VMware View Pool Recompose PowerCLI Script

Edit – I’ve updated this script recently.  The updated version includes some additional features such as checking to make sure there is enough space on the replica volume to for a successful clone.  You can read more about it here: http://www.seanmassey.net/2013/09/updated-script-start-recomposeps1.html

One of the many hats that I wear at $work is the administration of our virtual desktop environment that is built on VMware View.  Although the specific details of our virtual desktop environment may be covered in another post, I will provide a few details here for background.  Our View environment has about 240 users and 200 desktops, although we only have about 150 people logged in at a given time.  It is almost 100% non-persistent, and the seven desktops that are set up as persistent are only due to an application licensing issue and refresh on logout like our non-persistent desktops.
Two of the primary tasks involved with that are managing snapshots and scheduling pool recompose operations as part of our patching cycle.  I wish I could say that it was a set monthly cycle, but a certain required plugin…*cough* Java *cough*…and one application that we use for web conferencing seem to break and require an update every time there is a slight update to Adobe Air.  There is also the occassional request that a department needs that is a priority and falls outside of the normal update cycle such as an application that needs to be added on short notice.
Our 200 desktops are grouped into sixteen desktop pools, and there are seven Parent VMs that are used as the base images for these sixteen pools.  That seems like a lot given the total number of desktops that we have, but there are business reasons for all of these including restrictions on remote access, department applications that don’t play nicely with ThinApp, and restrictions on the number of people from certain departments that can be logged in at one time. 
Suffice it to say that with sixteen pools to schedule recompose actions for as part of the monthly patch cycle, it can get rather tedious and time consuming to do it through the VMware View Administrator.  That is where PowerShell comes in.  View ships with set of PowerCLI cmdlets, and these can be run from any connection broker in your environment.  You can execute the script remotely, but the script file will need to be placed on your View Connection Broker.
I currently schedule this script to run using the Community Edition of the JAMS Job Scheduler, but I will be looking at using vCenter Orchestrator in the future to tie in automation of taking and removing snapshots.
The original inspiration for, and bits of, this script were originally written by Greg Carriger.  You can view his work on his blog.  My version does not take or remove any snapshots, and my version will work with multiple pools that are based on the same Parent VM.  The full script is availabe to download here.
PowerCLI 5.1 or greater installed on the Connection Broker
View PowerCLI snapin
PowerShell 2.0 or greater
View requires the full snapshot path in order to update the pool and do a recompose, so one of the first things that needs to be done is build the snapshot path.  This can be a problem if you’re not very good at cleaning up old snapshots (like I am…although I have a script for that now too).  That issue can be solved with the code below.

Once you have our snapshot path constructed, you need to identify the pools that are based around the ParentVM.
=Get-Pool|Where {$_.ParentVMPath-like“*$ParentVM*”}
A simple foreach loop can be used to iterate through and update your list of pools once you know which pools you need to update.  This section of code will update the default snapshot used for desktops in the pool, schedule the recompose operation, and write out to the event log that the operation was scheduled. 
Stop on Error is set to false as this script is intended to be run overnight, and View can, and will, stop a recompose operation over the slightest error.  This can leave destkops stuck in a halted state and inacccessible when staff come in to work the following morning.
$PoolName=$Pool.Pool_ID$ParentVMPath=$Pool.ParentVMPath#Update Base Image for PoolUpdate-AutomaticLinkedClonePool-pool_id$Poolname-parentVMPath$ParentVMPath-parentSnapshotPath$SnapshotPath## Recompose
##Stop on Error set to false. This will allow the pool to continue recompose operations after hours if a single vm encounters an error rather than leaving the recompose tasks in a halted state.
Get-DesktopVM-pool_id$Poolname|Send-LinkedCloneRecompose-schedule$Time-parentVMPath$ParentVMPath-parentSnapshotPath$SnapshotPathforceLogoff:$truestopOnError:$falseWrite-EventLogLogNameApplicationSourceVMwareView” –EntryTypeInformationEventID 9000 –MessagePool$Poolnamewillstarttorecomposeat$Timeusing$snapshotname.”

One thought on “VMware View Pool Recompose PowerCLI Script

  1. Pingback: 2013 – A Retrospective | Sean's IT Blog

Comments are closed.