Free VMware tools for virtualization admins are worth a 'fling'

These two latest experimental 'flings' from VMware can help with I/O analysis and ESX-to-ESXi migrations

If you are a VMware virtualization administrator and haven't been indoctrinated yet into the use of "flings," perhaps it's time you climbed on board. There is a community repository filled with golden nuggets created by VMware-employed developers and engineers -- and yes, they are offered for the low, low price of free.

We've spoken about these free VMware virtualization plug-ins in the past. They are conveniently located within the online VMware Labs, where VMware engineers are empowered to get creative by developing cool and useful tools that are not yet part of any official product by VMware. Flings are shared with VMware's community of users free of charge, but come with no official support by the company, as they are experimental and offered under Technical Preview and open source licensing.

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Remember, these are plug-in tools meant to fill in the gaps, not production-ready enterprise applications. They include recently launched useful tools such as PXE Manager for vCenter, a management tool designed to support automatic PXE boot (network boot using preboot execution environment) and automatic customization of large numbers of VMware ESXi systems, as well as vCenter XVP Manager and Converter, a fling to help provide basic virtualization management capabilities for non-vSphere hypervisor platforms, such as Microsoft Hyper-V, from within a vSphere Client.

VMware Labs added two new interesting flings to the list this month: I/O Analyzer and ESX System Analyzer.

I/O Analyzer is a 555MB virtual appliance that offers a simple and standardized way of measuring storage performance in a VMware vSphere virtualized environment. I/O Analyzer automates the traditional storage performance analysis cycle and helps reduce the amount of time it takes to perform a diagnosis from days to hours. The tool was designed to minimize burdens and mistakes in I/O benchmarking and help with basic I/O performance troubleshooting in virtualized environments. Some of the features include:

  • An integrated framework for storage performance testing
  • Easily configured and launched I/O tests on multiple hosts
  • A view of integrated performance results at both guest and host levels
  • Easily exported performance data for off-site analysis
VMware IO Analyzer
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