Exploring vSphere 6.5 API-Part 1: Datacenter & Cluster

By | 17/12/2016

I am using API for quite a bit now in our prod environment which is based on vCloud Director and many times API’s had proved a handy way to troubleshoot issues where GUI was not providing a way to proceed.

Inspired by vCD API’s, i decided to test that in my vSphere 6.5 lab and in this post I will try to demonstrate few queries which can be helpful in fetching info in your infrastructure.

In my lab I am exploring REST API’s using a linux tool called curl.

1: You can browse list of API’s by browsing https://vcenter-fqdn/ and clicking on “Browse vSphere Rest API’s”



2: To start with you can use below query to see what are the different options available

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept:application/json’ -u “vc-user” -X GET https://vcenter-fqdn/rest/

You will see below URL’s in output:



3: You can list the available components which can be explored via REST API by using below query

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept:application/json’ -u “vcadmin@alex” -X GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/component

Available Options

GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vcenter.ovf
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=applmgmt
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.cis
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vcenter.inventory
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vcenter
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vapi.vcenter
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.cis.tagging
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.content
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=vmon_vapi_provider
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vapi.rest.navigation
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vcenter.iso
GET https://vcentersrv03.alex.local/rest/com/vmware/vapi/rest/navigation/service?component_id=com.vmware.vapi

Let’s start with exploring available options for Datacenter and Clusters

List all datacenter in a vCenter

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: cf2cc0c3b07bd3a01224f06aa00fea59’ -X GET https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/datacenter

Output of above query will contain name of all datacenter that has been created in a vCenter



Details about particular datacenter

You can fetch details like host_folder, network_folder etc for a specific datacenter by using below query. You can use those details in doing scripting for automated deployment of stuffs.

Note: Do not use datacenter name in below query. Use id which you obtained in above step.

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: cf2cc0c3b07bd3a01224f06aa00fea59’ -X GET https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/datacenter/datacenter-2



Delete an empty datacenter

You can delete an empty datacenter using below query

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: cf2cc0c3b07bd3a01224f06aa00fea59’ -X DELETE https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/datacenter/datacenter-58

If you get Http 200 OK it means query have been executed successfully. You can also verify successful deletion of datacenter from vCenter Web Client.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 18:16:17 GMT
Content-Length: 0

Force removal of datacenter (when datacenter is not empty)

If a datacenter is not empty, you can force delete the contents and datacenter by specifying force=true in the API query

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: cf2cc0c3b07bd3a01224f06aa00fea59′ -X DELETE https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/datacenter/datacenter-68?force=true’


Show all cluster in a vCenter

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: 4ca9afd3971255748599bc9e47c4f4a1’ -X GET https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/cluster

Output of above query will list all clusters present in a vCenter. Also you will get cluster id and details about cluster properties like HA/DRS etc.


List particular Cluster

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: 4ca9afd3971255748599bc9e47c4f4a1’ -X GET https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/cluster?filter.names=Cybertron

Output will tell you the resource_pool id which is associated with cluster ‘cybertron’


List all cluster in a given Datacenter

If you have multiple virtual datacenters in vcenter and you want to fetch details of all clusters which are in a given datacenter, you can do so by applying a filter with datacenter id in the query.

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: 4ca9afd3971255748599bc9e47c4f4a1’ -X GET https://vcentersrv01.alex.local/rest/vcenter/cluster?filter.datacenters=datacenter-2

Details of a particular cluster 

Details of a particular cluster can be fetched using below query.

Note that after /cluster I have given cluster id and not the cluster name. If you specify cluster name here, you will get error that ‘resource do not exist’

# curl -sik -H ‘Accept: application/json’ -H ‘vmware-api-session-id: 4ca9afd3971255748599bc9e47c4f4a1’ -X GET


Thats it for this post. This a very basic overview of using API calls. There is a lot to explore and I will try to dive a bit deep in future posts of this series.

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