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StorageView Gives Insight to Datastore I/O

I'm always on the prowl for virtualization tools and tweaks that can give the administrator better insight into their virtual environment. VKernel has released StorageVIEW to provide insight into datastore utilization for VMware environments. It queries vCenter, ESX and ESXi hosts to give datastore latency for the five datastores with the highest latency. StorageVIEW also shows datastore throughput per virtual machine (see Fig. 1).

StorageVIEW queries the ESX or ESXi hosts for this data directly and is not very aggressive in its polling interval. It has all of the markings of being an application that runs on a dedicated system (or at least dedicated monitor) to give a visual green or red indicator for the busiest datastores based on the thresholds configured.

One additional plus for StorageVIEW is that you can run it from your desktop (Windows XP, Vista, 7, etc.) and pass explicit permissions to the host or vCenter Server. Even with the configurable thresholds, StorageVIEW doesn't do too much other than change the color of the associated datastore. This isn't the tool to have e-mail alerts, pages or automatic Storage vMotion events to evacuate a datastore.

Figure 1. StorageVIEW provides a view of the datastore throughput on the VMs on my ESXi system in my lab. (Click image to view larger version.)

The tool also works with the free ESXi server installation. Be sure to get this tool while you can to see if your datastores could be rearranged based on this information. Too frequently, virtualization administrators put virtual machines on datastores solely based on storage consumption in terms of GB on disk (even I am guilty here). In effect, we're only approaching storage for vSphere in a unidirectional fashion by focusing on free space.

While StorageVIEW is free to give a peek into what is going on per datastore, it should not be the only tool used to see how you are doing on your storage. But for something that's free, it does a good job reporting where the host is at. StorageVIEW is available for download from the VKernel Web site.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 06/15/2010 at 12:47 PM


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