Below is a list of tools I found to be extremely helpful over the years. I will go in to more detail for a few of them with specific examples on how I used them in the real world.
— Microsoft Planning and Assessment Toolkit: If you are planning a major project around server consolidation, cloud migration, VDI, or SAN implementation , be sure to give MAPs a look. This will give you all the information you need to ensure your new environment has been designed to handle the current workload. I will write a more detailed blog post on this shortly. Check back soon.
— Dropbox: If you haven’t heard about Dropbox yet, then take a few min to create a Dropbox account free. It’s a great cloud based storage app that will give you access to your data across multiple computers or mobile devices.
— TreeSize: Have you ever had a drive fill up but have no idea what folder is taking up all the space? TreeSize will give you an explorer view of all the folders, sub folders and files for a volume and sort them by the amount of space being used. This is a free program. The paid version allows you to scan network folders as well.
— Ninite: We all know how much time goes into configuring a new PC. Installing Windows Updates, Office, third party apps like Adobe Reader, Flash, Shockwave etc. and having to install each app manually. Ninite let’s you build a custom installer to include a BUNCH of third party add-ons that goes out to download the installers and installs them all with a click of a button.
— Angry IP Scan: Its really not that angry, but is extremely helpful when you want to see what is actually on your network. This is a simple IP scanner and will return the host name if available along with an alive or dead status.
— WinMTR: WinMTR is a combination of ping and traceroute and is extremely helpful in isolating connectivity issues specifically around packet lost all the way to the destination. Download it free here
— iPerf: Ever wonder what your real throughput was like from your PC to a server on your LAN or remote location? Check out iPerf. It’s like a locally hosted speed test that has both a client and a server component.
— CatTools: Managing the configs a bunch of routers and switches can be a daunting task. How do you back these up in the event of a failure. CatTools automated the process for most firewalls and switches.
— ViseVersa Pro: This is a great little program that can be used for data backup , data migration and more. It will allow you to keep files in sync between multiple locations as well as maintain NTFS permissions.
— LogMeIn: If you are looking for a solid remote access method, look no further. This is by far the best one available today available on all mobile devices as well as pC and MAC.
— Kaseya: If you are responsible for managing more that 10 systems, Kaseya is a great way to manage everything from inventory, licensing to automating tasks across the organization.
— Pingdom: This is a great SaaS based app that lets you monitor specific ports, services etc from multiple geographical locations. Unlike other simple port test services, Pingdom has the ability to check for certain content on a site, for example “Error 500” Check it out
— NetWrix Password Notifier: Do your users always forget to change their password before it expires? Check out this sweet app that will send your users direct emails reminding them to change their password until it happens! You can customize the email to include instructions, or even personalize it to the user. http://www.netwrix.com/password_change_reminder.html