Why automate day to day tasks VDI or other?

How many of you have never thought about automating any of the VDI tasks? Or think your environment is too small to automate? Or the best one of them all….I don’t have time to automate!

Slap….Wake up and smell the PowerCLI!


At one point in time, I believed my environment was too small and I had no time to script. Wow was I wrong! Looking back that was the wrong way to be thinking. In reality, you should be thinking about how to be scripting everything. Even the simple things like create pool, or power on VM. You should really be scripting these for change control. Not only does it force you to do something the same way in a repeatable fashion but, it also creates an automatic record of what you did.

In the early years of my career I would write PowerShell scripts to create users, and groups, folders and stuff in Active Directory. But never dreamed of automating parts of Horizon. I really did not think there was away. Their kind of was but it was more of a hope and pray method a few years back. Not till recent code releases and PowerCLI began to mature did we get to open our wings and do more with it. There is still a ton to be desired with the PowerCLI interface for horizon but its growing quick.

It seems like it was just yesterday I was stumbling around trying to figure out how to make a linked clone pool or make an entitlement change. But really it kind of was. Once I realized how powerful it was to write small bits of PowerShell to create change documents it was so much simpler to document the process and show what you did. Not to mention the time savings as you have either learned how to do the task or you remember where you used it before.

So why write scripts at all? It saves you time, and effort in doing the actual task, not to mention it creates a repeatable process and documents the process for you in the process of writing the task out. And the more you do it the fast your become at pickup and creating new tasks.

My environments too small to automate! That’s BS. If you have to do a task more than once ever than its worth it. If you spend 10 mins figuring out how to create a new VDI pool would it not be worth it to save you 5 mins every time you have to do it from that point forward. Not to mention the above facts of your documentation.

I don’t have time to automate! I was once this person, and still am. But you know what, that’s when you take the time and set it aside, or create a fake meeting to write a few simple task out to free up 10 mins more of your day, and continue this process and create more and more to free up more time so you can take the time and build bigger and more complex tasks to free up more time. In turn, you are automating yourself into having more time to do more automation.

Over the last 8 months or so I have been working on a monster code to automate the update process of a master image for a VDI clone and then the recompose process. Really, it’s not a huge script or extremely complex but for me, it has been a huge learning experience for me. And the process through it has actually created time for me to write more of the code as I was able to use it in stages. The fruits of my labor and passion will, in turn, will save my company 100’s of Thousands of dollars a year in labor. And forced me to learn a ton in the process. More to come on that over the next few weeks.


About childebrandt42

I am a jack of all trades and a master of a few things. Manage a enterprise VDI deployment for a living. Automate things, work on my media server and fish for hobbies. Monkey tamer at home!
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