Having worked in a large organization with multiple sites and Virtual Center installations it becomes pertinent that we find a way to manage the datacenter, hosts, and vm's in an efficient and organized manner. It can be time consuming and quite complicated once you get all the components in order for a remote management system, such as ILO or VCM . This gets you physical access to the Blades/ servers and physical infrastructure, but what about the rest ?
I have been using a great tool that allows you to manage, query, and administer all hosts in multiple VC's and clusters from a single pane of glass...
PowerGUI is the tool name...below is a link to the admin guide, virtualization PowerPacks, and to the download site.
This tool is awesome, you download and install the PowerGUI application and then you load the desired PowerPacks. They have several and it is very much community based for support, so you can easily find out good answers and use the available resources to optimize and configure your setup to best fit your needs. The PowerPacks I have installed are :
Citrix.PowerPack Useful for integrating Citrix organization and management for your VDI or Streaming APPS.
HP Virtual Connect Management.PowerPack We are an HP shop, so this is great at integrating access to the remote physical infrastructure.
VMware.VIToolkit.PowerPack Includes all the essential VMware features.
Virtu-AL.net Scripts.PowerPack This one is great for commonly used scripts, you can find a ton of preconfigured and useful scripts here.
Some of the great things you can do with this are :
Restart Management agents quickly and methodically
Update VMware Tools across the org.
Edit, monitor, and configure the Virtual Networking for the hosts, clusters, and datacenters.
Edit, monitor, and configure the Datastores for the hosts, clusters, and datacenters.
Monitor Storage Overcommitment and usage
Produce reports easily and rapidly
View Host and VM Log Files
Monitor Tasks and Alerts
Manage Enterprise wide Snapshots
Add remove virtual hardware from guests and hosts
Manage, create, and edit Resource Pools
View user sessions and account access
Here are a couple of very useful examples :
vm's with out of date VMware Tools
Orphaned VMDK files Disks with RDM's mapped
Thin Provisioned VMDK's
These are just a few of the useful items, you can perform console level changes to a single host, or to all hosts with a simple execution of a script using the CLI included with PowerGUI.
This is a very helpful and powerful tool, however, anytime you can access and manage your entire infrastructure from a single point, you need to be very thorough and cautious as you can make enterprise wide mistakes as well.