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Mar 15 2017

Have a Fling with VMware IOInsight

VMware Labs have issued a new tool that helps admins to better monitor, analyze and understand virtual machines' storage I/O behavior. Data obtained from this tool can then be used to improve capacity planning and performance tuning.

A while back, VMware Labs – the virtualization giant's research, test and collaboration unit – introduced Flings, a platform entirely devoted to so-called pet projects of the company's software engineers. As the name suggests, this is basically a kind of boutique where VMware users can find numerous apps and tools to download and play around with – small software packages that are intended to make their lives as admins a little easier, but may never make it into an official product release and are therefore left unsupported. So in essence, all Flings have the status of a technical preview, and whether they're deployed in test beds or productive environments is largely left to the customer's own discretion. Each Fling is more or less firmly attached to one of VMware's software products, for example Horizon View, vSphere or vCenter.

One of the latest additions to the Fling roster is IOInsight, a tool developed by Nidhi Naik, Midhun K and Sankaran Sivathanu from the VM Performance Group. Version 1.0.0 was released late last month as a virtual appliance that can be deployed in any vSphere environment, captures I/O traces from VMware ESXi, generates various aggregated metrics that represent the I/O behavior and sums up the findings in a detailed report. Administrators can thus gain much deeper insights into the characteristics and 'manners' of every single VM managed via their vSphere console. In addition to the built-in metrics computed by IOInsight, users can also write their own analyzer plugins and visualize the results. The outcome may then be used to further optimize and fine-tune storage capacities and capabilities and could even help to improve VMware product support and development.


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