There were a several announcements at last weeks VMworld US Conference, but one of the most exciting piece of news in my opinion was from Alan Renouf, Product Manager for all things API/SDK/CLI at VMware. During Alan's What's New PowerCLI session, he announced that PowerCLI is finally coming to both Mac OS X as well as Linux! As you can imagine, the news was very well received from customers and partners. In fact, after I had tweeted the update here & here, I literally had folks pinging/IM'ing/DM'ing me non-stop about when they could get access 🙂
This exciting update was only possible with the help of our friends over at Microsoft who had recently open sourced both .NET Core & PowerShell. Once that news broke, Alan and the PowerCLI Engineering team have been working hard on porting over the existing PowerCLI code which uses the Windows .NET library over to the new .NET Core which is now open sourced. I have been very impressed at how fast the PowerCLI team have already made available many of the default cmdlets as well as the Get View cmdlet which exposes the entire functionality of the vSphere API.
Now, before you get too excited, this new version of PowerCLI is currently not available yet. As Alan mentioned in his session, we plan to release an early Tech Preview of PowerCLI for both Mac OS X and Linux as a VMware Fling shortly after VMworld. It is also very important to note that Microsoft PowerShell for Mac OS X & Linux which PowerCLI uses is just at an Alpha release milestone. There is still much work to do on both sides but I am really looking forward to enabling our customers with the choice of platform when it comes to consuming PowerCLI.
A few of us have been quite fortunate to have been involved in the early development of this new version of PowerCLI. In fact, we even built a simple Docker Container for PowerCLI which will allow you to easily access PowerCLI from any system that can run Docker. Here is a quick screenshot of spinning up a PowerCLI Docker Container which will also be part of the Fling release.
Lastly, we want customers to be able to quickly and securely set up a persistent PowerCLI environment in which they can use to manage and configure their VMware-based products that support PowerCLI. With that, we have also built a PowerShell package for Photon OS which is VMware's minimal Linux container host distribution. Not only is it free to download and use, but it literally takes a few seconds to install (tdnf -y install powershell) and even less time to boot up and import the PowerCLI module. This was literally done the week before VMworld by the Photon team and huge kudos for their support! As you can see, not only do we want to provide choice for our customers but also simplifying how you might consume PowerCLI whether its natively on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Docker Container or running on top of VMware Photon OS. I hope you are excited as I am and stay tuned for more details on the Fling release!
If you have any feedback or what you are most excited regarding this news, please leave a comment and I will make sure it makes it way back to our Product Manager.