Sophos Web Appliance: Analyzing your VMware server hardware

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  • Updated: 22 Oct 2015

Note: The diagnostic testing tool for the Virtual Web Appliance is recommended only for advanced VMware administrators who have experience with benchmark tests. The tests should only be performed when the Virtual Web Appliance is not processing user traffic.  Running the diagnostic tests when users are browsing via the Virtual Web Appliance will result in a poor browsing experience for your users, as well as inaccurate benchmark test results.

Performance of your VMware guest operating system depends on a variety of factors. It is important to choose the correct disk size, CPU, and memory that correlates with the amount of web traffic you will be processing. Even then, performance varies, depending on how your Virtual Web Appliance and VMware server are configured.

In addition, you can run system diagnostics on a VMware server using the tool included with your virtual appliance. It will provide benchmarks for disk read/write, CPU, and memory. You can then compare these to benchmarks from other appliances to estimate performance expectations.

What to do

  1. In VMware, open a console for the Virtual Web Appliance that you want to analyze.
  2. At the command line, type "3" to select Run System Diagnostic Benchmarks from the Network Configuration menu.
  3. Press Enter.

    There will be a delay while the tests run. The results are displayed at the command line.

  4. Compare your benchmarks to the Input/Output and Bandwidth numbers in the table below. If you determine that your results are equal to or greater than those stated in the table, your performance is likely to be adequate for the stated capacity.

The following table shows test results for three different appliance models.



of Users 

Disk I/O Bandwidth
Read Write CPU Memory
up to 400 25849
up to 750 25903
up to 1200 27886


Note: The benchmark numbers are generated using the dbench utility. 

Keep in mind that there are many other factors that can influence the test results. For example, a customized policy and the use of features such as Data Leakage Prevention and HTTPS scanning may have an impact on performance.

If your test results are less than those stated in the table, your Virtual Web Appliance may require additional resources to provide adequate performance.

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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