How can I check my resource usage from inside the VM?
Posted by Barry Bahrami on 11 January 2008 08:19 PM

There are three main resources that you should monitor within your VE. They are CPU, disk space and RAM. The consequences of exceeding each of these vary. The first sign of excessive RAM usage is an inability to reconnect to the virtual desktop. If the disk fills then Windows will automatically enable NTFS compression, which could cause other issues. Also, if the virtual disk is too full then the VE may not boot because windows files can not be copied to the virtual volume. A heavy CPU load can result in random problems, but the most obvious is a slow VE.

You can monitor all of these resources from inside the VM itself.

From inside the VM:

To check disk space: Open the Windows Explorer to view the VM file system. Click 'my computer' in Windows Explorer to see an accounting of the total disk space used and free space. Try not to let your free space get below 500MB.

To check RAM and CPU: Open the task manger inside the VM. This can be done by pressing CTRL+ALT+END, task manager or right-clicking on the task bar at the bottom (where the running programs sit) and selecting 'task manager'.

From inside the task manager you can check CPU and RAM. Click the 'performance' tab to check RAM.

Item Details
Show Kernel Times (View menu) Useful to see how much of processor activity is there for the core operating system kernel purpose.
Physical Memory (Total) Total RAM available
Physical Memory (Available) Free RAM. This is important. If you find very low RAM available continuously, you have serious problems. Either find out and stop unnecessary processes which are consuming RAM or upgrade RAM. Alternatively, you could find applications that are consuming more RAM and optimise them.
System Cache

This is an area of memory into which the I/O system maps recently used data from disk. This is done for improving performance by minimising disk I/O. This setting can be optimised by choosing My Network Places - Properties - File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks - Properties dialog.

For application servers choose optimise for “network applications” option. For file servers choose “…For file sharing” option. For servers that are used for neither, use Minimize memory use.

Commit Charge (Total) This is size of virtual memory currently in use by all processes, in kilobytes.
Commit Charge (Peak) The maximum amount of virtual memory, in kilobytes, used in the session. This can give an indication of whether the memory had reached a saturation point.
Commit Charge (Total) Sum of paged and non-paged memory
Kernel Memory Paged and non-paged memory being used by OS. We don’t have much control over it.

CPU Usage: It's normal for CPU to spike to 100%, but it should not settle above 80% for a long period of time. If you are over 80% (actually still a bit high) then consider upgrading your service plan or adding more CPU.
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