CPU - Xen Test

This test reports the real-time CPU utilization statistics pertaining to the control domain and every processor supported by the XenServer. The control domain is a privileged VM that provides low-level services to other VMs, such as providing access to physical devices. It also runs the management tool stack. Using this test, administrators can determine whether there is a resource-contention at the XenServer host, and if so, where - at the control domain? or with the processors supported by the host?

Target of the test : A XenServer host

Agent deploying the test : An internal/remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each processor supported by the XenServer host and for the control domain executing on the host

Configurable parameters for the test

  1. Test period - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host - The host for which the test is to be configured.
  3. XEN user - To enable the eG agent to connect to the XenServer API for collecting statistics of interest, this test should login to the XenServer as a root user. Provide the name of the root user in the XEN USER text box. Root user privileges are mandatory when monitoring a XenServer 5.5 (or below). However, if you are monitoring XenServer 5.6 (or above) and you prefer not to expose the credentials of the root user, then, you have the option of configuring a user with pool-admin privileges as the xen user. If you do not want to expose the credentials of a root/pool-admin user, then you can configure the tests with the credentials of a xen user with Read-only privileges to the XenServer. However, if this is done, then the Xen Uptime test will not run, and the Xen CPU and Xen Memory tests will not be able to report metrics for the control domain descriptor. To avoid such an outcome, do the following before attempting to configure the eG tests with a xen user who has Read-only privileges to the XenServer:

    • Modify the target XenServer’s configuration in the eG Enterprise system. For this, follow the Infrastructure -> Components -> Add/Modify menu sequence, pick Citrix XenServer as the Component type, and click the Modify button corresponding to the target XenServer.
    • In the modify component details page that then appears, make sure that the os is set to Xen and the Mode is set to ssh.
    • Then, in the same page, proceed to provide the User and Password of a user who has the right to connect to the XenServer console via SSH.
    • Then, click the Update button to save the changes.
  4. Once this is done, you can configure the eG tests with the credentials of a xen user with Read-only privileges.   

  5. xen password - The password of the specified xen user needs to be mentioned here.
  6. confirm password - Confirm the xen password by retyping it here.
  7. ssl - By default, the Xen Server is not SSL-enabled. This indicates that by default, the eG agent communicates with the XenServer using HTTP. Accordingly, the ssl flag is set to No by default. If you configure the XenServer to use SSL, then make sure that the SSL flag is set to Yes, so that the eG agent communicates with the XenServer using HTTPS. Note that a default SSL certificate comes bundled with every XenServer installation. If you want the eG agent to use this default certificate for communicating with an SSL-enabled XenServer, then no additional configuration is required. However, if you do not want to use the default certificate, then you can generate a self-signed certificate for use by the XenServer. In such a case, you need to explicitly follow the broad steps given below to enable the eG agent to communicate with the XenServer via HTTPS:

    • Obtain the server-certificate for the XenServer
    • Import the server-certificate into the local certificate store of the eG agent

    For a detailed discussion on each of these steps, refer to the Troubleshooting section of this document.

  8. webport - By default, in most virtualized environments, the XenServer listens on port 80 (if not SSL-enabled) or on port 443 (if SSL-enabled). This implies that while monitoring an SSL-enabled XenServer, the eG agent, by default, connects to port 443 of the server to pull out metrics, and while monitoring a non-SSL-enabled XenServer, the eG agent connects to port 80. Accordingly, the webport parameter is set to 80 or 443 depending upon the status of the ssl flag.  In some environments however, the default ports 80 or 443 might not apply. In such a case, against the webport parameter, you can specify the exact port at which the XenServer in your environment listens so that the eG agent communicates with that port.
  9. DETAILED DIAGNOSIS - To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

    The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

    • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
    • Both the normal and abnormalfrequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.

Measurements made by the test

Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Physical CPU usage:

Indicates the percentage of physical CPU used by this processor or the control domain.


A very high value for this measure indicates excessive CPU utilization by that processor or control domain. The CPU utilization may be high because a few processes are consuming a lot of CPU, or because there are too many processes contending for a limited resource. If adequate CPU resources are not available to the host, then the guests too would experience a resource crunch; this in turn, could cause significant slowdowns in the execution of applications hosted by the guests.

A high value for the control_domain descriptor indicates that one/more control domain processes are consuming CPU resources excessively.

The detailed diagnosis capability that is available only for the control_domain descriptor, will list the CPU-intensive processes executing on the control domain. Resource intensive processes can be killed/stopped to avoid excessive CPU usage. Alternatively, administrators can allocate additional CPU resources to the host to ensure that processes have adequate memory for execution.

Figure 1 : The detailed diagnosis of the Physical CPU usage measure


In case of multi-processor systems, this test typically reports the CPU usage for every processor. The Summary descriptor reports the average CPU usage across processors.