Virtual machine watching


With all the focus of my research for the last three months on familiarising myself with VMware ESX and the practical aspects of managing a simple ESX server configuration raises some areas that aren’t necessarily handled well by the supplied tools from Vmware.

Firstly I wanted a simple monitoring application that allowed me to become more familiar with the daily running patterns of a number of vms that I am running (migrations of some physical and some already virtual machines).

What I had envisaged was a tool showing the various stats that would allow me or an admin on a site to be sure that simple things like space within VM disks was not causing other issues. So I was pleasantly surprised to fine just what I was after.

RVtools from http://www.robware.net/

In the words of the developer

RVTools is a small .NET 2.0 application which uses the VI SDK to display information about your virtual machines. Interacting with VirtualCenter 2.x or ESX 3.x RVTools is able to list information about cpu, memory, disks, nics, cd-rom, floppy drives, snapshots, VMware tools, ESX hosts and datastores. With RVTools you can disconnect the cd-rom or floppy drives from the virtual machines and RVTools is able to list the current version of the VMware Tools installed inside each virtual machine. and update them to the latest version.

Just fire it up – point at your ESX or Virtualcenter (now VCenter) server and get the lowdown on some important things – like space in your datastores or free diskspace within the vm itself.

After 15 minutes or so of looking around – consider this – how many of the nuggets of information this little tool shows will help you improve your ESX setup – VM diskspace layout and simple monitoring – then go back to the site and give something via Paypal – tools like this need support to give results like this.

A note

Note: This application only supports ESX Server 3.x, VirtualCenter 2.x and ESX Server 3i.