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Performance Management in a Virtual Environment

November 16th, 2011
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Continuing from my post on Monday which covered the white paper that I did for SolarWinds on the top 5 management challenges with virtualized environments, I wanted to highlight another of the white papers that focuses on one of those specific management challenges. This white paper is titled “Performance Management in a Virtual Environment” and covers how performance management differs from traditional physical environments, how to get started with performance management and knowing where to look and how to interpret the many statistics that are unique to virtual environments. The white paper also includes a table that details 13 key statistics that you need to pay attention to in virtual environments. Below is an excerpt from the first paper, you can register and read the full paper over at SolarWinds website.

So you’ve implemented virtualization and don’t know where to start when it comes to monitoring the performance of your virtual environment. In a traditional non-virtual environment you monitor performance through the guest operating system which is installed directly on the server hardware. Typically a centralized monitoring system relies on an agent installed on the guest OS or built-in components like Windows WMI to read performance statistics from the server. With virtualization this type of performance monitoring is no longer effective; the reason is the guest operating system is no longer seeing the physical hardware of the host. Instead it is seeing virtual hardware that is emulated by the hypervisor so performance statistics that are measured inside the guest OS are not an accurate reflection of the physical hardware of the host. As a result you need a monitoring application that is aware of the virtualization layer and can also measure the statistics that are unique to virtual environments.

Virtualization built-in performance monitoring tools like VMware’s vCenter Server can provide raw performance statistics for the virtual environment but doesn’t help you interpret them. The information returned by vCenter Server can be overwhelming and knowing what to look for and what the numbers mean can be difficult. Additionally vCenter Server is designed to mainly monitor and report at the virtualization layer and doesn’t extend to far into the guest OS layer so it does not provide a complete monitoring solution. There are hundreds of performance statistics that are generated by ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server that cover many different areas. Not all of these statistics are useful in most cases and if you tried to monitor them all you would be quickly overwhelmed. Some statistics are only useful in certain situations such as troubleshooting a resource bottleneck but there are others that can provide key indicators to the overall health of your vSphere environment and should be constantly monitored. Some statistics are specific to hosts and others only apply to virtual machines, the below table lists some of the more important statistics that you should focus on when monitoring vSphere.

Full paper including the table detailing key performance metrics available here

Author: esiebert7625 Categories: News Tags: ,

Why physical performance monitoring tools aren’t enough

January 7th, 2011
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You can’t rely on traditional performance monitoring tools for monitoring a virtual infrastructure. Using the same tools that you would in a physical environment often results in inaccurate and incomplete metrics.

For the most accurate method, you need to know which performance monitoring tools to use and what to monitor in your infrastructure.

Physical performance monitoring tools: Why not?

Performance monitoring tools that are designed for a physical infrastructure use an operating system to measure and monitor the performance statistics of servers’ physical hardware. In a virtual infrastructure, the guest OS can’t see the physical hardware, only the virtual hardware that has been emulated by the hypervisor. Because an OS can’t directly access most of the host server’s physical hardware, traditional performance monitoring tools won’t function properly in a virtual infrastructure.

Read the full article at searchservervirtualization.com…

Author: esiebert7625 Categories: News Tags: ,

Performance Links

May 11th, 2009

What’s New in VMware vSphere 4: Performance Enhancements (VMware)
Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 4.0 (VMware)
Virtualizing Performance-Critical Database Applications in VMware vSphere (VMware)
VMware vSphere 4 Performance with Extreme I/O Workloads (VMware)
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Performance on VMware vSphere 4 (VMware)
Performance Evaluation of VMXNET3 Virtual Network Device (VMware)
Storage System Performance Analysis with Iometer (VMware)
vStorage: Troubleshooting Performance (Professional VMware)
Troubleshooting Performance Related Problems in vSphere 4.1 Environments (VMware)
Interpreting esxtop Statistics (VMware)
IOPs? (Yellow Bricks)
vSphere Virtual Machine Performance Counters Integration into Perfmon (Boche.net)
VMware Performance Advancements and vSphere (video) (YouTube Video)
Memory Performance Counters - An Evolved Look at Memory Management (VMware vSphere Blog)
Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere - Part 1 - The Basics (VMware vSphere Blog)
Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere - Part 2 (VMware vSphere Blog)
Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere (Part 3) - SSD Performance (VMware vSphere Blog)
VMware vSphere Performance FAQ (VMware Tech Paper)
Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 4.0 (VMware Tech Paper)
Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 5.0 (VMware Tech Paper)
Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 5.1 (VMware Tech Paper)
Performance Study of Oracle RAC on VMware vSphere 5.0 (VMware Tech Paper)
Best Practices for Performance Tuning of Latency-Sensitive Workloads in vSphere VMs (VMware Tech Paper)
What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 - Performance (VMware Tech Paper)
VMware vSphere 5.1 vMotion Architecture, Performance and Best Practices (VMware Tech Paper)
VXLAN Performance Evaluation on VMware vSphere 5.1 (VMware Tech Paper)
Impact of Enhanced vMotion Compatibility on Application Performance (VMware Tech Paper)
Network I/O Latency in vSphere 5 (VMware Tech Paper)
A Benchmarking Case Study of Virtualized Hadoop Performance on VMware vSphere 5 (VMware Tech Paper)
VMware vCenter Server 5.1 Database Performance Improvements and Best Practices for Large-Scale Environments (VMware Tech Paper)
Application Performance Improvement with DRS (VMware VROOM! Blog)
Comparing Performance of 1vCPU Nehalem VM with 2vCPU Harpertown VM (VMware VROOM! Blog)
Performance of Exchange Server 2007 in a Fault Tolerant Virtual Machine (VMware VROOM! Blog)

Author: esiebert7625 Categories: vSphere Links Tags:

Performance Links

May 7th, 2009

VMware ESX Server guest performance tips Pt .1
VMware ESX Server guest performance tips Pt. 2
VMware ESX Server guest performance tips Pt. 3
Top 12 ways to Improve Guest Server Performance under VMware ESX Server (VMworld 2006)
Tuning Windows Server 2003
Linux Performance and Tuning Guidelines
Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2003
Performance Tuning for VI3 (VMworld 2006)
Performance Tuning Best Practices for ESX Server 3
ESX Server 3.0 Tips and Tricks (VMworld 2006)
VMware Infrastructure 3 - Best Practices for Performance (VMworld 2007)
Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning (VMworld 2006)
A Performance Comparison of Hypervisors
Using esxtop to troubleshoot performance problems
ESX Server 2 Architecture and Performance Implications
ESX Server 2 Storage Subsystem Performance in ESX Server: Buslogic vs. LSI Logic
Performance Trends (VMworld 2007)
Performance Aspects of x86 Virtualization (VMworld 2007)
VMware ESX Server Storage Performance - A Scalability Study (VMworld 2007)
Understanding Performance in a Virtualized Environment (VMworld 2007)
Interpreting Performance Statistics in VI3 (VMworld 2007)
SPECweb2005 Performance on ESX Server 3.5
Performance of VMware VMI
What’s New in VMware Infrastructure 3: Performance Enhancements
Large Page Performance
VM Performance Monitoring and Logging
Virtual Platform Performance Benchmarking with VMmark (VMworld 2007)
Performance Monitoring and Analysis
Performance Tuning - Tips and Experiences from the Field (VMworld 2007)
Performance Benchmarking in Virtual Environments (VMworld 2007)
Storage Performance Analysis and Monitoring
VirtualCenter Performance Counters
Counters for Disk Performance
Scalable Storage Performance
Performance Best Practices and Benchmarking Guidelines
Using Perfmon in a Windows VM
Storage System Performance Analysis with Iometer
Interpreting esxtop Statistics
Understanding and Customizing VMware ESX Server Performance Charts

Author: esiebert7625 Categories: General/VI3 Links Tags:

Top 10 things you must read about VMware Performance

May 8th, 2008
  1. Understanding Performance in a Virtualized Environment (VMworld 2007) - A VMworld 2007 presentation on understanding virtulization performance and overhead as well as dispelling common myths.
  2. Interpreting Performance Statistics in VI3 (VMworld 2007) - A VMworld 2007 presentation on understanding and interpreting VirtualCenter/ESX statistics in the VI Client and esxtop.
  3. Performance Tuning Best Practices for ESX Server 3 - A white paper from VMware with performance tips that cover the most performance-critical areas of Virtual Infrastructure 3.
  4. Top 12 ways to Improve Guest Server Performance under VMware ESX Server - A VMworld 2006 presentation with 12 tips for configuring hosts, virtual machines and guest environments for best performance.
  5. Performance Monitoring and Capacity Planning - A VMworld 2006 presentation on performance tuning methodologies and approaches.
  6. ESX Workload Analysis: Lessons Learned - A VMworld 2006 presentation on performing workload analysis and performance analysis of virtual workloads.
  7. VMware ESX Server: Best Practices for Performance - A presentation from EMC World 2007 with recommended performance practices and benchmarking guidelines.
  8. VM Performance Monitoring and Logging - A VMUG presentation from VMware on performance monitoring and using log files.
  9. ESX3 Performance Tuning - A VMUG presentation from Long View Systems on performance tuning ESX hosts and virtual machines.
  10. Performance Tuning for VI3 - A VMworld 2006 presentation on basic performance concepts, tools, technologies and recommendations.
Author: esiebert7625 Categories: Top 10 List Tags: ,