I think most of us who have worked with VMware’s VSphere have to come realize that it’s a great product, but it still leaves us yearning for more robust real-time VM monitoring, documentation, and management reporting for our virtual environments. That is where a product like Veeam ONE Free Edition can be a key player in your environment. It has no restrictions on the number of vCenter servers and ESX(i) host you can mange, and best of all it’s free.

Jose Sanchez

Jose Sanchez has 10+ years of hands-on experience in VMware virtualization, storage design, Microsoft technologies and network infrastructure.

VMware vCenter and ESX(i) monitoring - Veeam One Free Edition

VMware vCenter and ESX(i) monitoring – Veeam ONE Free Edition

If you’re working on a budget, you can take it for a test drive with no commitment. Unlike other quote on quote “Free” management application out there, Veeam ONE Free Edition does include all of the core functionality of the full version. Those Core capabilities include:

  • Full Data Collection
  • Multi-User support
  • Microsoft SQL Server backend

Not to mention that it comes with 125 pre-built alarms for real-time monitoring and alerting. All of these alarms are tied to an extensive knowledge base that will help you troubleshoot and pinpoint the root causes of alarms and resolve any potential issues you may find. I highly recommend their built-in storage alarms. They can notify you of any possible capacity issues when V-Disks reach their configured limit, and another good one is their datastore load alarms that can notify of disk utilization of all hosts and VMs using a particular datastore. All alerts generated from these essential alarms can be routed via email and SNMP, ensuring the right people are notified not matter where they are.

VMware monitoring - Veeam One Free Edition

VMware monitoring – Veeam ONE Free Edition

Another key function of the Veeam ONE is its ability to produce near real-time documentation of your entire virtual infrastructure. Once installed and configured Veeam ONE Free Editon will automatically discover your virtual environments, and then you can start churning up documentation on your topology and performance of your entire virtual infrastructure. This is often a necessary task that gets thrown on the back burner while we tend to other fires.

If that isn’t enough, why not whip out some reports for management that you can use to summarize your environments workload and utilization. If there is one thing I learned, it is that management likes pretty pictures of graphs and charts “metrics”. So, one way to really make them happy is to give them access to Veeam ONE’s customizable dashboard. It’s a web based interface, so it will be a snap for them to pop open a browser and enjoy all the goodness. It is customizable, so you can control what they see just in case you take the less information is better approach with management.

Veeam One Free Edition - Dashboard

Veeam ONE Free Edition - Dashboard

It is free so there are going to be some limitations. You can go take look at the detailed difference on Veeam’s site Veeam ONE: Free vs Full, but here are some of capabilities that won’t be available in the free version unless you upgrade that I chose to highlight:

  • Alarm modeling and custom alarms
  • Full access to the knowledge base
  • Management of guest, host and vCenter processes
  • Historical change management beyond the most recent 24 hours
  • Microsoft Visio reports for multipathing, network, vMotion and datastore utilization
  • Automated report generation and distribution

If you do choose to upgrade to their full version, however, it’s just as simple as installing a purchased license key. You don’t have to reinstall the application or worry about losing your configurations and historical data.

Like I mentioned before there are no limits at all on the number of hosts, virtual machines, users, or your data archive. On top of that, they are also going to be adding full support of Microsoft’s Hyper-V in the 2nd quarter of 2012 with Veeam ONE version 6. This will be huge and give customers a single management pane for both of their virtualized infrastructures.

Veeam ONE Free Edition ^

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