VMware vSphere Lab: Virtual Edition – Part 1

Even if VMware vSphere has pretty stringent hardware requirements, there are some rather cheap options available if you want to set up your own vSphere Lab for training or testing purposes.

In this first post of the series, I’ll examine the option of setting up a Virtual vSphere Lab, based on VMware Workstation 7.1:

The Virtual vSphere Lab

In VMware Workstation 7.1, running vSphere 4.1 is supported as a guest operating system. This means that you can run your whole test environment as virtual instances on your laptop or desktop computer, not worrying about the vSphere HCL at all.
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Developer meets PowerCLI – awesomeness ensues

A couple of days ago, while I was at VMworld Europe I got the following tweet from Asbjørn A. Mikkelsen (@neslekkim) (translated from norwegian):

@h0bbel Do you know if I can script something against vCenter to duplicate (or create from template) VMs, and also start/stop them?

My immediate response, was of course to suggest using PowerCLI. Asbjørn, who works as a full time developer, jumped at PowerCLI immediately and within a very short time frame came up with a PowerCLI script for the task at hand.

You can download the script and play around with it, if you want. Inline documentation is in Norwegian, and if Asbjørn had intended to redistribute the script I’m sure he would have optimized it more than the current revision.
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