Free VMware Tools you can use to monitor, manage and backup. We could split this article in two. Best Free Monitoring and management tools for VMware and Best Free Backup Tools for VMware. Since the most of the time you want to tweak your infrastructure to the maximum performance and at the same time you want to have backup of your VMs and your data safe. It’s always good to know that there are free VMware tools which can help.
The free VMware tools for ESXi and vSphere can be used in production, but they’re limited in the free version. Limited in functions. They don’t provide full list of all features. Normal, because the vendors have paid version which has all the features. It healthy approach, since usually when you install those tools they have like 30 days period during which you can test all the features, and then only the software switch to the basic – Free version. But which brings still some huge value.
Free VMware Tools for Monitoring and Management
VMware Admins and service providers needs constantly monitor their virtual infrastructure running under VMware vSphere. Not only to find about possible bottlenecks, but tweak the resources and VMs to achieve the best possible VM performance.
In no particular order I’d like to present some of the Three best free VMware tools which helps the VMware admins to monitor, manage, get enough informations on what’s happening in the virtualization layer but also in the underlying physical hosts, storage, networking and memory usage. Those tools can be also used to monitor and manage the VMware ESXi Free Version.
Networking, storage, CPU or memory are the principal performance metrics to check. The informations are gathered and presented by those tools, in order to determine where are the bottlenecks and where to look after some sizing or resizing of VMs. You can find quite a lot of Free Whitepapers which will teach you about those metrics, in my Free Resources Page.
There is plenty of Free VMware tools which are able to monitor vSphere architecture today and I’m not saying that this or that tool is better or worse. All of those tools are used and installed as a VMs or Virtual Appliances, so no physical hardware (workstation or server) are necessary to test them.
One more note before I start to present and describe those tools. Those free VMware tools are without spyware or malware. Some of them installs as trialware (30 days), and after that time, the free version stays lifetime free. Some of them installs as free, but the switch to paid version does not need the re-install, so the history is kept.
VMturbo Community Edition – This free VMware tool from VMturbo which can also be used to monitor Citrix Xen Server and Hyper-V. The tool is deployed from OVF template file, which contains all the necessary configuration and settings.
The deployment process is very simple, so you can be up and running in less than 10 minutes. The flash user interface is intuitive and fast. The software supports Hyper-V too.
Get the Free Community Edition here.
vOps Server Explorer from Quest (vKernel) – This free tool has the look and feel similar to VMware’s flagship called vOperations and Management Suite. There aren’t many Free VMware Tools from VMware itself, so vOps Server explorer fits exactly into this category.
After the deployment, which also can be done very fast from an OVF file, you’re presented with a dashboard where you can immediately see which VMs in your infrastructure are performing badly (or not).
This tool has been recently enhanced. In fact a new fast search functionality has been added to this tool. This “google like” search functionality enables you to quickly search from within your VI. Get the Free vOps Server Explorer here.
Veeam One 6.5 ( New ) – Free version.
Another Free tool which slots in the category of Free VMware Tools, comes from Veeam Software. VeeamOne Free Edition – This newly updated tool from Veeam Software got a nice face lift with the very simplified installation process. It’s almost click and get a coffee…..You can install it in a VM or on physical system. Get this free tool now – Veeam One Free
In fact I like this tool a lot, because you can also learn from it, because it provides a KB articles which explains when for example if you’re having some bottlenecks or slowdowns. Through the KB articles which you read you can see what’s the possible issue and how it can be corrected.
There are some 200 predefined alarms the product provides, and you learn what’s wrong in which part of your infrastructure and how you can make that problem to disappear. Download the Free VMware Tool here: Veeam One Free.
There is many more free VMware Tools which can monitor and manage virtual infrastructure running vSphere, but those three are those essentials one.
Best Free Backup VMware Tools
Free VMware tools to backup VMs or configuration of ESXi.
VeeamZIP (new) – This free tool enables you to backup running virtual machines (one by one) by doing a full backup of the VM. You don’t have the possibility to do incremental backups, since this is only possible in the paid version.
It has new stylish interface with a ruban like in the Microsoft Office applications. The restore operations includes the possibility of not only full VM restore but also restore individual guest files.
You can also copy VMs from one server to another. VeeamZIP is one of the Free VMware Tools that is easily upgradeable to full version. In fact the File menu can switch from Free to Paid version very easy by providing a license file. And when installed you have 30 days evaluation period where you can fully test the product.
Another Free Tool which can fit in category of Free VMware tools comes from Trilead and it’s caled VM Explorer – This tool comes in two versions too. Paid version has the possibility for incremental backups, scheduller and E-mail reporting on backup results. I have done a detailed review of Trilead 4.0 in my article here.
The software can be used also to back up Hyper-V VMs, so if you experimenting with Hyper-V, it might be interesting for you to test the product.
Another interesting information is that VM Explorer 4.0 has different licensing than the competition. It’s licensed Per Site and not per CPU socket, so in many cases of smaller infrastructures, there is only one license cost. Donwload at Trilead.com
If you need to regulary backup the configuration of your ESXi host, then there is a freeware called vSphere Configuration Backup. This Free VMware Tool can backup multiple ESXi host’s configuration files and also the vCenter (local) SQL database. This is usefull when vCenter is using the SQL express database for small-scale deployments. The embedded version can be used on clusters up to 5 hosts.
You can download this tool from the Slymsoft.com product page.
Free VMware Tools was an article published at ESX Virtualization website at www.vladan.fr