Link to Free utilities compiled from VirtXpert Blog

Free utilities compiled from VirtXpert Blog

Hypervisors

  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi):  The best platform, IMO, hopefully you can spring for at least Essentials plus
  • Citrix Xen Server:  Let’s face it, at a startup or SMB we may not be able to afford a commercial license, Xen provides Live Migration for free but good luck supporting it.
  • KVM:  Opensource platform, not for the faint of heart

Storage

  • Nexenta Community Edition:  Turn bare metal equipment into a fully functional NAS.  18TB limit on the community edition would be fine for most (all?) SMBs.
  • FreeNAS:  A very solid open source project with years off support and development behind it.
  • NAS4Free:  I haven’t used it, looks similar to FreeNAS without the name recognition, its still being maintained.
  • FalconStor Virtual SAN appliance:  Missing some features (snapshots and HA) but yet another storage solution.
  • QuadStor:  An open source application to turn a linux VM or physical machine into a very fully features storage appliance.  I really need to get this in my lab.  HA, Dedup, VAAI!
  • UberAlign:  A utility from Nicholas Weaver (@lynxbat) to help fix alignment issues for VMs.

Backup and Recovery

Monitoring

  • vCenter Operations Manager Foundation:  Another freebie when you purchase vSphere.  You paid for the awesomest hypervisor, why not take advantage of the tools you got included?
  • Veeam One:  You virtualized your infrastructure which is great, but you can’t just peak your head into the datacenter and see if everything is flashing green.  Veeam allows you to monitor your virtual infrastructure.
  • RVTools:  I haven’t had a chance to test this yet, lots of people swear by it.
  • Xangati:  Another handy tool to watch over your gear, free version is good for one server which, if you have one server, is actually great.
  • Nagios and Icinga:  The defacto open source monitoring tool and its fork.  Developers can’t get along forever.
  • Opsview:  Based on Nagios, provides a nicer GUI, though honestly its been 4 years since I used Nagios core.
  • op5 Monitor:  Another based on Nagios, open source code for unlimited monitoring and a free version with limited support for up to 20 devices.
  • Dell Foglight for Virtualization (Free):  A package of several free resources from Dell/Quest.  I am glad to see Dell is still maintaining the free products.  Vladan Seget has a nice write up here on the features.
  • Monitor.us:  Web based monitoring application, some limitations as all freemium products do.
  • ScaleXtreme:  Web based monitoring application, some limitations as all freemium products do.
  • vCheck:  A PoSH script by Alan Renouf that emails you status of your environment.
  • Netwrix VMware Change Reporter:  Similar to Alan’s script (not actually tested) but monitors changes to VM settings.
  • VirtualIQ Free:  For up to 2 hosts/5 CPU and 25 VM’s.
  • Indeni Health Check:  Free, light version of Indeni’s Dynamic Knowledge base.
  • IgniteFree:  Database monitoring tool from Confio for MS SQL and Oracle.  Wish there was a PostgreSQL version!
  • Event-O-Matic:  A PoSH/PowerCLI script generator that assists in the collection of specific log files from Luc Dekens
  • ExtraHop Discovery Edition:  Watch your apps for real time performance problems
  • SolarWindows Alert Central:  Helps you escalate alerts to certain individuals or groups versus sending to groups.
  • AlienVault OSSIM OpenSource:  Awful lot of free monitoring tools huh, this one attempts to correlate logs/monitoring from various open source tools to help you identify the cause of an issue.  This may also be the easiest Snort install you could do!
  • Tripwire SecureScan:  Free for up to 100 IP’s
  • Opvizor: Free edition supports a single cluster with up to 48 hours of data new2
  • Opvizor Snapwatcher: Free during beta, find and nuke snapshots, even corrupt ones new2
  • CloudPhysics:  Community edition of the powerful monitoring solution that backs alerts with aggregated data new2
  • DataDog:  Monitor up to 5 hosts with various dashboards.  Free version only keeps data for 1 day new2
  • VMTurbo Virtual Health Monitor:  Monitor your VM environment in real time new2

Logging

  • VMware Syslog Collector and Dump Collector:  Included in vCenter download – at some point there is going to be a problem/error and having your logs centrally collected will be nice.  Seems like busy work now but you will be glad when you need it.
  • Splunk:  Free version, as most do, has some limitations but as you grown you can remove these with a paid version.
  • GreyLog:  A new logging tool to the OS world, built on MongoDB.  Installation script from GitHub
  • Syslog-ng:  Moar syslog
  • nxlog:  You need a way to get your Windows logs to these cool syslog servers!
  • Nagios Log Monitor: Check out my write up here new2
  • ELK: A combination of opensource tools, check out the write up by Larry Smith Jr and his#vBrownBag presentation new2

Automation

  • VMware PowerCLI:  Free, included, have I mentioned all the stuff thats included with your paid vSphere license?  I think I did
  • vCenter Orchestrator:  Yea you guessed it, included when you buy
  • Windows PowerShell:  Installed with Windows – Its there, why click around when you can write a script (I am guilty of not doing this enough)
  • AutoIT:  Another popular scripting platform
  • Puppet:  I will start by saying I don’t know enough about it, I need to learn more, the Enterprise version is free for up to 10 nodes
  • Ansible:  Another configuration management tool, similar to Puppet yet so far easy to use.  Free for up to 10 nodes
  • Chef:  Another automation platform popular with the DevOps movement, a free and paid version like Puppet and Ansible
  • CloudBlot C2:  Claims to offer an easy to use IaaS tool, taking shots at vCAC.  Free for up to 100 VMs
  • ESX Deployment Appliance:  Free appliance to help automate the installation of ESX/ESXi
  • Ultimate Deployment Appliance:  Helps automate the installation of both deploy Windows and Linux
  • VMware WebCommander:  Part of the Fling labs, publish PowerShell and PowerCLI scripts via a self service portal to your users
  • Windows vCenter to VCSA Fling: Fling from VMware to migrate Window vCenter to the vCenter Virtual Appliance

Networking

  • Zen Loadbalancer:  Sometimes you need more than one server, web, View Connection etc but real load balancers get pricey
  • VyOS: The replacement for Vyatta new2
  • pfSense:  Another OS load balancer
  • Untangle:  Free firewall, really just several other OS projects packaged together but has a nice GUI and means you don’t have to package them together.
  • Smoothwall:  Yet another OS firewall
  • Endian :  Yet another OS firewall
  • PacketFence:  OpenSource Network Access Control
  • Sophos UTM Home:  Only really good for a home lab, but many of us have home labs so here’s a firewall
  • Open DayLight:  SDN is the future, why not get started here
  • Kemp Load Balancer: A seemingly free, yet full functional and optimized load balancer new2

VDI

Patching

  • Windows WSUS:  Think it goes without saying that Windows needs to be patched
  • RedHat Spacewalk:  Yes even Linux needs patches, you dont want a vulnerable Apache web server kicking around do you?
  • VMware Update Manager (VUM):  Something something, included vSphere something.  I wish VMware Go was still around, free and made patching a breeze

Training

  • VMware MyLearn:  Lots of great free classes from new features, DR training and even advanced topics such as vCloud Director.
  • VMware Learning:  An extension of MyLearn (IMO) with lots of free great videos, versus the slide/formal training style on MyLearn.
  • Local VMUG:  Great opportunity to meet new people and learn about the latest from the VMware community and vendors.
  • CodeAcademy:  Coding = automation.
  • #vBrownBag:  Community contributed podcasts primarily focused on VMware but also on various technology topics including OpenStack.
  • VMware Hands On Labs (HOL):  Free hands on training on various topics directly from VMware.
  • Virtual Design Master:  A free, live competition that puts aspiring architects skills to the test.  Currently in Season 2
  • Phil Wiffen’s TwistedEthics.com Free Training List:  Great list of free training resources Phil as curated

Community Contributed Certification Resources 

Misc

Collaboration

  • Slack:  A group messaging tool with search, paid versions retain more history
  • Asana:  A great task manager, share tasks with others as well
  • Trello:  A slightly different take on managing your todo items
  • MangoApps:  As with any free SaaS service, some limitations
  • SocialCast:  Free for up to 50 users with some limitations
  • Sharetronix:  Hey your still reading?  Cool, probably wondering what this is all about.  My other passion is collaboration, I hate email and “social” seems like a much better way to communicate
  • Zimbra OpenSource:  Open source edition of Zimbra for email and calendaring
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