Virtualization Pro

Mar 23 2009   3:39PM GMT

My virtualization toolbox

Texiwill Edward Haletky Profile: Texiwill

What comprises a VMware vExpert’s virtualization toolbox? I actually think there are several different layers of tools depending on the particular VMware virtualization administrators job role. Mine, for example, has a number of security tools that most people would not normally need, but I do. So below is a list of what comprises my virtualization toolbox.

Administration Tools

  • VMware‘s VI Toolkit w/Microsoft PowerShell
  • VMware’s VI Perl Toolkit
  • VMware’s Remote CLI
  • VMware Update Manager Plug-in for VMware Infrastructure Client
  • Andrew Kutz’s Storage VMotion VMware Infrastructure Client Plug-in
  • Hyper9‘s Search Toolbar VMware Infrastructure Client Plug-in
  • Tripwire Opscheck (a must for solving VMware VMotion issues)
  • PuTTY (a must for accessing host via secure shell (SSH) from Window’s systems)
  • PowerGUI (GUI for PowerShell and VI Toolkit)
  • Snaphunter (hunt for and destroy snapshots)
  • Snapalert (find and commit snapshots with Remote CLI support)
  • Adobe Acrobat (for reading VMware whitepapers, hardware compatibility lists and other documents)
  • Twhirl (for Twitter access)
  • Firefox for access to the VMware Communities Forums and Google Search

Performance/Monitoring Tools

  • VMware Infrastructure Client for real time performance graphs
  • VMware’s esxtop for details on server utilization
  • vmktree
  • Vizioncore‘s vFoglight
  • Nagios for service monitoring


Backup Tools

  • VMware Consolidated Backup
  • VMware Converter
  • If only ESX, then one of either Vizioncore vRangerPro, PHD Technologies’ esXpress, or Veeam Backup
  • If only ESXi, then Veeam Backup 3.0
  • VMware’s vcbMounter

P2V Tools

  • VMware Capacity Planner
  • VMware Converter 4.0

Security Tools

  • Ultimate Boot CD for Darik’s Boot and Nuke utility (in ISO form)
  • Tripwire ConfigCheck
  • My own Virtual Security Management Suite (still in pre-beta with a hope to get it out soon!)
  • Hardening Script from VMware Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, available first half of 2009.
  • Nessus
  • Nmap
  • Backtrack for Penetration Testing (in ISO form)
  • Helix for Forensics (in ISO form)
  • Nuclues Kernel Linux for Data Recovery
  • Virtual Firewall (smoothwall, IPcop, etc.)

General Tool

There you have it: the contents of my virtualization toolbox. I am sure there are many more that I have missed as I do not use them very much or have never used them. Which of these tools will prove to be the most useful in the future? I believe it will be the VI Toolkit but I will keep all these tools within the toolbox, cleaned, and ready for use.

Editor’s note: Readers, any suggestions for other helpful tools? Comment and add to the list.

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