Virtual Machines – VM Overview Report

The Virtual Machines – VM Overview report provides administrator with a closer look at the status and resource usage patterns of the VMs on a particular server or a server farm. Using this report, administrators can figure out the following:

  • How many VMs across the environment are in a powered-off state? Which ones are they?
  • What percentage of time has a VM been in a powered-off state?
  • Are VMs adequately sized in terms of resources?
  • Is any VM utilizing the allocated resources extensively?
  • How mildly/badly is the resource usage of a VM impacting the physical resources available with the server?

The details displayed in this report enable administrators to identify resource-intensive VMs and review resource allocations to these VMs and the physical server hosting them. Potential resource bottlenecks can be detected early using this report and alleviated. Critical performance decisions such as whether or not to move a VM to another physical server can also be taken based on the findings of this report. Unused VMs causing an unnecessary resource drain can also be identified, and pulled down if need be.

To generate this report, do the following:

  1. Follow the menu sequence: REPORTS BY FUNCTION -> Domain-specific Reports -> Virtualization -> Virtual Machines -> VMs Overview in the eG Reporter interface.
  2. Figure 1 then appears. For a graphical report, select Graph as the Report Type.

    Figure 1 : Selecting the criteria for a Virtual Machines – VM Overview report

  3. To generate a VMs Overview report, select Virtual Machines from the Selection list.
  4. The Component Type report displays all the managed virtual component-types – e.g., VMware vSphere ESX, Citrix XenServer, etc. For a report on ESX servers, select VMware vSphere ESX.
  5. Then, select a criterion for analysis from the Analyze by list box. Using this report, you can analyze the performance of one/more independent virtualized components, or those that are part of a segment, service, or a zone. This way, you can assess the impact of the performance of the virtual components on a particular service/segment/zone’s performance, and accordingly take performance decisions. The options provided by the Analyze by list box are discussed hereunder:

    • Component: Select this option to choose the component(s) from across all the managed components in the environment. For instance, for a report on the performance of all the managed ESX hosts in the environment, select VMware vSphere ESX from the Component Type list, select Component from the Analyze by list, and then select all the virtual hosts listed in the Components list of Figure 1.
    • Service: Select this option if the components for which a report is to be generated are involved in the delivery of a business service. Then, select a Service.
    • Segment: Choose this option if the virtual hosts to be evaluated are part of a segment. Then, pick a Segment for analysis.
    • Zone: Pick this option for a report on the performance of virtual components that are included in a zone. Then, choose a Zone.
  6. If the Components list consists of too many components, then viewing all the components and selecting the ones you need for report generation could require endless scrolling. To avoid this, you can click the icon next to the Components list. The COMPONENTS pop up window will then appear using which you can view almost all the components in a single interface and select the ones for which the report is to be generated.
  7. Typically, for a Data report, users can configure the measures that need to feature in the report and the functions to be applied on them in the eg_report.ini file in the <eg_install_dir>\manager\config directory. However, if the Report Type chosen is Graph, you will be required to select the Measure for which the graph is to be generated from Figure 1. For instance, to assess how the managed VMs in the environment use the CPU resources available to them, choose EsxGuestDetails/Physical CPU utilization measure from the Measure list. The Graph report that then appears reveals the top CPU consumers in the chosen server farm.
  8. Then, specify the Timeline for the graph. You can either provide a fixed time line such as 1 hour, 2 days, etc., or select the Any option from the list to provide a From and To date/time for report generation.


    For every user registered with the eG Enterprise system, the administrator can indicate the maximum timeline for which that user can generate a report. Once the maximum timeline is set for a user, then, whenever that user logs into eG Reporter and attempts to generate a report, the Timeline list box in the report page will display options according to the maximum timeline setting of that user. For instance, if a user can generate a report for a maximum period of 3 days only, then 3 days will be the highest option displayed in the Timeline list - i.e., 3 days will be the last option in the fixed Timeline list. Similarly, if the user chooses the Any option from the Timeline list and proceeds to provide a start date and end date for report generation using the From and To specifications, eG Enterprise will first check if the user's Timeline specification conforms to his/her maximum timeline setting. If not, report generation will fail. For instance, for a user who is allowed to generate reports spanning over a maximum period of 3 days only, the difference between the From and To dates should never be over 3 days. If it is, then, upon clicking the Run Report button a message box will appear, prompting the user to change the From and To specification.

  9. In addition to the settings discussed above, this report comes with a set of default specifications. These settings are hidden by default. If you do not want to disturb these default settings, then you can proceed to generate the report by clicking the Run Report button soon after you pick a Component. However, if you want to view and then alter these settings (if required), click on the button. The default settings will then appear in the MORE OPTIONS drop down window (see Figure 2). The steps below discuss each of these settings and how they can be customized.

    Figure 2 : The default settings for generating the Virtual machines – VMs Overview report

  10. The Graph report comprises of a pie chart followed by a bar chart. If you want the VM names in the bar chart to be accompanied by their corresponding physical server names, then set the Display by Physical Server flag to Yes. By default, the flag is set to No.
  11. To indicate how many of the top/least resource users the resulting graph should depict, so as not to clutter the display, select an option from the Show list.
  12. The speed with which a report is generated depends primarily on the report Timeline. While a Timeline that varies between a couple of days to a week enables the eG Enterprise system to quickly retrieve the required data, timelines that span multiple weeks/months could slow-down the data retrieval and report generation process to a considerable extent, owing to the volume of data involved. In order to ensure quick and easy access to reports, eG Enterprise provides you the option of enabling data retrieval from the Trend information in the database, instead of the Detailed test information that is used by default for report generation. The Detailed test information based comprises of multiple measurement records for a test - one or more each for every test execution. Whereas, the Trend information includes only hourly, daily, and monthly summary computations for a test performed on a continuous basis. For instance, during a period of 1 hour, a test that runs every 5 minutes inserts atleast 12 records into the Detailed test information base. On the other hand, the Trend information base would consist of only 1 record for the same 1 hour period. Fewer the number of records, query execution becomes much quicker, and data retrieval faster. To use the trend data for report generation, you will have to select the Trend option from the Show Data field in Figure 2. By default, the Detailed option is selected in Figure 2 indicating that the report data is retrieved from the detailed test information in the database. If need be, you can also ensure that all reports always use the Detailed test tables alone by hiding the Show Data field from the reporter interface. To achieve this, do the following: 

    • Login to the eG administrative interface as 'admin'.
    • Select the Manager option from the Settings tile that appears when the button against the Admin tab is clicked.
    • From the GENERAL SETTINGS page that then appears, if you set the Compute average/sum of metrics while trending flag to No, then the Show Data field will not appear in the reporter interface; this denies users access to the Trend option, and thus ensures that reports are always generated using the Detailed tables.


      • A Trend report will not include the data for the current day since trend data is only computed at the end of the day.
      • If the Trend option is chosen, the time period of the report should be greater than 1 day.
      • The usage of Detailed test tables for generating reports, especially those that span weeks, increases the stress on the eG database, thus resulting in undue delays in report generation. In order to ensure that the database is not choked by such voluminous data requests, you can configure eG Enterprise to automatically "force" the use of the Trend option if the Timeline of a report exceeds a pre-configured duration. To specify this time boundary, do the following:

        • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
        • In the [MISC] section of the  file, you will find a DetailedTime parameter.
        • Specify the duration (in days) beyond which Detailed reports cannot be generated, against the DetailedTime parameter, and save the eg_report.ini file
        • For instance, to make sure that Detailed reports are disallowed for a Timeline of over 2 weeks, set the DetailedTime parameter to 14 and save the file. 
        • Say, subsequently, you attempt to generate a Detailed report for a FixedTimeline of 3 weeks (which is greater than the 14-day limit set in our example). The instant you select the 3 weeks option from the Fixed list box, the Detailed option gets automatically disabled, and the Trend option gets enabled. Similarly, if you specify an AnyTimeline that runs over 14 days, then, upon clicking the Run Report button to generate the report, a message box appears (see Figure 8) informing you that only the Trend option is permitted.
        • To proceed with the Trend report generation, click the OK button in the message box. To terminate Trend report generation, click the CANCEL button.   
  13. If the timeline specified for the report needs to exclude the data collected during the Weekends, then set Exclude weekends to Yes. If not, select No.
  14. Next, indicate the report Timeperiod.
  15. In large environments, reports generated using months of data can take a long time to complete. Administrators now have the option of generating reports on-line or in the background. When a report is scheduled for background generation, administrators can proceed with their other monitoring, diagnosis, and reporting tasks, while the eG manager is processing the report. This saves the administrator valuable time. To schedule background processing of a report, you can either select the Background Save - PDF option or the Background Save - CSV option from the Report Generation list. In this case, a Report Name text box will appear, where you would have to provide the name with which the report is to be saved in the background. To process reports in the foreground, select the Foreground Generation - HTML option from this list.


    • The Report Generation list will appear only if the EnableBackgroundReport flag in the [BACKGROUND_PROCESS] section of the eg_report.ini file (in the [EG_INSTALL_DIR]\manager\config directory) is set to Yes.
    • The default selection in the Report Generation list will change according to the Timeline specified for the report. If the Timeline set is greater than or equal to the number of days specified against the MinDurationForReport parameter in the [BACKGROUND_PROCESS] section of the eg_report.ini file, then the default selection in the Report Generation list will be Background Save - PDF. On the other hand, if the Timeline set for the report is lesser than the value of the MinDurationForReport parameter, then the default selection in the Report Generation list will be Foreground. This is because, the MinDurationForReport setting governs when reports are to be processed in the background. By default, this parameter is set to 2 weeks - this indicates that by default, reports with a timeline of 2 weeks and above will be processed in the background.
  16. Finally, click the Run Report button.

    Figure 3 : A Virtual Machines - VMs Overview graph report

  17. If the Report Type is Graph and the option chosen from the Report Generation list is Foreground Generation - HTML, then, clicking on the Run Report button will invoke Figure 3, which will reveal the following:

    • A distribution pie chart that reveals the number of VMs in different distribution ranges (see Figure 3). The distribution ranges are obtained based on the first of the configured functions for the chosen Measure. For instance, assume that PhysicalCPU utilization is the chosen Measure. Say that you have configured to display the Avg and Max of Physical CPU utilization in a Data report. Typically, both these configured values will appear only in the Data report. In the case of a Graph report however, the first of the two functions - i.e., Avg of Physical CPU utilization - alone is calculated for every VM on the chosen virtual component-type. The resulting pie chart enables administrators to deduce, at a glance, the number of components where the chosen performance metric has fared well and/or badly. Clicking on a particular slice in the pie chart lists the VMs that fall within the value range represented by that slice (see Figure 4). Against every VM name, the actual values for each of the configured functions (both Avg and Max, in our example) will be displayed. A zone/segment/service/component-type-level Summary of the chosen Measure will also be available.  

      Figure 4 : A list of components with Physical CPU utilization in a given range


      By default, the chart type for distribution is a pie chart. However, you can have a bar graph depict the same data instead of a pie chart, by following the steps given below: 

      • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
      • Change the value of the chartTypeForDist parameter in the [virtual_guest] section of this file from the default Pie, to Bar.
      • Save the eg_report.ini file.

      By default, the number of value ranges that need to be configured for the distribution chart is 10. To override this default setting, do the following:

      • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
      • Specify a number of your choice against the nofRangeForDist parameter in the [virtual_guest] section of this file. By default, this parameter will hold the value 10.
      • Save the eg_report.ini file.
    • Adjacent to the pie chart, you will find a bar chart that indicates the VMs that have topped/failed in a selected performance realm (i.e., the Measure) during the specified Timeline. For example, for the Physical CPU utilization measure, this bar chart reveals the VMs that are the top CPU-consumers. Like the pie chart, the values for the bar chart are also calculated by applying the first of the configured functions on the chosen Measure.


      You can configure the colors to be used in the distribution chart and the Top <N> Components bar chart in the zone report, by editing the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory. The [VIRTUAL_GUEST] section of the file defines the 20 default colors of the distribution and bar charts:






      You override the default color settings of the distribution chart by modifying the color-codes specifying against distColor. For changing the colors used by the Top <N> Components chart, alter the codes listed against the ChartColor parameter.


      The number of components to be displayed in the Top <N> Components bar chart is configurable. To specify the number, do the following:

      • Edit the eg_report.ini file in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory.
      • Specify a number of your choice against the NoOfServersforChart parameter in the [virtual_guest] section of the file. By default, the value displayed here is 10, indicating that, by default, the bar chart will be for the Top 10 Components. For example, if you change this value to 5, then a bar chart displaying the Top 5 Components will appear. This configuration governs the options listed in the Show list box in Figure 1.
      • Finally, save the eg_report.ini file.
  18. Unlike a Graph report, a Data report does not graphically represent the measure data. Instead, the configured details are presented in a tabular format in the report.
  19. If the Report Type is Data, then upon clicking the Run Report button Figure 5 will be invoked.
  20. The Data report will display multiple values for a measure depending upon the number and type of functions that have been configured for the measure. By default however, the VM Powered on measure will be displayed as the percentage of time for which the corresponding VM had been in a powered-on state on a physical server (see Figure 5).

    Figure 5 : A Virtual Machine – VMs Overview Data Report

  21. The first row of the Data report displays a Summary of the performance of all the VMs configured on the chosen virtual hosts. Below this row, server-wise performance details will appear. These details together provide users with an overview of the health of virtual machines in the server farm. Clicking on a Virtual Machine here will lead you to the Physical Resources Usage report, using which you can assess how resource-efficient the VM is.
  22. If the Background Save - PDF option is chosen from the Report Generation list, then clicking on the Run Report button will not generate the report and display it in this page for your benefit. Instead, a message indicating that the report is being processed in the background will appear. This will be accompanied by a link that will lead you to the page that lists all the reports that are being processed in the background, and their current status. If background report generation fails for a report, you can regenerate that report using this page, or can even delete that report if need be. On the other hand, if background processing successfully completes for your report, then, you can view a PDF of the report by clicking on the icon in that page.


As stated earlier, you can configure the information that needs to appear in the Virtual Machines report, by editing the eg_report.ini file in the <eg_install_dir>\manager\config directory. For example, to generate the report depicted by Figure 5, specify the following in the [VIRTUAL_guest] section of the eg_report.ini file:


EsxGuestTest:Cpu_used#CPU Used=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Cpu_usage#CPU Usage=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Ready#Ready Time=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Powered_on#VM Powered On=
EsxGuestTest:Configured_memory#Configured Memory=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Active_memory#Active memory=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Memory_usage#Memory Usage=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Total_capacity#Disk Capacity=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Data_writes#Disk Writes=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Data_reads#Disk Reads=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Data_transmitted#Network Traffic Out=Avg
EsxGuestTest:Data_received#Network Traffic In=Avg

Typically, measure configurations in the [VIRTUAL_GUEST] section of the eg_report.ini file should be of the following format:

<InternalTest>:<InternalMeasure>#<Display name of measure>=<Comma-separated list of functions>

Before proceeding with the configuring, determine the internal component type, test, and measure names, using the procedure discussed in Page First, determine the Internal name of the test and measure to be configured. For that, do the following: of this manual.

Accordingly, in the first line of the example above:

  • EsxGuestTest is the <InternalTest> that reports the measure of interest to us
  • CPU_used is the <InternalMeasure> that is to be displayed in the report page
  • The display name of the measure is CPU Used, and finally,
  • Avg is the function that is to be executed on the value of the CPU_used measure 
  • The other measures that have been configured are: CPU_usage, Ready, Powered_on, Configured_memory, Active_memory, Memory_usage, Total_capacity, Data_writes,Data_reads, Data_transmitted, Data_received.

This indicates for each chosen physical server, the following values will be displayed in the report:

  • The average CPU used by a VM, in Mhz and Percentage
  • The average time for which CPU was in a ready state
  • The average configured memory
  • The average active memory
  • The average memory usage
  • The average disk capacity
  • The average disk reads and writes
  • The average of incoming and outgoing network traffic


  • If functions such as Avg, Max, etc., are not explicitly configured in the [VIRTUAL_guest] section in the manner discussed above, then report will, by default, display the average (Avg) values for the configured measures.
  • If a display name is not provided for a measure, then the actual measure name will automatically become the display name.