People that know me might be aware of the fact that i'm a strong proponent of using powerCLI, due to its power of allowing the simple yet powerful automation of single tasks (you should be using Orchestrator for recurring tasks, but even that can use powerCLI) as well as the great runbook scripting capatibility for new deployments, upgrades, migrations and disaster recovery. Combined with tools such as Pester, it allows for the automation of certain tasks without requiring windows admins familiar with PowerShell to relearn their skills.
Now, freshly released, PowerCLI 6.5R1 brings some great improvements to an already amazing tool. Aside of the general performance and stability fixes, there are a few new features i want to highlight:
Cross-SSO vMotion with Move-VM
While this was already named in the release post, this one is severly underexposed. Move-VM has been updated to allow the vMotion of virtual machines between vCenters in a single SSO domain, as well as the vMotion of virtual machines between SSO domains. This was something that was previously available through the API only, and can now be done through powerCLI. This essentially turns your migration plan into
get-vm | move-vm. It also allows for the vMotion between separate hosting environments, online onboarding of virtual machines by cloud providers, and various other possibilities.
As opposed to the old way of powerCLI, disks were managed by modifying the VM hardware, which was a relatively complicated way to manage this. PowerCLI 6.5 adds the feature to manage virtual machine disks directly through the
*-VDisk cmdlets, allowing for significantly easier adding, removal and modification of vDisks, in addition to allowing the scripted copy of individual virtual disks. This would allow you to easily clone only a specific disk (such as a data disk) of a virtual machine's disk for the purpose of upgrade tests, data forensics and dev/test environments.
Storage policy management
Storage policies were one of those things that was still mostly manually managed since it was relatively hard to script. While this wasn't a big issue for most organizations, the storage policy cmdlets allow for the classification of disks provisioned to your vSphere environment as well as advanced vDisk management and automation (see the section above). Imagine being able to automatically add a disk to a virtual machine in the correct storage tier with nothing more than a oneliner of piped commands.
And last but not least
VSAN can be fully managed through PowerCLI now, so you never have to touch the maze known as the VSAN management interface ever again. That in itself should be reason enough to upgrade to powerCLI 6.5R1.
The user guide and changelog can respectively be found at https://www.vmware.com/support/developer/PowerCLI/PowerCLI65R1/doc/vmware-powecli-65r1-user-guide.pdf and https://www.vmware.com/support/developer/PowerCLI/changelog.html#PowerCLI65R1, and ofcourse the download at https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=PCLI650R1&productId=614.