Memory Usage – VM Test

This test reports statistics related to the usage of physical memory of the VMs.

Target of the test : Oracle VM Manager

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each powered-on VM of the Oracle VM Server being monitored.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured.

Port

The port number at which the specified Host listens to. By default, this will be NULL.

Oracle VM Manager, Oracle VM Manager
User, Oracle VM Manager Password,
and Confirm Password

This test remotely connects to the Oracle VM Manager that manages the monitored Oracle VM Server and uses the web services API of the Oracle VM Manager to pull out metrics of interest. To enable this test to communicate with the web services API, you first need to configure the test with the IP address or host name of the Oracle VM Manager. This can be done using the Oracle VM Manager text box. Then, you need to configure the test with the credentials of a user with Admin rights to the Oracle VM Manager. Use the Oracle VM Manager User and Oracle VM Manager Password parameters to configure these credentials. Finally, confirm the password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

SSL

By default, the Oracle VM Manager is SSL-enabled. Accordingly, the ssl flag is set to Yes by default. This indicates that the eG agent will communicate with the Oracle VM Manager via HTTPS by default.

WebPort

By default,, the Oracle VM Manager listens on 7002. This implies that while monitoring an Oracle VM server via an SSL-enabled Oracle VM Manager, the eG agent, by default, connects to port 7002 of the Oracle VM Manager to pull out metrics. In some environments however, this default port may not apply. In such a case, against the WebPort parameter, you can specify the exact port at which the Oracle VM Manager in your environment listens so that the eG agent communicates with that port.

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.

Ignore VMs Inside
View

Administrators of some high security Oracle 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 an Oracle VM server by default.

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.

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.

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 with Windows VMs in particular, 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 (Windows) on every Windows VM; this VM agent allows the eG agent to collect “inside view” metrics from the Windows VMs without domain administrator rights. 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.

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. In order to obtain a remote connection, the test must be configured with user privileges that allow remote communication with the virtual guests. 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 guests do not belong to any domain (as in the case of Linux/Solaris guests):  In this case, specify "none" in the Domain field, and specify a local administrator account name in the Admin User below.

    Prior to this, you need to ensure that the same local administrator account is available or is explicitly created on each of the virtual machines to be monitored. Then, proceed to provide the password of the Admin User against Admin Password, and confirm the password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

    If key-based authentication is implemented between the eG agent and the SSH daemon of a Linux guest, then, in the Admin User text box, enter the name of the user whose <USER_HOME_DIR> (on that Linux guest) contains a .ssh directory with the public key file named authorized_keys. The Admin Password in this case will be the passphrase of the public key; the default public key file that is bundled with the eG agent takes the password eginnovations. Specify this as the Admin Password if you are using the default private/public key pair that is bundled with the eG agent to implement key-based authentication. On the other hand, if you are generating a new public/private key pair for this purpose, then use the passphrase that you provide while generating the pair. For the detailed procedure on Implementing Key-based Authentication refer to Troubleshooting the Failure of the eG Remote Agent to Connect to or Report Measures for Linux Guests.

  • If the guests 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 Click here hyperlink that appears just above the parameters of this test in the test configuration page.
  • If the Inside View Using flag is set to ‘eG VM Agent (Windows)’: In this case, the inside view can be obtained without domain administrator privileges. Therefore, set the Domain, Admin User, and Admin Password parameters to none.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise 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 made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Total memory

Indicates the total memory of this VM.

MB

 

Used memory

Indicates the used memory of this VM.

MB

 

Free memory

Indicates the free memory of the VM.

MB

This measure typically indicates the amount of memory available for use by applications running on the target VM.

On Unix operating systems (AIX and Linux), the operating system tends to use parts of the available memory for caching files, objects, etc. When applications require additional memory, this is released from the operating system cache. Hence, to understand the true free memory that is available to applications, the eG agent reports the sum of the free physical memory and the operating system cache memory size as the value of the Free physical memory measure while monitoring AIX and Linux guest operating systems. 

Memory utilized

Indicates the percent usage of memory by this VM.

Percent

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low. While sporadic spikes in memory usage could be caused by one/more rogue processes on the VM, a consistent increase in this value could be a cause for some serious concern, as it indicates a gradual, but steady erosion of valuable memory resources. If this unhealthy trend is not repaired soon, it could severely hamper VM performance, causing anything from a slowdown to a complete system meltdown.

You can use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to figure out which processes on the VM are consuming memory excessively.

Available memory

Indicates the amount of memory, immediately available for allocation to a process or for system use.

MB

Not all of the Available memory is Free memory. Typically, Available memory is made up of the Standby List, Free List, and Zeroed List.

When Windows wants to trim a process' working set, the trimmed pages are moved (usually) to the Standby List. From here, they can be brought back to life in the working set with only a soft page fault (much faster than a hard fault, which would have to talk to the disk). If a page stays in the standby List for a long time, it gets freed and moved to the Free List.

In the background, there is a low priority thread (actually, the only thread with priority 0) which takes pages from the Free List and zeros them out. Because of this, there is usually very little in the Free List.

All new allocations always come from the Zeroed List, which is memory pages that have been overwritten with zeros. This is a standard part of the OS' cross-process security, to prevent any process ever seeing data from another. If the Zeroed List is empty, Free List memory is zeroed and used or, if that is empty too, Standby List memory is freed, zeroed, and used. It is because all three can be used with so little effort that they are all counted as "available".

A high value is typically desired for this measure.

This measure will be available for Windows 2008 VMs only.

Modified memory

Indicates the amount of memory that is allocated to the modified page list.

MB

This memory contains cached data and code that is not actively in use by processes, the system and the system cache. This memory needs to be written out before it will be available for allocation to a process or for system use.

Cache pages on the modified list have been altered in memory. No process has specifically asked for this data to be in memory, it is merely there as a consequence of caching. Therefore it can be written to disk at any time (not to the page file, but to its original file location) and reused. However, since this involves I/O, it is not considered to be Available physical memory.

This measure will be available for Windows 2008 VMs only.

Standby memory

Indicates the amount of memory assigned to the standby list.  

MB

This memory contains cached data and code that is not actively in use by processes, the system and the system cache. It is immediately available for allocation to a process or for system use. If the system runs out of available free and zero memory, memory on lower priority standby cache page lists will be repurposed before memory on higher priority standby cache page lists.

Typically, Standby memory is the aggregate of Standby Cache Core Bytes,Standby Cache Normal Priority Bytes, and Standby Cache Reserve Bytes. Standby Cache Core Bytes is the amount of physical memory, that is assigned to the core standby cache page lists. Standby Cache Normal Priority Bytes is the amount of physical memory, that is assigned to the normal priority standby cache page lists. Standby Cache Reserve Bytes is the amount of physical memory, that is assigned to the reserve standby cache page lists.

This measure will be available for Windows 2008 VMs only.

Cached memory

This measure is an aggregate of Standby memory and Modified memory.

MB

This measure will be available for Windows 2008 VMs only.

Note:

While monitoring Linux guest operating systems, you may observe discrepancies between the value of the Physical memory utilized measure and the memory usage percentages reported per process by the detailed diagnosis of the same measure. This is because, while the Physical memory utilized measure takes into account the memory in the OS cache of the Linux VM, the memory usage percent that the detailed diagnosis reports per process does not consider the OS cache memory.