The VMware administrator uses the ESXi Utilization dashboard with the ESXi Contention dashboard to manage performance.

Design Considerations

The ESXi Utilization dashboard supports the ESXi Contention dashboard. Use it to identify vSphere clusters with high utilization in a selected data center. When utilization exceeds 100%, performance can be negatively impacted, especially when a VM experiences contention. By default, VMware Aria Operations has a 5-minute collection interval. For 5 minutes, there might be 300 seconds worth of data points. If a spike is experienced for a few seconds, it might not be visible if the remaining 300 seconds is low utilization.

The dashboard complements the Cluster Utilization dashboard, by providing the extra details. Hence it has a similar layout.

To view the common design considerations among all performance management dashboards, see the Performance Dashboards.

How to Use the Dashboard

  • ESXi Hosts Utilization.
    • It lists all the ESXi hosts, sorted by the highest utilization in the last one week. If the table is all displaying the green color, then there is no need to analyze further.
    • You can change the time period to the period of your interest. The maximum number is reflected accordingly.
  • Select an ESXi host from the table.
    • All the utilization charts display the key utilization metrics of the selected cluster.
    • For memory, the high utilization counters are explicitly shown, for example balloon, compressed, or swapped. You might notice they exist even though utilization is not even at 90%, indicating that there was a high pressure in the past. If you look at only utilization, you might think you are safe.
    • The disk IOPS and the disk throughput are split into read and write to gain an insight into the behavior. Some workload is read oriented, while others are write oriented.
    • The network throughput is split into sent (transmit) and received to gain insight into the behavior. The total usage can be misleading because it sums up the send and receive traffic. In reality the network pipe is one for each direction (due to the full duplex nature of Ethernet), and not shared.

Points to Note

If your operations team have some forms of standardization that the utilization should not exceed a certain threshold, you can add the threshold into the line chart. The threshold line helps less technical teams as they can see how the real value compares with the threshold. For more information, see the points to note in the ESXi Contention Dashboard.