For years now, VMware has extended its focus from hypervisor or platform provider to management player, and it didn't take the company long to realize the next phase of revenue would come from management tools. VMware currently offers several virtualization management applications for sale, including software to manage chargeback, capacity planning, configuration, orchestration, and even business continuity.
But VMware also provides a number of free tools. In addition to well-established and supported freebies such as VMware Server, Player, and vCenter Converter, the company has established VMware Labs, a division dedicated to creating free community-driven tools. The free tools from the lab, as you might recall, are called "flings."
[ Also on InfoWorld: Veeam, SolarWinds add Hyper-V support to virtualization management. | VMware paves path to hybrid clouds with vCloud Integration Manager. | Keep up on virtualization by signing up for InfoWorld's Virtualization newsletter. ]
Back in December, InfoWorld talked about two VMware Labs flings worth downloading: I/O Analyzer and ESX System Analyzer. If it's a battle to find information about your virtual environment, these two flings should be a part of your overall war strategy. Building on that strategy, VMware Labs has issued yet another free fling ready for the downloading. This latest valuable tool is called vBenchmark.
VMware vBenchmark will analyze your VMware virtual environment and in return provide you with a clean-looking, informative dashboard. It measures performance across three broad categories: efficiency, operational agility, and quality of service. For example, it can:
- Measure resource consumption and show you how much physical RAM you save by using virtualization
- Show you the average amount of time it takes you to provision a new VM
- Report how much downtime was avoided by using VMware high-availability features
The package is easily delivered as an Open Virtualization Format (OVF) virtual appliance that, once set up, can retrieve metrics across one or more vCenter servers. It can also be configured to include or exclude specific hosts at the cluster level. The vBenchmark queries can be saved and compared over time to measure the changes that occur in the environment as it grows.
These features make vBenchmark a useful tool in any VMware environment.I f you don't already own a capacity-planning tool like one of those offered for sale by VMware or a third-party provider such as VKernel, Quest Software, SolarWinds, or Veeam, then this free fling makes even more sense to add into your virtualization toolkit.