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I just learned a ton from this post: Host CPU% doesn't include child VM CPU%, specifically I learned that both the 'host OS' and 'child VM' are siblings within the HyperVisor layer.

Are there good utilities for 'watching' the total CPU and other resource counters at the HyperVisor (hardware) layer? I know perfmon (watching special Hyper-V CPU counters) is the standard answer, but I've stayed away from perfmon for ad-hoc monitoring. Is there a good OSS or free tools to 'watch' the resource utilization as I create multiple new VMs running on the server?

I'm a developer, so if there aren't any good UI tools to surface this data I'd consider creating one, but only if needed.

P.S. My specific scenario is I'm creating new web, SQL and back-end server VMs for new Windows 8 Server and SQL 2012 (entire application stack). I need to monitor them for utilization and know when I need to grow beyond 1 host (I'll need to split the VMs into separate hosts as I hit hardware limits of the 1st host, and diagnose problems).

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closed as off-topic by TomTom, kce, Michael Hampton Mar 14 at 15:01

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Just as a note you should evaluate whether to upgrade the host or migrate to another - in general if high availability if a factor use 2 (or more) hosts, If cost vs scalability is a more important factor use a host that has a lot of growth capability (eg buy a server with 16 Gb of ram but can go to 1 TB) and simply add more ram/cpus as required. –  Jim B Jun 4 '12 at 23:07
    
Yeah. that is one of the worst decisions they ever did - turns all the standard fast check tools totally useless becuase in a standard Hyper-V scenario the host never does anything significant. There goes task manager, there goes performance monitor. –  TomTom Mar 14 at 7:03
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've used the tool called "Hyper-V Mon", which will do exactly what you describe:

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Download here: http://www.tmurgent.com/Tools.aspx (scroll down about halfway)

I originally discovered this tool from the Hyper-v.nu blog, specifically this post: http://www.hyper-v.nu/archives/pnoorderijk/2011/10/monitoring-a-hyper-v-environment-part-1/

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Solarwinds has a pretty good free tool for hyper-v monitoring: VM Monitor

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There are lots of monitoring tools out there. Nagios comes to mind as a free tool which you can download and use to trend your metrics. Keep in mind that anything that does server monitoring will be simply watching the perfmon counts, either via perfmon directly or via WMI.

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I have a multi-mon enironment with one head dedicated to the Hyper-V host OS (so I can monitor it interactively). I've looked at Nagios a few years ago, and it seems to be overkill (too much time to setup) for a single Hyper-V host. I'll check it out, to see if there is anything specialized to monitor Hyper-V. –  yzorg Jun 4 '12 at 19:47
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While HyperV manager doesn't really give you a detailed list of metrics, I find that generally, it's CPU usage is good enough for an occasional glance to see how things are running.

You can monitor windows via WMI or SNMP though as well. Both of which can give you the CPU, memory and disk usage metrics at the VM level. This way you are simply asking the VM how it is doing rather than asking the Hypervisor how it thinks the VM is doing.

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