26 February, 2014

My take on how to deploy ESXi hosts quicker with PowerCLI

When building a new or expanding a existing vSphere environment, there a lot of helpful features and tools that can help you speed up the deployment and configuration of new hosts.
For instance VMware Auto Deploy and Host Profiles can be very useful, also they will help you to setup a Cluster or Datacenter with consistent configured hosts.
Nevertheless there are several situations when you either can't or don't want to use Auto Deploy and/or Host Profiles, please note that I believe that Host Profiles is a very powerful feature which if possible (License) always should be used to assure that your run a environment with consistent configured hosts.
For one something that you need to do / have before you are able to access shared storage, in case you use FC shared storage is provide FC adapter WWN's to your storage team in order for them to setup the LUN zoning correctly.
You can get the information you need by clicking through the vSphere (web) client and copy/paste the info of all your hosts' FC adapters you are going to use. But if you have 10+ hosts it's becoming tedious, time consuming and not to forget prone to mistakes. Why not use PowerCLI ? This will make this job a lot easier and quicker, below you find a script which will get the WWN's per host and also provide vendor/type info (in case you have multiple types of FC adapters presented within the host as with most CNA / FCoE cards).

With most of the newer server hardware there is either a internal usb or flash (SD) slot to be used with media to boot a OS off. When running ESXi of such media it is advised to move the scratch location to persistent storage to have crash consistent location for ESXi to store it's log files. As referred to in VMware KB1033696, the KB also explains in great detail all way's to setup a persistent scratch location.
The script below will help you to automate these steps by the use of PowerCLI.

Two other settings that are frequently set when deploying new ESXi hosts are NTP and Syslog, when using host profiles these settings are done when applying the host profile. With the script below you are able to set it on multiple hosts with ease without the use of host profiles.

I hope the scripts provided will help you to do quicker and more consistent ESXi deployments.

No comments:

Post a Comment