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Monthly Archives: May 2007

Workstation performance tips, Vista vs XP

Two new articles from VROOM!, the VMware performance team blog:

Getting the best performance from Workstation 6.0

On top of all the goodness Workstation 6.0 has to offer, we now have a revised performance document as well. You can find it here.
We’ve tried our best to provide tips not only about things that you
could tune with Workstation and its features, but things you could
tweak on your host operating system and within the guest, and even what
to look out for on the hardware level. The reorganization of the
document makes it easy to find what you need to achieve the best
possible experience.

Windows Vista Performance in VMware Workstation 6.0

We ran a set of workloads to measure the CPU, memory, disk and network performance of the VM. Vista host performance is on par with XP, except that Vista itself consumes more memory than XP. This means that Vista leaves less memory for the use of VM’s than XP. …

While Vista guest performance is on par with XP in most of our workloads, we did find a few cases that perform worse on the Vista VM than on the XP VM.
To understand why Vista was slower in those particular cases, we
conducted the same measurements on native physical systems, rather than
on virtual machines. We found that Vista is slower than XP on native hardware almost to the same degree as on virtual hardware.
This made it clear that VMware Workstation 6.0 wasn’t introducing any
Vista-specific overheads, and that the relative performance on Vista is
as good as on XP.

Video/audio roundup: DRS/HA, Deployment Appliance, Will IT Blend? and P2V Roundtable

I’m seeing more and more virtualization video come out. Let me know when you spot new good content worth watching.

Scott Hanson has a new white paper in Dell’s VMware TechCenter with several nice screencasts showing off VMware Infrastructure’s DRS and HA features in action. Definitely worth watching if you’ve never seen the VMotion magic.

Mike Laverick shows off his Ultimate Deployment Appliance (a "DHCP/TFTP/PXE appliance which comes with a web-based management tool
which simplifies installing an operating system to either physical or
virtual machines") in a silent 8:39 screencast.

Jim points us to a funny Novell/Blendtec video about "Blended IT Infrastructure" — this is how I think about VMware Converter. Now just pour into the container of your favorite virtual infrastructure platform.

And speaking of VMware Converter, although it’s not a video, I’m listening to the inaugural Virtual Strategy Magazine Roundtable on Migrating Physical Servers to a Virtual Environment with representatives from VMware, PlateSpin, and HP.

Update: we never linked to this video interview at TSX Nice by virtualization.info’s Alessandro Perilli of Scott Herold and Mike Laverick of the upcoming ESX Server Advanced Technical Design Guide.

Burton Group: Benefits of Virtualization in the Data Center? Priceless!

From Chris Wolf of the Burton Group: Data Center Strategies: Benefits of Virtualization in the Data Center? Priceless!.

I was a bit surprised to learn that another industry analyst firm feels that virtualization is too costly …

Virtualization provides too many benefits to stand by and watch
others improve their availability and IT processes, while saving on
power and server hardware costs as a result of virtualization
implementations. What’s virtualization worth? Ask one of your Windows
server admins who is struggling to return a critical server to
operation on new hardware. Ask a developer who wants to test a piece of
his code but is weighing whether the time to stage a system is worth
it. Ask a server team in a data center where there is no more physical
room or power to add servers.  You may not get the Dr. Evil answer of
"1 Billion Dollars," but I’d bet the administrators operating in the IT
trenches see the cost of virtualization as easily justifiable.

The question should not be what is the cost of virtualization, but
rather what is the cost of not incorporating virtualization within your
infrastructure.

Remaindered Links – May 11, 2007

From VMware:

  • VMware’s addendum to our white paper "Microsoft Virtualization Licensing and Distribution Terms" (some good new developments, a few clarifications, and a few more data points)
  • VMworld 2007 registration now open
  • You have tried the TCO Calculator, yes?
  • Workstation 6.0
    • virtualization.info: Feature comparison: Workstation 6.0 vs Server 1.0
    • Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet: "I have a philosophy when it comes to new versions of software that I
      use a lot.  What I like to see is a new product that’s familiar enough
      so I can get on and use it without having to dive into the manual too
      much, but at the same time I like to see a crop of new, useful
      features.  VMware Workstation 6 delivers on both of these expectations."

Elsewhere in the virtual blogosphere:

Virtualization Tips:

VMware Workstation 6.0 Released

VMware Workstation 6.0 is now generally available.

From the press release:

New features in VMware Workstation include:

  • Windows Vista support: Users can deploy Windows Vista as a guest or host operating system, facilitating re-hosting of legacy systems, enabling upgrade and migration projects with minimal end-user disruption and simplifying Windows Vista evaluations.
  • Multiple monitor display: Users can configure one virtual machine to span multiple monitors or multiple virtual machines to each display on separate monitors with this industry-first capability, enhancing desktop productivity.
  • USB 2.0 support: Users can take advantage of high-performance peripherals such as Apple iPods and fast storage devices.
  • ACE authoring capabilities: As a companion to VMware Workstation 6, VMware now offers a VMware ACE Option Pack, which enables VMware Workstation 6 users to create secure, centrally manageable virtual machines. Mobility is one of the primary benefits of this Option Pack, as it allows users to securely transport virtual machines on portable media devices such as USB memory sticks.
  • Integrated Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) functionality: Users can create a virtual machine in minutes by “cloning” an existing physical computer.
  • Integrated virtual debugger: Users can deploy, run and debug programs inside a virtual machine directly from their preferred integrated development environments (IDEs), accelerating debugging with this industry-first integration with Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Background virtual machine execution: Users can run virtual machines in the background without the VMware Workstation user interface for an uncluttered user experience.
  • Automation APIs: Users can write scripts and programs that automate and help quicken virtual machine testing with support for VIX API 2.0.

In addition, VMware Workstation 6 advances the state of the art in virtualization technology with groundbreaking new capabilities including:

  • Continuous virtual machine record and replay (experimental): Users can record the execution of a virtual machine, including all inputs, outputs and decisions made along the way. On demand, the user can go “back in time” to the start of the recording and replay execution, guaranteeing that the virtual machine will perform exactly the same operations every time and ensuring bugs can be reproduced and resolved.
  • Virtual Machine Interface (VMI) support (experimental): VMware Workstation 6 is the first virtualization platform to allow execution of paravirtualized guest operating systems that implement the VMI interface.