RVtools: Free VMware best practices and health analyzer

RVtools: Free VMware best practices and health analyzer. RVTools download, installation, vSphere health scan, using RVTools, VMware inventory

As your VMware virtual environment grows and expands in terms of hosts, vSphere clusters, and virtual machines just to name a few, the health of your environment can deteriorate if left unchecked for best practices and other health metrics. As we all know, there are a lot of tools available that monitor VMware vSphere and other types of environments. However, I want to highlight a gem of a tool that is approaching 1.5 million downloads that provides a powerful way to keep a check on your VMware vSphere environment and quickly identify underlying issues. The tool is RVTools. Recently a new version of RVTools was released, adding many new enhancements. Let’s look at RVTools: free VMware best practices and health analyzer download and see features and capabilities offered by RVTools.

What is RVTools?

RVTools is an installable utility written in .NET 4.6.1. It connects to your VMware vSphere environment using the VMware vSphere Management SDK 7.0 and CIS REST API. This allows RVTools to query and pull all relevant information about your vSphere virtual environment.

RVTools is able to list information about VMs, CPU, Memory, Disks, Partitions, Network, CD drives, USB devices. Snapshots, VMware tools, Resource pools, Clusters, ESX hosts, HBAs, Nics, Switches, Ports, Distributed Switches, Distributed Ports, Service consoles, VM Kernels, Datastores, multipath info, license info, and health checks.

The information can be exported to csv and xlsx file(s). With a xlsx merge utility, it’s possible to merge multiple vCenter spreadsheet reports to a single xlsx report. This allows easily creating reports and viewing information about your vSphere environment.

What I like about RVTools is the ease of which you gain visibility to underlying issues and other details of your VMware vSphere environment. When consulting for various businesses and companies, one of the first things I like to do is connect to the environment using RVTools as it gives a quick overview of the state of the environment and many of the common issues that happen over time such as snapshots, Zombie disk files, VMware tools issues, and many others.

RVTools also provides one of the easiest ways to get certain inventory information your VMware vSphere environment. This includes VM versions, datastores, health information, etc.

RVTools 4.1.3 new features

Actually 4.1.3 is a slight bug fix, however, 4.1.2 included quite a few enhancements, including these that caught my attention with the 4.1.2 release:

  • New vUSB tab page – see VM’s with a connected host USB device
  • New experimental feature (vFileInfo) that displays the files found on all datastores
  • All relevant VM tab pages now have a new column indicating whether it is an SRM placeholder
  • On vInfo tab now up to eight network cards are displayed
  • vnetwork tab shows the order number of the NIC
  • vNetwork tab page – IP column split into ipv4 and ipv6 columns
  • The vDisk tab page new columns – disk key and disk path
  • On vHealth tab page the vSN folder names are now displayed with their friendly folder names instead of the GUID
  • On the vRP tab, new columns resource pool path, total number of VMs in resourcepool
  • On the vHost tab you can see total number of VMs on host and vSAN fault domain name
  • vDatastore tab shows the total number of VMs on the datastore
  • The vHealth tab shows new security message if ESXi shell or SSH service is runnning on the host

Installing RVTools

Installing RVTools is basically a “next, next, finish” process. Below are the installation screenshots during the installation of RVTools 4.1.3.

Accept the eula for the rvtools install
Accept the eula for the rvtools install
Select installation folder for rvtools
Select installation folder for rvtools
Confirm installation
Confirm installation
Rvtools 4.1.3 installation completes successfully
Rvtools 4.1.3 installation completes successfully

Running RVTools

After the quick and easy installation of RVTools, launch it and connect to your vCenter Server. I am using the SSO administrator in the lab environment. RVTools also allows you to use Windows session credentials as well.

Connecting rvtools to vcenter server
Connecting rvtools to vcenter server

After signing into your vCenter Server in your vSphere environment, RVTools will take a few seconds to query the environment and then will display the information in a very easy to read table format with tabs across the top to display specific information pertaining to each area of functionality.

Launching and running rvtools 4.1.3
Launching and running rvtools 4.1.3

Highlights of RVTools capabilities

One of the great features of the RVTools utility is the vHealth tab. What is the vHealth tab? The vHealth tab checks for 21 possible Health checks in your environment.

  1. VM has a CDROM device connected!
  2. VM has a Floppy device connected!
  3. VM has an active snapshot!
  4. VMware tools are out of date, not running or not installed!
  5. On disk xx is yy% disk space available! The threshold value is zz%
  6. On datastore xx is yy% disk space available! The threshold value is zz%
  7. There are xx virtal CPUs active per core on this host. The threshold value is zz
  8. There are xx VMs active on this datastore. The threshold value is zz
  9. Possible a zombie vmdk file! Please check.
  10. Possible a zombie vm! Please check.
  11. Inconsistent Folder Names
  12. Multipath operational state
    1. Degraded = One or more paths to the LUN are down, but I/O is still possible.
    2. Further path failures may result in lost connectivity.
    3. error = The LUN is dead and/or not reachable.
    4. lostCommunication = No more paths are available to the LUN.
    5. Off = The LUN is off.
  13. Virtual machine consolidation needed
  14. Search datastore errors.
  15. VM config issues
  16. Host config issues
  17. NTP issues
  18. Cluster config issues
  19. Datastore config issues
  20. Warning if ESXi shell is enabled on host
  21. Warning if SSH is enabled on host
Viewing vhealth check in rvtools 4.1.3
Viewing vhealth check in rvtools 4.1.3

Within a few moments, you will have visibility to most of the usual issues that are common to VMware vSphere environments. The vHealth tab is one of the favorites of RVTools. However, there are many other valuable tabs and information presented by RVTools. Don’t be fooled by just the columns you see initially. If you look at the bottom of the window, you will see the slider slides far to the right. The amount of detailed information you get with RVTools is incredible.

Vhosts tab in rvtools displaying information regarding hosts
Vhosts tab in rvtools displaying information regarding hosts

Do you want to see detailed information about the VMware Tools installed in your virtual machines?

Vmware tools details
Vmware tools details

We all know how it can cause issues when you have CD images connected to virtual machines. RVTools easily shows all VMs that have ISO images attached to the VM.

See cd drives connected to your vmware vms
See cd drives connected to your vmware vms

These are only a few of the tabs and information that you can benefit from viewing in RVTools. If you have not used this tool or are not familiar with what it can do, be sure and download the utility and use it to better understand the health and best practices in your vSphere environment.

Final Words

Hopefully, you have enjoyed RVtools: Free VMware best practices and health analyzer and how you can use it. This is a simple tool to install and within a few minutes, you will probably know more about your vSphere environment than you did before installing RVTools. Be sure to check out and download RVTools in the link below:

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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