PowerShell function for menu creation revisited

Sometimes when creating blog posts you just get excited to publish a post as soon as it’s finished, but then you realize you can do something better. So yesterday I published a post on how to use a function in PowerShell to create an interactive dynamic menu but in hindsight it could have been more “generic” – so today I’m back with a new post on how you can create that generic function by providing the query in a separate string instead as part of the function itself. This allows you to merely change the query (the input for creating the menu) without having to change anything inside the function. Now it’s a “real” function! 🙂

I’ve added two mandatory parameters to the function, the first is the query to retrieve data and the second parameter is the task that you’d like to perform on the selected object. I’m calling the parameters -ListItem and -GetItem but the actual query is set in the $MyQuery and $MyTask string and they are then passed on to the function to perform the task. So if I’d like to get a list of VMs I just change the $MyQuery to something like “(Get-VM | Sort-Object)” and if I’d like to get a list of Datastores I set $MyQuery = “(Get-Datastore | Where {$_.Type -eq ‘VMFS’} | Sort-Object -Descending FreeSpaceGB)”. Once the list is presented and you select an object you then pass on what’s going to happen with it with the $MyTask – so if I want to retrieve a specific VM I set it to “Get-VM” but it could be anything (like Remove-VM but there’s no warning so be careful!)

Get a list of VMs
Get a list of VMFS datastores and sort them based on free space

Calling the function is then done using this syntax:
Set-Menu -ListItem $MyQuery -GetItem $MyTask

$VIServer = "vcsa.mydomain.com"
$VIUsername = "administrator@vsphere.local"
$VIPassword = "MyPassword"

Connect-VIServer $VIServer -User $VIUsername -Password $VIPassword -WarningAction SilentlyContinue

$MyQuery = (Get-Datastore | Where {$_.Type -eq 'VMFS'} |Sort-Object -Descending FreeSpaceGB)
$MyTask = "Get-Datastore"

Function Set-Menu {
    Param (
        [Parameter(Mandatory)]
        [ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]
        $ListItem,

        [Parameter(Mandatory)]
        [ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]
        $GetItem
    )

    Try {
    $menu = @{}
    For ($i=1;$i -le $ListItem.count; $i++)
        { Write-Host "$i. $($ListItem[$i-1].Name)"
        $menu.Add($i,($ListItem[$i-1].Name)) }
    [int]$ans = if(($ans = Read-Host "Select item or press enter to accept default value [1]") -eq '') {"1"} else {$ans}
    $Selection = $menu.Item($ans); Invoke-Expression $($GetItem +  " " + $Selection)
    }

    Catch {
    Write-Host "The selection you made is unavailable, please make a valid selection between 1 and $($i-1)..."
    }
}

cls

Set-Menu -ListItem $MyQuery -GetItem $MyTask

Disconnect-VIServer $VIServer -Confirm:$false
Set-Menu waiting for user input
Set-Menu has executed the task defined in $MyTask

The way you can use the function is up to you but I use it in William Lams vghetto-vsphere-automated-lab-deployment script

Simplify your life with dynamic menus in PowerShell

If you are anything like me you’re setting up test or demo environments and then tearing them down a few hours later when you’re done with what ever testing you were doing. While setting up a VMware vSphere test environment is super easy using powershell/powercli (if you haven’t already visited William Lams web page, I highly recommend it and while you’re there grab the PowerShell scripts to deploy vSphere/vSAN/NSX environments. Kudos to William for everything you do for the vCommunity!!), I use his powershell scripts almost on a daily basis!

Now while setting up a single lab environment is usually not a big problem using the scripts provided by Willam but when you start setting up multiple labs (I typically have like 3 or 4 labs set up on any given time for different purposes) you might run out of some resources statically configured in the script, for instance your datastore configured doesn’t have enough capacity. So why not enhance the experience with dynamic selection of for instance datastore (or in my example: DatastoreCluster). Turns out it’s really easy to build an interactive dynamic menu of your datastoresclusters and use the menu to select where to install the lab environment.

I’m using a function to call the datastoreclusters I can use. I have a basic error handling included that you might need to extend. The code below includes 2 examples, the first function is calling available DatastoreClusters from a vCenter server and ordering them based on available free space and the second example gets a list of port groups available on my distributed switch. I’ve also assigned a default selection/value for faster deployments, just press enter to select the default value.

$VIServer = "vcsa.mydomain.com"
$VIUsername = "administrator@vsphere.local"
$VIPassword = "MyPassword"

Connect-VIServer $VIServer -User $VIUsername -Password $VIPassword -WarningAction SilentlyContinue

Function Show-DatastoreClusters ($Title = 'My Datastores'){
Try {
$AvailDatastores = (Get-Datastore | Where {$_.Type -eq "VMFS"} |Sort-Object -Descending FreeSpaceGB)
$menuds = @{}
For ($i=1;$i -le $AvailDatastores.count; $i++)
{ Write-Host "$i. $($AvailDatastores[$i-1].Name) - $([math]::Round($AvailDatastores[$i-1].FreespaceGB,1)) GB free space"
$menuds.Add($i,($AvailDatastores[$i-1].Name)) }
[int]$ansds = if(($ansds = Read-Host "Select Datastore or press enter to accept default value [1]") -eq ''){"1"} else {$ansds}
$DatastoreSelection = $menuds.Item($ansds) ; Get-Datastore $DatastoreSelection
}
Catch { Write-Host "The selection you made is unavailable, please make a valid selection between 1 and $($i-1)..." Start-Sleep 2 }
}

Function Show-PortGroups ($Title = 'My Portgroups'){
Try {
$AvailPortgroups = (Get-VDSwitch -Name "DSwitch" | Get-VDPortgroup)
$menupg = @{}
For ($i=1;$i -le $AvailPortgroups.count; $i++)
{ Write-Host "$i. $($AvailPortgroups[$i-1].Name)"
$menupg.Add($i,($AvailPortgroups[$i-1].Name)) }
[int]$anspg = if(($anspg = Read-Host "Select portgroup or press enter to accept default value [7]") -eq ''){"7"}else{$anspg}
$PortgroupSelection = $menupg.Item($anspg) ; Get-VDPortgroup $PortgroupSelection
}
Catch { Write-Host "The selection you made is unavailable, please make a valid selection between 1 and $($i-1)..." Start-Sleep 2 }
}
cls
Write-Host `n
$VMDatastore = Show-DatastoreClusters
Write-Host `n
$VMNetwork = Show-Portgroups
Write-Host `n
$VMDatastore
$VMNetwork

Disconnect-VIServer $VIServer -Confirm:$false

The function above can then be included in the script from William Lam. When calling the function the output will look something like this (the menus being produced are highlighted in red):

Function to build dynamic menu

If you’d like you can add some extra granularity when enumerating the datastore, expand the “Where” statement to just get the datastores with a specific name:

{$_.Type -eq "VMFS" -and $_.Name -like "VMFS-ESXi7*"}

Once you got you script fetching the desired data you can add the function to any script, I’ve added it to William’s script for some added flexibility.

PowerShell for the win!

Who doesn’t love PowerShell and PoweCLI? I use it to automate as much as I can. Building demo environments, upgrading stuff or just playing around. The list is just a few examples of available modules from the Microsoft PowerShell Gallery, you can spend hours exploring interesting modules there. The list below is mostly a reminder for myself but feel free to explore!

VMware

vSphere

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Vester/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/vDocumentation/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Get-VMotion/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/createsnapshots/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/VMW_RemoveOldSnapshots/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Virten.net.VimAutomation/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/install-vmwworkstation/

 

vRA

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/UMN-VMWareRA/

 

vCloud

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Invoke-vCloud/

 

NSX

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PowerNSX/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/TestNBPNSX/

 

Log Insight

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/LogInsight/

Veeam

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Get-VeeamBackupReport/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Set-VeeamBackupWindowOptions/

 

Pure Storage

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PureStoragePowerShellToolkit/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PureStoragePowerShellSDK/

Amazon Web Services

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/AWSPowerShell/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/AWSPowerShell.NetCore/

Dell

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/DellBIOSProvider/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/DellWarranty/

Övrigt

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/WinSCP/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/SSH/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Posh-SSH/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/TreeSize/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PowershellBGInfo/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Tesla/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Ravello/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/Telldus/

https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/PSSpotify/