VMware resource pool management guide

Poor virtualization performance affects all business operations. Therefore, strict VMware resource pool management is essential for efficient, well-run companies.

Keith Kessinger, Assistant Site Editor

VMware offers a mature virtualization platform. As such, there are numerous native and third-party tools to assist with VMware resource pool management.

VMware vCenter, for example, is an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) that retrieves infrastructure metrics. But many IT shops have found that vCenter does not provide the granular information that is necessary for in-depth VMware resource pool management. As a result, more users have turned to third-party management tools to supplement vCenter.

An alternative to GUI-based monitoring tools is command-line administration. VMware's virtualization platforms offer numerous utilities for command junkies. The command line is a text-heavy method, but it's versatile and powerful.

The following resources in this VMware resource pool management guide provide tips, articles and advice on how to optimize your virtual environment.

Tackling esxtop for VMware performance management prowess
The exatop and resxtop commands provide sophisticated CPU statistics for VMware admins. Both commands retrieve detailed CPU metrics that are invaluable for VMware performance management and troubleshooting hosts.

Obtaining server health status in VMware ESX and VMware ESXi
Heath status reports consist of a host's CPU, memory, storage, fans, temperature and power status. Without these metrics, systems administrators can't perform their responsibilities. But there are different ways to assemble heath check reports in ESX and ESXi infrastructures.

VMware vSphere's built-in performance monitoring tools
Monitoring, reporting and alerting tools are necessities for sprawling virtual infrastructures. For budget-strapped IT departments, there are free performance-monitoring tools for VMware environments. These utilities monitor VM and host activity, as well as network and storage traffic.

VMware vSphere hot-add RAM and hot-plug CPU
Before vSphere's hot-add RAM and hot-plug CPU features, admins had to shut down servers to add resources. With these capabilities, however, you can add virtual hardware to running VMs. But hot-add RAM and hot-plug CPU are advanced features, so admins need to understand their nuances.

Esxtop: Troubleshooting ESX servers with performance metrics
Sometimes, vCenter's charts and graphs don't cut it. In those situations, the powerful esxtop command provides detailed VMware resource pool information.

Using the esxtop tool to identify VMware ESX memory use
Through the use of a Secure Shell (SSH) client, you can use exatop to monitor and manage VMware ESX memory. This ability is useful for eliminating unnecessary processes that consume precious host memory. This tip covers how to use exatop's memory mode and methods to improve resource pool management.

This was first published in September 2010
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