The Troubleshoot a VM dashboard helps an administrator to troubleshoot everyday issues in a virtual infrastructure. While most of the IT issues in an organization are reported at the application layer, you can use the guided workflow in this dashboard to help investigate an ongoing or a suspected issue with the VMs supporting the impacted applications.

You can search for a VM by its name or you can sort the list of VMs with active alerts on them to start your troubleshooting process. When you select a VM, you can view its key properties to ensure that the VM is configured as per your virtual infrastructure design. Any deviation from standards may cause potential issues. You can view known alerts and the workload trend of the VM over the past week. You can also view if any of the resources serving the virtual machine have an ongoing issue.

The next step in the troubleshooting process allows you to eliminate the major symptoms which might impact the performance or availability of a VM. You can use key metrics to find out if the utilization patterns of the VMs are abnormal or if the VM is contending for basic resources such as CPU, memory, or disk.

You can use the dashboard widgets in several ways.
  • Search for a VM: Use this widget to view all the VMs in the environment. You can select the VM you want to troubleshoot. You can use the filter to narrow your list based on several parameters, such as name, folder name, associated tag, host, or vCenter Server. After you identify the VM you want to troubleshoot, select it. The dashboard is automatically populated with the relevant data.
  • About the VM: Use this widget to understand the context of the VM. This widget also lends insights to analyze the root cause of the problem or potential mitigations.
  • Are there active alerts on the VM?: Use this widget to view active alerts. To see noncritical alerts, click the VM object.
  • Is the VM working hard over the last week?: Use this widget to view the workload trend of the VM for the last week.
  • Are the relatives healthy?: Use this widget to view the ESXi host where the VM is now running. This host might not be the ESXi host where the VM was running in the past. You can view the remaining related objects and see whether they might contribute to the problem.
  • Is the VMs demand spiking or abnormal?: Use this widget to identify spikes in the VM demand for any of the resources such as CPU, memory, and network. Spikes in the demand might indicate an abnormal behavior of the VM or that the VM is undersized. The memory utilization is based on the Guest OS metric. It requires VMware Tools 10.0.0 or later and vSphere 6 Update 1 or later. If you do not have these products, the metric remains blank.
  • Is the VM facing contention?: Use this widget to identify whether the VM is facing contention. If the VM is facing contention, the underlying infrastructure might not have enough resources to meet the needs of the VM.
  • Does the cluster serving the VM have contention?: Use this widget to view the trend for the maximum CPU contention for a VM within the cluster. The trend might indicate a constant contention within the cluster. If there is contention, you must troubleshoot the cluster as the problem is no longer with the VM.
  • Does the datastore serving the VM have latency?: Use this widget to help you correlate the latency at the datastore level with the total latency of the VM. If the VM has latency spikes, but the datastore does not have such spikes, it might indicate a problem with the VM. If the datastore faces latency as well, you can troubleshoot to find out why the datastore has these spikes.
  • Parent Host and Parent Cluster: Use these widgets to view the host and the cluster on which the VM resides.