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Trilead VM Explorer: A standout free virtualization management tool

The free virtualization management tool Trilead VM Explorer helps identify, migrate and back up virtual machines in a vSphere environment – and manage them from the command line.

Our guide on the best free virtualization tools has examined myriad tools for virtual machine (VM) management, monitoring, configuration and more. In this section of our guide, we explore the capabilities of Trilead VM Explorer.

This tool isn't created by a major virtualization heavyweight provider. Still, Trilead VM Explorer is a must-have virtualization management tool for any VMware adminstrator. And the name is apropos: VM Explorer allows you to view all your virtual machines, move VMs from server to server or SAN to SAN. Plus, not only does it allow you to migrate these virtual machines but it moves them fast.

VM Explorer has an integrated Secure Shell (SSH) client for command-line access to your ESX servers. VM Explorer supports ESX 3.x and 4.x as well as 3i and 4i. As VMs are moved across the network, VM Explorer compresses them at the source and destination to reduce the copy times and save network bandwidth.

All in all, VM Explorer is an excellent tool for VMware administrators to quickly do the following:

  1. Move VMs between ESX Servers and your SAN
  2. Back up VMs for disaster recovery purposes
  3. Create and remove snapshots inside VM Explorer
  4. Manage ESX servers from the command line with the integrated SSH client

VM Explorer comes in two versions - the Free version and Commercial version. Fortunately, for us looking for a free tool, there are few differences between the two. The major limitations on the free version are that it only supports only 5 ESX servers at a time, the task scheduler isn't enabled, and neither are the daily report or the command line interface.

Try the free edition Trilead VM Explorer at this link.

Return to guide's main page for more on the best free virtualization tools .

About the author
David Davis is the director of infrastructure at TrainSignal.com -- the global leader in video training for IT pros. He has several certifications including vExpert, VMware Certified Profession (or VCP), CISSP, and CCIE #9369. Additionally, Davis has authored hundreds of articles and six video training courses at Train Signal, where one of the most popular course is the VMware vSphere 4 video training course. His website is VMwareVideos.com. You can follow Davis on Twitter or connect with him at David on LinkedIn.

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This was last published in November 2009

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