VMware PowerCLI contains snap-ins and modules based on Microsoft PowerShell for automating vSphere and vCloud Director administration. PowerCLI provides C# and PowerShell interfaces for vSphere and other VMware product administration.

PowerCLI is based on Microsoft PowerShell and uses the PowerShell basic syntax and concepts. Microsoft PowerShell is both a command-line and scripting environment, designed for Windows. It uses the .NET object model and provides administrators with system administration and automation capabilities. To work with PowerShell, you run commands, which are called cmdlets.

PowerShell supports features such as pipelines, wildcards, and easy access to command-line help.

You can use ESXCLI commands from the PowerCLI console, by using the following options.

Through the cmdlet that provides direct access to the ESXCLI namespaces, applications, and commands.

Through .NET methods, which you use to create managed objects that correspond to specific ESXCLI applications. To access the ESXCLI, you can call methods on these managed objects.

See the PowerCLI User’s Guide in the vSphere documentation center.