Collecting Usage Metrics

By John Suit  |  Posted 2009-08-12 Print this article Print

Collecting usage metrics

However, collecting usage metrics may not be an easy task. Installing system management agents on your virtual machines that were designed for the older generation physical servers may artificially skew your results by overburdening the hypervisors with extra CPU and network.

Collecting metrics via agentless may also prove challenging if you are working with several hundred VMs. Creating a matrix of usage compared to capacity you have allocated will give you a pretty good idea of where the efficiency of each of your VMs is.

Immediately, the outliers will be evident. VMs that track well below what they have been allocated during peak hours may be ideal candidates for reduction and their capacity can be recycled. VMs that are over-utilized may benefit from a reallocation of resources. Alternatively, if something may be wrong, a root cause analysis may expose a configuration change from the original template causing the error.

Once armed with an understanding of the utilization range for each VM in their given capacity, a threshold window can easily be crafted. In an ideal world, a VM should not be over-allocated, nor should it be under-allocated or, even worse, left entirely idle consuming precious resources. Typically, a VM should average in the 65 to 80 percent range for Web servers. If your VM is averaging 20 percent, then maybe it's time to rethink your allocation.

John Suit is Principal Founder and CTO of Fortisphere. John founded Fortisphere in 2006, and is responsible for developing the core technology behind the Fortisphere product suite. Prior to founding Fortisphere, John was the founder and CTO of SilentRunner, a successful company that was ultimately sold to Computer Associates. John has held several leadership positions at both vice president and CTO levels, and he has invented and launched countless new products in the security space. John continues to advise the Department of Defense and Directorate of Central Intelligence in the areas of virtualization security and management, as well as information operations. He can be reached at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel