22 April, 2013

Great (new) fling from VMware Labs

So the title reads that it is a new fling, but this is not completely true. It has been launched in it's current version over a year ago. During that time I did not have the time to check it out, recently when searching for something else I stumbled upon this fling again and thought why not give it a go.
So what does this InventorySnaphot fling do exactly, well it gives you the possibility to "snapshot" a vCenter inventory and use this to reproduce this inventory. This can be used as backup and restore or use the snapshot as a template inventory. A other purpose for this which I came up with is when you run a home lab and you use the 60 days evaluation licenses for the VMware part of it, which is done a lot for sure. You could build you home lab and configure it as you want it / need it and take a "snapshot" with this fling. All your re-builds afterwards will be a lot quicker as you can restore your complete vCenter inventory very easy and fast, this will save you a lot of time configuring.
The snapshot can be taken at any level within the vCenter inventory.
To be able to run this fling on your computer you need two things installed, first PowerCLI (duh!!) and second Java.
You can download the binaries in a zip package thru this link
After downloading it, unpack it and run "InventorySnapshot.bat" if it doesn't work run it from a command line and see if there is a error. I got a error first time round about java, it could not be found. After editing "InventorySnapshot.bat" to add the full path to Java it started working.
The usage of the tool is pretty straight forward and all is documented on the VMware Lab website, there is even a video that shows you how to use the tool.
So how does it work, the tool creates a PowerCLI script crafted from the vCenter inventory it is connected to and once you run this script it will re-create the vCenter inventory.
You can restore the complete vCenter inventory or you can select parts of the inventory that you want to restore.

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