Top VMware Management Tools [VMware]

Just about every company today has either implemented server virtualization or is about to. Once they virtualize with vSphere and vCenter, it may not be immediately evident that they need additional management tools. All hypervisors come with some form of backup and performance reporting built-in. However, with just a little use, you’ll quickly discover that these backup and performance tools only offer the most basic functionality and you will almost always need more.

While speaking at user groups, writing articles, and doing podcasts about virtualization, I get asked a lot or end up talking about virtualization tools. Many times, new (or even long-time) VMware admins ask me “what tools do you recommend I use with vSphere?” Of course there are numerous tools available (both from VMware and third-parties) but in this post let’s stick to the top VMware management tools.

Thus, here is my list of the top 10 VMware management tools: [Read more…]

Top 5 VMware Admin Daily Checks [VMware]

Whether you are a new VMware Admin or you have some experience, you may not know what you should be checking, each day, in your VMware vSphere environment to ensure that things are running as they should. Unless you look each day (or have a daily performance/capacity tool do it for you), you may take a periodic glance at performance, let’s say, and have no idea “what’s normal”. Unless a big red siren is going off, chances are, the infrequent admins wouldn’t recognize if, overnight, memory utilization (for example) had increased by 80% utilization and applications were suffering – simply because they didn’t know what to look for.

Here are the top 5 daily checks that every VMware Admin should look at, each day:

 #1 Events and Tasks

The vCenter hosts and VMs inventory is organized in a hierarchical manor where the higher you go in the inventory, the more and more information you get about the objects below. Thus, at the lowest level (say, the VM level), you’ll only get information about the VM. On the other hand, at the highest level (the vCenter server level), you’ll get information about every object in the inventory (datacenters, clusters, hosts, resource pools, and VMs).

The tasks and events tab on each of the objects in the vCenter inventory will tell you what tasks were initiated (their results and who initiated them) as well as events that happened (their results and who initiated them). Tasks are things that you initiate (as an admin) and events are results of tasks (sub tasks) or system-initiated events.

Figure 1 – vSphere Tasks and Events at the vCenter Level

You can sort the columns to show the type and status you are looking for on the top. For example, [Read more…]

Sharing is Caring! System Center 2012 Update Slideshare


Great news for System Center 2012 customers. With the aim of making System Center more cloud-friendly, Microsoft has made changes to the way that the licensing model for this popular product works. What used to be an extremely complex licensing system has been made much easier for clients to understand and manage. View our slideshare for a quick overview of what these key updates are and work with a Softchoice Microsoft specialist to understand your needs under this new model moving forward.