Jul 22, 2010

Free Alternative To Veeam Reporter

Sorry I haven’t been blogging as frequently as I normally do. I have been slammed all of a sudden with a boat load of projects at work. Namely because we have to do a much needed network cleanup, but also to understand how the infrastructure is currently setup. There has been a lot of turnover in the department, and as mentioned in a previous article, with all that turnover comes layers of inconsistent network design.

One of my duties right now is to create a data map of our entire network using Visio. On small networks, that is a simple task, but on vast networks with hundreds of nodes, it becomes a larger task. I mentioned previously that I found a tool that generates topology diagrams for Active Directory automatically. I wanted something that does the same thing, but for virtualized infrastructure.

I looked at Veeam Reporter, but that isn’t free. I’m not sure how much it costs, in fact I am still waiting on a quote from our software vendor, but the fact remains, it isn’t free. While waiting for the quote though, I found something that is free, and does everything I need and more!

The tool is called vEcoShell! Here are some of it’s features from their website:

vecoshell Gather – Access data from multiple standalone ESX Servers or vCenter instances to consolidate information from every layer of the virtualization stack including the operating systems, applications and infrastructure services.

Filter – Easily identify inconsistencies and provide “health checks” on any virtual infrastructure and multi-platform environment with powerful time-saving filters that can be tuned, saved and leverage across the organization.

Remediate – Reduce errors and streamline repetitive administrative tasks by efficiently modifying multiple objects across the infrastructure in a single operation.

Report – Rapidly generate and customize reports for all types of IT- and business-related processes – save and print to a variety of formats such as XML, CSV, HTML and Microsoft Visio.

Integrate - Leverage Windows PowerShell technology across the virtual environment to provide unparalleled integration capabilities with hypervisors, operating systems and application workloads, including support for Vizioncore vControl and Vizioncore vRanger Pro.

This tool provides a GUI front end to VMWare CLI, and PowerGUI that give you many tools that you don’t have in your standard virtualization environment. It also has tools to work with other virtualization technologies like Microsoft Hyper-V!

Besides the Visio diagram automation I was looking for, it also gives you tools to not just report, but also manage your infrastructure better. For instance, It can provide a report on snapshots, their age, and allows you to remove old snap shots all from one place!

So far, this is the best free VMWare management and reporting tool I have ever seen! I highly recommend it to ANY administrator who has to manage virtual servers.

What are some of your favorite VMWare/Virtualization tools? Are they free? If not, how much do they cost? Let us know in the comments!

Note: I received word from Veeam that a free edition of Veeam Reporter is in the works. Here is a link to the details: (Veeam Reporter FREE)

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