It’s common to want to perform a benchmark or workload test on a newly acquired storage array before it goes into production. Typically, this involves the use of an IO load testing tool, and hopefully includes several workloads that accurately generate a pattern that best emulates the expected usage types. Examples include databases (ETL, batch, transactional), application servers, web front ends, or mail servers (such as Exchange). Each workload type has different demands on the size of the I/O (block size), reads vs writes, sequential vs random, and can be tuned to consume different queue depths.
The VMware I/O Analyzer is a great free tool for simulating the aforementioned specific workloads on your vSphere hosts. Not only does it have a wide variety of customized workload profiles out of the box, but also includes a very simple “one to many” control plane that allows you to chain several jobs to an army of analyzers through a single GUI. I’ve used this tool ever since it was released and have seen it transform from a very cool tool (despite it being a tad clunky) to a polished, feature rich tool.
The Video Guide
In this video, which I have embedded below, I walk you through the process of configuring the Analyzers and creating a mix of workloads using the version 1.5 release.
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