Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

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Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

Veeam Logoby johnny@datafant.se » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:03 pm

Hello,

I am a newbie concerning VR.

When creating reports and browsing through different functions, it just strikes me; what use is measuring a Windows Performance Counter like CPU when you cannot really trust this counter within a vm ?
VMware some time ago added their own developed CPU/Memory counters to address this but the counters are according to VMware support, removed in newer versions of vSphere.

If this is the case, then measuring vm performance is not all that interesting, correct me if I am wrong, please.

Regards,

Johnny
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Re: Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:55 pm

Hello Johnny,

That's a good question, and I believe the answer is it depends. Let me clarify it...

You're correct in saying that VMware has its own CPU/Memory and other performance counters which should be used to monitor and report against VM's resources usage, but to have an entire picture of the resource usage you may want to use Windows Performance Counters. I've googled for this topic on VMware site, and VMware indeed highlights the benefit of using both sources of information (VMware counters and Windows perfmon counters), see the quote below:

Virtual Machine Performance Counters Integration into Perfmon — vSphere 4.0 introduces the integration of virtual machine performance counters such as CPU and memory into Perfmon for Microsoft Windows guest operating systems when VMware Tools is installed. With this feature, virtual machine owners can do accurate performance analysis within the guest operating system. See the vSphere Client Online Help.

Besides, here is a short example of this usage:
http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/drummonds/2010/03/16/using-perfmon-for-accurate-esx-performance-counters

That being said, Reporter can provide you with a full insight with VMware performance counters included to a default set of reports. By the way what reports have you already generated? Do you have any comments on possible enhancements? What report do you use the most?

Thank you!
Vitaliy S.
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Re: Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

Veeam Logoby johnny@datafant.se » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:33 pm

Vitaly,

see below two separate answers I got from VMware support when bringing this up.
I would prefer to use counters that is supported by VMware.

The customer I am testing it for, primarily wants to be able to see trends on selected vm:s, how it uses vCPU, vMemory, etc. over time, when certain vm:s are running slow and users are complaining.

Maybe it is far to soon to have any suggestions but when I have created a report, it is hard to distinguish which vm goes to which graph-line.
When I point to the graphs, the name of the vm show up, but I would like to be able to point at the vm-name and the graph-line should be BOLD.
Also, when I zoom up the graph, the vm-name does not show up any longer. Only in "normal" zoom this works evidently.



VMware support:

Answer 1:

"Hello Johnny,

After doing a bit of research it appears as if the perfmon counters were removed from ESX 4 Update 1.
The easiest way to get the counters inside in your virtual machine at this point in time would probably be to use the application provided by Scott Drummond at the following link.
http://vpivot.com/2009/09/17/using-perf ... -counters/

Application = http://e-scott.net/share/vmStatsProvide ... elease.exe

This should enable you to see the counters within your virtual machine but as per the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, this is not a feature supported by VMware support."

Answer 2:

"Hello Johnny,

I'll try answer your questions below:

Also, the app in the link is meant for VI3.
-> It was created for VI3 as there was no option to install the performance counters via VMware tools for VI3.
When the feature was taken out of ESX 4 Update 1, this same application worked successfully for people on vSphere.

So why was it removed?
We're not made aware of why these decisions are made in the technical support department.
The only response that looks to have been returned is that the Perfmon counters from inside the guest were only ever experimentally support anyway.

Is it back again in version 4.1 or will be in the future?
I've checked the tools installation on an ESX 4.1 virtual machine with Windows 2003 installed and there perfmon counters was not available.
As regards future plans, unfortunately again this is something that we would not be aware of in the technical support department.
What I would recommend for this is using the feature request link to get a reply from a product manager.
http://www.vmware.com/contact/contactus ... od_request
The form above is directed at product managers and they would be in much better position to let you know what is planned for the future."


Regards,

Johnny
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Re: Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:22 pm

Johnny,

Ok, I got your point regarding Windows Performance counters and its current usage,thanks for sharing, though I'm not sure I clearly understand why don't you want to trust VMware performance counters you have in Reporter? Also could you please provide me with more details on the report you've created? Just want to try that in my labs.
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Re: Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

Veeam Logoby johnny@datafant.se » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:40 am

Hello Vitaly,

Don´t misunderstand me here.
I have never claimed to not trust the VMware performance counters.

The reasons for bringing the above Windows Perf. "issues" up in such detail, are mereley because of me trying to think like the customer and ask questions like customer does.
I need you to provide me with arguments on how to use and interpret the information gathered with VR.
If I succeed to convince this customer for which I am testing the application, so the customer finds it easy to handle AND interpret, then it will be very easy to sell it to other customers.

Also, I read something about you soon supplying some sort of Best Practice documents on commonly created reports.
When will this happen ?

Kind regards,

Johnny
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Re: Trust Windows Performance Counters ?

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:18 pm

Oh I see... Yes, we are going to launch a Report of the Week Campaign, let me double-check the dates for you. Those reports should help you in highlighting the value and the benefits of using Reporter.
Vitaliy S.
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