Tuesday, 28 September 2010

XenServer Storage Test VM

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PerformanceVM is a XenServer virtual machine that helps troubleshoot performance related issues such as poor performance casued by storage I/O and network I/O. The VM built on Debian Linux equips with following test utilities and is accessible via a web based user interface:

Disk I/O performance utility
It can be used to conduct the following disk I/Os to measure: sequential read/writes and random read/writes with various specified block sizes.

Network I/O performance utility
It is essentially a modified version of netperf. Additional information about netperf can be found at Netperf runs on the backend and provides end-to-end request/response round trip latency and TCP/UPD throughout tests.

download the VM from the following locations and Import the VM in to XenCenter.

Running PerformanceVM

Access the console
1. SSH into the PerformanceVM’s IP address.
2. Enter the 'root' user name and password. The root user log on credentials are:
User name: root
Password: xensupport

Start the web server
1. Start the web service using the script and the IP address of the virtual machine:
/ [XenPOOLMASTERAddress]
2. When prompted for a password, enter:
The password for [XenPOOLMASTERAddress]
3. A prompt to inflate thin provisioned VDIs will be presented. Answer yes or no.

Note: If the Disk I/O test returns values that are off of the graph, then the above steps
probably need to be run in order to accurately reflect the performance.

4. In a web browser, enter http://[PerfVMAddress ]:8888/ to start testing.

Note: If XenServer hasn’t reported the VM’s IP address yet to XenCenter, the scripts will fail to run.

Network I/O Performance Utility
Running the Network utility requires that Netserver be installed on a remote system. This can be downloaded from the Network I/O utility page. Netserver can be installed on a Linux VM or dom0 at a remote site, where the destination testing will occur. Start Netserver before running any network performance tests.

Disk I/O performance utility
Running the Disk Utility will show real time performance of the specified disk. Access to Dom0 is required to access the performance data, but Dom0 is not modified. It can be run on master or slave machines.

Additional results are provided and will show up to the last 10 minutes of a test period. This will include various other counters along with the Disk results. Final results are graphed on a separate results page.


  1. Gerrish,

    Did you encounter any problems with being able to select the "disk" in the drop-down menu on the left hand side? The drop-down shows up blank on mine, preventing me from running the test. I'm running Xen 5.6 servers on a ReadyNAS 4200 via 802.3ad LACP bonded gigabit NICs

  2. Lee Bushen - Citrix2 November 2010 at 12:06

    Hi Gerrish,
    I posted the appliance after our EMEA XenServer storage masterclass ( I've now included the setup document in the main zip file. Alternatively, you can download the PDF here:

  3. A new version of the Performance VM is available here:

  4. How do you install the netserver portion on a linux server / Dom0