10 Free Server Tools Your Organization Needs
November 24, 2010
6. IP Plan
IP Plan is a little-known project that has potential in any size environment. It's not a DNS service, but it is a web-based, IP tracking application. The reasoning behind a tool like IP Plan is that DNS tracks systems that are in use. But to whom do you go when an IP address conflict, and how do you know which IP addresses are free to use? You won't -- unless you have a tool like IP Plan. It's easy to use and free. What more could you want?
Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), which you can use to create applications with almost any computer programming language. Eclipse has wide language support, but it is historically viewed as a Java development tool. You can develop Windows applications in this very complete IDE as well as applications for every current operating system.
Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), now owned and supported by Red Hat, is a free, full virtualization solution. Full virtualization means hardware abstraction enables you to use almost any OS in a virtual machine. Each virtual machine has its own display, network, disk, and BIOS, and it functions like a physical system. You install an OS into a virtual machine just as you would to a physical system. Yes, even Windows.
OpenOffice.org (OO.o) is the free equivalent of Microsoft's popular office suite. OO.o sports a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, database and more. It is compatible with Microsoft Office and can use or export in almost every imaginable file format. OpenOffice.org is not only easy on the wallet (free), but it's also the darling of IBM, which has created its own derivative: Lotus Smartsuite.
Webmin, for the unitiated, is the ultimate lazy system administrator tool. It's a web-based interface to your UNIX or Linux system that covers almost every configurable aspect of the system and any add-on program you can ponder. You can't rely on it for 100 percent of your system administration tasks, but you can probably use it for 99 percent of them.
Ken Hess is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of open source topics including Linux, databases, and virtualization. He is also the coauthor of Practical Virtualization Solutions, which was published in October 2009. You may reach him through his web site at http://www.kenhess.com.