My Lab Toolbox: SenseConnector
When I’m presenting at conferences or training classes, many attendees ask me what kind of tools I’m using for benchmarking, lab setups, demos and proof-of-concepts. So I decided to start a series of articles describing my favorite lab tools. Today, I want to introduce you to SenseConnector, a great tool for building powerful demo environments and managing virtual test infrastructures hosted on Client and Server Hyper-V, Microsoft Azure and VMware vSphere/ESXi. If you want give SenseConnector a try, download the fully functional 90-day trial version at SenseSuite.com.
What makes SenseConnector my preferred remoting tool for “disposable” virtual environments? Tabbed connection windows with performance info, a great dashboard showing scalable session thumbnails, maximum screen real estate when interacting with remote sessions, a built-in multi-hypervisor and Azure control mechanism, an integrated magnifier, powerful VM grouping concepts and PowerShell support are my personal feature highlights. SenseConnector allows you to create, edit and manage connection settings for individual virtual machines and entire connection groups. Take a look at the dashboard view below.
The Node Collection organizes individual remote sessions and virtual machine. But multiple nodes can be combined to create your own SenseConnector Environments, organizing groups of virtual machines and session connections into logical entities. The coolest feature is a graphical view of each Environment, displayed in a separate tabbed window. SenseConnector exposes its object model, allowing you to add custom Powershell scripts for automating common task, such as starting or saving all VMs of an Environment. Each PowerShell scripts is assigned to a button in the graphical view. Below you see a screenshot of the SenseConnector Environment I want to use during my TechEd Europe session this coming Friday.