Is there a preferred tool for measuring I/O performance and diagnosing issues with storage in a vSphere virtualized environment?
While there are numerous management tools, such as VMware's vCenter Operations Manager or Dell Foglight, that are good for assessing the overall health of the virtual infrastructure, it may not be the right tool for the job if you want to get very granular information about what's happening with your storage.
During his VMworld 2014 session, "Virtual Server Fleet: A Dream Comes True," David Gallant said there are certain instances when he prefers to use the I/O Analyzer fling from VMware Labs when he needs to dig deep into the storage system.
"There is really great I/O information inside of vCenter Operations Manager [vCOPs], but I/O Analyzer I use more as a performance setup tool," said Gallant, a practice solutions architect for VMware.
Gallant gave the presentation with Denis Larocque, infrastructure architect at Molson Coors, who detailed moving the critical SAP workloads in the Molson Coors Unix-based infrastructure to VMs on the vSphere platform. Larocque crunched the numbers and found he could get as good performance -- or better -- by moving from a $250,000 Unix setup to $15,000 blades from HP. He enlisted Gallant for assistance with the project.
Gallant said he likes I/O Analyzer because it can give him a more in-depth analysis than vCOPs can.
"Let's say you wanted to change the queue depth on your SCSI controllers and you needed to drill down into that and see that data over a period of time. I prefer I/O Analyzer over vCenter Operations Manager because I get very specifically what I'm looking for," he said.
Gallant said vCOPs works great as a "sentry on duty that is looking to see if something is going to throw me off," but he prefers I/O Analyzer for staging and performance needs.