Troubleshooting Performance Related Problems in vSphere 4.1 Environments

Troubleshooting Performance Related Problems in vSphere 4.1 Environments

The hugely popular Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere 4 guide is now updated for vSphere 4.1 . This document provides step-by-step approach for troubleshooting most common performance problems in vSphere-based virtual environments. The steps discussed in the document use performance data and charts readily available in the vSphere Client and esxtop to aid the troubleshooting flows. Each performance troubleshooting flow has two parts:

  1. How to identify the problem using specific performance counters.
  2. Possible causes of the problem and solutions to solve it.

New sections that were added to the document include troubleshooting performance problems in resource pools on standalone hosts and DRS clusters, additional troubleshooting steps for environments experiencing memory pressure (hosts with compressed and swapped memory), high CPU ready time in hosts that are not CPU saturated, environments sharing resources such as storage and network, and environments using snapshots.

This document by no means covers the entire breadth of performance-related problems. We request the readers of this document, including VMware performance community members and vSphere administrators, to help us enhance this document by letting us know about all the performance problems they encounter in their vSphere-based virtual environments, including those that require elaborate troubleshooting steps.  We hope that the community will actively contribute by engaging in live discussions, providing feedback, and asking questions. All this input will serve as the topics for future updates.

Other versions of this guide:


Here's a link to my VMUG presentation about performance troubleshooting AdvancedTroubleshooting.pdf - I hope you enjoy it.

Fantastic document. Really good section on Storage related problems - Thanks for this !

Archie Hendryx

Awesome document, thanks for share us!

Bravo! Smiley Happy

@ArchieHendryx, @dquintana, @ferdis Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to let us know if there are other performance related issues that you have encountered and is worthy of explanation in the next release of the guide. There are many folks out there who will benefit from your experience Smiley Wink

just what i needed!

To both of you guys, chethanks and esloof, thanks for sharing those documents with all of us.

Thank you for the links. A lot of valuable information in a very nice format.

You're welcome 🙂

@esloof  You don't happen to have any video of your VMUG presentation to go along with the document, do you?  Document looks great and filled with alot of good references for tools....thanks.

@geemail, Yes there’s a video but it’s spoken in Dutch. I’ve also submitted the session at the VMworld but unfortunately it was declined. Would have been at great session at the VMworld….

Great piece of work 'esloof'! Very usefull and graphically friendly!

Hmmm...I barely speak English I don't think I will have much luck in DutchSmiley Happy....but thank you for replying anyway....sorry it didn't get accepted, i am guessing it is hard to get presentations accepted for the conference.

Great doc. I have an addition which you did cover implicitly in an earlier section: In "9.5. High CPU Ready Time on VMs running in an Under-Utilized Host" you miss one trivial potential reason: The VM may have a CPU Limit defined. %READY can get very high then. The troubleshooting step is to check %MTMLD. If that value is almost the same as %READY then you know the CPU Limit is the root cause. Solutions: Increase or remove the Limit, or reduce the CPU load inside the VM.

Helpful document...

I used the book and it was (and still is) very useful. Any plan to get updated to 5.x?

Yes - Updated here:

Also a new angle using vCOps for vSphere 5.x here:

Useful links--I added them to the body of the document, above.

Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
‎02-17-2011 03:11 PM
Updated by: