VMWare Monitoring

What statistics will VMWare ESX 4 be able to monitor by  default and can they be archived for a time frame?
Jack_son_Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can monitor the following Objects of the host and individual virtual machines

1. CPU
2. Datastore
3. Memory
4. Network
5. Power
6. Storage Adaptor
7. Storage Path
8. System

Under the Performance Tab, you will see graphs of the above objects for Host or Virtual Machine using vCenter they can be archived in an SQL database. Depending upon the database SQL Express has a 4GB limit, but if using SQL full version, you can store performance data since starting the server.

You may want to consider looking at Veeam Monitor for free, that can monitor and store data for ESX.

Veeam Monitor for free


If you want a quick tool, to help you with wanting to know all the individual elements, then I would suggest using Veeam Monitor Free Edition

Veeam Monitor leverages Veeam Business View™ to enable performance monitoring, alerting and reporting for virtual machine groups based on criteria such as business unit, department, location, purpose, service-level agreement or any other criteria you define. This ability to perform business-centric monitoring helps to identify the business impact of a virtual infrastructure’s performance and respond accordingly. It also allows you to configure flexible alerts based on known server type characteristics and the potential business impact of an outage for more granular service-level management. You can also create targeted reports showing only the data relevant to specific business units, departments or types of server.
More features

Source
http://www.veeam.com/esxi-monitoring-free.html.
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
Great, thanks; is it possible to store the information for a period over time?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, we have performance data stored for the many years!

Depends on the size of your SQL database.
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
do you have information how to configure this and extract it?  I want to set this up to store for  a few months.  Also, where do you read it?
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
or I mean can you export it to Excel?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Performance Information is stored in an SQL database if using VMware vCenter or Veeam Monitor for free.

You can export from the current Performance charts, by Selecting Save Chart, and Select Microsoft Office Excel Workbook (*.xls)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you have vCenter Server?
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
yes, I see the monitoring, how do I configure and can I export data for ranges?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you have vCenter Server which stores the data you can change a custom date range, and select Save Chart to Excel.

If you only have ESX server, only the last hour of data is available, you would need to use vCenter or third party product to store the data.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
In vCenter click Chart Options, select a date range, Past day, week, month, year or custom range.

Click Save chart to Export as Excel
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
Thanks!  One last question, for monitoring more so performance of vm's what is considered a best practice monitoring variables?  Is using the built-in vmware variables enough or also adding in something like veam?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You should be able to get everything you need from vSphere, but if you want a friendly interface Veeam Monitor, vFoglight, VMware Capacity IQ, VMKernel.

Veeam Monitor for free


If you want a quick tool, to help you with wanting to know all the individual elements, then I would suggest using Veeam Monitor Free Edition

Veeam Monitor leverages Veeam Business View™ to enable performance monitoring, alerting and reporting for virtual machine groups based on criteria such as business unit, department, location, purpose, service-level agreement or any other criteria you define. This ability to perform business-centric monitoring helps to identify the business impact of a virtual infrastructure’s performance and respond accordingly. It also allows you to configure flexible alerts based on known server type characteristics and the potential business impact of an outage for more granular service-level management. You can also create targeted reports showing only the data relevant to specific business units, departments or types of server.
More features

Source
http://www.veeam.com/esxi-monitoring-free.html.


If you want to get down and dirty with the servers, then I would recommend the following documents


Performance Monitoring and Analysis


Guest-based performance monitoring is an inaccurate and unhelpful means of evaluating performance in virtual deployments.  See Guest-based Performance Measurement for more inforamtion.  Monitoring and analysis of VMware ESX Server should be performed with esxtop and VirtualCenter.

esxtop is the tried-and-true means of collecting every performance stat  needed and making it available in a way that is conducive to analysis.  The best source of information on launching esxtop can be found in the Resource Management Guide (page 159).

1. Check and correct CPU utilization: CPU Performance Analysis and Monitoring

2. Identify memory bottlenecks and remove: Memory Performance Analysis and Monitoring

3. Characterize storage performance and correct: Storage Performance Analysis and Monitoring

4. Understand and improve the network utilization profile: Network Performance Analysis and Monitoring

Within each of these articles are techniques for using counters from  VirtualCenter and esxtop.  Information on those counters is provided in

vCenter Performance Counters
esxtop Performance Counters

Also, note that, while useless in collecting performance data, Perfmon  can help with analysis of large esxtop output files.  

Using Perfmon for esxtop-based Performance Analysis

The vSphere Client can indicate that VM network traffic is causing a 1 GB Ethernet adapter to have a 99% utilization rate. But strangely, it doesn't display which kind of traffic is going across the virtual networks, where it came from or where it's going.

To learn which traffic is going across a virtual network, there's another free tool for vSphere: Xangati for ESX, a virtual appliance that tracks conversations on the virtual network. It's great for troubleshooting any virtual network issue, analyzing virtual desktop infrastructure and correlating vCenter performance stats with virtual network stats.

http://xangati.com/try-it-free/ (free)
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
This worked great, thanks!!
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