Tuesday, August 11, 2009

VMware PowerCLI - Backup ESXi 4.0 firmware

The following script contains a simple function to use the VMware vSphere PowerCLI to connect to a vCenter and/or ESXi 4.0 host and backup the 'firmware' - the configuration of the ESX host. I don’t think this functionality is exposed directly through the PowerCLI, so a call to the very useful Get-View function is used to get the VI SDK object to call the appropriate method.

From what I can tell all this command does is generate a config dump on the server and return the HTTP URL to access the file download, which I’m then using the .Net web client object to download the file and store as the filename returned with a unique date suffix.

This certainly isn’t original, all I did was look at the perl RCLI script and (badly) translate to PowerCLI from there.

# Description:
#  Backup the firmware configuration on an ESXi 4.0 host
# Limitations:
#  -
# Assumptions, this script works on the assumption that:
#  The caller provides credentials with permissions to connect to the specified host
# Arguments:
#  esxServer, the ESX host to connect to, eg. esx01
#  vcServerName, The vCenter Server to connect to, eg vc01
#  outputDir, The directory to write the backup file to, defaults to %temp%
#  username, The username to use when connecting to the vCenter server (if specified), defaults to %username%
#  password, The password to use for the connection to vCenter, secure string prompt by default
# Usage:
#  PowerShell . .\BackupFirmware.ps1 -esxServer 'esx01'
#  PowerShell . .\BackupFirmware.ps1 -esxServer 'esx01' -vcServer vc01 -u domain\username
# References:
# Changes:
#  04/07/2009, Wayne Martin, initial version

#$ErrorActionPreference = "Continue"

param (
    $esxServer = "",
    $vcServerName = "",

    $outputDir = $env:Temp,

    $username = $env:username,
    $password = ""

if ($password -eq "" -and !($pass)) {
    write-output "No password specified from the command-line"
    $pass = Read-Host "Password?" -assecurestring
    $credential = new-object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($username,$pass)    

if ($esxServer -eq "" -OR ($vcServerName -eq "" -and $esxServer -eq "")) {
    Write-Output "Please specify either a standalone host, or a host and a cluster"
    Exit 2

$viServer = $null

function BackupConfiguration([string] $vcServerName, [string] $esxServer, [string] $outputDir){
    $hostSystem = get-view -ViewType HostSystem -Filter @{"Name" = $esxServer}    # Find the .Net view of the specified host

    $hostConfigManager = $hostSystem.get_ConfigManager()      # Get the config manager
    $hostfirmwareSystem = $hostConfigManager.get_firmwareSystem()     # Find the MOR of the host firmware system

    $hostfirmware = Get-View $hostfirmwareSystem        # Get the VMware.Vim.HostFirmwareSystem object from the MOR

    $backupDownload = $hostfirmware.BackupFirmwareConfiguration()     # Call the backup method to generate the config bundle

    $backupDownload = $backupDownload.Replace("*", $esxServer)      # Replace '*' with the server name

    Write-Output "Backup saved to $backupDownload on the ESX host"
    $fileName = $backupDownload.SubString($backupDownload.LastIndexOf("/")+1)    # Extract the filename to reuse
    $fileType = $fileName.SubString($fileName.LastIndexOf("."))      # Find the extension (.tgz in this case)

    $Now = [DateTime]::Now.ToString("yyyyMMddTHHmmss")          # Unique identifier for the filename
    $file = $fileName.SubString(0, $fileName.Length - $fileType.Length)     # File name without extension
    $outputFile = $outputDir + "\" + $file + "_" + $Now + $fileType     # Construct the full filename path\bundle_date.tgz

    $wc = new-object        # use the .Net web client
    $wc.DownloadFile($backupDownload, $outputFile)       # Download the file from the URL returned

    if (test-path -path $outputFile) {         # Does the output file exist?
        Write-Output "$outputFile downloaded"
    } else {
        Write-Output "Error: $outputFile was not downloaded from $backupDownload"


if ($vcServerName -ne "") {
    $viServer = Connect-VIServer -server $vcServerName -Credential $credential
} elseif ($esxServer -ne "") {
    $esxServer = Connect-VIServer -server $esxServer       # connect to VC

$results = ""
$results = BackupConfiguration $vcServerName $esxServer $outputDir


if ($vcServerName -ne "") {
    Disconnect-VIServer -confirm:$false

Wayne's World of IT (WWoIT), Copyright 2009 Wayne Martin. 


Carter Shanklin said...

This was an error we made back in the 1.0 beta days, and hope to fix one day, but you actually do this using "Set-VMHostFirmware". So in other words you back up and restore using the same cmdlet. Dumb, yes. But now you know.

Anonymous said...

To Carter's point (thanks to Wayne for the original post), perhaps something like this?

$vCenterServer = 'myVCenter'
$username = $env:username
$password = read-host "Password for $username" -assecurestring
$destPath = 'c:\temp\'

connect-viserver -server $vCenterServer -credential (new-object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($username, $password))

get-vmhost | foreach {
set-vmhostfirmware -vmhost $ -BackupConfiguration -DestinationPath $destPath

Unknown said...

greetings to all.
I would first like to thank the writers of this blog by sharing information, a few years ago I read a book called guanacaste costa rica in this book deal with questions like this one.

Steve said...

Hello .. firstly I would like to send greetings to all readers. After this, I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often. In my personal experience I might mention a book called Generic Viagra in this book that I mentioned have very interesting topics, and also you have much to do with the main theme of this article.

Anonymous said...

I had to add select-object -index 0 after Get-View HostSystem and Get-View HostFirmwareSystem to make it work in my environment. Without this, the commands were returning multiple objects, packaged Array[System.Object], which prevented subsequent steps from working. I also changed $Now to use current "day of week", for a quick set of 7 reusable backup files.

I hope this is correct and would appreciate any comments or problems. thank you.

All Posts

printQueue AD objects for 2003 ClusterVirtualCenter Physical to VirtualVirtual 2003 MSCS Cluster in ESX VI3
Finding duplicate DNS recordsCommand-line automation – Echo and macrosCommand-line automation – set
Command-line automation - errorlevels and ifCommand-line automation - find and findstrBuilding blocks of command-line automation - FOR
Useful PowerShell command-line operationsMSCS 2003 Cluster Virtual Server ComponentsServer-side process for simple file access
OpsMgr 2007 performance script - VMware datastores...Enumerating URLs in Internet ExplorerNTLM Trusts between 2003 and NT4
2003 Servers with Hibernation enabledReading Shortcuts with PowerShell and VBSModifying DLL Resources
Automatically mapping printersSimple string encryption with PowerShellUseful NTFS and security command-line operations
Useful Windows Printer command-line operationsUseful Windows MSCS Cluster command-line operation...Useful VMware ESX and VC command-line operations
Useful general command-line operationsUseful DNS, DHCP and WINS command-line operationsUseful Active Directory command-line operations
Useful command-linesCreating secedit templates with PowerShellFixing Permissions with NTFS intra-volume moves
Converting filetime with vbs and PowerShellDifference between bat and cmdReplica Domain for Authentication
Troubleshooting Windows PrintingRenaming a user account in ADOpsMgr 2007 Reports - Sorting, Filtering, Charting...
WMIC XSL CSV output formattingEnumerating File Server ResourcesWMIC Custom Alias and Format
AD site discoveryPassing Parameters between OpsMgr and SSRSAnalyzing Windows Kernel Dumps
Process list with command-line argumentsOpsMgr 2007 Customized Reporting - SQL QueriesPreventing accidental NTFS data moves
FSRM and NTFS Quotas in 2003 R2PowerShell Deleting NTFS Alternate Data StreamsNTFS links - reparse, symbolic, hard, junction
IE Warnings when files are executedPowerShell Low-level keyboard hookCross-forest authentication and GP processing
Deleting Invalid SMS 2003 Distribution PointsCross-forest authentication and site synchronizati...Determining AD attribute replication
AD Security vs Distribution GroupsTroubleshooting cross-forest trust secure channels...RIS cross-domain access
Large SMS Web Reports return Error 500Troubleshooting SMS 2003 MP and SLPRemotely determine physical memory
VMware SDK with PowershellSpinning Excel Pie ChartPoke-Info PowerShell script
Reading web content with PowerShellAutomated Cluster File Security and PurgingManaging printers at the command-line
File System Filters and minifiltersOpsMgr 2007 SSRS Reports using SQL 2005 XMLAccess Based Enumeration in 2003 and MSCS
Find VM snapshots in ESX/VCComparing MSCS/VMware/DFS File & PrintModifying Exchange mailbox permissions
Nested 'for /f' catch-allPowerShell FindFirstFileW bypassing MAX_PATHRunning PowerSell Scripts from ASP.Net
Binary <-> Hex String files with PowershellOpsMgr 2007 Current Performance InstancesImpersonating a user without passwords
Running a process in the secure winlogon desktopShadow an XP Terminal Services sessionFind where a user is logged on from
Active Directory _msdcs DNS zonesUnlocking XP/2003 without passwords2003 Cluster-enabled scheduled tasks
Purging aged files from the filesystemFinding customised ADM templates in ADDomain local security groups for cross-forest secu...
Account Management eventlog auditingVMware cluster/Virtual Center StatisticsRunning scheduled tasks as a non-administrator
Audit Windows 2003 print server usageActive Directory DiagnosticsViewing NTFS information with nfi and diskedit
Performance Tuning for 2003 File ServersChecking ESX/VC VMs for snapshotsShowing non-persistent devices in device manager
Implementing an MSCS 2003 server clusterFinding users on a subnetWMI filter for subnet filtered Group Policy
Testing DNS records for scavengingRefreshing Computer Account AD Group MembershipTesting Network Ports from Windows
Using Recovery Console with RISPAE Boot.ini Switch for DEP or 4GB+ memoryUsing 32-bit COM objects on x64 platforms
Active Directory Organizational Unit (OU) DesignTroubleshooting computer accounts in an Active Dir...260+ character MAX_PATH limitations in filenames
Create or modify a security template for NTFS perm...Find where a user is connecting from through WMISDDL syntax in secedit security templates

About Me

I’ve worked in IT for over 20 years, and I know just about enough to realise that I don’t know very much.