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Veeam's top free virtualization tools

Free virtualization tools such as Veeam Monitor Free Edition add much-needed virtual machine management, monitoring and reporting to a platform's native capabilities-- and at zero cost.

While Veeam Software offers commercial versions of these tools with even greater functionality, these free tool versions are more than serviceable. In this section of our guide on the top free virtualization tools, we examine three of Veeam's most popular free tools: FastSCP, Veeam Monitor Free Edition and Business View.

Veeam Monitor Free Edition 
While VMware's monitoring and reporting is solid, there is always room for improvement, and Veeam Software has made major improvements on virtual machine monitoring and VM reporting with Veeam Monitor Free Edition.


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Compared with the paid version, Veeam Monitor Free Edition offers a limited but still-useful feature set. The key difference is that the free version is for real-time monitoring, while the paid edition shows trending and performance over time.

Veeam Monitor provides performance reports based on the structure of your business (using Business View, which we describe below). It understands the virtual infrastructure and provides performance data for VMs, hosts, clusters, and data stores. You can quickly glance at Monitor to determine which VMs consume the most resources and which hosts are the most taxed. Among the many features Monitor offers are hardware monitoring, alarms, modeled alarms, capacity planning, trend analysis, and easy upgrade to the full version. For more on Veeam Monitor and other free virtualization tools, check out my roundup of the top free virtualization tools of 2008.


FastSCP, now known as Veeam Backup Free Edition
Over the years, Veeam has offered VMware administrators several free tools, but the most popular is FastSCP. This tool copies files to and from VMware ESX Servers using the Secure Copy Protocol (SCP). According to Veeam, more than 600,000 server admins have downloaded this tool which is no surprise to me, because I have downloaded it more than once.

FastSCP is six times faster than WinSCP, and it makes copying files easy because it has a single console and supports copy and paste or drag and drop to move files. FastSCP can also save your usernames and passwords to enable faster login. You can also copy files from ESXi to ESXi, and FastSCP pre-allocates disk space on ESX Servers when uploading files to prevent fragmentation.

FastSCP is must-have tool when you need to get files to and from ESX servers and from other servers that use SCP. Why not use the best free tool out there?


Business View
Veeam's recent release, Business View, provides companies a business-oriented view of their virtual infrastructure. VSphere does a great job of identifying IT resources: data centers, folders, clusters, hosts, and VMs. Still, only the IT department understands these assets. There are many projects (such as disaster recovery planning) where you need to map your virtual infrastructure objects to your business structure. And Veeam's Business View does that for you.

In addition to allowing you to see your virtualized infrastructure from a business perspective, Veeam Business View allows you to control VM sprawl, see how CPU, memory, and disk storage are mapped to business units, and create rules and policies for VM categorization. Veeam Monitor 4.5 (including the free edition) is fully integrated with Business View.

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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