Tools

There are lots of tools that systems administrators and engineers use on a daily basis. I like to maintain a list here that might help others. Please comment if you have any favorites that aren’t listed:

Network Tools

Fiddler2
WinSCP
Wireshark
Nmap
Zenmap
inSSIDer
Putty
Angry IP Scanner
Advanced IP Scanner
SoftPerfect Network Scanner 6.2.1 (last freeware)
TCPView
Solarwinds Free Tools
Fping
PsPing
EMCO Ping Monitor
TMNetSim (YouTube video 1, YouTube video 2, Good How-To-Use guide)
NetLimiter
LittleSnitch (Mac OS only)
Comodo Firewall
GlassWire
LAN Speed Test
NetSpot for Windows
WANem: The Wide Area Network emulator
Clumsy
NetBalancer
Lansweeper
Citrix NetScaler NS.CONF Language File for Notepad++
WiFi Explorer (Mac OS only)
Microsoft ExpressRoute PAC File Creation Script
Microsoft Office 365 URL categories egress location splitter script

Security Tools

OpenSSL (Win32 distribution)
SSLDigger
WhosOn
Log Parser
Filter Events
Process Explorer
Process Monitor
Netwrix Auditing Tools
UserAuthentication
LDAP Browser
AD Group Members
Logon Audit
Configuration Manager Trace Log Tool (CMTrace)
DigiCert SSL Discovery Tool
Account Lockout Status
IIS Crypto
BriMor Labs Live Response Collection (Bambiraptor Build)
HTTPRecon (Server Fingerprint)
Burp Suite
SAML Raider
Sandboxie
EIDVirtual USB to Smartcard tool
Metasploit
Cobalt Strike
Eicar Anti-Malware Testfile

System Tools

SysInternals Tools (or Live site for easy download)
Filezilla
DAEMON Tools Lite
IMGBurn
Unlocker
FileASSASSIN
CCleaner
Recuva
SpaceMonger
WinRAR
WhoCrashed
TestDisk
Prime95 Stress Tester
Revo Uninstaller
QueueExplorer
MSMQ First Aid Kit
RegScanner
Moo0 File Monitor
Delprof2 – User Profile Deletion Tool
Auslogic Disk Defrag
Iometer
ATTO Disk Benchmark
TransMac
DiskWarrior
Dell ExtPart
Autoruns
Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan)
Microsoft Web Platform Installer
Kiwi SyslogGen
Regshot
UPMCalc
Microsoft Web Platform Installer
Microsoft Web Deploy
Rufus
Windows Performance Analyzer (WPA)
CPUSTRES and TestLimit (or Live site for easy download)
DiskSavvy
JDownloader 2
MultiPar
HandBrake
Autologon
Bvckup 2
User Profile Wizard
CPUID HWMonitor

Productivity Tools

Remote Desktop Manager
Beyond Compare
AutoHotKey
Camtasia
SnagIt
UltraMON
1-4a Rename
Flash Renamer
LTFViewer (Large Text File Viewer)
NotePad++
BitKinex WebDAV Client
Blat
Bulk Rename Utility & Bulk Rename Command (BRC32)
HTTrack Website Copier
ScreenToGif
Synergy
Pulover’s Macro Creator
Microsoft Garage Mouse without Borders
Paint.NET
RSIGuard
Input Director
Microsoft PowerToys

Virtualization Tools

VMware PowerCLI
PowerGUI
VMware vSphere Management PowerPack
VMware Community PowerPack
ControlUp
CTX Farm Inventory
CTX Analyzer
CtxConsole
Citrix RDSWatcher
Citrix CDFControl
Citrix Scout
Citrix XDPing
Citrix HDXMonitor
Citrix Quick Launch
Citrix Repair Clipboard Chain
Citrix Connection Quality Indicator (Citrix CQI)
Citrix MSI Log Analyzer
Remote Display Analyzer (aka RDAnalyzer)
Desktop Virtualisation Best Practice Analyser
Turbo.net (it’s actually containerization using a tiny layer of app virtualization)
VMware OS Optimization Tool (OSOT)
LoginVSI #VDILIKEAPRO Windows 10 Tuning Template
Base Image Script Framework (BIS-F)
Citrix Optimizer
NITCtxPatcher for Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop
PassMark AppTimer: Application Startup Timer
Citrix PVS ‘Cache in RAM’ monitor PowerShell script
Citrix PVS “Cache in RAM” Windows Performance Counters
QEMU disk image utility for Windows (converts various virtual disk formats – Hyper-V, KVM, VMware, VirtualBox, and Xen)
REX Analytics
PowerScale
FSLogix Profile Compacting Tool

vGPU Testing Tools

NVIDIA System Management Interface (SMI)
GPU-Z
GPU Shark
GPU Caps Viewer
Unigine Valley Benchmark
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
FurMark GPU Stress Test OpenGL Benchmark
Nvidia Demos
3DMark
PassMark PerformanceTest
Fraps
Google Earth (Sightseeing Tour)
Redway3D CAD Turbine
Redway3D Real-time Watch
Citrix HDX: The BIG LIST of graphical benchmarks, tools and demos!
DX9 Real-Time High-Dynamic Range Image-Based Lighting (courtesy of Kees Baggerman)
Citrix Framehawk testing tools (courtesy of Stephen Vilke)
GPUProfiler
GPUSizer Beta
Remote Display Analyzer (aka RDAnalyzer)

Web Based vGPU Testing Tools

Microsoft HTML5 Fish Bowl
WebGL Aquarium
WebGL Water
WebGL Samples
LEGO Build with Chrome
3DTin
BioDigital Human
Akamai HD Edge Flash Demo (good to demo Write Cache consumption by web content too)
We Choose The Moon

Web Based Network Tools

DNSStuff.com
Coffer MAC Address Lookup
Global DNS Propagation Checker
network-tools.com
VisioCafe stencils
Internet Health Report by ISP backbone
Internet Traffic Report
Arbor Networks Digital Attack Map
Norse IPViking
FireEye Cyber Threat Map
Kaspersky Cyberthreat Real-time Map
Cyberfeed
F-Secure Virus Worldmap
F-Secure Globe
Shodan
Netcraft Site Report
URLhaus
External DNS Zone Transfer exploit checker (dig)

Web Based SSL/TLS Tools

SSL Checker
Qualys SSL Labs Test
SSL Weak Ciphers Test
RapidSSL 30 Day SSL Cert for Testing Purposes
Let’s Encrypt Free SSL Certs (they’re an Open CA)
Security Headers

Web Based Web Admin Tools

Pingdom Tools
UITest.com
W3C Tools
HTTP Request Viewer
Real Favicon Generator
BuiltWith
Website Grader
Check GZIP Compression
Google PageSpeed Insight
GTmetrix
WebPagetest
Broken Link Checker
Pexels
Icon Slayer
ICO Converter

Web Based Microsoft Azure and O365 Tools

Azure Speed Test 2.0 – to help you figure out where to put an Azure IaaS workload
Office 365 Network Onboarding tool – helps you figure out Office 365 service front door issues and plan your optimization
Microsoft 365 network connectivity test tool – the successor to the old tool, much more detailed
WhatIsMyTenantID.com – lookup any company’s Microsoft Azure and Office 365 tenant ID using OpenID Connect configuration endpoint which maps domain names to tenant IDs
AD FS Online Tools – AD FS Tools: Diagnostics Analyzer, Claims X-Ray, Azure AD RPT Claim Rules, AD FS Event Viewer, JWT Decoder, Federation Metadata Explorer, & JSON Claims

Firefox Add-ons

NOTE: Don’t leave them all enabled all the time or they will negatively impact browser performance.
Adblock Plus
FireBug
FlashBlock
IE Tab V2
Image-Show-Hide
Live HTTP Headers
HTTPFox
TinEye
User Agent Switcher
DownloadHelper
Awesome Screenshot
Greasemonkey
NoScript
Ghostery
Image Preview
Add-on Compatibility Reporter
HTTPS Everywhere
SAML-tracer

Chrome Extensions

NOTE: Don’t leave them all enabled all the time or they will negatively impact browser performance.
AdBlock
Imagus
Page Ruler
Awesome Screenshot
EXIF Viewer
Tampermonkey
Auto Refresh
View Image
SAML Message Decoder
SAML Chrome Panel

Public Speaking Tools

Yes, most tools I’ve listed so far can help you with systems but there are also tools to help yourself. Being able to speak to any size audience and convey your message is important. What better way than to analyze TED Talks? Some of the best public speakers of our time. There’s a great infographic analyzing each of these TED Talks HERE. Don’t forget to practice these techniques, just watching isn’t likely to improve anything.
Nancy Duarte: The secret structure of great talks
Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen
Hans Rosling: The best stats you’ve ever seen
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
Carmen Agra Deedy: Once upon a time, my mother…
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Joe Kowan: How I beat stage fright

About Jason Samuel

Jason Samuel lives in Houston, TX with a primary focus on strategic advisory and architecture of end-user computing, security, enterprise mobility, virtualization, and cloud technologies from Citrix, Microsoft, & VMware. He also has an extensive background in web architecture and networking over his 20+ year career in IT. He is an Author, Speaker, and Local User Group Community Leader. He is certified in several technologies and is 1 of 63 people globally that is a recipient of the prestigious Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) award. He is 1 of 42 people in the world that has been awarded as a VMware EUC Champion and VMware vExpert. He is a featured author on DABCC which provides the latest IT Community News on Cloud, Data Center, Desktop, Mobility, Security, Storage, & Virtualization. In his spare time Jason enjoys writing how-to articles and evangelizing the technologies he works with. Disclaimer: The content and opinions expressed in articles and posts are his own and are by no means associated with his employer.

6 Comments

  1. chad

    August 17, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Dude, what a great list of tools!! I have most but you have a few I don’t and that is killer!!

  2. Jason Samuel

    August 30, 2011 at 5:57 AM

    @chad

    Thanks Chad!

  3. Ose Oronsaye

    September 12, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    I’m so downloading “Measure It” for Google Chrome!

  4. Curtis

    July 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Awesome list. I have a few of these gems in my IT Utility Belt lol.

    You should also check out these must have freebies:
    WinDirStat
    FreeIsoBurner
    Recuva

  5. Jason Samuel

    July 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    @Curtis
    Thanks Curtis!

  6. David Lakatta

    September 26, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Late to the party again.
    Great list!

    Here are a few we use:
    Everything from this kid
    http://www.cjwdev.com/Software.html

    Windows screenshot, recording, and more. Snagit and Camtasia and free!
    https://getsharex.com/

    Lansweeper.com of course

    K-Lite Codec Pack (mega)
    https://www.codecguide.com/download_kl.htm

    SpecOps Gpupdate

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