Challenges in Hyper-V performance monitoring

Per Statista, "The global server virtualization market is forecast to grow from around $7 billion in 2020 to around $10 billion by 2026."

Virtualization is an integral part of any organization's network management strategy, and is vital for helping improve network efficiency and resource availability. Adopting virtual infrastructure comes with multiple benefits, like minimized downtime, reduced operational costs, and increased productivity.

Of all the virtual servers, Microsoft Hyper-V is a key player in the virtual IT world due to its versatility and scalability. But, to keep pace with its hypervisor infrastructure, organizations need a potent Hyper-V management tool that has multi-functional Hyper-V performance monitoring and resource planning capabilities. With a proactive Hyper-V monitoring tool, network administrators can monitor critical performance metrics in real time with set thresholds, and can avoid performance issues. In addition, the ability to receive alerts from wherever you are, and automate necessary actions utilizing the Hyper-V performance monitor, ensures this is an important tool for network admins.

However, there exist some challenges in Hyper-V performance monitoring that need to be looked after to ensure Hyper-V performance at its optimum.

Top 5 challenges of Hyper-V performance monitoring

Hyper-V performance monitoring challenges-ManageEngine OpManager

1. Managing Hyper-V resources allocation and reallocation

In any virtual environment, resource management is crucial to maintain network health and Hyper-V is no exception. Performance outages in the Hyper-V host or VM devices are due to insufficient resources, in most cases.

To manage resources better, you need to constantly monitor the workload and the corresponding resource utilization of Hyper-V devices before planning resource allocation or reallocation. The actual challenge lies in finding and managing, or preventing the factors causing unnecessary resource exhaustion, such as VM sprawl, and improper resource allocation.

An additional challenge is the repetitive and labor-intensive task of finding the resource-reallocated devices, and updating hardware changes after every resource reallocation.

The fix: To manage resource allocation and prevent unnecessary, frequent reallocations, you need to keep track of resource utilization to:

  • Identify idle VMs and modify configurations as required.
  • Identify VMs with under or over-allocated resources, and reallocate resources as per their workload, to prevent VM sprawl and improve virtual performance.

Thanks to the rediscovery option available in a few tools, you can automate updating hardware changes in the resource reallocated devices by just configuring the schedule option.

2. Establishing and reconfiguring Hyper-V performance baselines

In a Hyper-V infrastructure, the critical components contributing to the health and performance of Hyper-V devices are CPU, memory, and storage. Determining performance baselines for these critical metrics is crucial to maintain network health. But, each VM demands a different baseline, and it keeps changing with its workload, users accessibility, and functional criticality, which makes it hard for the network admins to arrive at a conclusion about the correct baselines.

Another problem is reconfiguring threshold values for VM devices during resource reallocation or after live-migration, since the last set of threshold values would no longer meet the resource consumption levels of resource-reallocated or migrated devices.

The fix: Look for a tool that collects and reports all the data from device inventory to fault notifications. With such historical data, network admins can analyze and understand user behavior, growth patterns, sudden trends, etc., involved in the virtual environment and determine a baseline considering these. Choosing a tool, like ManageEngine OpManager that automates threshold configurations with the help of AI and ML algorithms,will ensure in-depth visibility and control over your network.

During live migration and reallocation, you can examine the VM devices for their current workload, available resources, and resources needed to meet demands, to easily re-establish and configure threshold values.

3. Ensuring Hyper-V host availability

Imagine the Hyper-V host goes down for a minute. Network admins would see all the VM devices present under that host becoming unavailable, too. This is because VM devices are dependent on the host for their health and performance. If not resolved at the right time, the host unavailability can impact critical business functions.

To prevent such unforeseen business losses, you need to keep track of host availability, and manage or prevent factors leading to host unavailability, such as hardware issues, voltage fluctuations, host overload, connectivity issues, problems arising from virtual network adapters, and virtual switches. Managing these issues is challenging.

The fix:

  • Proactively monitor the Hyper-V host uptime through the ICMP ping function to ensure host availability at anytime.
  • To keep host availability in check, identify and monitor the factors causing unavailability, including host hardware and the virtual network for any faults, and sufficient resources.

4. Effects of background instances of Hyper-V devices

When it comes to resource consumption, we know that UI-running applications of virtual devices are important to track. But, we often forget that the background-running instances, such as services, processes, applications, and interfaces, are also capable of expending huge resources from Hyper-V devices.

Since these instances are interconnected between virtual devices, failure of even a single instance will affect others, leading to abnormal resource consumption. This, in turn, impairs the entire virtual network performance, which makes monitoring background instances a critical part of virtual management strategy.

The fix: In cases like these, the go-to option is leveraging instance-specific monitors to track their performance, resource utilization and, thereby, planning resource allocation.

5. Lack of visibility into Hyper-V devices

As VMs are virtual components, we often lose track of the virtual relationships between the host, VMs, and the cluster in a Hyper-V environment. It's important for network admins to monitor: how many VMs are connected to each Hyper-V host; how many Hyper-V hosts are present in the cluster; which VM is connected to which Hyper-V host; and what VM is assigned for which function, among other factors, to quickly act upon fault detection, and find the root cause.

Even if network admins manage to accomplish all these tasks, configuring dependency between virtual devices, one by one, is a tedious task. This also requires network admins to visualize the network architecture to be able to map dependencies.

The fix: Choose a visualization tool that automatically maps virtual network connectivity and dependency and provides them with different views, including 3D views, business views, and floor diagrams.

OpManager as an efficient Hyper-V performance monitor

With more than 40 Hyper-V performance monitors, OpManager proactively scrutinizes critical Hyper-V performance metrics and keeps unexpected outages at bay. OpManager enables network admins to set multi-level thresholds, and automate threshold configurations for response time, memory, and CPU utilization monitors, to ensure prompt alerts about any issues. OpManager's active inventory probing keeps the inventory updated with the list of virtual devices under each host and their resource allocation. It also provides a dedicated dashboard that lists the resource consumption of Hyper-V devices in real time to manage VM sprawl and prevent performance issues.

OpManager's ability to automatically discover and map virtual devices and their dependent devices helps you see the bigger picture of Hyper-V architecture and act quickly when a fault is detected. OpManager's Hyper V performance monitoring provides more than 70 reports along with custom reports, that can be scheduled or exported as needed.

Learn more about OpManager's Hyper-V performance monitor here.

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