Nothing beats free and many companies offer scaled down versions of their full products or purpose built mini tools as free tools. SolarWinds is one company which specializes in all sorts of tools that has many different free tools available for just about everything in the data center.
VMware has been developing free tools that they call Flings for several years now. Flings are lightweight, specific use tools developed by VMware Labs that often make up for some functionality that might be missing in their products. These tools often make their way into VMware products later on.
Whatever the motivation that a vendor has for creating a free tool the end result is tools that don’t cost you anything that can make your virtual life much easier.
I just updated my free virtualization tools section with many new tools from companies like SolarWinds, VMTurbo, Unitrends and VMware Labs. So head on over there and check them out and if there is a tool missing that you want people to know about just let me know.