\siteBDD670\backup\siteA_vm_backup_replica).

In the environment that this deployment was done all of the ESX servers are running ESX 4.1 full (not ESXi) so the service console was leveraged, deployment models can differ from using the remote support console to using the vMA (vSphere Management Assistant). This is why it is critical that you read the ghettoVCB documentation.

Step-bt-Step…

  • Develop and document an architecture / design, this will require a little planning to make deployment as easy as possible.
  • Create a CIFS of NFS share on the Data Domain or other CIFS/NFS target.
    • If you want to keep the cost to nearly zero I recommend Opendedup
    • In this case Data Domain 670s already existed in both locations
    • I created two shares in each location one for daily backups and one for monthly backups (see High-level topology)

The reason for two shares is that only one (1) monthly is retained on the monthly share and fourteen (14) daily backups are maintained on the daily share. There is a tape backup job monthly that vaults the VM image backups from the monthly share.

  • There are basically three tasks that need to be performed on every ESX server in the environment:
    • Mount the target backup share(s):
      • Create mountpoint: mkdir /mnt/backup
      • For NFS: mount servername|IP:/sharename /mnt/backup
      • For CIFS: mount -t cifs //servername|IP /sharename /mnt/backup -o username=USERNAME,password=PASSWORD
  • Add the target backup share(s) to /etc/fstab to make them persistent:
    • For CIFS: echo “//servername|IP /sharename /mnt/backup cifs credentials=/root/.smbcreds” >> /etc/fstab
Note: FOR CIFS create .smbcreds file that contains the CIFS share login credentials. This file should contain the following two lines:
username=cifs_user_name
password=cifs_user_password
 
    • For NFS: echo “servername|IP: /sharename /mnt/backup nfs [any NFS mount options] ” >> /etc/fstab
  • Create cron job(s):
    • Daily Job (runs Mondy thru Friday at midnight): 0 0 * * 1-5 root /mnt/backup/.files/ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -a > /mnt/backup/.files/logs/hostname_ghettoVCB.log 2>&1
    • Monthly Job (runs Saturday at midnight): 0 0 * * 6 root /mnt/monthly_backup/.files/ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -a > /mnt/monthly_backup/.files/logs/hostname_ghettoVCB.log 2>&1
Note: You will notice that the path to the ghettoVCB.sh is .files on the CIFS | NFS share, this is so I can make modifications post deployment and since all the ESX server us a shared location it is easy to maintain, more on this when I walk through my deployment methodology.

Note: crontab entries need to go in /etc/crontab. If you place them in the user crontab using crontab –e or vi /var/spool/cron/root it will NOT work.

Deployment…

Once you complete the above steps and test on a single server you are ready to roll out to all the servers in your environment. To simplify this I recommend storing the config files, scripts, etc… in a hidden directory on the CIFS or NFS share.

In my case I have a .files directory in the daily backup and monthly backup directories. This includes the ghettoVCB code, .smbcreds file and the deployment scripts.

Deployment Scripts:

 Note: The above scripts assumes a CIFS target, modify accordingly for a NFS target.

Deployment is easy, as new ESX servers come online using plink  I remotely execute a mount of the appropriate share, copy the deployment script to /tmp and execute.

All the changes are made to the fstab, cron, etc.. and VM image backups will now run on a regular basis.

Accessing backed up data…

You will now be able to browse the //servername|IP/sharename from any host and see your backups organized by date:

I use vmware-mount.exe which is part of the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit  on the virtual center server to mount the backup vmdk files for individual file restores, obviously for a full restore I just copy the vmdk back to the production datastore.

The following are the key steps to mount a backed up vmdk:

  • Mount the CIFS share (if using NFS you can usually share the volume via CIFS of SMB as well and gain access from windows to use the process I am outlining here)
    • net use v: //servername|IP/sharename
    • net use

You should see something similar to this:

  • v:
  • dir (you should see all you VM backup dirs)
  • cd to the VM perform a recovery from
  • cd to the proper backup image
  • dir

This is what the above command sequence looks like:

  • Now mount the vmdk
    • vmware-mount.exe z: “2003 SP2 Template.vmdk”
    • You can verify a successful mount by just typing vmwre-mount.exe
  • z:
  • dir

You are now looking at the c: drive from the “2003 SP2 Template” VM from January 24, 2012.

You can navigate and copy files just like any normal drive.

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Oracle Storage Guy: Direct NFS on EMC NAS

I have been chomping at the bit to test VMware on dNFS on EMC NAS for a couple of reasons.  A number of my customers who are looking at EMC NAS in particular the NS20 would like to consolidate storage, servers, file services, etc… on to a unified platform and leverage a single replication technology like Celerra Replicator.   dNFS may offer this possibility, .vmdks can now reside on the a NFS volume, CIFS shares can be consolidated to the the NS20 and all can be replicated with Celerra Replicator.  The only downside to this solution that I can see is right now the replicated volumes will be crash consistent copies but I think with some VMware scripting even this concern can be addressed.  I hope to stand this configuration up in the lab in the next couple of weeks so I should have more detail and a better idea of is viability shortly.  You may be wondering why this post entitled Oracle Storage Guy…… the answer is I was searching the blogsphere for an unbiased opinion and some performance metrics of VMware and dNFS and this was the blog that I stumbled upon.

The performance numbers I have seen for VMware on dNFS come very close to the numbers I have seen for iSCSI, both technologies offer benefits but for the use case I mention above dNFS may become very compelling.  I recommend reading this post Oracle Storage Guy: Direct NFS on EMC NAS, is offers some great commentary on the performance characteristics and benefits of dNFS.

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Open source virtualization

As I mentioned in my previous post I spend this weekend working on rebuilding my home desktop.  You will be happy to note that my VPN connection is now working.  Following the install I decided to test out VirtualBox an OSS (Open-source software) desktop virtualization product that holds some promise to compete with VMware.  All I can say is WOW!  I am a VirtualBox convert, as I am sure most OSS junkies will be.  The product is a snap to install and while I have no idea how it will run on Windows the install on Linux was simpler than my previous VMware install and the footprint is lighter.  VirtualBox only loads a single deamon vs VMware’s three daemons, this is important to me since I only start my VM when the use of Windows is absolutely necessary (aka – a dyer situation).  Of course I did some poking around and found this benchmark of VMware vs. VirtualBox:

  native VirtualBox Vmware
make 64:03 min 107:29 min 101:40 min
grep (100 MByte) 6,7 s 20,2 s 18,1 s

Courtesy of a German review of VirtualBox – (http://www.heise.de/open/artikel/83678)

Right now I am very happy with VirtualBox and I think that we will see VirtualBox become more pervasive in the OSS community and now that QEMU is open sourced other desktop OSS virtualization products based on QEMU may pop up and erode some of the market for commercial x86 products.  I think desktop products like VirtualBox will begin to take a grass roots hold long before products like Xen compete in the corporate data center.  After all I remember back to when I first loaded VMware Workstation 3 on my RedHat 7.3 machine, the delight of being able to run pesky Windows apps without dual booting. I felt a twinge of that same feeling when VirtualBox installed and worked in less than 2 minutes.  After all, in my opinion Linux user looking to run Windows apps were instrumental in putting VMware on the map, is a possible that there is now an OSS alternative knocking on the door of the VMware desktop community?  When will workstation go the way of VMware GSX – FREE?  How long can VMware hold on to the desktop without becoming free?  Eventually all hypervisors will need to be free – it should be interesting to watch.

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VMware Virtual Machine shutdown, startup, etc….

So I did some additional testing on the claim that vmware-cmd will not shutdown a VM that is locked at the console and I have not experienced the problem what I did find was the bash scripts that scripts that worked on my ESX 2.x server did not work on my VMware Server machine – it appears that _spaces_ in the directory structure and/or vm file name cause the script to fail.

These are examples of the original scripts:

getstate.sh
#!/bin/bash
echo “Getting running state of VM Guests…”
for vm in vmware-cmd -l
do
vmware-cmd “$vm” getstate $vm
done

stopall.sh
#!/bin/bash
echo “Stopping all running VM Guests…”
for vm in vmware-cmd -l
do
vmware-cmd “$vm” stop trysoft hard
done

The results on my ESX 2.x server for getstate.sh is the following:
getstate(/home/bocchrj/vmware/rh62_1/linux.vmx) = off
getstate(/home/bocchrj/vmware/rh62_2/linux.vmx) = off


On my VMware Server box this is the output of getstate.sh:
Getting running state of VM Guests…
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM /Virtual_Machines/Windows
  (VMControl error -11: No such virtual machine: The config file /Virtual_Machines/Windows is not registered.
Please register the config file on the server.  For example:
vmware-cmd -s register “/Virtual_Machines/Windows”)
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM XP
  (VMControl error -14: Unexpected response from vmware-authd: Invalid pathname: XP)
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM Professional
  (VMControl error -14: Unexpected response from vmware-authd: Invalid pathname: Professional)
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM SNMP
  (VMControl error -14: Unexpected response from vmware-authd: Invalid pathname: SNMP)
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM Tools/Windows
  (VMControl error -14: Unexpected response from vmware-authd: Invalid pathname: Tools/Windows)
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM XP
  (VMControl error -14: Unexpected response from vmware-authd: Invalid pathname: XP)
/usr/bin/vmware-cmd: Could not connect to VM Professional.vmx
etc…..

I took the time to write a slightly more robust perl script to stop and start VMs that appears to work well on both ESX 2.x and VMware Server (I only tested this on VMware server running on on a Linux host but it should work on a Windows host with perl installed).  If you would like an executable (exe) version for windows Email me and I can provide it to you.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
#vmpower.pl
#RJB – 1/23/2007

use strict;
my $command;
my $switch;

if ($ARGV[0] eq “help”) {
    &usage;
    }
if ($ARGV[0] eq “getstate” || $ARGV[0] eq “stop” || $ARGV[0] eq “start” || $ARGV[0] eq “reset”) {
    &power;
    }
else{
    &error;
    }

sub power {
$command = “vmware-cmd -l”;
print “==> $command\n”;
if (system(“$command > .vmtmpfile”) == 0) {
  print ” success, exit status = $?\n”;
} else {
  print ” failure, exit status = $?\n”;
}

open (VM, ‘.vmtmpfile’);
while (<VM>) {
chomp;
$command = “vmware-cmd”;
$switch = $ARGV[0];
print “==> $command \”$_\” $ARGV[0]\n”;
system(“$command \”$_\” $switch”);
    if ( $? == 0 ) {
      print ” success, exit status = $?\n”;
    } else {
      print ” failure, exit status = $?\n”;
    }
}
close (VM);
system (“rm -f .vmtmpfile”);
}

sub usage {
system “clear”;
print “VM statup and shutdown script for ESX 2.x and VMware Server\n”;
print “vmpower.pl\n\n”;
print “Usage:  vmpower.pl [getstate|start|stop|reset]\n\n”;
exit;
}

sub error {
    print ” error\n”;
    print ” \”vmpower.pl help\” – for usage instructions\n\n”;
    exit;
}

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Shutting down a Windows VM when the console is locked

It was brought to my attention that vmware-cmd can not gracefully shutdown a Windows VM when the console is locked.  Yesterday I spent sometime researching the issue and the guys at Sysinternals once again have coded a quality utility that appears to have solved the problem.  I only hope that they can maintain the same level of quality now that Microsoft has acquired them.

Download psshutdown here

To shutdown a single host the syntax looks like this:
psshutdown \\host -t 5 -f -m “Shutting down in 5 seconds”

To shutdown multiple hosts psshutdown takes input from a file (e.g. – hosts.txt)  where the host names or IP are separated by a .:
psshutdown @hosts.txt -t 5 -f -m “Shutting down in 5 seconds”

To shutdown a single host when not logged in as a privileged user you will need to pass credentials to the the psshutdown command:
psshutdown @hosts.txt -t 5 -f -m “Shutting down in 5 seconds” -u administrator -p password

The standard windows cli shutdown command also works if you use the force option (-f).  The thing I really like about psshutdown is the ability to pass a file with a list of hosts and the ability to pass user credentials.

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