Deploying the VMware I/O Analyzer Fling

VMware I/O Analyzer is a virtual appliance designed to provide storage performance in a virtual environment. It is offered as a SUSE appliance that provides a web GUI to interact with.

I deployed I/O Analyzer in my vSphere 6.0 environment to see the performance of VSAN 6 compared to my Synology NAS. With this post you should be able to deploy I/O Analyzer in its simplest form and perform performance testing on your storage.

Deploying the I/O Analyzer Appliance:

When you download the appliance and extract the .ZIP there will be a .OVA file.

1 IO Analyzer - OVA File

Using the vSphere Thick Client, go to File -> Deploy OVA. Browse to where you extracted the .OVA files. Click Next:

2 IO Analyzer - OVA Source

You can rename the appliance or leave it default You can also pick the inventory location. Click Next:
4 IO Analyzer - Name and Location

Pick the host/cluster. Click Next:

5 IO Analyzer - Cluster

Pick the datastore the appliance will be installed on. Click Next:

6 IO Analyzer - Pick Storage

Pick your disk format. For best performance use Thick Eager Zeroed. Click Next:

7 IO Analyzer - Disk Format

Give the appliance a port group. I am using a DHCP network, if you want to give the appliance a static IP address you can. Once the appliance is deployed you can login and set a IP address manually. Click Next:

8 IO Analyzer - Network Mapping

Look over the summary, if you are satisfied click Finish:

9 IO Analyzer - Ready to Complete

Login to the Appliance:

Now the appliance is deployed it can be powered on. Open a console, once it has booted login using the default credentials:

Username: root

Password: vmware

10 IO Analyzer - Appliance Login

A terminal windows will start. This window must remain open in order for the web GUI to work! Take note of the IP address and open a web browser: (I/O Analyzer recommends using Chrome or Firefox)

11 IO Analyzer - Terminal Window

Accessing the appliance by entering the IP address in a browser brings up the I/O Analyzer web GUI! Now we are ready to start a performance test!

12 IO Analyzer - VMware Analyzer

Setup a Performance Test:

The task that runs to gather performance metrics is called a Workload. To create a job click on Workload Configuration:

13 IO Analyzer - Workload Configuration

First enter the IP address (or DNS name) of the host your I/O Analyzer Appliance is running on. You can add multiple hosts but at least need the host the appliance is on.

14 IO Analyzer - Workload Configuration - 1

VM: Next select the appliance in the drop down menu. If it is not there then the host the appliance is on isn’t added.

Test Type: You have two different types of test, I am going to use iometer.

Workload: There are multiple preconfigured workloads to use. For a quick test I used the Max_IOPS.icf.

15 IO Analyzer - Workload Configuration - 2

Enter the duration in seconds you want the test to run.  You have the option to save this workload as a config for future use. Click Run Now to start the test.

Note: Whatever storage the I/O Analyzer appliance is what the workload will test!

Workload Configuration - Duration & Run Now

Now a workload job is running to see the progress click on the Home button then Test Scheduler:

16 IO Analyzer - Test Scheduler

On this screen you will see the job that was just submitted. It will start out in Pending then change to Running.

17 IO Analyzer - Test Scheduler - 1

Once the job completed click Results.

18 IO Analyzer - Test Scheduler - Finished

You can also view Workload results by clicking Home -> View Test Results

19 IO Analyzer - View Test Results

On the drop down menu there workloads that have completed. Below that you can see charts and statistics of the workload results.

20 IO Analyzer - View Test Results - Data

My Synology DS411 Slim ran at 4,171 IOPS on my quick test

21 IO Analyzer - Synology Results

VSAN Specific Performance Profile:

On the VMware Community forums for I/O Analyzer there are profiles that can be loaded to specifically test VSAN. Posted by vmMarkA they can be accessed here:

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-28439

To make it easy getting the files onto the appliance access the website from the I/O Analyzer Appliance console using Firefox. Once downloaded extract the .ZIP files and place the .ICF files into the “/var/www/configs/” directory. Once the files are in the directory a reboot is required in order for them to show up as testing options:

22 IO Analyzer - VSAN iometer Profiles

If the .ICF files were placed in the correct directory and the appliance rebooted you should now have two new VSAN workload options:

23 IO Analyzer - VSAN iometer Added

Another post coming soon with a performance breakdown of my VSAN environment!

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