Mastering PowerCLI: A Comprehensive Guide – Part 1

PowerCLI, a powerful command-line tool from VMware, is an invaluable asset for administrators managing virtual environments. This blog post will guide you through the basics of PowerCLI and how to use it effectively.

Introduction to PowerCLI

VMware PowerCLI is a command-line and scripting tool built on Windows PowerShell. It provides more than 600 cmdlets for managing and automating vSphere, vCloud, vRealize Operations Manager, and VMware Horizon environments.


To install PowerCLI, open your PowerShell as an administrator and run the following command:

Install-Module -Name VMware.PowerCLI -Scope CurrentUser

Connecting to vCenter

To start using PowerCLI, you first need to connect to your vCenter server. Use the Connect-VIServer cmdlet for this:

Connect-VIServer -Server your_vcenter_server

Replace your_vcenter_server with the IP address or hostname of your vCenter server.

Basic Commands

Here are some basic commands that you can use in PowerCLI:

  • Get-VMHost: This cmdlet retrieves the ESXi hosts on a vCenter Server system.
  • Get-VM: This cmdlet retrieves the virtual machines on a vCenter Server system.
  • Get-Datastore: This cmdlet retrieves the datastores available on a vCenter Server system.

Managing SCSI LUN Paths

PowerCLI can also be used to manage SCSI LUN paths. Here’s an example script that checks the state of each path and activates it if it’s off:

# Connect to vCenter
Connect-VIServer -Server your_vcenter_server

# Get all hosts
$hosts = Get-VMHost

foreach ($host in $hosts) {
    # Get all SCSI LUNs
    $scsiLuns = Get-ScsiLun -VMHost $host -LunType disk

    foreach ($scsiLun in $scsiLuns) {
        # Get all SCSI LUN paths
        $scsiPaths = Get-ScsiLunPath -ScsiLun $scsiLun

        foreach ($scsiPath in $scsiPaths) {
            # Check if the path state is 'off'
            if ($scsiPath.State -eq 'off') {
                # Set the path state to 'on'
                $scsiPath | Set-ScsiLunPath -State On

# Disconnect from vCenter
Disconnect-VIServer -Server your_vcenter_server -Confirm:$false


PowerCLI is a powerful tool that can help you automate and manage your VMware environments more effectively. With its extensive set of cmdlets, you can perform almost any task in your virtual environment. Start exploring PowerCLI today and unlock its full potential!

Remember, always test scripts in a controlled environment before deploying them in production. Also, ensure you have the necessary permissions to perform these operations. Happy scripting! 

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