Describes some importatant characteristics of the VMware vSphere PowerCLI objects.
For their input and output, the VMware vSphere PowerCLI cmdlets use a set of .NET types that reside in the VMware.VimAutomation.ViCore.Types namespace. For example, the VMware.VimAutomation.ViCore.Types.V1.Inventory.VirtualMachine type describes virtual machine objects.
Each PowerCLI object represents a snapshot of the initial state of a server-side object by the time the PowerCLI object is created. Note that when the server-side object state changes, the state of the PowerCLI object is not automatically updated. To obtain the latest version, you have to retrieve the PowerCLI object from the server again.
This behavior of the PowerCLI objects has some implications illustrated by the following example scenarios.
1. User A obtains an OSCustomizationSpec object ( and stores it in a PowerShell variable).
2. User B runs the Set-OSCustomizationSpec cmdlet to change the Administrator's Password in the OS customization specification.
3. User A runs the Set-VM cmdlet providing the OSCustomizationSpec object obtained in step 1 as a parameter input.
In result, User A unsuccessfully tries to perform the virtual machine OS customization, without knowing that the AdminPassword property of the OSCustomizationSpec server-side object has been changed by User B.
1. User A obtains a VirtualMachine object (and stores it in a PowerShell variable). The virtual machine is powered off.
2. User B powers the virtual machine on.
3. The PowerState property of the VirtualMachine object stored by User A is not updated and its value is PowerdOff. User A tries to power on the virtual machine using the Start-VM cmdlet.
In result, Start-VM reports an error because the virtual machine is already powered on by User B.
Another important case is working with Task objects. The Get-Task cmdlet returns a Task object and the state of this object is a snapshot of the initial server-side task state. Once you save the retrieved Task object in a PowerShell variable, its State property is never updated with the current state of the task on the server. To check if the server-side task has changed its state, run the Wait-Task cmdlet using the Task object variable as a parameter.
In all cases, when you run a cmdlet it always retrieves and uses the latest version of the object properties for the specified parameters.
PROPERTIES LOADED ON-DEMAND
Some of the properties of the PowerCLI objects return other PowerCLI objects. Usually, when you first call such a property, it returns the output object and caches it for a faster return. Thus, every subsequent call to this property returns the cached object. However, every time when you retrieve an object through a cmdlet, the cached values of its properties are erased and the on-demand retrieving of the properties begins again.
To address new properties of objects returned by PowerCLI cmdlets, PowerCLI introduces circular references.
For example, the VirtualMachine object has a property named VMResourceConfiguration that is of type VMResourceConfiguration. The VMResourceConfiguration type has a property named VM that is of type VirtualMachine.
In this case, the following expression is true:
$vm.VMResourceConfiguration.VM.Uid -eq $vm.Uid
The circular references should be taken into account when you use the Format-Custom cmdlet. By default, the Format-Custom cmdlet makes a full traversal of an object and its references, and this might cause an infinite loop (for example, Get-VM | Format-Custom).
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