Macrium Reflect Free is a great free hard drive backup utility that creates excellent images. The free edition still packs very powerful features that you typically have to pay for. Booting, injecting drivers and mounting are all available.
Cinebench R15 is a great benchmark tool for PC and Mac focusing on video/3D capabilities. There are 2 main tests, CPU and graphics card performance. The result is an overall benchmark score that is commonly used as an authority for performance.
CPU-Z is a freeware utility that identifies various components within your PC, real time. The CPUID website offers other great performance monitor freeware utilities.
Ninite is a site thats aggregated the most common utilities available for PC aloows you to create a free custom application installer Step 1, choose all of the applications you want to install. Step 2, click download. Ninite will create a custom installer - on the fly - using the applications selected. Step 3, go.
This is a little 'old school' but seeing this again brought back memories of times where nLite was the coolest way to deploy WindowsXP. nLite seems to have evolved into NTLite, supporting W8 and now W10.
Have you ever wanted to remove Windows components like Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, MSN Explorer, Messenger...
How about not even to install them with Windows ?
nLite is a tool for pre-installation Windows configuration and component removal at your choice. Optional bootable image ready for burning on media or testing in virtual machines.
With nLite you will be able to have Windows installation which on install does not include, or even contain on media, the unwanted components.
Mininet is a great, quick way to spawn virtual networks for testing. The lightweight Ubuntu-based OS will create virtual servers and devices capable of communicating with the built-in SDN controller.
Atom is a great, free, hackable text editor that is incredibly useful for day to day.
MapCrunch takes you to random Google map street views. Would you be able to guess that you are on Unnamed Road, Dariganga, Mongolia? Of course you can. Try it out, great for killing time.
For instances where a simple diagram is needed to explain or to assist with troubleshooting, ASCIIFLOW is a perfect tool. Drag and drop the topology, copy, paste, done.
Cisco's interactive catalog is an amazing way to see and 'touch' the entire portfolio. Built by Kaon, a former gaming company turned marketing company, has won many awards for their ability to digitize accurate reproductions or models in 3D.
Duncan Epping is a Chief Technologist in the office of CTO at VMware. He has published some great virtualization technical references, some of which are available for free. His blog, yellow-bricks.com is a VMware Administrators go-to black book for managing enterprise environments or studying for a VCP or VCDX certification.
DJI's Mavic Pro is one of the best drones I've used so far. 4k video, 30min run-time, 360 degree, 3-axis gimbal for stabilization swivel camera, 4.3mi of 720p video streaming to the remote and folding arms allowing the drone to fit into a compact shoulder bag. Unlike previous DJI drones, the propellers are fixed to the arm and do not require installation for each use. Get the DJI Mavic Pro here.
Long time virtualization blogger and storage enthusiast Frank Denneman is a VMware expert who has multiple white papers and formal publications. Check out his deep dives here and his list of the top 25 virtualization bloggers here.
VLADAN blog site contains various instructional posts regarding VMware-based infrastructures. Also contains great free study guides for certifications and links to valuable free tools for your toolbox.
This is an update to a 2015 post regarding injecting drivers into ESXi installation media. VMware Front website has discontinued it's support for the GUI-based utility due to core architecture changes to newer versions of ESXi. Formally, the ESXi-Customizer tool is now a PowerShell script that leverages VMware's PowerCLI snap-in for PowerShell.
The Open Source community continues to ignite innovation, this time in the form of a DIY ROV robot capable of operating at amazing depths while taking HD images. Initially a community turned Kickstarter campaign, OpenROV is imaging what could be discovered in the water that covers 70% of the planet. These robots are thousands of dollar less than their privately developed counterparts.
The Open Source model has been injected into architecture and house building. Similar to downloading a 3D printer file but for building a house, component by component with thousands of hours of engineering dedicated to each piece. Watch the TED talk here and check out Wikihouse here.
Chris Wahl's Wahl Network is a great resource for getting up to speed on VMware networking, technical deep dives, product-specific technologies such as NSX and how-to build VMware home labs.
Rob de Veij's RV Tools is definitely a toolbox staple for anyone in the vicinity of a VMware ESXi server. Leveraging the VI SDK, RV Tools brings together a suite of about 25 various scripts that can query and report on the most important pieces of ESX, ESXi and vCenter components. Useful for quickly identifying dangerous performance killers, like snapshots. Great troubleshooting tool.
Intel's new compute stick is a full blown computer as small as a USB drive. Turn any TV into a PC instantly. M or Atom processors available, USB port, HD Graphics, Bluetooth, WiFi, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and Windows 10 for a little more than $100.
Rubular calls itself a regular expression editor but to a novice like myself it's a great utility for testing code and a great reference.
SS64 is a quick and easy reference for command prompt, PowerShell, Bash, macOS, Access, VB Script, Oracle, SQL Server, CSS and has a cool password generator.
Neil Anderson's Flackbox is a good launchpad for learning about SAN basics. Check out his free e-book on building a home NetApp Lab.
Check out eBrahma's sample certification exams for Cisco, Microsoft, Juniper and ITIL. While these exams are not as comprehensive as paid sample exams, they provide a great baseline for topic knowledge.
Coursera is a free, online university that offers amazing content. It's a great resource for learning just about anything, however the Python course is phenomenal.