IO Analyzer 56k no way!

Install and configure VMware IO Analyzer:

Quick note, in case you missed the Brown Bag last night, the Video is here. I go over the install process as well as some general QA about IO Analyzer there.


ProfessionalVMware BrownBag – IO Analyzer from ProfessionalVMware on Vimeo.

VMware IO Analyzer is a VMware labs fling that was created to provide a simple analysis tool for testing storage attached to your VMware environment. For anyone who has installed an OVF template before, the Installation and setup is relatively simple.

Once there submit to the terms and conditions and you can download the zipped template:









Once the file has been saved to your local or network drive, expand its contents and open your vClient. We are going to want to go to File, Deploy OVF Template:








Browse to the templates location, and then click Next








You can now choose a new name for the VM or leave it as listed, also choose a folder location to deploy the VM if you have folders created within your environment:








Now choose the Cluster or Host you wish to deploy the VM onto:









Next if you wish to place the VM into a specific Resource Pool you can choose to do so here. I would not recommend doing so at this time, since we do not want to limit the resources available to the VM . Furthermore the resources utilized by the IO Analyzer are relatively small.








Now choose the data store you wish to place the VM onto:








You will want to install the VM as a thick provisioned device.








Choose the network you wish to access the IO Analyzer from:









Last step is to accept the final results and perform the installation:









The new VM will be created and placed into the location you provided above:






Once finished, we will want to configure the new IO Analyzer system for use.  Right click on the newly created VM and lets go to Edit Settings:






As you can see, the OVA comes with a pre-configured second disk of 100MB in size. If you consult the documentation within the IO Analyzer you will notice that the recommendation is to remove that disk and provide a new disk for testing.










I choose to utilize RDM (Raw Data Mappings) for this purpose. It can be done with either iSCSI or FC storage. In my case we have FC and will create a second disk for use on the system. This will be the test disk.  Prior to completing the next few steps you will need to follow your storage manufactures best practices to create a disk lun to present to the IO Analyzer virtual machine. For testing purposes, the lun should be over 2GB in size. This way we won’t utilize any of the cache on the IO Analyzer machine itself.








Add the new disk:







Choose Raw Device Mappings:








Remember you will need to re-scan your hosts storage prior to attaching any RDM devices.



Once you are sure the host can see your RDM disk then go ahead and add the disk to the IO Analyzer system.






Depending on your internal practices, you can store the disk with the VM or specify a datastore of your choosing. I tend to choose to store the RDM with the VM that its attached to.









You have the choice to either set the disk into Physical or Virtual lun mappings. This makes no difference as far as the test results are concerned.  If for any reason you wanted to snapshot the IO Analyzer, a virtual mapping would be required.






Following my own internal best practices, I will choose to attach the disk to its own separate SCSI Node:






Click finish and your new disk will be available for use:










One key thing to note, prior to launching the IO Analyzer is that you want to eagerzerothick the disk prior to actually running any tests on it. Follow the steps in this KB Article:




Now we are ready to power on the IO Analyzer and configure it for first use. Power on the machine, and lets go to the console to setup the networking  components. When the IO Analyzer first powers up, it will be sitting at this screen. Use the arrow buttons to move to the Configure Network section







If you use DHCP you can follow the prompts and your IP address will be configured. I would recommend against using DHCP for this system as you will need to access the web console via its IP, unless you plan on adding the system into your internal DNS structure.





Follow the prompts and enter the IP, Subnet, DNS and hostname information. Once you are satisfied, save your settings and the system will present with the new IP address showing at the top of the screen:







The next step is to logon to the system from the console. In order to perform any tests with the IO Analyzer, the system needs to be logged into. The credentials are root/vmware. After the logon, you will be presented with a rather bland linux gui:









At this point you are done configuring the system.  We can come back to this screen for more advanced settings in the future.

Now we can start running our first IO Analyzer tests. Open a firefox browser and lets input the IP address of the IO Analyzer machine.





As you can see there is a web based front end running that will provide the options to setup and run the IO Analyzer tests as well as view results. In order to get the proper ESXTOP results for our IO Analyzer as well as to select the IO Analyzer from the VM drop down menu, we want to add the ESX/ESXi host ip and the root password that the IO Analyzer is located on.






Next we will want to add the IO Analyzer system as a guest worker and create a workload to run our initial test on.




On this screen we several options. In this case I have a host, with an IO Analyzer system to choose from.  The fields are pretty intuitive, with the last one being the most important, that will contain the IP address of the IO Analyzer machine we want to test.  The one nice thing about the system is that once you setup your configuration, you can save it, and easily come back to run more tests in the future. See the Load and Save configuration tabs above.

So essentially, we are choosing the IO Analyzer Host, the IO Analyzer Virtual Machine, the test workload (which there are roughly 30 of) and we are inputting the IP Address of the IO Analyzer machine. Lastly we will add the worker and input a run time for the test. The last step is to click run.


Now it may appear that nothing is happening, but if we switch over the console of the IO Analyzer VM we can see the test as its running:








The IOmeter that is running on the IO Analyzer is fully interactive. You will have to slide the Update Frequency (red arrow above) over to a quicker refresh setting to see real time results. You can also alter or change the different tabs being displayed. This will be available during the entire run of the test.

When the test is over, the IO Analyzer web page will have the results available.



And the results link:




If configured properly you will see the IOmeter Results Summary, as well as the ESXTOP stats for the host being accessed.

And that’s it. For myself, I like to do independent verification of results, so I will look at my Veeam One  (shameful plug to my friends at Veeam, hey it’s free, you might as well try it) settings during and after the tests, as well as the monitoring tools on my storage array. You can also use the performance tabs on your ESXi hosts. I have verified that the results being provided are in line with what IO Analyzer is reporting.












Hope this helps, don’t forget to checkout the Brown Bag session I’m doing on this tonight 5 PM PST over at Professional VMware. If you have any questions comments hit me up.

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2 Responses to IO Analyzer 56k no way!

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