Free Virtual Appliances You’re Bound to Be Excited About

Check out the list below to learn more about the eight best free virtual appliances that you can use in a high-production environment. These tools are not only time-savings, but they enable you to learn the ins and outs of certain systems and software, including virtualization, fairly quickly. Some of these virtual appliances have supported and paid versions, if you’re interested.

1. Bitnami MEAN Stack

This virtual appliance uses Apache, PHP, Git, and RockMongo, a PHP-based admin tool. The appliance comes with a quick start guide that shows you how to use MEAN stack through examples. There’s a sample project included, as well, so you have a better idea what to do. To work with this stack, however, you need to have sufficient experience with either Angular or Node.js. If you’re a beginner and lack knowledge on these development platforms, communities provide tutorials and sample codes to ease you in. However, before you can access the system, you must put on a show of command-line magic. The documentation covers all the steps, however, so you can get everything working without breaking a sweat.

2. Elastic ELK Stack

An entire industry has grown out of searching and indexing log files. Companies have created entire ranges of solutions and products aimed at mining log data, which is also known as operational intelligence. One such company is Elastic, which has combined its trio of open source engines – Kibana, Elastisearch, and Logstash – into a powerful, one-stop shop for all your analyzing, indexing, and parsing requirements. Known as the Elastic ELK Stack, this virtual appliance can visualize all the details present in log files.
All the data processing activities are handled by the Logstash tool, which is also responsible for feeding Elatisearch search engine. Logstash needs to be configured to process certain log files. However, it’s better if you test the system first by manually creating log entries. This will provide you with an understanding of how search engine configuration works and the filters you need to apply. Kibana assists with the visualization aspect.

3. Bitnami WordPress VM

WordPress (WP) is the most popular blogging platform at the moment. One of the main reasons it’s so popular is the extensive range of themes and add-ons you can find for this platform. WordPress supports numerous users and named blogs, but its customization capabilities is where this tool shines. WordPress is included with the Ubuntu-based Bitnami WordPress VM with MySQL, Apache, and PHP. The appliance has the latest version of WordPress, and you can post on the blog site without delay. Basically, this virtual appliance has everything you need to start a WP.

4. Bitnami Roller Stack

Java-based blogging platform, Roller, has been around for several years and comes jam-packed with great features, including LDAP and OpenID for authentication. Bitnami offers version 5.1.2 of Roller in the form of a virtual appliance. However, this iteration of Roller is not a pure one, but comes with the Apache web server, Apache Tomcat, and MySQL. You can use Roller to host either a single blog or multiple blogs, depending upon the disk space and server resources. Creating new blogs using the admin page of Roller takes only a few minutes, and this appliance feature five separate themes and the capacity to customize layouts and appearance with the aid of Apache Velocity templates.

5. TurnKey File Server

Based on the TurnKey Core distribution with some modifications, the TurnKey File Server helps provide file storages within a virtual appliance. Once you boot the appliance, you must change the root password and perform security updates to the OS. Upon completion, all future interactions will take place with the web browser.

6. TurnKey Observium

The TurnKey Core OS of the Observium combines network and system monitoring with performance trending, allowing you to track any known metric. You will receive charts, statistics, and graphs for managed switches and will even get to see RAM, CPU, storage, temperature, swap, and event log status for servers.

7. OpenVPN Access Server

The most popular open source VPN server and client application, OpenVPN is found in different commercial routers and the popular open source router firmware DD-WRT. The OpenVPN virtual appliance enables you to support multiple VPN connections at the same time. Deploying the OpenVPN Access Server is easy, and you will have no trouble in managing it. You get a simple and clean management interface that fulfills all your VPN needs.

8. Opsview Core Virtual Appliance

This virtual appliance is exactly what you require if you want your IT infrastructure to provide full visibility. The integrated GUI allows you to configure the tool quickly. It is possible to integrate Opsview with Nagios plugins, so the feature set can be expanded. This appliance is best used for monitoring application perform, networking monitoring, and Linux, Windows, UNIX server monitoring in mid-sized environments.

Author: Rahul Sharma