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I want to run benchmarks on several machines all running different versions of Windows (XP, 2003 Server, 2008 Server, Vista). Most of them are virtual machines, so I'm more interested in the memory/processor/disk access benchmarks than things like video. I'm willing to try out more than one.

In summary, I'm looking for a short list of free(not necessarily OSS)/reputable Windows benchmarking applications.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm not interested in health monitoring. I'm more interested in a CPU/Memory/Disk IO benchmarking utility so I can measure my machine's peak performance (like the *Mark software does). Also, there are several non-VM machines I want to test so it doesn't have to be a VM specific solution. I'll come up with my own tests/setup and conclusions.

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3 Answers

You want to benchmark the VM's, like actually determine how good (on some scale) the memory/proc/disk is? Or are you wanting health monitoring (utilization) like Jason is stating?

Either one, since they are VM's is probably a semi-pointless endeavor. It would be better for you to get benchmarking/monitoring tools for the VM host itself and for the VM host application. If it is VMWARE there are plenty of choices including www.veeam.com for monitoring the actual hypervisor.

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Two storage benchmark tools that are good are iozone and iometer. They each have their strengths, but will be good for determining how solid they think the storage subsystem is on a particular VM.

As with anything VM, the more layers of virtualization you add the less truly meaningful the results get. If one host is pounding the heck out of storage/network/memory, each other VM on that same host can react in different ways. It's hard to get clean data from VM benchmarking, you'll probably end up doing a lot of it to get good data.

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For health monitoring, there is a system called Nagios that can be installed as a server, and on your windows hosts install 'agents' that are run as services that perform these checks. The Nagios Server checks in with them and it can be configured to keep the statistics and even graph them. A even better solution is 'OpsView' which is 'Nagios' except its mroe easily managed.

Its not 100% for benchmarking or baselining but its for health monitoring.

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