Oracle vBox VM Details Test

This test auto-discovers the desktops operating on a VirtualBox and reports the powered-on state, the resource allocations, and the resource usage of each discovered desktop. In the process, the test promptly points administrators to unavailable or resource-intensive desktops.

Target of the test : An Oracle VirtualBox

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each desktop on the Oracle VirtualBox 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.

Oracle Hypervisor
User

Specify the name of the user who has the right to access the VirtualBox via SSH.

Oracle Hypervisor Password

Provide the password of the oracle hypervisor user.

Confirm Password

Confirm the password by retyping it here.

Sudocmd

This test executes certain privileged VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) commands to pull out the desired metrics from the VirtualBox. To enable the test to run these commands, you first need to install a sudo package on the VirtualBox host. The procedure for installing this package is detailed in Pre-requisites for Auto-Discovering VMs and Obtaining their Outside View. Once the package is installed, you need to specify the full path to the install directory of the sudo package in the Sudocmd text box.

Ignore VMs Inside View

Administrators of some high security virtualized 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 VirtualBox host 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.

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 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. Refer to Configuring the eG Agent to Obtain the Inside View of Windows VMs, 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.

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. 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)’: 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.

Report By User

While monitoring a VirtualBox, the Report By User flag is set to Yes by default, indicating that by default, the guest operating systems on the VirtualBox are identified using the login of the user who is accessing the guest OS. In other words, this test will, by default, report measures for every username_on_virtualmachinename. If this flag is set to No, then the guests will be identified using the host name of the guest OS. In this case, the test will report measures for every virtualmachinename.

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.

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

Is virtual machine powered on?

Indicates whether this desktop is powered-on or not currently.

 

The table below displays the States that can be reported by this measure, and their numeric equivalents:

State Value
Off 0
On 1

Note:

By default, this measure reports one of the States listed in the table above. The graph of this measure however will represent the VM status using the numeric equivalents - ‘0’ or '1’.

Total RAM size

Indicates the amount of memory allocated to this desktop.

MB

 

RAM utilization

Indicates the percentage of allocated RAM been utilized by this desktop.

Percent

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low. A high value is indicative of excessive memory consumption by a desktop. In the event of a slowdown, you can compare the value of this measure across desktops to identify the desktop that is memory-intensive, and could hence be causing the slowdown.  

Video memory

Indicates the total amount of video memory allocated to this desktop.

MB

 

This sets the size of the memory provided by the virtual graphics card available to the guest, in MB. As with the main memory, the specified amount will be allocated from the host’s resident memory. Based on the amount of video memory, higher resolutions and color depths may be available.

Balloon memory

Indicates the configured balloon memory for this desktop.

MB

Normally, to change the amount of memory allocated to a virtual machine, one has to shut down the virtual machine entirely and modify its settings. With memory ballooning, memory that was allocated for a virtual machine can be given to another virtual machine without having to shut the machine down.

When memory ballooning is requested, the VirtualBox allocates physical memory from the guest operating system on the kernel level and locks this memory down in the guest. This ensures that the guest will not use that memory any longer; no guest applications can allocate it, and the guest kernel will not use it either. VirtualBox can then re-use this memory and give it to another virtual machine.

The memory made available through the ballooning mechanism is only available for re-use by VirtualBox. It is not returned as free memory to the host. Requesting balloon memory from a running guest will therefore not increase the amount of free, unallocated memory on the host.

Effectively, memory ballooning is therefore a memory overcommitment mechanism for multiple virtual machines while they are running. This can be useful to temporarily start another machine, or in more complicated environments, for sophisticated memory management of many virtual machines that may be running in parallel depending on how memory is used by the guests.

Number of VCPUs

Indicates the number of virtual CPUs allocated to this desktop.

Number

 

User CPU utilization

Indicates the percentage of CPU time spent by this desktop on user processes.

Percent

If the CPU utilization of a desktop appears to be increasing consistently, then, you can use the value of this measure to figure out where the CPU time is being spent - on system processes? or user processes?

Kernel CPU utilization

Indicates the percentage of CPU time spent by this desktop on kernel processes.

Percent

If the CPU utilization of a desktop appears to be increasing consistently, then, you can use the value of this measure to figure out where the CPU time is being spent - on kernel processes? or user processes?

CPU utilization

Indicates the percentage of the allocated CPU resources used by this desktop.

Percent

Compare the value of this measure to identify the desktop that is running CPU-intensive applications. Once the desktop is identified, then, you can use the User CPU utilization and the Kernel CPU utilization measures to know where the desktop is spending maximum CPU time - on kernel processes? or user processes?

Configuring Users for VM Monitoring

In order to enable the eG agent to connect to VMs in multiple domains and pull out metrics from them, the eG administrative interface provides a special page using which the different domain names, and their corresponding admin user names and admin passwords can be specified. To access this page, just click on the Click here hyperlink in any of the VM test configuration pages. 

configtest1

Figure 1 : Configuring a VM test

Upon clicking, Figure 2 will appear, using which the VM user details can be configured.

add1-final

Figure 2 : The VM user configuration page

To add a user specification, do the following:

  1. First, provide the name of the Domain to which the VMs belong (see Figure 2). If one/more VMs do not belong to any domain, then, specify none here.
  2. The eG agent must be configured with user privileges that will allow the agent to communicate with the VMs in a particular domain and extract statistics. If none is specified against Domain, then a local user account can be provided against Admin User. On the other hand, if a valid Domain name has been specified, then a domain administrator account can be provided in the Admin User 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.
  3. The password of the specified Admin User should be mentioned in the Admin Pwd text box.
  4. Confirm the password by retyping it in the Confirm Pwd text box.
  5. To add more users, click on the plus button in Figure 2. This will allow you to add one more user specification as depicted by Figure 3.

    add2-final

    Figure 3 : Adding another user

  6. In some virtualized environments, the same Domain could be accessed using multiple Admin User names. For instance, to login to a Domain named egitlab, the eG agent can use the Admin User name labadmin or the Admin User name jadmn. You can configure the eG agent with the credentials of both these users as shown by Figure 4.

    add3-final

    Figure 4 : Associating a single domain with different admin users

    When this is done, then, while attempting to connect to the domain, the eG agent will begin by using the first Admin User name of the specification. In the case of Figure 4, this will be labadmin. If, for some reason, the agent is unable to login using the first Admin User name, then it will try to login again, but this time using the second Admin User name of the specification - i.e., jadmin in our example (see Figure 4).  If the first login attempt itself is successful, then the agent will ignore the second Admin User name.

  7. To clear all the user specifications, simply click the Clear button in Figure 4.
  8. To remove the details of a particular user alone, just click the minus button in Figure 4.
  9. To save the specification, just click on the Update button in Figure 4. This will lead you back to the test configuration page, where you will find the multiple domain names, user names, and passwords listed against the respective fields.