VMware vSphere 7 offers several built-in tools and utilities to monitor performance. You can use the vSphere client performance charts where you can view the compute, network, or storage resource usage for your VMs, hosts, and clusters. If you want to look deeper, tools such as the ESXTOP command line utility can give you better insights.

vSphere 7 also has many prebuilt alarms that can notify you of a problem that needs to be resolved. This can be some low resource availability on your host, cluster, or datastore. Storage has often been and still is the place where you'll find the most bottlenecks or space problems on the datastore, causing VMs to be in a suspended state.

If you're part of a larger organization, you should definitely consider the vRealize Operations (vROPs) product suite, which offers more than just monitoring. You can spot resource consumption during the specified periodic, or you can intelligently automate workload management based on current conditions.

vSphere 7 client performance charts

The built-in charts in the vSphere 7 UI can be viewed and accessed via a web browser, and you can see performance metrics in different types of charts depending on the selected object and metric type.

Line chart—Shows metrics for a single inventory object. The data for each metric is represented by a separate line.

Bar chart—Shows metrics for objects where each bar is a metric for an object.

Pie chart—Shows metrics for a single object, such that each slice represents a category or child object. An example here would be a pie chart that shows the amount of storage space occupied by each virtual machine or by each file type.

Stacked chart—This type of chart displays metrics for child objects.

Different overviews and advanced performance charts exist for data centers, clusters, hosts, resource pools, vApps, and virtual machine objects.

It is also possible to display overview performance charts that are available for datastores and datastore clusters. Performance charts, however, are not available for network objects. All charts are organized into views, which you can use to see related data together on one screen.

The vSphere 7 client performance charts are easily accessible. In the vSphere client, select an appropriate object (a VM in our case) in the inventory pane and navigate to Monitor > Performance > Overview. Then select a predefined or custom time range.

vSphere 7 performance charts

vSphere 7 performance charts

Advanced performance charts

If you want more granular views, you can use advanced performance charts or create your own custom charts. You can also include data counters that are not integrated in other general performance charts. You can hover over a data point to see details at that point.

The charts can be exported to a file or spreadsheet.

How can advanced performance charts be accessed? Select the object you want > Monitor > Performance > click Advanced.

Optionally, select an appropriate view from the View drop-down list.

vSphere 7 advanced performance charts

vSphere 7 advanced performance charts

Select a timespan. If you choose Custom Interval, you must select one of the following:

Last—Select the number of hours, days, weeks, or months.

From—Select beginning and ending times.

If you click the Chart Options link, an overlay window will appear. Select the chart metrics you want to monitor and the counters you're interested in. Then click the Save Option As button.

Select chart metrics and click the Save Options As button

Select chart metrics and click the Save Options As button

vSphere 7 uses metrics that are organized into logical groups based on object or object device. For example, disk metrics include I/O performance, such as latency and read/write speeds, and utilization metrics for storage as a finite resource.

Concerning memory utilization, one of the following applies. Either memory is considered as a guest physical memory, which is the virtual memory of the hypervisor presented to the guest as physical memory.

Put a meaningful name in the pop-up window to know what you want to display.

Name your new chart

Name your new chart

You're done. Now you can access the chart via the drop-down menu on the right-hand side.

Access your new chart via drop down menu

Access your new chart via drop down menu

None of these things is difficult, but you must know them for a VCP exam, and you need to practice them. While it's good that I can show you where to find them via these screenshots, nothing is better than manipulating the vSphere 7 client user interface and finding it by yourself.

Save data from advanced performance charts

You can save the data by exporting it in graphic format or into a comma-separated CSV file. In the vSphere Client, select an object in the inventory pane and navigate to Monitor > Performance > Click Advanced.

Then select a view or change chart options as needed. Click the Export icon and select one of the options (PNG, JPEG, CSV, or SVG).

Export your chart

Export your chart

Once you master those charts and you can read them and configure them properly, you can identify certain bottlenecks and find a possible solution.

You can have the CPU usage of a host that is very high for several hours. This could signify that the host has insufficient CPU resources to meet the demand. As a solution, you could consider adding another host to the cluster or migrating other VMs to other hosts. Another solution would be to lower the virtual CPU allocation per VM, which may improve the performance of the host (but probably not the VM).

Users often simply over-allocate virtual CPUs to VMs, and then they have high CPU Ready spikes that indicate that the VM was ready but could not get scheduled to run on the physical CPU during the cycle.

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Hopefully, this little chapter about performance charts was useful and will be good study material for the VMware VCP-DCV 2021 certification exam.


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