May 16, 2011

Free Program To Manage Multiple ESXi Servers

I think I may have literally stumbled upon pure gold. I kind of feel like Jed Clampett who accidentally discovered oil while hunting rabbits! You see at my new gig we have a very limited budget so we can’t afford the full blown version of VMware Enterprise plus. In fact, our production environment only has VMware Advanced, then we have several other ESXi servers that handle stuff like QA, and Dev. After more than one or two ESXi servers though, management can become a pain.

Well I found a tool that will let me manage up to five VMware ESXi servers in one interface at the same time! Not only that, but it is absolutely free! It’s called Trilead VM Explorer.

This thing lets me power on, and shut down VM’s, manage snapshots, register and un-register VM's and browse data stores. Even better though is it gives me a method of backing up full VM's without the need for VCB scripts, or VMware Data Recovery! You can even set the backups up on a schedule for automated, hassle free DR goodness!


If you have more than five ESXi servers to manage, then you may want to fork over the dough for the pro version which is pretty reasonable at less than $800. Here is a breakdown on the differences from their site:


This is great news for me because the server room I inherited is a complete mess. I have a bunch of servers stacked on each other running on desktop computers, as well as a number of old G1 HP DL360’s. I would love to turn a couple of the servers into ESXi servers, bump up the RAM, get some shared storage and virtualize the rest using ESXi. With Trilead VM Explorer, I can do that and also have ease of management!

What do you think? Know of any other free third party tools to manage ESXi servers as easily as this? Think you will setup your own ESXi environment now that you can manage them all in one place? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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