Disk Activity - VM Test

This test reports statistics pertaining to the input/output utilization of each physical disk on a guest.

Target of the test : A Hyper-V / Hyper-V VDI server

Agent executing the test : An internal agent

Output of the test : One set of results for every disk partition on a VM, in the case of a Hyper-V server and

On set of results for every disk partition used by a user who is currently logged into a virtual desktop, in the case of a Hyper-V VDI server

First-level descriptor: VM name or username_on_VM

Second-level descriptor: Disk partition

  1. Test period - How often should the test be executed
  2. Host - The host for which the test is to be configured.
  3. port - The port at which the host listens. By default, this is NULL.
  4. inside view using - By default, this test communicates with every VM remotely and extracts “inside view” metrics. Therefore, by default, the inside view using flag is set to Remote connection to VM (Windows).

    Typically, to establish this remote connection, eG Enterprise requires that the eG agent be configured with domain administrator privileges. In high-security environments, where the IT staff might have reservations about exposing the credentials of their domain administrators, this approach to extracting “inside view” metrics might not be preferred. In such environments therefore, eG Enterprise provides administrators the option to deploy a piece of software called the eG VM Agent on every Windows VM; this VM agent allows the eG agent to collect “inside view” metrics from the Windows VMs without domain administrator rights. Refer to Configuring Windows Virtual Machines to Support theInside View Using the eG VM Agent for more details on the eG VM Agent. To ensure that the “inside view” of Windows VMs is obtained using the eG VM Agent, set the inside view using flag to eG VM Agent (Windows). Once this is done, you can set the domain, admin user, and admin password parameters to none.

  5. domain, admin user, admin password, and confirm password – By default, this test connects to each virtual guest remotely and attempts to collect “inside view” metrics. Accordingly, the inside view using flag is set to Remote connection to VM (Windows) by default. To obtain a remote connection, the test must be configured with the privileges of an administrative user to the domain within which the guests reside. The first step towards this is to specify the DOMAIN within which the virtual guests reside. The admin user and admin password will change according to the domain specification. Discussed below are the different values that the domain parameter can take, and how they impact the admin user and admin password specifications:

    • If the VMs belong to a single domain:  If the guests belong to a specific domain, then specify the name of that domain against the domain parameter. In this case, any administrative user in that domain will have remote access to all the virtual guests. Therefore, an administrator account in the given domain can be provided in the ADMIN USER field and the corresponding password in the ADMIN PASSWORD field. Confirm the password by retyping it in the CONFIRM PASSWORD text box.
    • If the VMs belong to different domains: In this case, you might want to provide multiple domain names. If this is done, then, to access the guests in every configured domain, the test should be configured with the required user privileges; this implies that along with multiple DOMAIN names, multiple ADMIN USER names and ADMIN PASSWORDs would also have to be provided. To help administrators provide these user details quickly and easily, the eG administrative interface embeds a special configuration page. To access this page, simply click on the encircled '+' icon that appears alongside the admin user parameter of this test in the test configuration page. To know how to use the special page, refer to Configuring Users for VM Monitoring.
    • If the inside view using flag is set to ‘eG VM Agent (Windows)’: On the other hand, if the inside view using flag is set to eG VM Agent (Windows) , then it implies that the inside view can be obtained without domain administrator privileges. Therefore, set the domain, admin user, and admin password parameters to none.
  6. REPORT BY USER – For the Microsoft Hyper-V monitoring model, the REPORT BY USER flag is set to NO by default, indicating that by default, the guest operating systems on the Hyper-V server are identified using the hostname specified in the operating system. On the other hand, for the Microsoft Hyper-V VDI model, this flag is set to YES by default; this implies that in case of VDI servers, by default, the guests will be identified using the login of the user who is accessing the guest OS. In other words, in VDI environments, this test will, by default, report measures for every username_on_virtualmachinename.

  7. REPORT POWERED OS - This flag becomes relevant only if the report by user flag is set to ‘Yes’. If the report powered os flag is set to Yes (which is the default setting), then this test will report measures for even those VMs that do not have any users logged in currently. Such guests will be identified by their virtualmachine name and not by the username_on_virtualmachinename. On the other hand, if the report powered os flag is set to No, then this test will not report measures for those VMs to which no users are logged in currently.

    Note:

    While performing VM discovery, the eG agent will not discover the operating system of the VMs configured in the ignore vms inside view text box.

  8. ignore vms inside view - Administrators of some high security Hyper-V environments might not have permissions to internally monitor one/more VMs. The eG agent can be configured to not obtain the 'inside view' of such ‘inaccessible’ VMs using the ignore vms inside view parameter. Against this parameter, you can provide a comma-separated list of VM names, or VM name patterns, for which the inside view need not be obtained. For instance, your ignore vms inside view specification can be: *xp,*lin*,win*,vista. Here, the * (asterisk) is used to denote leading and trailing spaces (as the case may be). By default, this parameter is set to none indicating that the eG agent obtains the inside view of all VMs on a Hyper-V host by default.
  9. exclude vms - Administrators of some virtualized environments may not want to monitor some of their less-critical VMs - for instance, VM templates - both from 'outside' and from 'inside'. The eG agent in this case can be configured to completely exclude such VMs from its monitoring purview. To achieve this, provide a comma-separated list of VMs to be excluded from monitoring in the exclude vms text box. Instead of VMs, VM name patterns can also be provided here in a comma-separated list. For example, your exclude vms specification can be: *xp,*lin*,win*,vista. Here, the * (asterisk) is used to denote leading and trailing spaces (as the case may be). By default, this parameter is set to none indicating that the eG agent obtains the inside and outside views of all VMs on a virtual host by default. By providing a comma-separated list of VMs/VM name patterns in the exclude vms text box, you can make sure the eG agent stops collecting 'inside' and 'outside' view metrics for a configured set of VMs.
  10. ignore winnt – By default, the eG agent does not support the inside view for VMs executing on Windows NT operating systems. Accordingly, the ignore winnt flag is set to Yes by default.
  11. 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 abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements reported by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Percent virtual disk busy

Indicates the percentage of elapsed time during which the disk is busy processing requests (i.e., reads or writes).

Percent

Comparing the percentage of time that the different disks are busy, an administrator can determine whether load is properly balanced across the different disks.

Percent reads from virtual disk

Indicates the percentage of elapsed time that the selected disk drive is busy servicing read requests.

Percent

 

Percent writes to virtual disk

Indicates the percentage of elapsed time that the selected disk drive is busy servicing write requests.

Percent

 

Virtual disk read time

Indicates the average time in seconds of a read of data from the disk.

Secs

 

Virtual disk write time

Indicates the average time in seconds of a write of data from the disk.

Secs

 

Avg. queue for virtual disk

Indicates the average number of both read and write requests that were queued for the selected disk during the sample interval.

Number

 

Current queue for virtual disk

The number of requests outstanding on the disk at the time the performance data is collected.

Number

This measure includes requests in service at the time of the snapshot. This is an instantaneous length, not an average over the time interval. Multi-spindle disk devices can have multiple requests active at one time, but other concurrent requests are awaiting service. This counter might reflect a transitory high or low queue length, but if there is a sustained load on the disk drive, it is likely that this will be consistently high. Requests experience delays proportional to the length of this queue minus the number of spindles on the disks. This difference should average less than two for good performance.

Reads from virtual disk

Indicates the number of reads happening on a logical disk per second.

Reads/Sec

A dramatic increase in this value may be indicative of an I/O bottleneck on the guest.

Data reads from virtual disk

Indicates the rate at which bytes are transferred from the disk during read operations.

KB/Sec

A very high value indicates an I/O bottleneck on the guest.

Writes to virtual disk

Indicates the number of writes happening on a local disk per second.

Writes/Sec

A dramatic increase in this value may be indicative of an I/O bottleneck on the guest.

Data writes to virtual disk

Indicates the rate at which bytes are transferred from the disk during write operations.

KB/Sec

A very high value indicates an I/O bottleneck on the guest.

Disk service time

Indicates the average time that this disk took to service each transfer request ( i.e., the average I/O operation time)

Secs

A sudden rise in the value of this measure can be attributed to a large amount of information being input or output. A consistent increase however, could indicate an I/O processing bottleneck.

Disk queue time

Indicates the average time that transfer requests waited idly on queue for this disk.

Secs

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low.

Disk I/O time

Indicates the average time taken for read and write operations of this disk.

Secs

The value of this measure is the sum of the values of the Disk service time and Disk queue time measures.

A consistent increase in the value of this measure could indicate a latency in I/O processing.

Avg IO read size:

Indicates the average number of bytes transferred from disk during read operations.

KB

Larger I/Os tend to have higher latency (for example, BACKUP/RESTORE operations issue 1 MB transfers by default).

These measures are reported for Windows VMs only.

Avg IO write size:

Indicates the average number of bytes transferred into disk during write operations.

KB

Split IO:

Reports the rate at which the operating system divides I/O requests to the disk into multiple requests.

Splits/Sec

A split I/O request might occur if the program requests data in a size that is too large to fit into a single request or if the disk is fragmented. Factors that influence the size of an I/O request can include application design, the file system, or drivers. A high rate of split I/O might not, in itself, represent a problem. However, on single-disk systems, a high rate for this counter tends to indicate disk fragmentation.

This measure is reported for Windows VMs only.

The detailed diagnosis of the Percent virtual disk busy measure, if enabled, provides information such as the Process IDs executing on the disk, the Process names, the rate at which I/O read and write requests were issued by each of the processes, and the rate at which data was read from and written into the disk by each of the processes. In the event of excessive disk activity, the details provided in the detailed diagnosis page will enable users to figure out which process is performing the I/O operation that is keeping the disk busy.

DDdiskbusy-final

Figure 7 : The detailed diagnosis of the Percent virtual disk busy measure