A Managed Object Reference ID also known just as MoRef ID is a unique value that is generated by the vCenter Server and is guaranteed to be unique for a given entity in a single vCenter instance. Steve Jin has a great article going into detail about MoRef's, that you should check out here. MoRef ID's are not only used in vSphere, but they can also be referenced in other VMware products such as vCD (vCloud Director) or SRM to name a few or even by 3rd party/custom tools as a way to uniquely track objects within vCenter.
Using the vSphere MOB is one way of retrieving the MoRef ID, but of course this can be tedious if you are trying to locate MoRef's for multiple entities, in multiple vCenters. I decided to write a quick vSphere SDK for Perl script called moRefFinder.pl that allows a users to quickly query for a variety of Managed Objects (VM,Host,Cluster,Datacenter,Resource Pool,Network, Distributed vSwitch, Folder, vApp and Datastore) in a vCenter Server.
I also noted earlier, MoRef ID is only unique within a vCenter instance, so how do you track these objects across multiple vCenters? Well, VMware introduced a new property called instanceUUID (128 bit UUID) which is unique for a given vCenter Server and you can use this along with the MoRef ID to uniquely track objects across multiple vCenters and the script automatically outputs this value for any query.
Note: There have been some optimization in the latest vSphere SDK for Perl 5.0, it is recommended you use the latest version which is backwards compatible with vSphere 3.x and 4.x
The script requires two parameters:
- type - The type of managed object
- name - The name of the object as seen in vCenter Server