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Cool Free Tool: SolarWinds Storage Response Time Monitor

Virtualization has changed the game as far as how we troubleshoot issues in our environment. It is no longer as simple to determine as it was before. Now that resources are shared, it is sometimes tricky -- is it a VM problem? Or is it the network? Or compute? Or all of the above?

That being said, at the heart of every virtualization infrastructure today is storage. Some have large, enterprise-shared storage of different sorts, while others have smaller ones, but we all have shared storage one way or another. Monitoring the latency between VMs and the storage that they're running on is crucial. SolarWinds for its part has released a really cool and free storage response time monitoring tool that plugs directly into your VMware infrastructure and reports back on virtual machines' IO.

The cool thing about this tool is that it will also break down the latency metrics, separating the time spent in the host (kernel) versus the time spent on the device (SAN). This information can prove very valuable to any virtualization administrator when dissecting a technical issue.

Here are some of the things you can monitor and measure:

  • Host to datastore enumerated by the worst response times
  • The busiest VMs from an IO perspective
  • Kernel versus device latency metrics

This is just a subset of what you can do with this free tool, which I have already added to my toolbox.

SolarWinds has a broader portfolio of products and its acquisition of Hyper9 not too long ago gave it a significant foothold in the virtualization market. I will cover the other SolarWinds products in a later blog but I wanted to share this tool with you. You can download it and a slew of other SolarWinds free tools here.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 12/15/2011 at 12:49 PM


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