Recommended 3rd-Party VMware ESX Server Tools

by David Davis - December 23, 2008

With the growing popularity of VMware Infrastructure & ESX Server, there are an ever growing number of 3rd party tools available for ESX Server. In this article, we will provide a list of ESX 3rd party tools you should consider as add-ons for your ESX Servers. Take a look...

What applications do I get with VMWare ESX Server?

I have had a number of people ask me what is really included when you buy VMware ESX Server. Well, just like most of the answers to performance questions with ESX server, the answer is "it depends". In this case, it depends on what package of VMware Infrastructure you bought when you bought VMware ESX Server. Here are the packages available and what they come with:

Starter Standard Enterprise
ESX Server X X X
Virtual SMP X X
VMotion X
VMware HA X
VMware DRS X
VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) X

In all cases, VMware Virtual Center Management Server is a separately licensed product.

While none of these are "third party" products, it is first important to know what you have before you start investing money in other options.

VMware ESX 3rd Party Add-on Tools

Now let's get to the meat of this article and cover all of the third-party products for VMware ESX I could locate. Here is the list:

Vizioncore - Vizioncore offers vRanger, vMigrator, vCharter, and vReplicator. vRanger (formerly ESX Ranger) is a popular backup application for VMware ESX Server. vMigrator is a P2V conversion application, vCharter is a performance monitoring application, and vReplicator is used replicate virtual machines or SAN LUNs to other servers or SANs, either on the LAN or across the WAN.

Dunes VS-O and VD-O - VS-O offers a management layer on top of VMware Virtual Center or Microsoft Virtual Server which helps in virtual automation. VS-O is a type of virtual infrastructure management package. VD-O is used for VDI.

EsXpress - a scaleable and fault tolerant backup, restoration, and disaster recovery solution for VMware ESX. They offer the Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA)

Platespin - offers Power Convert and Power Recon. Power Convert is a P2V, V2V, and complete server workload management system (depending on the package you buy). Platespin also offers PowerRecon which collects and reports on all physical and virtual servers. PowerRecon will report the most efficient use of your hardware & software, as well as tell you how much you could save by virtualizing your systems (both in hardware and in cooling/electricity usage)

Veeam - offers Veeam Configurator, Reporter, FastSCP. Veeam configurator is used to extend the Virtual Center console and give you access to more options and flexibility than what Virtual Center provides. Veeam Reporter is used to document, discover, and create a visual diagram of your ESX server farm. Veeam FastSCP is used to transfer ISO files to your ESX server. They claim that FastSCP is 6 times faster than traditional SCP clients. Veeam also offers a couple of free utilites - Rootaccess Wizard for ESX and Veeam Monitor for VMware Server.

VMTS - offering a variety of FREE tools and scripts for VMware ESX Tools such as VMTS Patch Manager, SSH client for ESX, and more.

Of course, there are a number of companies making Virtual Desktop brokers used with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

If there are products that you use or that you have heard of and would recommend, I encourage you to post them in our VMware virtualization forum so that they can be added to this list for the benefit of all Petri forum members.

Summary

In summary, the number of third-party tools for VMware ESX server continues to grow. If you are using ESX server already, I encourage you to consider some of these third party tools. While VMware has some excellent tools in their virtual infrastructure suite, there is always room for improving on those tools or complementing those tools.

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