Windows Server includes a cornucopia of solid tools. But sometimes you have specific needs, and the default tools won't cover them well. IT admins are already aware of the standard free go-to tools like Sysinternals, but every once in a while, an option you haven't heard of can be a real life-saver.
I've found five such tools that many IT admins don't know about but probably should.
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Crucial.com's System Scanner Tool: I recently needed to purchase memory for a server, but I couldn't get a clear answer on how many memory slots it had. Rather than waste time going to the server and opening it to see, I went to crucial.com and used its System Scanner tool. The tool quickly told me how many slots I had and recommended the appropriate memory for the server -- a real time-saver.
Unitrends Enterprise Backup: Unitrends offers a free, on-premises backup tool for as many as eight virtual machines for both VMware and Hyper-V. If you have a small environment and want to make sure you have backups of your VMs, this is a nice option. It installs another VM from which you manage your backup.
Wireshark Network Analyzer: You might use a sniffer for any number of reasons. In my case, I had a problem last week setting up unified messaging in Exchange 2013: The UM server wasn't picking up calls -- or so it seemed. After checking event logs and running UM-specific PowerShell testing cmdlets, I still didn't know where the process was failing. Running Wireshark showed which port calls were being attempted, so I could make adjustments to the setup and fix the issue.