A new version of vOPS Server Explorer is being launched today by vKernel (who were acquired by Quest and subsequently Dell).
The company have a history of releasing free tools to assist vSphere administrators and the new version of vOPS Server Explorer builds on this reputation by bringing in an additional subset of functionality from their commercial product (vOPS Server Standard).
Of course, as a free tool, one of its aims is to prove its value and help generate sales of the full, commercial product. I don't think that should stop anyone trying it out though – you can't knock a free tool. I used one of vKernel's early tools to highlight a growing issue for a customer.
So, what's new in this version?
This is actually a pre-existing component in vOPS Server Explorer but some additional functionality has been added in this release:
- Potential zombie VMs are highlighted.
- The savings possible from resizing VMs are now shown (although the costs are pre-configured in this free version).
- The dashboard has a new tile that highlights the major changes to the infrastructure made over the last week.
This component exists in the commercial vOPS Server Standard already but now some of the functionality is being brought into vOPS Server Explorer. It exists to show consolidated statistics and issues related to storage.
One of the things that I like about this component is that so many different pieces of data are visible and accessible in one place. For example, for each datastore you can easily see both the VMFS version and the path selection policy. Also, hover the mouse over a datastore and you can see useful tootips (for example you might see that 16% of a datastore's throughput comes from a single VM).
You can also see VM capacity information (as long as your VMs have VMtools installed) and any warnings about actual or potential performance issues. Naturally the warning thresholds are not configurable in vOPS Server Explorer but only in the full vOPS Server Standard product. The free version is also limited to the top 10 datastores.
This component is intended to show a history / overview of changes made within a virtual infrastructure. Again, it's built on functionality available in the full product but provides some useful insights into changes that have occurred.
It contains filtering functionality that allows you to search for actions taken by specific users or for actions taken on particular VI objects. Each change comes with an associated impact risk (that is configurable in the commercial version) to allow you to view the highest impact changes only for instance.
vOPS Server Explorer 6.3 is available for download at: http://www.vkernel.com/download/server-explorer