This is a little cool gem I discovered today: a free toolkit made available by Veeam, Starwind and 5nine software. This toolkit enables anyone to get started with virtualization, completely free. And even better, it’s very well known and high-quality stuff, too.

The most affordable toolkit to meet your goals!

There is no better way to start virtualizing than with a FREE Microsoft Hyper-V environment, free backup, free virtual storage and free management software!
With this free toolkit, you can create your own test lab, run a small business or even scale your production environment up to 1,000 VMs. It’s a FREE way to virtualize!

The toolkit consists of the following software:

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  1. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
    Free Hypervisor with all the functionality of it’s ‘big brother’, Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication
    Effective and easy-to-use tool for Hyper-V backup
  3. StarWind Virtual SAN
    Reliable shared storage with unlimited storage capacity for a single-node device
  4. 5nine Manager
    Simple and easy-to-use Graphical User Interface, local or remote, to manage Hyper-V virtual machines

Now obviously, since it’s a free bundle, the contained software will be free editions with limited functionality. But for in a lab, or when you’re just getting started with virtualization, it might be very cost-effective.

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Finally, here’s the evaluation guides for each of the products.

  1. Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2
  2. Veeam Backup Free Edition
  3. StarWind Virtual SAN
  4. 5nine Manager Free Edition

I think this is a good way to show the world what each of the products have in store, especially now with Hyper-V’s ecosystem evolving and maturing and having vendors like Veeam, Starwind and 5nine integrate not only with the hypervisor, but with each other, too!