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vCloud Director 5.1 Performance and Best Practices

VMware vCloud Director 5.1 gives enterprise organizations the ability to build secure private clouds that dramatically increase datacenter efficiency and business agility. Coupled with VMware vSphere, vCloud Director delivers cloud computing for existing datacenters by pooling virtual infrastructure resources and delivering them to users as catalog-based services.  vCloud Director 5.1 helps helps IT professionals build agile infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)  cloud environments that greatly accelerate the time-to-market for applications and responsiveness of IT organizations.

This white paper addresses three areas regarding vCloud Director performance:

  • vCloud Director sizing guidelines and software requirements
  • Performance characterization and best practices for key vCloud Director operations and new features
  • Best practices in improving performance and tuning vCloud Director architecture

For more details and performance tips, please refer to VMware vCloud Director 5.1 Performance and Best Practices.

VMware vCloud Director 1.5 Performance and Best Practices

VMware vCloud Director gives enterprise organizations the ability to build secure private clouds that dramatically increase datacenter efficiency and business agility. Lots of new features have been added to vCloud Director 1.5 to accelerate application delivery in the cloud. In this paper, we discuss some of the features of the vCloud Director 1.5 release, performance characterizations including latency trends, resource consumptions, sizing guidelines and hardware requirements, and performance tuning tips.

Some highlights of vCloud Director performance and best practices include:

  • When using fast provisioning (linked clones) and a VMFS datastore, do not exceed eight hosts in a cluster.
  • Be aware that there is a chance to hit the snapshot chain length limit. If the current clone has become very slow compared to the prior clone, the clone may have hit the snapshot chain length limit 30. This can be resolved by virtual machine consolation.
  • For virtual machines that are not generating I/O-intensive workloads, linked clones offer the flexibility and agility of instant provisioning.
  • For cross-vCenter and cross-datastore linked clones, pre-allocating the vApp to the target datastore helps shorten the subsequent copy time.

For more details and performance tips, please refer to VMware vCloud Director 1.5 Performance and Best Practices.

VMware vCenter Update Manager 5.0 Performance and Best Practices

VMware vCenter Update Manager (also known as VUM) provides a patch management framework for VMware vSphere. IT administrators can use it to patch and upgrade ESX/ESXi hosts, upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware for virtual machines, as well as upgrade virtual appliances.

A white paper that examines the performance of VUM is available. This paper includes some interesting information, including:

  • VUM deployment recommendations that maximize performance
  • A look at the latencies of common VUM operations
  • The resource consumption profile of VUM operations for CPU, network, disk, and database
  • How much time it takes to remediate a cluster sequentially vs. in parallel
  • VUM performance in a low bandwidth, high latency, or lossy network
  • How the use of bandwidth throttling affects host staging and remediation over LAN and WAN
  • Performance tips and best practices

For the full paper, see VMware vCenter Update Manager 5.0 Performance and Best Practices.

VMware vCenter Update Manager 4.1 Performance and Best Practices

VMware vCenter Update Manager provides a patch management framework for VMware vSphere. IT administrators can use it to patch and upgrade VMware ESX/ESXi hosts, apply patches to Windows and certain versions of Linux in virtual machines, upgrade VMware Tools and virtual hardware for virtual machines,  and patch and upgrade virtual appliances. A new white paper, VMware vCenter Update Manager Performance and Best Practices, is now available.
 
In this paper, we discuss VMware vCenter Update Manager 4.1 host deployment, latency, resource consumption, guest OS tuning, VM operations in high latency networks, the impact of on-access virus scanning, and host operations in WAN environments.  We also provide performance tips to help customers tune the system for better performance, such as:

  • Separate the Update Manager database from the vCenter database when there are 300+ virtual machines or 30+ hosts.
  • Separate both the Update Manager server and the Update Manager database from the vCenter Server system and the vCenter Server database when there are 1000+ virtual machines or 100+ hosts.
  • Make sure the Update Manager server host has at least 2GB of RAM to cache patch files in memory.
  • Allocate separate physical disks for the Update Manager patch store and the Update Manager database.
  • Deploy the Update Manager server close to the ESX hosts if possible. This reduces network latency and packet drops.
  • On a high-latency network, powered-on virtual machine scans are preferred because they are not sensitive to network latency.
  • Host operations in a slow network will take a long time. Refer to the white paper for the maximum time estimation. Don’t interrupt ongoing operations.

Please read the white paper for more performance tips with more details. You can download the full white paper from here.

KB Article “VMware vCenter Update Manager host tasks might fail in slow networks” Published

Simplify management of VMware vSphere by automating patches and updates. VMware vCenter Update Manager makes it easy to manage tracking and patching of VMware vSphere hosts, as well as selected Windows virtual machines. A new KB article, “VMware vCenter Update Manager host tasks might fail in slow networks", is now available.

If you run VMware vCenter Update Manager over a low-bandwidth, high-latency, or lossy network, host operations might time out or fail. These operations include host patch and extension scanning, staging, and remediation, as well as host upgrade remediation tasks. Timeout might also occur under normal network conditions if the Update Manager operation takes more than 15 minutes to complete.

The task timeout or failure might occur because of the following reasons:

  • The connection to the Update Manager server times out.
  • The connection to vCenter Server times out.

This article introduces the methods of setting timeouts for various releases of Update Manager, and estimating timeouts for host tasks.

VMware vCenter Update Manager 4.1 Sizing Estimator

Simplify management of VMware vSphere by automating patches and updates. VMware vCenter Update Manager makes it easy to manage tracking and patching of VMware vSphere hosts, as well as selected Windows virtual machines. A new sizing tool, VMware vCenter Update Manager 4.1 Sizing Estimator, is now available.
 
The following input parameters are used to estimate database size, patch store disk space, and temporary disk space:
 
-    Feasibility for virtual machine remediation
-    Number of ESX and ESXi flavors in the deployment
-    Number of hosts, virtual machines, Windows distributions, average number of locales for Windows distribution, average number of different Service Pack levels for Windows distribution
-    Patch scan frequency for virtual machines
-    VMware Tools upgrade scan frequency for virtual machines
-    Virtual machine hardware upgrade scan frequency
-    Patch scan frequency for hosts
-    Upgrade scan frequency for hosts
-    Whether VUM 4.1 is upgraded from 4.0 and old ESXi upgrade bundles are still used
 
The following are the outputs from the tool:
 
-    VMware vCenter Update Manager 4.1 database deployment model recommendations
-    VMware vCenter Update Manager 4.1 server deployment model recommendations
-    Initial disk space utilization in MB for database, patch store, and temporary space
-    Monthly disk space utilization growth in MB for database and patch store
-    The upper and lower bounds on the estimation, assuming a 20% variance