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  The I/O Performance Monitor

 Making data performSM

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Backgrounder

hIOmon --- The I/O Performance Monitor

Big Picture

You'll need files if you want to start your computers and keep them running.  And if you want your computers to do something useful (big tasks like run an accounting software package or inventory application, act as a Web or email server, or simply write a letter, surf the Web, maybe even play a game), you'll need files (and often lots of them).  Since files are such a crucial part of your computer systems, understanding their performance is a key consideration when monitoring (and trying to improve) the overall performance and productivity of your computer systems.

hIOmon from hyperI/Osm gives you the ability to easily, quickly, precisely, and reliably both measure and monitor the performance of your disk storage I/O operations up at the application level upon an individual, specific file and device (and even process/application) basis.  hIOmon provides you with a wide variety of useful, performance-related information based upon actual empirical data -- all from the perspective of individual files within your own particular computer system environment -- and using your very own applications and files as you normally do!

See the following sections for product description, solutions, uses, operating system support, and pricing for the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software package.  Also please see the "backgrounder" and "Big Picture" pages for overview information about hIOmon.

In addition, please note that a separate "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger" software package is also available from hyperI/O; this licensed software product is a limited version of the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor that includes only the "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger Display" application (along with several other hIOmon software components required to support the "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger Display" application).

Disk I/O Ranger

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What's New:

The I/O
Speedometer
and 
Odometer

for your
 Files
Devices, and
 Applications

The latest release (8.0.1200) of the hIOmon software introduces support for Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 and Windowes Server 2012 R2.  As the prior release, it provides enhanced hIOmon "Performance Threshold Range Metrics" support and includes support for the hIOmon "Data Transfer Size (DTS) Summary" I/O operation performance metrics.  This DTS support and new operating system support are provided for both the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software package and the separate hIOmon "Disk I/O Ranger" software package from hyperI/O LLC. The hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger licensed software product is a limited version of the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor that includes only the "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger Display" application (along with several other hIOmon software components required to support the "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger Display" application).

The hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger software includes support for the “DataTransferred/Time Index” metric, which provides a "high-level" means for a relative comparison of I/O operation performance (where "higher is better", i.e., the higher the Index number, the better the performance).

This Index metric is provided upon an individual file, device, and process/application basis; it resembles the “fuel economy” index for an automotive vehicle (i.e., “miles-per-gallon” or “kilometres/litre”) as an overall measure of “performance efficiency”.

The hIOmon “DataTransferred/Time Index” metric can be displayed and exported by the "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger Display" application that is included within the hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger software package.

In addition, the hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger software can be used to collect, display, and export in real-time the enhanced “Performance Threshold Range Metrics”, which are a selected set of summarized I/O operation performance metrics that are specifically focused upon the ranges of I/O operations per second (IOPS), megabytes-per-second (MB/s) data transfer rates, response times (RT), I/O operation queue depths/lengths (QD), and data transfer sizes (DTS) actually observed by the hIOmon I/O Monitor for individual files, devices, and processes.

These metrics are automatically included within the summarized I/O operation performance information that can be collected by the hIOmon I/O Monitor - and do not require the collection and post-processing of I/O operation trace information!

The hIOmon “Performance Threshold Range Metrics” provide a quick and easy way to assess the actual "speeds and feeds" I/O performance of your particular files, devices and applications in everyday, normal usage!

 The Six Basic Questions

    What is hIOmon?

The "hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor" is an innovative, unique, advanced performance analysis software tool that allows you to quickly and easily both measure and monitor disk I/O operations up at the application level upon an individual and specific file and device basis.  With a large and rich set of metrics to choose from, you can select the particular files of interest (with wildcard and exclusion support), the type of I/O operations to monitor (for example, read and/or write file I/O operations), the level of detail (e.g., "I/O trace", "summarized"), and much more.

In addition,  hIOmon provides "process-based" file I/O performance metrics (where the real-time, summarized file I/O operation performance metrics collected by hIOmon for a particular process represent the combined sum of the performance metrics for all those files being monitored by hIOmon to which the particular process directed a file I/O operation).  hIOmon enables you to not only easily tell which specific files (along with their respective file I/O operation performance metrics) are associated with a particular process, but also vice versa the particular processes associated with a specific file -- all in real-time and within a summarized fashion.  Moreover, the particular application associated with a specific process can additionally be identified, so that you can see at a glance how your applications are performing from a file I/O performance perspective using a "top-down" approach.

The hIOmon support for "process-based" metrics includes "process name filters" options, which you can optionally use to further restrict the I/O operation monitoring of the selected files/devices to only those particular process names that you explicitly specify.  These "process name filters" allow you to specifically include and/or exclude particular process names, and you can apply the "process name filters" either upon a "global" basis (i.e., applicable to all of the selected files/devices) and/or upon a specific individual file basis.

Please see the following sections for brief descriptions of the following key hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor features:

Java-based Presentation Client

With an automated-start option, hIOmon examines and efficiently records the performance of the selected I/O operations for real-time and/or subsequent "replay" display.  The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor includes a Java-based Graphical-User-Interface (GUI) application that allows you to view (either locally or remotely over the network) the file I/O operation performance information collected by hIOmon, both I/O Trace (within a customized tabular format) and/or Summarized (aggregated for a concise, higher-level survey of the selected file I/O activity) display.

Command-Line-Interface (CLI) Support

In addition to the Java-based Graphical-User-Interface (GUI), the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor includes a component that provides "command-line-interface (CLI)" support for Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 and 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista™, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2008/R2, and Windows Server 2012/R2.  This hIOmon CLI component is an executable file that can be run from the command line within the DOS Command Prompt window and which provides an alternate means of controlling the overall operation of hIOmon and of displaying, in a simple and efficient manner, a set of real-time summarized I/O operation performance information collected by hIOmon for files, devices, and processes.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Support

hIOmon additionally features support for Microsoft Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).  WMI is a key Microsoft initiative to advance systems management within the Windows operating system environment.  The hIOmon WMI Support not only allows for control over the operation of hIOmon but additionally enables broad, industry-standard access to the robust set of I/O operation performance metrics uniquely collected by hIOmon for files, devices, and processes.  The hIOmon real-time summarized I/O operation performance metrics can be accessed by simple scripts (including VBScript, JScript, and Perl), the Windows Script Host (WSH), Active Server Pages (ASP), Internet Explorer, and C/C++ applications along with a variety of management applications, such as Storage Resource Management (SRM) applications and the IBM® Tivoli® Monitoring enterprise solutions, that leverage WMI and the Common Information Model (CIM) standard.  The hIOmon WMI Support allows you to quickly and easily incorporate hIOmon into your standard, familiar, overall management/monitoring schemes.

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software includes the "hIOmon WMI Browser" (an HTML application) that enables the simple use of Microsoft Internet Explorer to easily control hIOmon operation and display the real-time summarized I/O operation performance metrics collected by hIOmon.  Finding your "Top Ten Processes" and "Top Ten Devices" along with your "Top Ten Files" – with more than 170 sort options to choose from – has never been easier, quicker, or simpler.  Click here for screen shots of this new unique hIOmon feature.

Windows Performance Monitor (PerfMon) and System Monitor (SysMon) Support

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor also provides a "Performance Extension DLL" (PerfLib) component that lets you use the Windows System Monitor (8.1/8/7/Vista/XP/2003/2008/2012) and other performance-monitoring applications to collect, display, and further process the summarized file I/O operation performance metrics which are observed, measured and monitored by hIOmon for files, devices, and processes.  The hIOmon PerfLib supports the hIOmon "File", "Device", and "Process" performance objects with over 70 performance counters representing real-time, summarized I/O operation performance metrics.  In addition, the hIOmon "Sorted File", "Sorted Devices", and "Sorted Processes" performance objects enable you to retrieve a set of performance object instances based upon the particular sort options that you can choose (with more than 170 different sort options supported).

You can also dynamically adjust the maximum number of performance instances along with the particular hIOmon performance object types to be provided by the hIOmon PerfLib support.  This enables you to more easily correlate specific file I/O operation performance metrics provided by hIOmon with the many other performance counters available through the Windows Performance/System Monitor and other performance-monitoring applications.  The hIOmon "Windows PerfMon/SysMon Support", together with the hIOmon CLI support, the hIOmon WMI Browser, hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger application and WMI support and the hIOmon Java-based GUI, provide you with the complete package required to easily, simply, quickly and precisely both measure and monitor the I/O operation performance of your files and processes/applications.

Alert Threshold Support

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor monitoring facilities support sophisticated Alert capabilities as well.  Specific thresholds (such as maximum response time, average data transfer rate, amount of data transferred, I/O operations per second, etc.) can be set for selected file I/O operations; upon the detection of these thresholds having been reached, hIOmon can optionally generate a System Event Log record (which in turn allows notification via system management tools that monitor the System Event Log).

Export File Support

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor provides several  "export" options that allow you to write the I/O trace or summarized operation information to a "Comma Separated Values (CSV)" file for use by spreadsheets (such as Microsoft Excel), databases, and other application programs so that you can perform your own specific analysis upon the performance information and generate customized charts and reports.  The hIOmon Presentation Client can optionally be used to create CSV export files based upon either real-time or "replay" (saved) I/O operation performance metrics.  Similarly, a VBScript is also provided that can be used to create a CSV export file based upon the real-time performance metrics retrieved using the hIOmon WMI support.

In addition, the hIOmon Manager service can optionally be configured to save/export directly to a CSV-format "hIOmon Manager Export File" the file/device I/O operation performance information that it has retrieved in real-time from its associated hIOmon I/O Monitor.  The I/O operation performance information that resides within a hIOmon File I/O Log file can also be optionally used to create export files.  Moreover, you can optionally specify the particular types of performance metrics that are to be included within the CSV-format with the hIOmon Manager Export File; this option enables you to restrict the contents of the export file to only your particular metrics of interest.  The hIOmon Manager can also create an export file for use by the MXG® Software (see below) and the "hIOmon Add-Ons", including an "I/O trace" export file within the XML trace input file format required by the "Intel® NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT)".

"AutoGen Options" are also supported by the hIOmon Manager Export Files (as they are the hIOmon File I/O Log Files).  These "AutoGen Options" can be optionally used to request that the hIOmon Manager automatically create successive hIOmon Manager Export Files (and/or File I/O Log files as applicable) based upon the particular AutoGen option(s) selected.  The AutoGen Options include four time-based options (i.e., hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly) along with an "at maximum allowed size" option.  The added flexibility provided by the new AutoGen Options further enhances the extensive automation capabilities provided by the hIOmon software.

The "Relative Time Stamp (RTS)" format option provided by the hIOmon Manager Export Files is an export file that includes by default a limited set of I/O Trace operation performance metrics, which include both the starting and ending timestamps in units of seconds that are relative to when the computer system was started.  The RTS option also allows the generation of an individual export record/row within the hIOmon Manager Export Files for each individual "Data Set Range (DSR)" associated with the SSD-related TRIM I/O operations.  That is, for each TRIM I/O operation, a separate export record/row is written for each individual DSR associated with the TRIM I/O operation (and with each such export record/row indicating both the corresponding starting offset and length for the respective DSR).  In addition, the RTS option can also provide specific details regarding the “Power IRPs” I/O operations that have been monitored by the hIOmon software, including details regarding the type of Power IRP I/O operation along with the particular input parameter values that were specified by the respective Power IRP.

The "Access Range Summary (ARS)" option can also be optionally specified for the hIOmon Manager Export Files.  The ARS option provides summarized I/O operation performance metrics that pertain to individual, specific "Access Ranges", where an "Access Range" is an address span to which read and/or write I/O operations have performed data transfers as observed by the hIOmon I/O Monitor.  The "Access Range Summary" records written/exported to the hIOmon Manager Export File are based upon "I/O Trace" operation performance metrics collected by the hIOmon I/O Monitor.

The "Transfer Size Summary (TSS)" option provides a hIOmon Manager Export File type that contains summary I/O operation performance information pertaining to the individual, specific "Transfer Sizes" used by file or device I/O operations.  The "Transfer Size" is the length of the data transfer performed by a successful read or write I/O operation as observed by the hIOmon I/O Monitor.  This "data transfer length/size" reflects the total amount of data transferred by the individual I/O operation.  Each record/row within the hIOmon Manager Export File represents a separate Transfer Size.  The "Transfer Size Summary" type of hIOmon Manager Export File can be generated from I/O operation trace records (i.e., "I/O Trace" Log Records for files or devices) or from file, device, or process "DTS I/O Summary" Log Records.

The "Transfer Size I/O Summary (TSIOSUM)" option provides a hIOmon Manager Export File that contains overall summary file (or device or process) I/O operation performance information related to data transfer sizes.  This I/O operation performance information includes a subset of the summary I/O operation performance information provided by the "I/O Summary" hIOmon Manager Export File type along with specific data transfer size metrics such as the various "modulus" data transfer counts.  Each record/row within the "TSIOSUM" export file contains the overall data transfer size I/O operation performance information for the respective file, device, or process. Note that no individual, specific data transfer sizes are included within this hIOmon Manager Export File type; please see the "Transfer Size Summary (TSS)" export file type for such I/O operation performance metrics.  The "Transfer Size I/O Summary" type of hIOmon Manager Export File can only be generated from file, device, or process "DTS I/O Summary" Log Records.

MXG® Software Support

As an extension of its CSV export file support, the hIOmon Manager can easily be configured to create a "hIOmon Manager Export File" that can be processed by the MXG® Software from Merrill Consultants (www.MXG.com).  This support enables the hIOmon file I/O operation performance metrics to be easily incorporated into enterprise-level capacity planning and performance analysis practices.

System Event Log Support

For Microsoft Windows 8.1 and 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008/R2, and Windows Server 2012/R2, summarized information about selected file I/O operations can also be written by the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor to the System Event Log for display and other use by popular system management tools that monitor the System Event Log.

Performance Threshold Range Metrics

hIOmon enables you to collect, display, and export a specific set of automatically-summarized I/O operation performance metrics that are specifically focused upon the ranges of I/O operations per second (IOPS), megabytes-per-second (MB/s) data transfer rates, response times (RT), I/O operation queue depths/lengths (QD), and data transfer sizes (DTS) actually observed by the hIOmon I/O Monitor for individual devices, files, and processes.

The IOPS, MB/s, QD, and RT metrics are automatically included within the summarized I/O operation performance information collected by the hIOmon software.  The DTS summarized metrics are optionally collected separately.  Also note that the capture of the hIOmon "Performance Threshold Range Metrics" does not require I/O operation trace collection.

All of these metrics can be displayed by the hIOmon "Disk I/O Ranger Display" application and the various hIOmon clients (e.g., the hIOmon Presentation Client, the hIOmon CLI Support and the hIOmon WMI Support).

The hIOmon "Performance Threshold Range Metrics" provide a quick and easy way to assess the actual "speeds and feeds" I/O performance of your particular files, devices and applications in everyday, normal usage!

Data Transfer Size (DTS) Summary Metrics

hIOmon can optionally collect, display, and export automatically-summarized I/O operation performance metrics upon an individual data transfer size/length for a particular file, device, and/or process of interest.  These metrics are a part of the hIOmon "Performance Threshold Range Metrics" and can be displayed by the hIOmon "Disk I/O Ranger Display" application and the various hIOmon clients (e.g., the hIOmon Presentation Client, the hIOmon CLI Support and the hIOmon WMI Support)..

The DTS summary metrics include, for example, a count reflecting the total number of times that the hIOmon I/O Monitor observed an I/O operation whose data transfer size/length was that of the corresponding size/length.

The collection of the DTS summary I/O operation performance metrics can be explicitly enabled within the hIOmon software for the particular file, device, and/or process of interest.  Also note that the capture of the DTS summary metrics does not require I/O operation trace collection.

The hIOmon DTS summary metrics now enable you to easily and quickly observe the particular data transfer sizes actually used by your specific files, devices, and applications -- including a count of how many times the particular data transfer size was used by a random access I/O operation!

System File Cache Metrics

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor enables you to collect, display and export (upon an individual, specific file basis in addition to a device and a process/application basis) "system file cache" metrics such as:

  • The number (and percentage) of file I/O operations (both read and write separately) that were a system file cache hit (i.e., those file I/O operations that were successfully performed using the system file cache and which completed within less than one millisecond as observed by the hIOmon I/O Monitor).

  • The number (and percentage) of file I/O operations that were considered to be a system file cache miss (i.e., those file I/O operations that were successfully performed using the system file cache, but which took one or more milliseconds to complete as observed by the hIOmon I/O Monitor; this generally occurs when the requested data was not found within the system file cache and so had to be retrieved from the device).

  • The amount (and percentage) of data transferred per system file cache hits and misses (and moreover upon a random or sequential file access basis). 

The system file cache metrics uniquely provided by hIOmon give you a new ability to easily and quickly determine which particular files (and associated applications) are best making use of the system file cache (i.e., those that are "cache-friendly") as well as those whose overall I/O operation performance is effectively contingent upon the capabilities and particular utilization of the underlying storage subsystem and infrastructure.  Similarly, the hIOmon "system file cache" metrics can also help you determine the impact of adding, for instance, additional system memory.  Moreover, this impact can be substantiated based upon actual, empirical metrics in terms of specific files, devices, or processes/applications.  (Please note that the "system file cache" is also referred to as the "file system cache", the "system cache", or the "file cache" within various versions of the Windows operating systems).

Raw Device Support and "Physical Device Extended Metrics"

In addition, hIOmon also features a "Raw Device Extended Feature" option that gives you the ability to measure and monitor disk I/O operation activity below the file system level (so that you can actually see, for example, how much a particular physical device contributes to (specific) file I/O operation performance).  This Feature additionally enables you to optionally collect, display, and export "Physical Device Extended Metrics" (which require the "Raw Device Extended Feature").

Physical Device Extended Metrics” are I/O operation performance metrics that are collected by the hIOmon I/O Monitor software component at the "physical device" level within the operating system and which are associated by the hIOmon I/O Monitor with their related file I/O operations.  These metrics essentially reflect those physical device I/O operations that were performed so as to satisfy file I/O operations which were also monitored by the hIOmon I/O Monitor at the associated file level (i.e., they basically reflect “physical device” I/O operations that were required to complete file I/O operations for those files that were also being monitored by the hIOmon I/O Monitor).

Note that hIOmon can optionally monitor an entire physical disk and/or a particular physical disk partition/volume. Moreover, hIOmon can collect I/O operation performance information concurrently at the file-level, at the physical disk, and at the physical disk partition/volume.

In addition to basic I/O operation performance metrics (such as I/O operation counts, minimum and maximum response times, amount of data transferred, etc.), the "Physical Device Extended Metrics" provided by hIOmon also include several metrics related to physical device "split I/O" operations (which can occur, for example, when the data requested by a file I/O operation resides upon noncontiguous areas of the physical device so that multiple physical device I/O operations must be performed to satisfy the file I/O operation).  These new metrics can help provide, for instance, empirical data (moreover based upon actual file I/O operations) regarding the issue of file fragmentation by helping to show the actual performance impact of accessing fragmented files and of file fragmentation overall.

The hIOmon support for the "Physical Device Extended Metrics" includes the ability to collect these metrics upon an individual, specific file basis.  Moreover, these metrics can be displayed by the hIOmon Presentation Client, the hIOmon CLI Support and the hIOmon WMI Support.  The metrics can also be selectively exported to hIOmon Manager Export Files.  Together with the extensive set of "System File Cache" metrics already provided by hIOmon, the "Physical Device Extended Metrics" enable you to get a clearer, firsthand picture as to the exact extent to which your particular files of interest actually incur disk I/O operations and the actual related performance impact.

With these and many more features and capabilities (along with a flexible, efficient architecture), hIOmon allows you to quickly, easily and effectively answer the question:  "How fast are your files?"™

Boot Logging Support

hIOmon is normally used to measure and monitor file and device I/O operation activity sometime after the operating system is started (e.g., upon an ad-hoc basis for application and/or device performance troubleshooting, or upon a scheduled basis for benchmarking, trending, etc.).

The hIOmon "Boot Logging" capability gives you the additional option of capturing both I/O trace and/or summary (i.e., automatically aggregated) I/O operation performance information when the hIOmon I/O Monitor software component is loaded as part of the operating system boot start process.  Moreover, when used together with the hIOmon "Raw Device Extended Feature Option", this "Boot Logging" capability allows you to capture the I/O operation performance information (i.e., the "Physical Device Extended Metrics") even down at the "physical device" level as the operating system is started.  In addition, file I/O operation performance metrics can also be collected by hIOmon as part of the system boot process!

hIOmon "Add-Ons" Support

The "hIOmon Add-Ons" are auxiliary software utilities that are targeted towards specific tasks and which leverage the extensive functionality of the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor (hIOPM) software.  The hIOmon software package includes an Add-On that can be used to easily and quickly characterize the I/O operation performance of specific files (and their associated logical and physical devices).  Another Add-On can be used to easily and quickly evaluate and understand the particular "I/O profile" of your specific processes/applications in normal, everyday use and in production environments.  A separate Add-On can be used to quickly and easily configure the hIOmon software to collect and export Solid State Disk (SSD) related metrics (e.g., those pertaining to the use of the SSD TRIM commands) with an ancillary "hIOmon SSD TRIM Metrics Display Gadget" Add-On that provides a simple and quick way to display a selected subset of the SSD TRIM-related metrics that can be captured by the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor.  Yet another included Add-On can be used to similarly determine the actual file I/O operation performance impact incurred by file fragmentation.  Add-On support is also available for the IBM Tivoli Monitoring solutions as well as the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit (NASPT).  The hIOmon "Disk I/O Ranger Display" Add-On application is also included within the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software package.

Most of these hIOmon Add-Ons leverage the "hIOmon Manager Export File" support and make use of a simple VB script together with the Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet program to generate charts/graphs in a simple and quick manner.  Displaying the file and device I/O operation performance metrics uniquely collected by hIOmon upon an individual file, device, and process basis is now even easier!

hIOmon "Intel® NAS Performance toolkit (NASPT) Support Add-On"

The hIOmon "INASPT Support Add-On" enables you to quickly and easily utilize the hIOmon software so as to capture "I/O Trace" operation information (i.e., a separate trace record for each and every I/O operation being monitored by hIOmon) for those specific files that you select. You can also further limit the collection of I/O trace operation information to those particular processes that you select.  Moreover, the I/O trace information collected by hIOmon can reflect the actual file and device I/O operation activity generated by your very own applications in everyday usage!  This Add-On also allows you to configure the hIOmon software so that the I/O trace operation information collected by hIOmon is written/exported in real-time to a "hIOmon Manager Export File" disk file within the XML trace input file format that is required by the Intel NASPT tools. The resulting hIOmon Manager Export File can be used directly (without conversion) as a NASPT trace input file for both the NASPT Analyzer and the NASPT Exerciser tools.

hIOmon "Add-On Support for IBM Tivoli Monitoring"

The hIOmon "Add-On Support for IBM Tivoli Monitoring" enables the IBM Tivoli Monitoring solutions to access the "summary" I/O operation performance metrics that are uniquely collected by hIOmon upon an individual file, device, and process basis.  Once retrieved by the IBM Tivoli Monitoring components, these hIOmon metrics can then be viewed, graphed/charted, monitored for specific thresholds (i.e., "situations"), and used for trending analysis, capacity planning, service level agreement (SLA) monitoring along with a variety of other enterprise management tasks supported by the IBM Tivoli Monitoring solutions.

Ready for IBM Tivoli

Please note that the hIOmon "Add-On Support for IBM Tivoli Monitoring" has successfully met the IBM specifications for validation as "Ready for Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure" and is included within the IBM "Integrated Service Management Library (ISM Library)".  Moreover, IBM Tivoli Monitoring is the first enterprise solution of its type to retrieve and leverage the unique empirical metrics captured and made available only by hIOmon.

  Back to Top
    Why do I need hIOmon?

As mentioned above, files are a crucial part of your computer systems.  hIOmon, with its many I/O Monitoring features and capabilities, is required so that you can:

  1.  Better diagnose and understand storage-related computer performance problems.  Unfortunately, I/O performance statistics down at the storage device level often lack the required granularity; that is, such statistics generally apply to the overall device without regard to a specific file.  While a lower-level analysis at the storage devices might still be necessary, the ability to perform problem analysis up at the higher file-level can afford a more immediate, timely response and resolution.  For example, hIOmon allows you to quickly identify which particular files and processes/applications are being impacted and the exact extent of the impact.  Moreover, hIOmon can help you easily and quickly find those particular "hot" files that can best utilize the I/O performance improvement potential of high-performance storage devices (e.g., RAID and Solid-State Disks), software utilities (e.g., RamDisks), and other performance-oriented hardware, software and overall system solutions.     

  2.  Verify and ensure, in an ongoing manner, that the required levels of performance are being met.  The sophisticated Alert capabilities of hIOmon together with its System Event Log support allow you to actually monitor your computer systems at the individual file level (often in concert with your current system management tools).  Only hIOmon supports such monitoring capabilities.    

  3.  Evaluate proposed improvements to the performance of your computer systems.  Instead of relying solely upon benchmarks, hIOmon allows you to precisely quantify the actual performance improvements, using your very own applications and files/devices just as you normally would.  The empirical performance data provided by hIOmon can also help you more easily, accurately and quickly determine the cost/benefit merits of the proposed improvements.

  4.  Help reduce storage management costs.  The cost of managing storage continues to far exceed the cost of the storage itself.  The explosive growth in storage procurements continues unabated.  And there remains a severe shortage of storage professionals.  The I/O monitoring automation provided by hIOmon, along with its ease-of-use and its "focus upon files" (with files representing the tangible mechanism by which you typically deal with storage), all help make your storage management efforts more efficient, more effective, more focused and less costly.

  5.  Prudently approach and adopt emerging storage technologies.  As you look over the current storage landscape, you'll be confronted with a number of emerging (and sometimes competing) initiatives such as Solid State Disks (SSD), System Area Networks (SAN), Network-Attached Storage (NAS), iSCSI, and InfiniBandsm among others.  Moreover, you'll hear more about the notion of 'storage virtualization', which continues to garner greater interest and implementation (where files essentially reside upon abstract 'virtual storage volumes' and are thus further divorced from the actual physical storage devices themselves).  Determining the actual impact of these different approaches upon the performance of your files will be a critical factor to consider as you evaluate which particular approach to adopt.  hIOmon can easily and quickly provide you with the empirical, accurate file-specific performance metrics that are required to make better, more-informed decisions.

Our white paper ("How fast are your files?™ - A Case for Monitoring File I/O Performance") provides a comprehensive, detailed, in-depth analysis of file I/O performance monitoring and its necessity.  For a short overview of the rationale behind the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor, please view the hIOmon Overview Presentation.

hIOmon amply satisfies the various requirements related to file I/O performance monitoring and successfully meets the numerous challenges involved with its implementation.

Back to Top 

    What would I use hIOmon for?

You can easily use the powerful features of hIOmon to quickly and effectively handle such tasks as:

  • Identify files/devices with poor I/O performance.  As the first step in analyzing performance problems with key applications, you can quickly use hIOmon to determine if the associated files/devices (and processes/applications) are experiencing poor I/O performance (and to exactly what extent if so).  Similarly, you can employ hIOmon to easily and quickly identify – and then subsequently monitor - those specific "hot" files/devices and processes/applications best suited for use with a variety of products that can improve I/O performance (e.g., the various emerging storage technologies as well as SSD, disk caching software, RamDisk, etc.).  

  • Determine the impact of system changes upon file and device I/O performance.  hIOmon allows you to determine the actual impact (with precise measurements as evidence) of changes within the computer system (such as the addition, replacement, or modification of: disk subsystems, computer memory, file systems, processors, operating systems, etc.).  If you are thinking about buying faster disk drives, a faster disk storage subsystem, a SSD, using a RamDisk and/or other disk caching software, leveraging lower-cost (but lower-performing) SATA disk arrays and/or iSCSI, moving the appropriate files to a high-performance Fibre-Channel SAN, etc., then use hIOmon to help you build your business case (and operational plan) using actual I/O performance metrics at the file/application level.  

  • Perform product/system comparisons, particularly amongst vendors.  Without having to rely only upon benchmarks (and needing to correlate how closely these benchmarks match your particular applications), hIOmon allows you to use your own actual applications and associated files just as you normally would with the products and/or systems that you want to compare (such as different disk subsystems, servers, etc., perhaps from different vendors) to see their effect on (even specific) file and device I/O performance. 

  • Monitor and confirm Quality of Service (QoS) for file and device I/O performance.  hIOmon allows you to (independently) monitor the actual I/O activity of your (specific) files, devices, and processes/applications; you can easily confirm whether or not these files, devices, and processes/applications are meeting your expectations as regards I/O performance.

  • Development and support aid For a broad range of developers and "troubleshooters" (including application developers concerned about file I/O performance; file system and device driver developers; disk subsystem developers; etc. - as well as for all of the respective associated support personnel), hIOmon provides an easy way of seeing exactly what (of interest) is happening in the file and device I/O activity (even, if necessary, down to an I/O trace of the individual file and device I/O operations).

  • Other Use-Case Scenarios.  Please see the hIOmon use-case scenarios for other practical, real-world issues and concerns where the unique features of hIOmon can be of quick, easy, and cost-effective benefit to you

The above are just a few of the areas in which hIOmon can be of service to you.  With its variety of features and benefits, hIOmon is the essential tool required to help you qualify, quantify, validate, maintain and monitor the I/O performance of your files and devices.

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    What operating system platforms does hIOmon support?

The current version of the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software package supports Microsoft Windows 8.1 and 8, Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Vista™, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, including Intel®/AMD® x64-bit support with "code-signed" (i.e., digitally-signed) installation files and kernel-mode component.  "Code-signed" hIOmon software files ensure that these files came from hyperI/O LLC and protects them from alteration after publication by hyperI/O LLC.  In addition, the code-signed "hIOmon I/O Monitor" kernel-mode software component for Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/2008/2012 x64 meets the requirements of the mandatory kernel-mode code-signing policy of Microsoft that applies to all kernel-mode software for x64-based systems running Windows 8.1 and 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2.

The current version of the hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger software package supports Microsoft Windows 8.1 and 8, Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2 with Intel®/AMD® x64-bit support and requires Microsoft Internet Explorer version 10 or later.  The hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger Display application is also included within the hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software package.

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor product additionally includes the "hIOmon Presentation Client", which is a Java-based GUI that can be used to manage hIOmon and to display the file and device I/O operation performance metrics collected by hIOmon and that can be run on any operating system platform that supports the Sun™ Java 2.0 Runtime Environment (JRE) Release 1.7.0 or higher.  Note that hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor product also provides alternative clients (e.g., the hIOmon WMI Browser and the hIOmon CLI support) that do not require Java support for controlling hIOmon operation and displaying the file and device I/O operation performance metrics collected by hIOmon.  The flexible architecture of hIOmon was designed to readily accommodate additional operating system platforms as well; support for additional operating system platforms is under review by hyperI/O.

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   How much does hIOmon cost?

hIOmon from hyperI/O 

hIOmon is available upon a "perpetual" license basis with no service agreement contract required.  hIOmon is licensed per use according to operating system type and platform and upon either a personal or business usage basis. 

hIOmon "I/O Performance Monitor (hIOPM)" software pricing for business use starts at $160 USD (for "server-class" machines; $90 USD for "workstation-class" machines); hIOPM software pricing for personal use starts at $75 USD (Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista/XP).

The separate "hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger (hDIOR)" software package is also available from hyperI/O LLC.  Introductory hIOmon Disk I/O Ranger software pricing for business use starts at $85 USD (for "server-class" machines; $35 USD for "workstation-class" machines); hDIOR software pricing for personal use starts at $25 USD (Windows 8.1/8/7).

The hIOmon I/O Performance Monitor software can also be provided as a hyperI/O I/O Performance service.  This service is made available by hyperI/O LLC on a subscription-fee contractual basis (with extended time-frame contracts also available from hyperI/O LLC).

Subscription-fees are dependent upon the particular licensing options purchased.  The base hIOmon subscription fee includes numerous features and capabilities, with free easy-to-access online support information (including self-help resources, documentation, and notices) available at the hyperI/O LLC web site.  In addition, the hIOmon provision for collecting/displaying I/O Trace information and the hIOmon provision for collecting/displaying summarized I/O operation performance information (including the sophisticated Alert capabilities) are provided as separate licensing options (along with the separately-licensed "Raw Device Extended Feature" option).  Please see the hIOmon Datasheet for additional information (including system requirements).

Fee-based assisted technical support is also available from hyperI/O LLC to meet your particular support needs.  In addition, hyperI/O LLC also offers optional fee-based consulting services. 

Please contact us for specific information about hIOmon licensing and pricing.

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