FREE VIDEO TRAINING – VMware vSphere 5.0

VMware Education services has released free training to learn the basics concepts about VMware vSphere 5.0. It covers  the various installation steps including vCenter server and ESXi Server. Configuration of networking including Standard and distributed switches. It also covers the High availability and DRS along with Virtual Machine Administration. It has 13 videos which extensively covers different topics and features about vSphere 5.0

Watch all the free Videos about vSphere 5.0 and ready for your virtualization certification. I believe this is informative for you. Thanks for watching !!!

Free Tools for VMware Administrators

Tool Name

Features of the Tool

Download link

Veeam Backup Free Edition
for VMware and Hyper-v

With Veeam Backup Free Edition, you can quickly

  • Backup, archive or copy a VM—without pausing or powering it off
  • Restore data from inside a VM
  • Restore from backups or SAN snapshots
  • Migrate and manage VMs and files
  • All in one easy-to-use tool that’s completely free.

Veeam ONE Free Edition for VMware & Hyper-V

With Veeam one Free Edition, you can Monitor

  • 24×7 real-time monitoring and alerts
  • Easy documentation and management reporting
  • Saves time and cost
  • Predefined and customizable dashboards

  Veeam Stencils for VMware and Hyper-V

Veeam Software provides a free collection of VMware and Hyper-V virtualization Visio stencils that can be used by ESX administrators, system integrators and datacenter managers to create their own diagrams in Microsoft Visio 2003, 2007 or 2010 as part of your Hyper-V or VMware deployment planning.

Veeam Management Pack for VMware


Veeam Management Pack(MP) extends deep VMware monitoring, management and capacity planning to Microsoft System Center, providing complete visibility of physical and virtual infrastructures and applications – all from one console.Veeam MP integrates fully with VMware and System Center, enabling all System Center functionality—including alerts, diagrams, dashboards, reporting, auditing, notifications, responses and automation.


Veeam FastSCP

Veeam FastSCP can copy files over 6 times faster than WinSCP and other SCP-based tools

  • Fast VM / File Transfer
  • Simple ESX File Management
    Integration with Veeam Backup
    Secure Connection

Solarwinds Free VM Monitor

VM Monitor Highlights:

  • Quickly check the health of your VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V host by monitoring CPU, memory utilization, number of virtual machines configured and running, and much more
  • View detailed virtual machine health statistics including VM name, guest OS, and VM state, as well as processor, memory, and network usage

Solarwinds Free VM-to-Cloud Calculator

VM-to-Cloud Calculator Highlights:

  • Automatically inventory your virtual machines and capturing description, CPU, memory, storage, and count
  • Compare cost estimates from Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, and Rack space Cloud Servers
  • Easily generate updated estimates as your virtualized infrastructure evolves

Solarwinds Free VM Console

Free VM Console Highlights:

  • Bounce (shutdown & restart) VMs without logging into vCenter or vSphere
  • Get end-to-end visibility into your VMware environment—from vCenter through ESX hosts to VM guests
  • Track the real-time up/down status of your VMs from your desktop — without logging into VMware apps

Free Cloud Performance Monitor Powered by CopperEgg

Free Cloud Performance Monitor Powered by CopperEgg Highlights

  • Fast, non-stop, real-time monitoring
  • Server-resident, small footprint, no polling, push-only
  • Delivered as a SaaS service
  • Simple and easy installation. 5-seconds and you are up!

Unitrends Enterprise Backup

Free Edition:

  • Protect 4 VMS
  • Free forever – no expiration
  • Online support only

NFR (Not for Resale) Edition:

  • Eligibility: VCPs, VCIs, vExperts, MVPs, MCPs
  • Protect 2 sockets and 2 physical servers
  • Phone, e-mail and online support
  • 1-year expiration (renewable along with certification)
PhdVirtual  Virtual SAN Virtual SAN appliance for VMware ESX 3 Server provides the benefits of shared VMFS storage without the cost of a SAN.  

PhdVirtual Patch Downloader for ESX

Patch Downloader simplifies the task of downloading patches for various VMware ESX versions by automating the task.  


Virtual Health Monitor

VMTurbo Virtual Health Monitor is the only FREE real-time performance monitoring solution without limitations of how broadly it can be deployed or which hypervisor platform it runs on. It enables you to:

  • Gain visibility into your entire infrastructure
  • See and identify problems in real time
  • Generate performance and efficiency reports

Trilead VM Explorer

Trilead VM Explorer is a uniquely simple and flexible back-up solution for your infrastructure. It is easy to configure and offers powerful functionalities. VM Explorer® even supports the ESXi free edition for full back-ups. Maximum 2 host support in Free edition

  • Job scheduling made easy
  • Flexible Configuration
  • Dynamic Compression
  • Full and incremental backups
  • Replication for disaster recovery
  • File level restoration

Xangati for vSphere – Free

Xangati for vSphere – Free can help you tackle the following issues:

  • Tracking which VM’s IOPS surge is bogging down a high latency datastore
  • Identifying where you have underutilized capacity that can be re-allocated
  • Zeroing in on which processes are driving a CPU spike on a Windows VM and much more.

Xtravirt vAlarm for vSphere

vAlarm for vSphere is a Windows based application which monitors alarms generated by VMware vCenter, and provides visual alerts via a smart notification bubble on the desktop where installed as it happens.

It removes the need to actively watch management consoles, and reduces the risk of missing that system generated message amongst the dozens of other emails received every day.

Xtravirt Presentation Pack for VMware

Presentation Pack for VMware is a huge package of exquisitely detailed icons including virtual infrastructure, conventional IT equipment and many more high quality objects.

Provided in flexible formats for Microsoft Word and Powerpoint, together with a set designed especially for Visio, your diagrams and illustrations will be the showcase of any document or presentation.

Xtravirt Document Downloader for VMware

Document Downloader for VMware is a handy utility which maintains a local repository of VMware product documentation on your PC, making it an ideal tool for consultants or administrators that require offline access to those resources.

Foglight for Virtualization, Free Edition

Foglight for Virtualization, Free Edition includes:

  • Snapshot Explorer
  • Storage Explorer
  • Change Explorer
  • Environment Explorer
  • vScope Explorer
  • SearchMyVM Explorer



Graphical User Interface & Script Editor for Microsoft Windows PowerShell. PowerGUI is the freeware tool administrators need to speed PowerShell adoption, and harness the power of PowerShell to efficiently manage their entire Windows environment. PowerGUI simplifies management with an intuitive user console that includes Point, Click, Script™ for quickly building scripts using only a mouse.  

Workspace Assessment from Quest

Take the first step toward a successful desktop virtualization project with free Workspace Assessment .
Is the transition from physical to virtual desktops a smart move for your organization? Do you want to know which of the many desktop virtualization deployment options will be the best fit for your users, applications and machines? Our Workspace Assessment provides the insight you need to make well-informed decisions. And it’s free!

IgniteFreeVm from ignitefree

IgniteFreeVM is the only free VMware performance monitoring tool linking visibility of the database, virtual server, physical server, and storage layers.  
vOptimizer Waste Finder vOptimizer Waste Finder quickly locate and reclaim over-allocated VM storage and dramatically reduce unnecessary storage costs and also improves VM performance, reduces time spent managing virtual storage, and eliminates risks of poor virtual storage management practices.

  • Provides visibility of the total amount and value of over-allocated VM storage
  • Reclaims wasted VM storage (shrinking VM disk files) for use by other applications and business units

vDisk Informer from Virtualize Planet

vDisk Informer demonstrates which virtual disks have potentially wasted space on them and which virtual disks are misaligned causing a performance impact.  

Thinware vBackup

Thinware vBackup is an enterprise grade backup solution for virtual infrastructure that can be easily implemented in any size environment.

  • Reduce backup costs.
  • Reduce down-time.
  • Agent-free configuration
  • Utilizes Off-host processing.

VMDK Stub File Generator

A free trouble-shooting tool for VMware administrators. Often times the VMDK stub file is either corrupt or removed by mistake making the -flat.vmdk unusable even though all of the user data is still contained within it. This new stub file generator is an absolute necessity when a corrupt VMDK file prevents you from accessing your flat file backup data.

The PHD Virtual Stub File Generator lets you recreate the .vmdk STUB file so that you can re-attach and access the data in the -flat.vmdk.



RVTools is able to list information about VMs, CPU, Memory, Disks, Partitions, Network, Floppy drives, CD drives, Snapshots, VMware tools, Resource pools, ESX hosts, HBAs, Nics, Switches, Ports, Distributed Switches, Distributed Ports, Service consoles, VM Kernels, Datastores and health checks.



A windows utility to allow the export and import of VMware vCenter Alarms.  


ESXi-Customizer is a user-friendly script that automates the process of customizing the ESXi install-ISO with drivers that are not originally included. Unlike other scripts and manuals that are available for this purpose ESXi-Customizer runs entirely on Windows and does not require any knowledge of or access to Linux.  

VMware Scanner v.1.4

This is a simple utility to scan for VMware Servers (ESX, ESXi, VirtualCenter and VMware Server). It uses the VMware API to identify a VMware server and query the product name, version and build number.  

vAudit 1.5


vAudit is a utility for VMware View environments (3.01 and 3.1). The tool will display when your users are logging in to their virtual machines and it can also display and unsuccessful login attempts. Version 1.5 includes the option to export the data to a comma separated file.


VMware CPU Host Info 2.01

This tools will allow you to read out all CPU information from all your ESX Servers by querying your VC server. It will show what features are available on your CPUs and if they are compatible to vmotion VMs and if FT is supported.  

ITQ VLan and Portgroup Manager


This application in C# based on the new ESX3.x /VC2.x SDK. It allows you to easily setup all port groups and VLan IDs on all your ESX Servers. You can first read out (use the export feature) the network settings of a single ESX Host. With that information you can then setup all your other servers.




VCplus is a program (windows service) that can add additional information into your VirtualCenter environment. Currently it can add Disk Usage within the VM, is snapshot is present and snapshot size and it can sync DNS name with display name


Virtual MAC Tools


To keep the MAC address of your virtual machines persistent, you can use Virtual MAC Tools to achieve this without manually editing .VMX file of virtual machine.


VM Time


A small utility that measures the time within a Virtual Machine and the time of the Host it is running on. It will report on any time differences between the two. Nice for testing and checking if the VM really knows what time it is and detect any ‘time drifting’


VM PerfMon


This is a simple program to actually measure the actual performance within a VM. It uses the VI3 GuestSDK and shows a graph of the actual CPU usage (not what the VM thinks, but real world usage) and displays in text more information about memory and CPU usage.




A lightweight tool which enables you to control the power of your virtual machines, it’s also capable of presenting the MKS console of your virtual machine


VCE Vblock Visio Stencils


These stencils can be used by partners for presentations to show they are Vblock Qualified or by parent companies to show validated diagrams.



Openfiler is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework.  

StarWind iSCSI SAN Free Edition

StarWind iSCSI SAN Free is an iSCSI Target that converts any Windows server into a SAN. This tool provides the wide range of storage management and data protection features. If you want to deploy iSCSI SAN in your testing lab, for personal use or educational purposes, and evaluate this technology, you can do so completely free with StarWind. The solution is designed for use with the market leading server virtualization platforms – VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix.  
StarWind V2V Converter  

StarWind Converter is a downloadable V2V conversion tool for virtual machines. You can use it to convert VMDK to VHD files and VHD to VMDK as well as to IMG file, which is a native StarWind format. This is a very simple but useful file conversion tool that will convert virtual hard drive images from VMware’s VMDK format into the Microsoft’s VHD format. It is a sector by sector copy operation from one format to the other. It does not modify the source image and will leave it so you can continue to use it.




FreeNAS is a powerful, flexible home storage system – configured by you, for your needs.From inexplicable file system incompatibilities to the mystery of the missing crossover cable, everyone knows the pain of trying to share files between different operating systems. Luckily, FreeNAS is here to make make the solution simple.Whether it’s streaming music and movies, backing up a desktop, or syncing files over the web, FreeNAS provides the tools to help you build the perfect file storage appliance for your home!




It’s a pretty simple utility to generate CPU and/or memory load within a virtual machine (or a physical server if you are still living in the dark ages). You can specify the number of threads to generate for CPU load and the approximate load each thread generates. You can also specify how much memory you want the application to consume. There’s a timer so you can configure it to only generate the specified load for a set period of time, and system memory utilization and system/per core CPU utilization indicators within the application.



SyslogAppliance is a ready to run logging system which can be deployed right “out of the box”. Just plug it into any VMWare environment and enjoy receiving log messages from a variety of sources, including Routers, Firewalls and even Windows event logs. It is a great troubleshooting, reporting, analysis and capacity planning tool.


ManageEngine  Free VM configuration Tool

VMware Configuration Tool helps administrators to monitor VMware ESX 4.0 & VMware ESX 4.1 hosts and it can manage/configure some important attributes of the virtual machines available in the host machine. Parameters that can be managed/configured for a virtual machine(s) using this tool are as follows:

Power Operations
CPU – Configuration
Memory – Configuration
Rename Virtual Machine


ManageEngine VM Health Monitor Free Tool

Using VM Health Monitor Tool, You will be able to perform:

Monitor VMware ESX server
Monitor VMware ESXi server
VMware host resources like CPU, Memory, Disk Details
Monitor Virtual Machine(VM ) and Guest OS Resources
Network Bandwidth Usage Monitoring
Real time monitoring tool
Easy to learn and use


Jam Software’s


Free Stress Test Tool for Your PC  



GParted is a free partition manager that enables you to resize, copy, and move partitions without data loss.  



UBERAlign is the tool for VMware Virtual Machine alignment and Space Reclamation


  SteelBytes  HD_Speed

HD_Speed Measures both sustained and burst data transfer rates of your hard disks, cd/dvd-roms, flash cards/sticks, floppys, etc. Realtime graphical display.  

FalconStor’s  Free iSCSI SAN software


FalconStor iSCSI Virtual SAN Appliance enables you to use shared storage without requiring additional storage arrays, SAN switches, or HBAs.


StorMagic’s SvSAN for VMware

SvSAN Provides a single shared data store on your existing servers disk or other direct attached storage device.  



Netwrix VMware Change Reporter


Netwrix VMware Change Reporter provides virtual machine monitoring solutions to audit what changes were applied to your virtual environment, who made them, and where. Detailed reports help control VM sprawl and sustain regulatory compliance. See how your organization can benefit from Netwrix virtual machine monitoring tool.




Iometer is an I/O subsystem measurement and characterization tool for single and clustered systems.


Slym software’s vSphere Configuration Backup

vSphere Configuration Backup is an automating tool for saving configurations of multiple ESXi and SQL databases.  



ImgBurn Allows you to create and manage ISO files to use with your VMs.




Winscp is a free SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows.






PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Windows and Unix platforms, along with an terminal emulator


Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Solution Accelerator


The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) Solution Accelerator is a Microsoft-supported, stand-alone solution for the IT pro or solution provider who wants to convert VMware-based virtual machines and disks to Hyper-V-based virtual machines and disks.


HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter


HP Insight Control Storage Module for VMware vCenter is a plug-in for VMware’s vCenter management console which enables the VMware administrator to quickly obtain context-aware information about the HP storage in their VMware environment directly from within vCenter.


Free ISO Creator


With Free ISO Creator, you can easily create ISO image from any files and folders (with the subfolders). Free ISO Creator is one of the best solution to create ISO file.


  MagicISO  Maker


MagicISO is a powerful CD/DVD image file creating/editing/extracting tool. It can open / create / edit /extract CD/DVD image files, and it can convert bin to iso and back.  as well as make ISO file from DVD/CD-ROM or hard disk, and handle bootable information at meanwhile.


Free WinISO Maker


Free WinISO Maker  is the first CD image file Editing tool , which allows you to open, edit, create, extract, and convert ISO files, and make bootable ISO files. It can be served as Free ISO Maker,




vSphere Plugin Wizard


vSphere Plugin Wizard allows you to create a tabbed plug-in of your favorite website or admin page.


  VMware Lab’s ESXi Google Authenticator


Google Authenticator is a project that provides two-factor authentication by using both a PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module) module and a mobile application for generating one-time pass codes. In ESXi Google Authenticator, we modified the source code of Google-Authenticator to enable two-step authentication on ESXi (5.0, 5.1).


VMware Lab’s I/O Analyzer

VMware I/O Analyzer is an integrated framework designed to measure storage performance in a virtual environment and to help diagnose storage performance concerns. I/O Analyzer, supplied as an easy-to-deploy virtual appliance, automates storage performance analysis through a unified interface that can be used to configure and deploy storage tests and view graphical results for those tests.  

VMware Lab’s  Statsfeeder


Statsfeeder is a tool that enables performance metrics to be retrieved from vCenter and sent to multiple destinations, including 3rd party systems.


vCenter 5.1 Pre-Install Check Script


This is a PowerShell script written to help customers validate their environment and assess if it is ready for a 5.1.x upgrade. The script checks against known misconfiguration and issues raised with VMware Support.


Auto Deploy GUI


Auto Deploy GUI is a front end interface to the Auto Deploy/Stateless infrastructure.


VMware Lab’s Makyo


Makyo lets you copy virtual machines and vApps from one vCenter Server to another using a wizard in the vSphere Web Client. The said copy operation from one vCenter Server to another is done by starting an OVF export operation on the source server and an import OVF operation on the target server. No intermediate files are created when you copy a virtual machine or a vApp. The fling is installed as a plugin to the vSphere Web Client


VMware Boomerang


VMware Boomerang is a radically simple client application that allows you to use multiple vSphere servers simultaneously. Simply select “Add a Server…” to connect and login to an ESX server, vCenter server, or View Connection Server and you will be presented with a list of all available virtual machines.


VMware Guest Reclaim


Guest Reclaim reclaims dead space from NTFS volumes hosted on a thin provisioned SCSI disk. The tool can also reclaim space from full disks and partitions, thereby wiping off the file systems on it. As the tool deals with active data, please take all precautionary measures understanding the SCSI UNMAP framework and backing up important data.


  vCenter Inventory Snapshot


Inventory Snapshot allows a user to “snapshot” a given vCenter inventory configuration and then reproduce it. The “inventory” includes the Datacenter folders, datacenters, clusters, resource pools, vApps, hierarchy, roles and permissions, configuration settings, and custom fields. In other words, if you have an inventory with a given set of hosts and VMs organized into a group of clusters, we can faithfully reproduce this environment, including the cluster settings and custom roles you may have defined.


ESX System Analyzer


The ESX System Analyzer is a tool designed to help administrators plan a migration from ESX to ESXi. It analyzes the ESX hosts in your environment and, for each host, collects information on factors that pertain to the migration process


   VMware Onyx


Onyx is a standalone application that serves as a proxy between the vSphere Client and the vCenter Server. It monitors the network communication between them and translates it into an executable PowerShell code. Later, this code could be modified and saved into a reusable function or script.


VMware vBenchmark


vBenchmark provides a succinct set of metrics in these categories for your VMware virtualized private cloud. Additionally, if you choose to contribute your metrics to the community repository, vBenchmark also allows you to compare your metrics against those of comparable companies in your peer group. The data you submit is anonymized and encrypted for secure transmission.


VMware CloudFS


CloudFS is a prototype replicated and distributed storage system for the VMware ESX platform. It allows VMs to run using local storage, without any single points of failure. CloudFS has been described in the research papers “Lithium: Virtual Machine Storage for the Cloud” at SoCC 2010 in Indianapolis, and “Scalable virtual machine storage using local disks” in the December 2010 issue of ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review.


VMware vCenter Mobile Access

VMware vCenter Mobile Access (vCMA) is a fully configured and ready to run virtual appliance that is required to manage your datacenter from mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets (iPad). Using either a mobile browser or the native iPad application, administrators can now perform various troubleshooting and remediation activities in their VMware environments from anywhere in the world.  



vCloud Director (vCD for short) relies heavily on the vCenter Servers and host machines it uses. And there may be times when you want to “uninstall” all traces of vCD from your servers and machines. CloudCleaner is a free product that helps restore these systems to a clean state. It selectively (or completely) removes all vCD-created virtual machines, resource pools, network pools, and networks. It can also unprepare  hosts that have been prepared by vCD.


PXE Manager for vCenter


PXE Manager for vCenter enables ESXi host state (firmware) management and provisioning. Specifically, it allows:

Automated provisioning of new ESXi hosts stateless and statefull (no ESX)
ESXi host state (firmware) backup, restore, and archiving with retention
ESXi builds repository management (stateless and statefull)
ESXi Patch management
Multi vCenter support  and Much More…


VMware vCenter XVP Manager and Converter


VMware vCenter XVP Manager and Converter provides basic virtualization management capabilities for non-vSphere hypervisor platforms towards enabling centralized visibility and control across heterogeneous virtual infrastructures. It also simplifies and enables easy migrations of virtual machines from non-vSphere virtualization platforms to VMware vSphere.


VMware Guest Console


VMware Guest Console (VGC) can be used as Task Manager for Virtual Machines and can be used for Mass Deployment by copying and executing  scripts to multiple Guest OS ,File explorer,Snapshot Manager, VM Manager and Inventory.




Esxplot is a GUI-based tool that lets you explore the data collected by esxtop in batch mode. The program loads files of this data and presents it as a hierarchical tree where the values are selectable in the left panel of the tool, and graphs of the selected metrics are plotted in the right panel.




IOBlazer is a multi-platform storage stack micro-benchmark. IOBlazer runs on Linux, Windows and OSX and it is capable of generating a highly customizable workload. Parameters like IO size and pattern, burstiness (number of outstanding IOs), burst interarrival time, read vs. write mix, buffered vs. direct IO, etc., can be configured independently. IOBlazer is also capable of playing back VSCSI traces captured using vscsiStats. The performance metrics reported are throughput (in terms of both IOPS and bytes/s) and IO latency.

VMware SiteSurvey


VMware SiteSurvey Produces a report showing hardware compatibility and software configuration compatibility with advanced VMware features such as Fault Tolerance.


CPU Identification Utility


CPU Identification Utility displays CPU features for VMotion compatibility, EVC and indicates 64-bit VMware support.


VMware Support Toolbar


The VMware Support Toolbar gives you instant access to documentation, patches, live peer to peer chat and more


VMware vCenter Converter


VMware vCenter Converter Automates and simplifies physical to virtual machine conversions as well as conversions between virtual machine formats with VMware vCenter Converter. Use the intuitive wizard-driven interface of VMware vCenter Converter to transform your physical machines to virtual machines.


Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.1)


Get started with free virtualization. VMware vSphere Hypervisor is a production-ready hypervisor that lets you virtualize your servers, helping you save time and money on managing your IT infrastructure. Built on the world’s smallest and most robust architecture, VMware vSphere ESXi, the vSphere Hypervisor, sets the industry standard for reliability, performance and ecosystem support. Consolidate your applications onto fewer servers and start saving money through reduced hardware, power, cooling and administration costs.


VMware Player

VMware Player is the easiest way to run multiple operating systems at the same time on your PC. With its user-friendly interface, VMware Player makes it effortless for anyone to try out Windows 8, Windows 7, Chrome OS, the latest Linux releases, or create isolated virtual machines to safely test new software. VMware Player is free for personal use.  

vSphere Management Assistant (vMA)


The vSphere Management Assistant (vMA) allows administrators and developers to run scripts and agents to manage ESXi hosts and vCenter Server systems. vMA is a virtual machine that includes prepackaged software, a logging component, and an authentication component that supports non-interactive login.


VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Free Compliance Checkers

Free Compliance Checkers are based on VMware vCenter Configuration Manager and can be used to manage configuration compliance requirements in your environment . Each free checker includes compliance assessment for a single standard and can only assess a small number of hosts or VMs (depending on checker) at the same time. To use any of the available checkers simply download the selected checker to a Windows desktop.  

VMware vSphere PowerCLI


VMware vSphere PowerCLI is a powerful command-line tool that lets you automate all aspects of vSphere management, including network, storage, VM, guest OS and more. PowerCLI is distributed as a Windows PowerShell snapin, and includes over 370 PowerShell cmdlets for managing and automating vSphere and vCloud.


VMware VMmark


VMmark is a free tool that hardware vendors, virtualization software vendors and other organizations use to measure the performance and scalability of applications running in virtualized environments. Get an accurate measurement of your virtual datacenter performance with VMmark , the industry’s first virtualization platform benchmark for x86-based computers.


VMware vCenter Support Assistant


VMware vCenter Support Assistant is a FREE plug-in for vCenter Server that provides an easy-to-use, secure, one-stop shop BOTH for creating and managing service requests AND generating and uploading logs.


VMware Posters


This page is dedicated to the VMware posters which were created by Technical Marketing and have been released at VMworld and VMUGs around the world, this is a central place to find the latest versions of the PDF versions which can be used for reference or printed off as needed.


VMware vCenter Update Manager Sizing Estimator

VMware vCenter Update Manager Sizing Estimator  will help you estimate the size of your VUM database, patch store and temporary disk space. It will also give you recommendations on where to place your VUM database and if you should install VMware Update Manager on your vCenter server.  

ThinApp Factory


The ThinApp Factory is a virtual appliance that brings centralized administration and automation to the process of creating virtualized Windows applications with VMware ThinApp technology.




vBenchmark provides a succinct set of metrics in these categories for your VMware virtualized private cloud. Additionally, if you choose to contribute your metrics to the community repository, vBenchmark also allows you to compare your metrics against those of comparable companies in your peer group. The data you submit is anonymized and encrypted for secure transmission.


Thinapped vSphere Client

No install, just download the EXE and double-click. Place the ThinApped vSphere client on any network share and it will automatically stream to any Windows PC with no installation, agents, drivers, or specialized servers required. Carry ThinApped vSphere client and your customization on USB stick and now your vSphere client is available on the GO!  

Install ESXi 5.1 using USB Flash Drive

There are many situations that you have to install your ESXi host from USB flash drive. Let’s say you server or workstation which has malfunctioned CD-ROM drive or you always want your ESXi boot image handy. Data center technician always want ESXi bootable image handy during ESXi build or troubleshooting ESXi host bu attaching the installation disk. This post gives you the step by step procedure how to use USB flash drive as the bookable media for ESXi installation. I am using the software called UNettbootin to convert my USB flash drive as boot media for ESXi installation.

Pre -requisites steps to perform

1. First Download the UNettbootin
2. Keep your ESXi 5.1 ISO image on your local drive
3.Attach you USB flash drive in your desktop
Steps to configure USB Flash drive as bootable Media for ESXi 5.1 installation
1. Double-click on the downloaded UNetbootin.exe executable file
2. Once UNetbootin wizard is opened, Select the USB Drive under Type and select the Drive letter for the connected USB Flash drive.
3. Select ISO in the Diskimage drop-down and click on Browse button. Select your ESXi 5.1 ISO and click Open to attach the ISO image to UNetbootin. Click on OK to start the process.
4.It takes few minutes to complete the process to change your USB flash drive as bootbale media.
After the all 4 steps below steps completed
A.Download Files
B.Extracting and copying files
C. Installing Bootloader
D. Installation complete
5. Attach your USB Flash drive to your server and boot the server using USB drive.. If you are trying to boot the Virtual Machine using  USB in Workstation. Follow the steps “Boot from a USB Flash Drive in VMware Workstation
6. Once it it booted into ESXi image from the USB flash drive, Proceed with the installation steps.
That’s it. You are Done.  I believe this is informative for you. Be Social and share this post in your social media if you think it is useful.

Difference between VMware ESX and ESXi

It’s been a long debate that everyone has been asked by what is the difference between ESX and ESXi. Most of the admins would have asked this question during interviews and also asked by new learners of VMware virtualization. I decided to post on the topic to give architectural difference always as to compare the different level capabilities between ESX & ESXi.

What is VMware ESX ?

ESX (Elastic Sky X) is the VMware’s enterprise server virtualization platform. In ESX, VMkernel is the virtualization kernel which is managed by a console operating system which is also called as Service console. Which is linux based and its main purpose is it to provide a Management interface for the host and lot of management agents and other thrid party software agents are installed on the service console to provide  the functionalists like hardware management and monitoring of ESX hypervisor.                                                                                                                                         

Graphic Thanks to VMware

What is VMware ESXi ?

ESXi (Elastic sky X Integrated) is also the VMware’s enterprise server virtualization platform. In ESXi, Service console is removed. All the VMware related agents and third party agents such as management and monitoring agents can also run directly on the VMkernel. ESXi is ultra-thin architecture which is highly reliable and its small code-base allows it to be more secure with less codes to patch. ESXi uses Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) instead of a service console to perform management of ESXi server. ESXi installation will happen very quickly as compared to ESX installation.

Graphic Thanks to VMware
Difference between ESX and ESXi
 ESX 4.1 is the last version availability of ESX server. After vSphere 5, only ESXi is available.  This comparison based out of the VMware Article


Service Console
Troubleshooting performed via
Service Console
ESXi Shell
Active Director Authentication
Secure Syslog
Not Supported
Management Network
Service Console Interface
VMKernel Interface
Jumbo Frames
Hardware Montioring
3 rd Party agents installed in Service console
Via CIM Providers
Boot from SAN
Supported in ESX
Supported in ESXi
Software patches and updates
Needed as smilar to linux operation system
Few pacthes because of small footprint and more secure
vSphere web Access
Only experimental
Full managenet capability via vSPhere web client
Locked Down Mode
Not present
Present . Lockdown mode prevents remote users to login to the host
Scripted Installtion
vMA Support
Major Administration command-line Command
Rapid deployment via Auto Deploy
Not supported
Custom Image creation
Not supported
VMkernel Network Used for
vMotion,Fault Tolarance,Stoarge Connectivity
Management Network , vMotion, Fault Tolarance, Stoarge Connectivity, ISCSI port binding

VMWARE Interview Questions

How to setup Default and Fine Grain Password Policy

One strange thing that still seems to catch a lot of people out is that you can only have one password policy for your user per domain. This catches a lot of people out as they apply a password policy to an OU in their AD thinking that it will apply to all the users in that OU…. but it doesn’t. Microsoft did introduce Fine Grain Password Policies with Windows Server 2008 however this can only be set based on a security group membership and you still need to use the very un-user-friendly ADSI edit tool to make the changes to the policy.

Below I will go through how you change the default domain password policy and how you then apply a fine grain password policy to your environment. The Good news is setting the default password policy for a domain is really easy. The Bad news is that setting a fine grain password policy is really hard.

Update: If you want to set a password complexity setting that is not supported out of the box of windows then it is possible to install a third-party DLL on you domain controllers to achieve this. However there are many caveats to this and it is best you check out the full explanation at

How to set a Default Domain Password Policy

Step 1. Create a new Group Policy Object at the top level of the domain (e.g. “Domain Password Policy”).


Note: I have elected to create a new GPO at the top of the domain in this case as I always try to avoid modifying the “Default Domain Policy”, see references below.


TechNet: Linking GPOs

If you need to modify some of the settings contained in the Default Domain Policy GPO, it is recommended that you create a new GPO for this purpose, link it to the domain, and set the Enforce option.

TechNet: Establishing Group Policy Operational Guidelines

Do not modify the default domain policy or default domain controller policy unless necessary. Instead, create a new GPO at the domain level and set it to override the default settings in the default policies.

Step 2. Edit the “Domain Password Policy” GPO and go to Computer Configurations>Policies>Windows Settings>Security Settings>Account Policy>Password Policy and configured the password policies settings to the configuration you desire.


Step 3. Once you have configured the password policy settings make the “Domain Password Policy” GPO the highest in the Linked GPO processing order.

TIP: Make sure you inform all your users when you are going to do this as it may trigger them to change their password the next time they logon.


Done… told you it was easy….

Note: Even if you apply the password policies to the “Domain Controllers” OU it will not modify the domain’s password policy. As far as I know this is the only exception to the rule as to how GPO’s apply to objects. As you can see in the image below the “Minimum password length” in the “Domain Password Policy” GPO is still applied to the domain controller even though I have another GPO linking to the “Domain Controllers” OU configuration the same setting.


For a better explanation as to why the GPO that is linked to the Domain and not the Domain Controllers is used for the password policy for all users check out Jorge’s Quest for Knowledge! – Why GPOs with Password and Account Lockout Policy Settings must be linked to the AD domain object to be affective on AD domain user accounts


How to set a Fine Grain Password Policy

Fine Grain Password Policies (FGPP) were introduced as a new feature of Windows Server 2008. Before this the only way to have different password polices for the users in your environment was to have separate domains… OUCH!


You domain must be Windows Server 2008 Native Mode, this means ALL of your domain controllers must be running Windows Server 2008 or later. You can check this by selection the “Raise domain functional level” on the top of the domain in Active Directory Users and Computers.



AD DS: Fine-Grained Password Policies

The domain functional level must be Windows Server 2008.

The other restriction with this option is that you can only apply FGPP to users object or users in global security groups (not computers).


AD DS: Fine-Grained Password Policies

Fine-grained password policies apply only to user objects … and global security groups.

TIP: If you setup an “Automatic Shadow Group” you can apply these password policies to users automatically to any users located in an OU.

Creating a Password Setting Object (PSO)

Step 1. Under Administrator Tools Open ADSI Edit and connect it to a domain and domain controller you want to setup the new password policy.


Note: If you do not see this option go to “Turn Windows Features On or Off” and make sure the “AD DS and AD LDS Tools” are installed. (You will need RSAT also installed if you are on Windows 7).\

Step 2. Double click on the “CN=DomainName” then double click on “CN=System” and then double click on “CN=Password Settings Container”.


Step 3. Right click on “CN=Password Settings Container” and then click on “New” then “Object…”



Step 4. Click on “Next”


Step 5. Type the name of the PSO in the “Value” field and then click “Next”


Note: With the exception of the password length the following values are all the same as the default values in the “Default Domain Policy”.

Step 6. Type in a number that will be the Precedence for this Password Policy then click “Next”.

Note: This is used if a users has multiple Password Settings Object (PSO) applied to them.


Step  7. Type “FALSE” in the value field and click “Next”

Note: You should almost never use “TRUE” for this setting.


Step 8. Type “24” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 9. Type “TRUE” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 10. Type “5” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 11. Type “1:00:00:00” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 12. Type “42:00:00:00” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 13. Type “10” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 14. Type “0:00:30:00” field and click “Next”


Step 15. Type “0:00:33:00” in the “Value” field and click “Next”


Step 16. Click “Finish”


You have now created the Password Settings Object (PSO) and you can close the ADSIEdit tool.

Now to apply the PSO to a users or group…

Step 17.  Open Active Directory Users and Computers and navigate to “System  > Password Settings Container”

Note: Advanced Mode needs to be enabled.


Step 18. Double click on the PSO you created then click on the “Attribute Editor” tab and then select the “msDS-PSOAppliedTo” attribute and click “Edit”


Step 19. Click “Add Windows Accounts….” button.


Step 20. Select the user or group you want to apply this PSO and click “OK”


Step 21. Click “OK”


Step 22. Click “OK”


And your are done…  (told you it was hard).

Fine Grain Password Policies as you can see are very difficult to setup and manage so it is probably best you use them sparingly in your organisation… But if you really have to have a simple password or extra complicated password then at least it give you away to do this without having to spin up another domain.

Other Useful Links

AD DS: Fine-Grained Password Policies

AD DS Fine-Grained Password and Account Lockout Policy Step-by-Step Guide

How to use Group Policy to deny executing, writing and/or reading on removable disks

Removable memory sticks are the back door for data in any organisation. BitLocker to Go can do some way to controlling this vector however you might want to simple close off all access to removable drives for all your users. So if you are running Windows 7 you will be glad to know there are a heap of Windows 7 GPO setting that allows you to control access to your removable devices.

Even better there is a deny execute access policy setting prevents your users the running on BYO applications such as Firefox Portable and even some malicious software via USB sticks.


While most of the device types seem obvious, the WPD Device allows you to control access “to removable disks, which may include media players, cellular phones, auxiliary displays, and CE devices.”.

You can even configure the “Time (in seconds) to force reboot” which will enforce the change once it is applied to the computer.

These policy setting can be found under Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.

Its the best thing to control access to USB storage device since the invention of the hot glue gun….

Fine Grained Password Policy In The Win 2008/R2

Windows 2003 and below supports only single password policy in the domain and it wasn’t possible to configure multiple or different password or account lockout policy for the different set of users or groups within the same domain. The different password policy sometimes force to create different domain if you are hosting AD for the multiple clients due to their requirements. Windows 2008/R2 supports multiple password policy in the domain, which was most requested features in the newest OS. Microsoft heard it & introduced the different password policy in windows 2008 & above called as Fine Grained Password Policy(FGPP).

The requirement for implementing the Fine Grained Password Policy(FGPP) is domain functional level required to be windows at 2008 & above. This means your all the DC in the particular domain where you want to implement FGPP should be running DC’s in windows 2008 & above.

Windows Server 2008 – Fine Grained Password Policy Walkthrough

Here is the step by step link to configure Windows 2008 Fine Grained Policy.

Tool to manage fined grained password policy using GUI.

AD DS Fine-Grained Password and Account Lockout Policy Step-by-Step Guide

AD DS: Fine-Grained Password Policies

Inter/Intra Forest Migration Using ADMT Tool

ADMT Version
OS required by ADMT tool
Source Domain
Target/Destination Domain System OS support
ADMT 3.0 Windows Server 2003 Has no requirement for functional levelDCs: Windows NT
Windows 2000 Server
Windows Server 2003
Minimum functional level: Windows 2000 Native Windows NT
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows XPWindows 2000 Server
Windows Server 2003
ADMT 3.1 Windows Server 2008 Has no requirement for functional levelDCs: Windows 2000 Server
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008* Do Not support the migration of domain objects from Windows NT4
Minimum functional level: Windows 2000 Native*Minimum functional level: Windows 2000 Native*Known issues that may occur when you use ADMT 3.1 to migrate to a domain that contains Windows Server 2008 R2 DC
KB:976659*You cannot uninstall ADMT 3.1 after you perform an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2.KB: 974625
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows XP
Windows VistaWindows Server 2000
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
ADMT 3.2 Windows Server 2008 R2 Minimum functional level:  Windows Server 2003DCs: Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2
Minimum functional level:
Windows Server 2003
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2

The above table has been used from Ana Paula M Franco blogs, since it was in Portuguese, i converted into English to be understand by others.

Download ADMT 3.2 guide from below.

Known issues that may occur when you use ADMT 3.1 to migrate to a domain that contains Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controllers

ADMT 3.2: Common Installation Issues

Checklist: Performing an Intraforest Migration

Checklist: Performing an Interforest Migration

Establishing Migration Accounts for Your Migration

Best Practices for Active Directory Migration

How to install ADMT 3.2 on Windows 2008 R2 SP1 Domain Controller

Migrating All User Accounts

Migrated Users Get Prompted To Change Password at First Logon Even After Migrating Their Password with the PES

Migrate Workstations and Member Servers

Enabling Migration of Passwords

Migrating Vista and Windows 7 profiles with ADMT 3.2

Managing Users, Groups, and User Profiles

Translating Security in Add Mode

Troubleshooting KB’s

Troubleshooting Password Migration Issues

Troubleshooting Computer Migration Issues

ADMT, RODC’s, and Error 800704f1

Windows Time Server Role In Active Directory Forest/Domain

I have seen various queries related with the windows time service configuration in Active Directory forest and domain architecture, so I decided to pen down an article which might be helpful to answer the queries. Foremost, let’s try to understand what is the time server role, how it works and why it is important to configured it right in the Active Directory forest/domain and issues faced if it is not configured or assigned to the right DC.

Time server’s role is assigned to the DC holding PDC role in the domain. Considering a different scenario where multiple domains exists in the same forest, how would you assign the time server role and which domain DC should be synchronizing the time server role either from the external or reliable source?

To answer the above: By default, there is only one PDC Emulator in each and every domain. The reason to assign time server role to only DC holding PDC role is DC with FSMO role acts like king of the kingdom which has ability to authorize the changes for resolving or avoiding conflicts. When new objects are created or existing objects are modified in AD (Active Directory), it is first being validated by the PDC FSMO role holder DC and post authorization it is allowed to replicate to all other DC’s in the forest/domain. User login to the domain, Kerberos ticket assignment,  AD/DNS replication, Creation/Change/modification in AD etc. are all dependent on time service sync with the PDC. If, there is any time mismatch of time between the DC’s in the domain, then authentication will fail, changes will not be replicated to other DC’s, resource access will fail and you could face several other issues. By default, domain allows time skew of 5 min, which means systems in the domain including DC can have time difference of 5 min but not more or less. In that case, users will not be able to login to the domain joined systems and will get authentication fail error messages.

If  there is single domain in the forest, then its easy to configure the time server role on the PDCEmulator. Considering the different scenarios, where multiple domain environments like Parent-Child or Tree-Root domains architecture are involved, in that case configure a DC with PDC FSMO role in the Parent/Root domain to be the time server role which is syncing its time from the external or reliable source and let all other domain to follow the Parent/Root DC time hierarchy. By default, DC holding the PDC role syncs its time from the reliable/external source and all other domain joined clients follow the PDC FSMO role holder DC to sync their time. The protocol used by the time server is NTP/SNTP.

In some cases, you might have to completely reset the time service, due to messed up time service registry keys settings which can be on the DC or member machine. The simplest fix is to un-register the time service on the problem domain joined machine(can be dc or member machine) and re-register it using below cmd. It worked for me most of the time and it might work for you too.

– Type CMD in the run windows

–  Type Net stop w32time to stop the time service

–  Type W32tm /unregister to unregister the time service registry

–  Type W32tm /register to register the time service registry back

–  Type Net start w32time

 Port Assignments for the Windows Time Service

Service name



NTP 123 NA

August 2011 cumulative time zone update for Windows operating systems


The below link comprises of detailed explanation of the time sync principle for the AD domain, domain controllers & member servers.

Windows Time and the W32TM service

Configure the Windows Time service on the PDC emulator in the Forest Root Domain

You are required to run cmd given below on the DC holding the PDCEmulator role in the forest to sync the time from the external or reliable source. If its Tree-Root or Parent-Child domain then allow only the Root/Parent DC to sync its time from the external or reliable source and other domain(tree or child domain) should follow the time from the Root/Parent PDC hierarchy. External source can be internet and reliable source can be router or hardware clock.

w32tm /config /manualpeerlist: peers /syncfromflags:manual /reliable:yes /update

Change the Windows Time service configuration on the previous PDC emulator or the domain client machines

Run the below cmd to reconfigure the DC previously holding the PDC role to sync the time from the new DC holding the PDC Emulator role, post moving the PDC role to the new DC. The below command can be used on any domain member client/server machine to reconfigure the time services to follow domain hierarchy.

w32tm /config /syncfromflags:domhier /reliable:no /update

You need to stop and start the time service using services.msc console or simply run this net stop w32time && netstart w32time on the cmd prompt.

How to configure authoritative time server

Configuring a time source for the forest

Keeping the Domain On Time

Configuring the Time Service: Max[Pos/Neg]PhaseCorrection

Windows Time Service Tools and Settings

How to turn on debug logging in the Windows Time Service

A list of the Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) time servers that are available on the Internet

Windows Time Service Technical Reference

Windows Time and the W32TM service

High Accuracy W32time Requirements

NET TIME and w32time

Windows Time Service

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