PowerCLI: An Aspiring Automator’s Guide

Getting into scripting can be daunting. It’s easier to just use existing scripts found online, but if you choose this route you’ll quickly run into limitations. If you take the time to learn how to create your scripts, trust me, you’ll never look back!

Automating vSphere is particularly useful for countless applications and the best way is through PowerCLI – a version of PowerShell developed specifically for VMware. Learn how to develop your own PowerCLI scripts with this free 100+ page eBook from Altaro, PowerCLI: The Aspiring Automator’s Guide.

Written by VMware vExpert Xavier Avrillier, this eBook presents a use-case approach to learning how to automate tasks in vSphere environments using PowerCLI. We start by covering the basics of installation, set up, and an overview of PowerCLI terms. From there we move into scripting logic and script building with step-by-step instructions of truly useful custom scripts, including how to retrieve data on vSphere objects; display VM performance metrics; how to build HTML reports and schedule them; the basics on building functions; and more!

Stop looking at scripts online in envy because you wish you could build your own scripts.

Get started on your path to automation greatness – Download the eBook now!

Deploy Azure Data Services with Terraform

Terraform-based deployment of almost all Azure Data Services (default deployment settings are in the parenthesis):

  • Azure Service Bus (Standard, namespace,topic,subscription, auth. rules)
  • Azure Data Lake Storage (ZRS, Hot, Secured, StandardV2)
  • Azure Data Factory (w/Git or without)
  • Azure Data Factory linked with Data Lake Storage
  • Azure Data Factory Pipeline
  • Azure DataBricks WorkSpace (Standard)
  • Azure EventHub (Standard, namespace)
  • Azure Functions (Dynamic, LRS storage, Python, w/App.Insights or without)
  • Azure Data Explorer (Kusto, Standard_D11_v2, 2 nodes)
  • Azure Analysis Server (backup-enabled, S0, LRS, Standard)
  • Azure Event Grid (domain, EventGridSchema)

Properties and content

  • 831 strings in total
  • Written about 1 year ago, updated a day ago to fix deprecated expressions
  • Tested with the latest Terraform 0.13.2 and Azure provider 2.27.0 (in fact, works fine with >=0.12 and Azure provider >= 1.35)
  • auth.tf – provider authentication and version settings
  • main.tf – a desired Azure infrastructure
  • terraform.tfvars – controls deployment settings
  • variables.tf – variables list
  • outputs.tf – outputs useful information

Deployment settings (excerpt)

#--------------------------------------------------------------
# What should be deployed?
#--------------------------------------------------------------
servicebus       = true  # Azure Service Bus
datafactory      = true  # Azure Data Factory
datafactory_git  = false # Enable GIT for Data Factory? (don't forget to set Git settings in the Data Factory section)
databricks       = true  # Azure DataBricks
eventhub         = true  # Azure EventHub
functions        = true  # Azure Functions 
functions_appins = true  # Integrate App.Insights with Azure Functions?
eventgrid        = true  # Azure EventGrid
kusto            = true  # Azure Data Explorer (kusto)
analysis         = true  # Azure Analysis Server

Resource block (excerpt)

resource "azurerm_function_app" "rlmvp-svc-function-appins" {
  count                      = var.functions == "true" && var.functions_appins == "true" ? 1 : 0
  name                       = "${var.prefix}function${random_string.rndstr.result}"
  location                   = var.az_region
  resource_group_name        = azurerm_resource_group.az_rg.name
  app_service_plan_id        = azurerm_app_service_plan.rlmvp-svc-appplan[count.index].id
  storage_account_name       = azurerm_storage_account.rlmvp-svc-storacc[count.index].name
  storage_account_access_key = azurerm_storage_account.rlmvp-svc-storacc[count.index].primary_access_key
  # storage_connection_string = azurerm_storage_account.rlmvp-svc-storacc[count.index].primary_connection_string (deprecated; works though)
  app_settings = {
    "FUNCTIONS_WORKER_RUNTIME"       = var.az_funcapp_runtime
    "APPINSIGHTS_INSTRUMENTATIONKEY" = azurerm_application_insights.rlmvp-svc-appins[count.index].instrumentation_key
  }
  tags = var.az_tags
}

Usage guide

  • Open the terraform.tfvars file
  • Indicate the “What Should Be Deployed?” section
  • Use true/false to set your desired configuration
  • Check or change Azure services settings in the appropriate sections (naming convention (prefix/suffix), location, SKUs and etc.)
  • Run terraform init to get required Terraform providers
  • Run terraform plan to initiate pre-deployment check
  • Run terraform apply to start a deployment
  • (optional) terraform destroy to delete Azure resources

Requirements

  • The script uses Service Principal authentication, so define the subscription ID, client ID, tenand ID and principal secret in the auth.tf (or use another authentication type – Managed Identity, if your CI is running on Azure VMs, for instance)
  • If you are going to deploy Analysis Server (enabled, by default), provide valid Azure AD user(s) UPN(s) to set them as administrators of Analysis Server (az_ansrv_users variable, file – terraform.tfvars)

Result

Deployed Azure Resources (all in one resource group)
Terraform output

P.S. feel free to share/commit/fork/slam/sell/copy and do anything that your conscience allows you 🙂