VMware vSphere goodies and freebies. The best of Free Tools VMware. Those tools are Free to use in production environment, they are not time limited trials. They are free, because usually you can upgrade to get even more functions. Those Free VMware Tools are the essentials that VMware admins can use and implement for free when managing virtual infrastructures running VMware. Many of them has been awarded during VMworld. Some of those tools can manage Hyper-V, Xen or Windows environments.
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 4.0, When you download the product, it automatically downloads the full 30 days trial where you can test all the features.
Veeam Backup Free Edition : Also called VeeamZIP . Can do full backups of single VM at a time of VMware ESX/ESXi environment. Don’t do incrementals, or replications, like the full product does. Can copy file from one ESX to another. Useful for archiving VMs, (has some great compression ratio – read my post and see the video here), You can also transport archived VMs to the DR site with an USB drive etc…. Download Veeam Backup Free Edition here.
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.
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)
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.
Foglight for Virtualization - Free Edition. The free suite now integrate Six Free Tools. The latest, Snapshot Explorer, adds visibility to norma and orphanned snapshots, with also VSplus the others: Storage Explorer and Change Explorer, which joins the free Environment Explorer, already present in previous release. Another Tab is Search MyVM Explorer - possibility to do multi level searches. The searching is instant and very fast, with the possibility to the results to be easily exported in XML, PDF or CSV format. In fact, the tool is a “light” version of their main product called vOperations Suite and which uses the main analytics engine to discover, which VM or which host (depends of the view you choose) has got an issue. You can find more details about this free tool at the Dell software site.
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:
Free vWorkspace Destkop Optimizer by Quest – a very nice freeware which helps to optimize different settings of Virtual desktops or VMs running inside of VMware Workstation too… -:). This tiny application comes with XML file where one can make it’s own personalization too… When tested with Windows 7 clean install, non optimized, the test showed some huge benefits of such an optimization. The optimizations applied by the Quest vWorkspace Desktop Optimizer the IOPS – both read and write – were reduced by more than 90% in test environment. Up to 10% of RAM savings together with up to 37% of CPU less (the tests were done with no users logged in). You can get this tool from Quest for Free.
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, by Andre Leibovici - www.myvirtualcloud.net (now working at VMware). 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 - Free tool from Xangati which has an 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 can be found for Free here. You can also read my Detailed Review I’ve done on Xangati’s product here.
VMware Boomerang - a Fling application which can connect to multiple vCenter servers or ESX/ESXi servers and favorite the most used VMs for faster access. You no more have to have multiple vSphere clients windows open on your desktop to manage multiple ESX/ESXi servers which are not attached into a vCenter. One could imagine that this little tool can help you in a situation where you don’t have a vCenter in your organization – you’re running only ESXi Free VMware Hypervizor…. Read More – >
Starwind SAN – Free version. The free version of Starwind 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 SAN.
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.
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
VMware vCenter Converter Standalone - This is a free tool from VMware that everybody knows. Use 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. Check out this post from Brian. From v. 5.0 of Converter, there is the possibility of alignment of converted VMs on a destination datastore. 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 6.0 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 3.5 and it’s been released recently. Pretty useful to quickly gather different informations 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.
Trilead VM Explorer : VM Explorer is a backup tool and replication tool, which is licensed per site. (not per CPU Socket). You can connect easily to your existing infrastructure under vSphere 5 . Older version of vSphere are also supported. My Full review of the product can be found here: Trilead VM Explorer 4.0 review.
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 report 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.
VMware Goodies !
VMware Network port diagram – get it from this page.
vSphere 5.5 ESXTOP poster quick overview for troubleshooting.
VMware vSphere 5 Memory Management and Monitoring diagram explains not only the four principal memory management techniques that vSphere 5 uses.
The video which is part of the KB article will walks you through ESXTOP utility to show you where to find the different memory metrics and what they’re for. Also you’ll find out about the vSphere memory reclamation techniques (with animations) and how they work.
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 -:). Get your copy.