One of the great things about working in a large environment is the budget for tools to make your life easier , or run more smoothly. However this isn’t always the case – sometimes that budget gets pulled mysterious from under your feet ( and the Director gets a new Jag.. no connection 😉 )or sometimes its just not there. Nomatter what the size of your shop , there are still challenges which are not going to go away overnight. There is however a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of freeware tools , which I’ve blogged about on numerous occasions. My efforts in reporting these free tools are nothing compared with a fellow tweep @KendrickColeman who has put together pretty much the most comprehensive guide to what you can get for free to help you out.


Not a gent to rest on his laurels , he’s gone one better than that and put together a great bundle of these in an iso which really should make its way onto a datastore near you now.


First thinks first, get downloading the file – while thats happening , take a look at what awaits.


The ISO is split into 6 folders , each covering an aspect of your day to day work.

1. P2V Cleanup

Always a fun thing to do but a few very handy little scripts & tools to make it nice and smooth. It’ll save me having to copy the HP PSP Cleaner to every box for a start.

2. Hal upgrade / Downgrade

Sometimes you have to do this as part of a post P2V operation or when you’ve finally caved into that application team naggin for the extra vCPU ( Man up and learn to say no next time , okay ! ) and then found out it makes no difference to the app performance , so have to downgrade the HAL again after removing the vCPU.

3. Partition Alignment

sadly Kendrick wasn’t able to include all the tools he wanted to on this ( while they are free , he wasn’t allowed to redistribute ) – but to get your Windows 2003 VM’s running as best as they can, you really want to work through a few of these.

4. Reclaim Space

Thin provisioning is a wonderful thing , but  all it takes is some bright spark to try and defrag the VM or copy a large file temporarily and the drive fills out quicker than my jeans on a trip to the US. Use Sdelete to zero out the deleted space and svmotion to thin the VM back out again.

5. Analysis

At some point in life , it will be necessary to do a little bit of benchmarking , be it on new storage or hardware. using iometer to generate comparative results of a VM’s performance pre & post aligning , or on a new datastore , or Loadstorm to stress test that new cluster should help you achieve that.

6. Sysprep files

Last but not least , these will save you the download for when you deploy a new vCenter and need to set up guest customisation.


If anyone would like to create a pretty front end menu for these – then get in contract with Kendrick – his mail address is in the post.