Managing Hyper-V from the command line prompt

Administering a Hyper-V environment through the command line prompt saves time and reduces mistakes. These resources demonstrate how to run commands and cmdlets in Hyper-V.

Keith Kessinger, Assistant Site Editor

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is an effective management tool for Hyper-V environments, but it will never replace the command line prompt.

PowerShell -- Hyper-V's predominant scripting language -- excels at automation, especially for batch provisioning and configuration of virtual machines (VMs). But PowerShell commands and cmdlets can also perform a host of management and monitoring functions.

This section provides a foundation for Hyper-V commands with tips and articles about how PowerShell works in Microsoft's virtualization platform as well as the top commands and cmdlets for Hyper-V and SCVMM.

Getting started with Windows PowerShell and Microsoft Hyper-V
PowerShell is a versatile scripting language that executes commands in both VMware and Hyper-V environments. From the command line prompt, it automates administrative processes, which ensures consistency and saves time. Inexperienced Hyper-V admins should learn PowerShell to simplfy their work.

Top Hyper-V PowerShell cmdlets for basic tasks
Even without SCVMM, Hyper-V can run PowerShell scripts. After installing the Hyper-V PowerShell module, try out some of its basic functions. Here are five rudimentary PowerShell cmdlets for the Hyper-V command line prompt.

SCVMM PowerShell scripts simplify administrative tasks
The SCVMM add-on provides even more PowerShell functionality to Hyper-V. SCVMM scripts can run on several virtualization platforms, including Hyper-V (R1 and R2), Virtual Server 2005 and VMware. Because of this, SCVMM's scripting guide is quite thorough.

How to use PowerShell or VBScript scripting with Hyper-V
Hyper-V's scripting environment is called Windows Management Instrumentation, which can run PowerShell and VBScript commands. These scripting languages provide a hefty toolset for Hyper-V admins. Before diving into complex commands and cmdlets, however, you need a strong understanding of the basics.

This was first published in September 2010

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