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I know you can use it to update the server, but you can also use the VMware vSphere CLI for that.

Why would I want to have a VMA Virtual Machine installed for my ESXi server?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The vMA provides some great tools, as mentioned above, such as vCLI and vilogger. vCLI allows you to run legacy scripts, that you may have been running in your previous VMware environments that have the service console, in vSphere ESX 4.0, 3.5, etc. Also the esxcfg- commands that you might have grown accustomed to running will work in the vCLI. Vilogger, when enabled, will grab all the syslog files off the inventoried hosts. All your messages, kernel, etc logs will be pulled to a directory on the virtual appliance. If you do better with videos, then VMware has this 10 minute video explaining vMA.

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vMA packages all the tools in one easy to use VM. You don't need to use it instead of the VMware vSphere CLI, but you might find it easier.

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the vCLI on Windows that's based off of Perl gets the job done, but it's still using the Command Prompt; I think that's why they created vMA. There's now the VMware PowerCLI based off of Power Shell which is a big improvement too. – gravyface May 21 '11 at 2:18

I redirect my ESXi logs to vMA . ( poor mans syslog server ). Also with VIFP in vMA, makes it easier to bounce between hosts.

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