On this page you’ll find ESXi Monitoring tools as well as Free Tools for VMware, Microsoft. This is one of the best selections of Free Tools for VMware and Microsoft. Monitoring tools for virtual infrastructure, but also backup products. All products here are free, because usually you can upgrade to paid product to get even more functions. Free VMware Monitoring Tools are the essentials that VMware admins can use and implement when managing virtual infrastructures running VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V. Many of them has been awarded during VMworlds.
There are also other tools which are useful for IT admins and technicians. Those are more specific tools for troubleshooting Windows, Partitioning tools, Microsoft Active directory, SQL , Exchange and other enterprise class apps… There is no particular order… -:
Veeam Backup Full Edition v9 (Trial) : Just download the trial and play with full version during 30 days. After 30 days it transforms itself into a free version… which can do full backups of single VM at a time of VMware ESX/ESXi environment.
Update: Veeam Backup and Replication 9 Released !!! – detailed post.
Veeam ONE Free = Veeam Reporter + Veeam Monitor + Veeam Business View. Get it here. Full data collection, multi-user support, and Microsoft SQL Server backend. There are no limits on the number of hosts, virtual machines (VMs), users or the size of your archive — you can discover, document and analyze your entire virtual infrastructure, and maintain a complete history of all objects, settings and changes.
Operations Manager Lite – Operations Manager Lite assures application performance while utilizing the infrastructure as efficiently as possible. It is a 100% free product for one VMware vCenter cluster with up to four hosts. Download your copy of VMturbo Operations Manager Lite!
Virtual Health Monitor – Multi Hypervisor, can span multiple datacenters or hosts. No number of hosts limitations or VMs limitation. The Virtual Health Monitor is Free Download and use product. Packaged as single Virtual Appliance. Completely agent-less solution. It uses the “same engine” as the full product VMturbo Operations Manager, When you download the product, it automatically downloads the full 30 days trial where you can test all the features.
Nakivo Backup and Replication – Quite new company, but already version 6 of their product! They also have completely free version or if you are VMUG member, VMware vExpert, VCP, VSP, VTSP, or VCI you can receive a FREE two-socket Not For Resale (NFR) license of NAKIVO Backup & Replication for your home or work lab.
I published several articles about Nakivo. Check out the latest one here. Latest feature? For example, the Flash VM Boot feature allowing to recover VMs directly from backup repository….
Trilead/HPE VM Explorer : VM Explorer is a backup tool and replication tool, which is licensed per site. (not per CPU Socket). Check the product page at Trilead here. Free version has limited functions (can only do full backups, and other limits), but I like the easy to use and install. My latest post her What’s new in Trilead/HPE VM Explorer 6.0? shows that Trilead now support vSphere 6 and also support for Hyper-V. So it’s truly multi-hypervisor product now. The 6.0 release added possibility to encrypt backups and incremental backups, Added support for LVM and LDM partitions in File Level Restore, Added Copy Backup Task feature allowing to schedule copies of existing configured backups.
Altaro VM backup – Free for 2 VMs. Forever. Check it out! The free version can backup just 2 VMs per host. All interesting features are in the more advanced, Unlimited edition. But you can start with the free one. The Free edition does not provide offsite backups, file level restore or a possibility to restore on a different host either. Check the edition compare and pricing here.
Snapwatcher for VMware – snapshot detection for VMware infrastructure. Can detect invalid, broken snapshots. Easy to install app. I have reviewed the enterprise version which can also fix and delete broken snapshots from within the console. It’s possible to hook several vCenter servers and have the whole environment being monitored. Download from Opvizor.
- Monitor snapshots across VMware infrastructure – can connect to multiple vCenters at a time to give you an overview on snapshots usage, size, history
- Gain precious space on your storage systems – Provides Top 5 by size, to find the most space taking snapshots from within your infrastructure.
- Fixing Broken Snapshots – deletes broken, old and invalid snapshots with single click to gain space.
- Delete VM Snapshots within the main console – several vCenter servers or individual ESXi hosts can be managed with single pane of glass
ESXi Free Web Client Interface – New free tool (fling) from VMware labs now allows to manage ESXi host via web client without the need of vCenter server. ESXi Free Web client interface (HTML 5 based) allows to manage a host without the need of the legacy C++ Windows client. The utility is bundled as a vib and can be installed on ESXi host via SSH (via Putty for example) without the need to reboot the host.
Not all features are present yet. Some yes, like VM operations (Power on, off, reset, suspend, etc); Creating a new VM, from scratch or from OVF/OVA (limited OVA support), Configuring NTP on a host, Displaying summaries, events, tasks and notifications/alerts, Providing a console to VMs, Configuring host networking, Configuring host advanced settings, Configuring host services…. Check my post with video on how to install it on ESXi host. The ESXi Embedded Host Client page at VMware Labs.
PoshPAIG – free utility called PoshPAIG (PowerShell Audit Installation GUI) is developed and maintained by Boe Prox at learn-powershell.net. Download from the product page. The tool allows you to Audit installed patches, Install patches remotely. The possibility to export the results to CSV files is also included.
This very interesting feature for doing PowerShell Audit and Patch Installation on windows server systems, where you need to gather a list of patches deployed etc. You can also remote – reboot the managed servers. Read my article on how to install and use this tool here.
Veeam Endpoint Backup – destined for physical PCs/ laptops. Can do a volume or file level backups. The restore of Full PC/ laptop or individual files is possible. Check my post with video with details here. The product is free and will stay free. Recently updated to support Windows 10, the version 1.1 also adds resizing of partition when restoring option and Universal restore (to dissimilar hardware) options enhancements. The 1.5 version adds e-mail reports or possibility to eject the USB disk after backup – additional protection against Ransomware! Veeam Endpoint Backup is destined to protect physical computers/laptops by creating image level backups (note: can also do file level backup, but is slower) where the 1st backup is Full and the next backups are incremental.
Veeam FastSCP for Microsoft Azure – Veeam FastSCP for Microsoft Azure is meant to be used by developers willing to copy file to and from VMs running in Microsoft Azure. So you can copy files to and from inside of a VM, which is normally not so fast, and it’s painful if for example you do it through RDP.
It’s standalone and Free tool from Veeam. No integration with other software products from Veeam. Check the detailed post and download link here.
Lightweight VMs for Home lab and Nested lab
Size: 64MB RAM/SCSI HD (LSI Logic) 1GB (Thinly Provisioned)
Root Account Password: root
SSH account: VMware1!
SSH password: VMware1!
For vSphere 5.x – vCenter Certificate Automation Tool 1.0.1
– command line tool called vCenter Certificate Automation Tool 1.0.1 which enables you to automate the deployment of certificates for different vCenter components like SSO, vCenter, View Connection server etc… The tool does provide automation of deployment, but does not manage the actual generation of SSL certificates, which needs to be done through other methods. It does not deploy certificates for using in ESXi hosts, the tool manage (deploy, replace) certificates in vCenter components only. Download the SSL Certificate Automation Tool. Other Links:
Certificate Manager for vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 – – this tool is available only for VCSA 5.5. It’s a GUI utility JAVA based. It’s provided by VMware labs. It allows to replace certificates for vCenter Server, Inventory Service, Log Browser, and Auto Deploy and it uses GUI front end. graphical user interface (GUI) application to replace digital certificates on the vCenter Server Appliance.
Easily deploy by selecting the components that need digital certificates replaced. This Fling works with vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 only. In version 6.0 of vSphere the certificates are managed through vSphere Web client.
VMware OS Optimization tool – The tool has been newly updated. It’s fast utility which can optimize different settings which slowing down the VDI desktops when using default settings only. Many services, registry settings, scheduled tasks etc….
The latest release has updated templates for Windows 7/8/10/Server 20089-2012 – based on VMware’s OS Optimization Guide, New templates for Windows 2008/2012 RDSH servers for use as a desktop, Single portal EXE design for ease of deployment and distribution, Combination of Remote and Local tools into one tool, Better template management, with built-in and user-definable templates, Results report export feature. Various bug fixes, usability enhancements, and GUI layout updates. Get your copy of VMware Os Optimization utility here.
vCenter Support Assistant – free download from VMware product page here. Not only you can use this product to create and fill support requests, but also to generate and collect logs with direct upload capability. vCenter support assistant 5.1 is available is virtual appliance, which gets deployed from OVF file. Two types of support requests are available through the product:
- Support requests
- Feature requests (for products you have entitlements)
For Desktops or VDI:
Free Backup Tool for Desktop OS – One Click Restore software from Keriver is able to do a full, incremental or differential images of the underlying OS. If you look for a tool which provide some kind of central management console, this is not the tool you should be looking for. It’s rather simple tool for few individual desktops. In the past I’ve been using the well known names like Norton Ghost or Acronis, which are long time being on the market, but today I stumbled through this too and I thought that it’s worth sharing…
VDI calculator – VDI calculator allows is used for VDI projects for sizing and calculating VDI environments. This tool which was previously Flash based online tool, can be now executed offline, without internet connection. Provided as a free tool online, by Andre Leibovici – www.myvirtualcloud.net . It helps to do a calculations concerning the sizing of your VMware View Infrastructure. The VDI calculator is targeted for VMware View designs, however you can use the tool for any VDI running on top of vSphere infrastructure. The latest update includes the metrics for VMware Storage Accelerator – Content Read Based Cache (CRBC).
Xangati For vSphere – “Update“:this tool is no longer free. Unique capability of real time monitoring. It’s a virtual appliance for one ESX(i) host, but you can deploy one xangati per host if you wish. You have a possibility to fully configure of What you See on the dashboard, even if the appliance comes up with 3 different modes already pre-configured. The very popular DVR recording feature stays present and in addition, in the paid version this recording starts automatically when a performance hit will trigger a real-time alert. This feature can also be coupled with VMware vCenter alarms. Xangati for vSphere 14-days trial here !!! You can also read my Detailed Review I’ve done on Xangati’s product here. (an old post)
Starwind Virtual SAN – Free version (limited to 2 hosts). The free version of Starwind Virtual SAN offers some good possibilities : Data Deduplication, Unlimited storage capacity & unlimited number of supported concurrent iSCSI connections. Full Production use is allowed. Caching – a multi-level cache mechanism can use gigabytes of RAM and converts it into extremely fast level 1 write-back or write-through cache. Continuous Data Protection and Snapshots that are completely compatible with VSS (Volume Snapshot Services). iSCSI boot is fully supported with iSCSI boot capable NIC. Download your copy of Starwind Virtual SAN.
Check out my articles How-to setup Starwind Virtual SAN in Free Hyper-V 2012 R2 part 1 and part 2.
PowerShell Plus 4.7 – professional tool from Idera. There is a free tool from Idera which has appeared recently on my radar, and even if I’m not a PowerShell guru, this tool might make me “like” the PowerShell thingy a bit more than usually. Read my detailed article about PowerShell Plus 4.7 here. Download Free PowerShell Plus 4.7 here.
It’s fairly difficult to get SQL Express with or without the management studio, with 3 different versions (2008, 2012 and 2014..). I gathered the links to this 6 direct downloads links (x64 bit versions only!!)
SQL Server (Express version) with or without Management Studio – direct Download links:
- 2008R2 SP2 – SQLExpress 2008 with management studio or Management studio only.
- 2012 – SQLExpress 2012 with management studio or Management studio only.
- 2014 – SQLExpress 2014 with management studio or Management studio only.
Windows Management Framework 5.0
Has updates to Windows PowerShell, Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC), Windows Remote Management (WinRM), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).
- Download the correct package for your operating system and architecture from this page at Microsoft. The following architectures are supported.
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- x64: W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu
- Windows Server 2012
- x64: W2K12-KB3094175-x64.msu
- Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
- x64: W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu
- Windows 8.1
- x64: W2K12R2-KB3094174-x64.msu
- x86: Win8.1-KB3094174-x86.msu
- Windows 7 SP1
- x64: W2K8R2-KB3094176-x64.msu
- x86: Win7-KB3094176-x86.msu
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- Close all Windows PowerShell windows.
- Instructions specific to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
- Ensure following prerequisites have been met:
- Latest service pack is installed.
- WMF 4.0 is installed.
- WinRM Dependency:
- Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) depends on WinRM. WinRM is not enabled by default on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. To enable WinRM, in a Windows PowerShell elevated session, run Set-WSManQuickConfig.
- Ensure following prerequisites have been met:
Core Configurator 2.0 – free config tool for Windows Server 2008R2 Core – works with Windows Server 2008R2 x64 core only. The tool is provided as an ISO, so to run the Core Configurator 2.0 just mount the ISO and run Start_CoreConfig.wsf. Here is the link to the developper’s page: http://coreconfig.codeplex.com/
vCenter Pre-Upgrade Checker – The VMware vCenter Pre-Upgrade Checker not only detects problems, but also miss-configuration and can avoid performance problems after the upgrade. The tool produces as an output single zip file. Inside of this zip file there is the database signature file and also the message log from running the upgrade checker tool.
AOMEI PE Builder – Supported on Windows 7/8 based systems (x32 or x64) but also on Windows Server 2008/2012 based systems. The server platform support is good thing in case that you’re system administrator and maintaining physical server boxes.
It allows creating Win PE bootable environment without installing Microsoft WAIK. The tool has also some built-in tools and additionally you can add your own utilities very easy which gets exported in the final ISO.
Note: You can install it only on Win 7/8 (not 8.1) or server 2008/2012 (not R2). But once created you can use it to boot systems from windows XP/2000/Vista/7/8/8.1 and Server 2000/2003/12008/2012…. Product page.
PuTTyTray – It’s a free tool which can be personalized and which is cool. One of the personalization possibilities is, as you can imagine and according to its name, to have it running in Windows tray with eventually an option to open the window on simple click. The personalizations can be done via Right clicking the app > Change settings.
- Minimizing to the system tray (on CTRL + minimize, always or directly on startup)
- Icons are customizable
- Blinks tray icon when a bell signal is received
- Configurable window transparency
- URL hyperlinking
- Portability: optionally stores session configuration in files (for example: on a USB drive) like portaPuTTY
- Easy access to the ‘always on top’ setting (in the system menu)
- Android adb support
Setting up appearance or hyperlinks. Source Website: PuttyTray
YUMI – Yumi provides you with a list of pre-programmed Linux Distributions and Utilities that are available for multi-boot USB creation. You can choose any of those tools from a drop down menu. Second step is to point to the ISO file so YUMI can extract the necessary files and copy them to the particular folder on the USB stick. YUMI has almost all distros of Linux but also antivirus, system tools and other utilities which can’t be put into particular category but shall be on every administrator’s USB stick toolbox. Download YUMI. Check How to Create Multiboot USB Stick With Veeam Recovery ISOs for Different Systems.
V-Front Online Depot for ESXi software – Provided by Andreas Peetz from v-front.de . Allows to use PowerCLI or VUM to install Add-ons and patches to your ESXi hosts. http://www.v-front.de/2013/12/announcing-v-front-online-depot-for.html
VMware Converter Standalone – This is a free tool from VMware that everybody knows. Use a converter to do P2V conversions, adjust Virtual disk size during V2V conversions, change from Thick to thin … See how to shrink VMDK size in my post here. You can check my post on How-to disable the SSL to speed up the conversion process. If you have many VMs to convert, want to speed up the conversions by disabling SSL via script.From v. 5.0 of Converter, there is the possibility of alignment of converted VMs on a destination datastore. Converter 6.1.1 supports conversion from Hyper-V v3 VMs (powered off) and also Windows 10 systems.
You can gain up to 30% in performance. See my post on it here. It can be used as “Poor man’s DR solution” . It’s the same version which is bundled with vSphere Essentials, Essentials Plus or higher versions of VMware vSphere. In case you need the Cold clone ISO – you can get it from my Dropbox Folder. Don’t have dropbox for yourself? Get one now with 5Gigs of free space.
VMware Player – VMware Player is great for doing some demos or testing. It luck a lot of features from VMware Workstation like snapshots, connection to the vSphere infrastructure and many others, but I like to use it because it’s very lightweight and handy and the recent features like unity are really great… You can have your VM in the background and the windows and programs executing inside this VM are “in front”. The unity mode is just signaled by an red icon on the window. You will not see the VM player windows floating on your desktop, but the applications.
RVTools – Quick inventory can be done with this free tool from Rob de Veij. It’s a small MSI package which after installation can list information about cpu, memory, disks, NICs, cd-ROM, floppy drives, snapshots, VMware tools, ESX hosts and datastores. Download RV Tools from here. The latest version is 3.8 and it’s been released recently. Pretty useful to quickly gather different information about your infrastructure.
vSphere Mini Monitor – free monitoring tool for VI running under vSphere. If you’re more than one administrator of your vCenter, with this tools you can see what the others are doing. It does monitor a large number of changes to multiple objects within the vCenter environment. See my post about vSphere Mini monitor here.
Putty is used for remote SSH to the VMware ESX service console and Linux servers or desktops. Putty is one of the “classic tools”. Everybody knows putty…. there is also putty portable you can carry around on your USB stick. You can download Putty Here and Putty portable here.
svfAlarms – By chance I stumbled through this free GUI utility called svfAlarms, which enables you toimport and export vCenter Alarms. There are some 37 default alarms in vCenter 4, 55 default alarms in vCenter5 and 61 default alarms in vCenter5.1 Alarm definitions can be fairly complex and to manage and document alarms, duplicate them across multiple vCenter installations and also to keep a managed state can be time consuming for administrators. The sfvAlarms utility can help simplify the alarm management task. Read my post or Download the utility.
ESXi Customizer – user-friendly GUI tool from Andreas Peetz, that automates the process of customizing the ESXi install-ISO with drivers that are not originally included. Unlike other scripts and manuals that are available for this purpose ESXi Customizer runs entirely on Windows and does not require any knowledge of or access to Linux. Read my detailed post or download the tool.
Find inactive computer accounts in Active Directory – AD Tidy Tool – After running a reporting tool which brings results, you can select the desired records and do some actions, like disabling, moving, adding/removing to/from groups etc. You can also set expiration data on objects.
The tool uses powerful filtering options and can do a lot of actions. You can also build your own action sequences or export pie charts. The creator of this tool is Chris Wright from the UK.
GParted Live ISO – I’m sure that everyone know this tool. But still I want to share me recent experience. You know that with the new hosts I got for my lab there is the Supermicro’s iPMI remote management, and I found myself too lazy after all. All you need to do to attach a GParted Live ISO, then boot the system on it and then do what you have to do. No need to burn the iso or to create a bootable USB stick.
The Gparted Live ISO can directly attach to the system, you boot on it and it can be used to format or create partitions on local disks. Check their website at www.gparted.org or my post how-to wipe local disks and prepare them for VMware VSAN
One of my partners, VMturbo, just let me know that they got Free DataCenter Stencils to download (registration is required). You can check it out here. Those datacenter stencils are available in two formats:
- Microsoft Visio
VMware Goodies !
VMware Network port diagram – get it from this page.
vSphere 6.0 ESXTOP poster quick overview for troubleshooting.
VMware vSphere 6 Memory Management and Monitoring diagram explain not only the four principal memory management techniques that vSphere 6 uses.
I’m sure that you have already seen the diagrams like those and I’m sure that you recognize the author – Hany Michael who works for VMware -:).