Testing performance within a VM

maxduncan used Ask the Experts™
Hi Experts -

My company is utilizing a hosting provider who provisions virtual machines for our use. The back end is ESX. We have seen what some level of performance degradation within certain applications within our environment. We do not have access to the VMWare client, everything is managed by the host.

What I'm looking for is some type of benchmarking application that I can run within a VM ensure we're getting what we're paying for, and to keep the ISP honest. I would like to see something that we can run over a period of time (24 hours?) that will graph disk access, cpu, etc, but certainly something that would address our concerns.

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks

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za_mkhIT Manager

The best performance stats that you could get is from the ESX host that your VM's run on. You may need to speak to them to give those stats to you ... or access to your VM's via the Virtual Center that they must be running. The permissions in VC tells me they should be able to do this for you.
The other way, is the following: The latest version of VMWare (vSphere) has performance monitoring tools that you can run directly in the VM. They are installed in the VM as part of the VMware tools. I've read about this, but don't know if the VM guest has to be hardware level 7 (which is what vSphere supports) or not.  I also haven't tested this, but just read about it.


Unfortunately I am unable to access any reports direct from ESX. We are in a hosted environment and do not have this type of access to reporting.

What is your Guest Operating System  ?
What application is it hosting ?
What is the VM Configuration ?
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- win2k3 R2
- 20gb disk / 4gb ram

Before we go into the intricacies of SQL in VM's, know that my issue is consistent performance over a period of time.

you could use the vmware capacity planner.  it draws quite pretty graphs after time.  just install it and let it run.


it is a pay product though, so maybe want to ask your provider to give you access to the vmware management console as that too shows graphs (but not as detailed as the capacity planner) as mentioned by za_mkh
IT Manager
VMWark is seriously dedicated at lab environments - it takes forever to setup (if you want to do it properly) .. I don't think that makes sense here neither does SRM due to this VM being hosted by a third party.
However, if your provider can move your VM instance onto a new vSphere Server in their datacenter and do the necessary upgrades to the VM (hardware level 7 + vsphere vmware tools installed in VM) you can then make use of the performance counters from within the VM to get the counters you need:

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