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Category Archives: Performance

Reference Architecture for building a VMware Software–Defined Datacenter

The latest in our series of reference architectures is now available. This is an update to the previous version which brings in additional products and covers the vCloud Suite 5.8 release.

This reference architecture describes an implementation of a software-defined data center (SDDC) using VMware vCloud® Suite Enterprise 5.8, VMware NSX™ for vSphere® 6.1, VMware IT Business Management Suite™ Standard Edition 1.1, and VMware vCenter™ Log Insight™ 2.0 to create an SDDC. This SDDC implementation is based on real-world scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations. The configuration uses industry-standard servers, IP-based storage, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) networking to support a scalable and redundant architecture.

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SAP SD Benchmark Results on vSphere Shows Near Native Performance

I wanted to highlight some recent work done using a 3rd party benchmark and audited certification process that helps to address concerns that virtual overhead is still unacceptable for enterprise applications.

Many of our customers are no longer focused on this negligible consumption by virtualization as VMware software defined infrastructures have continued to demonstrate they can meet all their application needs, but yet some people still ask for this information.

SAP provides a test and certification methodology known as the Sales and Distribution (SD) Benchmark which provides several units of measurement, including Users and SAPS, that determines a hardware-independent score. This benchmark is run on both virtual and physical platforms and is well scrutinized before a certification number is issued.

There are two results I’d like to draw attention to:

  • Certification Number 2014043 (11/7/2014) by Dell/VMware – 9400 Users, 51400 SAPS
  • Certification number 2014017 (5/5/2014) by Dell – 10,253 Users, 55970 SAPS

These two benchmarks were performed on the exact same hardware and application stacks with the only exception being that VMware ESXi 5.5 was used on the most recent test. From this we can easily demonstrate that this comprehensive application and database benchmark shows only a 8.3% difference in virtual versus physical performance.

Additionally it’s worth noting, for Monster VM fans, that the virtual machine was configured with 48x vCPU’s and 256GB of RAM.

The message here is that virtual performance of an enterprise’s most demanding applications is near that of physical and that the value provided from the virtual platform more than exceeds the minute cost. Be confident – virtualize everything!

Special thanks to our partner Dell and our performance gurus (Erik, Sebastian & Louis) at VMware for these efforts.

SQL Pass Conference completed

The vSphere PMM team in collaboration with the GTS team successfully completed VMware’s participation in the 3-day SQL Passs Summit conference at  the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle today.  We met with hundreds of successful SQL Server on vSphere customers to deliver the overall VMW message through the innovative use of the “Recharge Lounge”.  415 total attendees of the conference received a 5-min massage while they recharged their devices after they discussed their present or future success with SQL Server on vSphere.SQLPass1

VMware Sponsors “Recharge Lounge” at SQL Pass Conference

Following up on the momentum gained in the SQL Server on vSphere space last month as a result of the Elite SQL Server workshop, the vSphere PMM team arranged the sponsorship of the “Recharge Lounge” at the SQL Pass Conference in Seattle this week.  This specialized lounge not only allows conference attendees to recharge their devices but when they individually present a coupon, which they can only get from the VMware booth, the attendee will receive a 5 minute professional massage.   Not exactly what we do regularly but amazing effective in drawing in attendees to the VMW booth.  The stories are typical “We use vSphere for everything and it all works great” was a common theme.   We are on track to pass out 500 massage coupons in the 3 days of the conference.  This is fun!

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VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part IV

Virtual SAN ObserverIn Part I, Part II and Part III of this blog post series, we reviewed methods of running benchmark tests on a Virtual SAN cluster using three different methods; synthetic I/O Tools such is Iometer, pre-created application I/O trace replay files available for download, or custom created application I/O trace replay. Once you are running benchmark testing, there will be the need to assess and analyze the performance results of your Virtual SAN cluster, and how they meet the needs of the target applications within your environment . In this post, we will review some key concepts in performing a performance analysis of your Virtual SAN solution.

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VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part III

Virtual SAN ObserverIn the previous VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing blog post we reviewed the benefits of running performance tests utilizing I/O trace files over synthetic workload tools such as IOmeter to more accurately characterize the performance of a Virtual SAN cluster. The VMware I/O Analyzer includes pre-created trace files of specific application profiles that allows you to quickly perform scale-out testing utilizing a mix of industry standard workloads But what if you want to characterize the performance of your existing vSphere virtualized environment within a new Virtual SAN configuration? This is were the use of custom I/O Trace replays can be useful. Continue reading

What’s New in vSphere Big Data Extensions version 2.1

Big Data Extensions enables the deployment of Hadoop and HBase clusters in virtual machines on the VMware vSphere platform. This article gives you a brief introduction to the new features in BDE version 2.1. BDE ships as a virtual appliance (an OVA file) and it is a free download for users of vSphere Enterprise or Enterprise Plus.

BDE users are interested in using their favorite management tools from their Hadoop distro vendors, along with BDE and vCenter, to manage their newly created virtualized Hadoop clusters. The 2.1 release of BDE implements this feature in an elegant way!

Now you can use BDE and Cloudera Manager or Ambari together to install and manage your Hadoop clusters without leaving your Web Client BDE seat. You can also use the earlier styles of provisioning a Hadoop cluster as shown under the “BDE Only” and “BDE 2.0″ headings below.  The first method on the left allows BDE to use a repository to install the Hadoop vendor’s software on to the virtual machines. BDE does the whole job of provisioning everything in this case – hence referred to as “BDE Only”.

Using BDE 2.0 (shown in the center column) you can create a basic cluster, i.e. one with no Hadoop software in it. Then you can use the Hadoop vendors’ installation and configuration tool to install the Hadoop software on those virtual machines. With BDE 2.1 you don’t have to go between the different tools; the full Hadoop installation can be done inside BDE’s user interface, but using the vendor’s APIs under the covers to do that. The difference between the BDE 2.0 and 2.1 methods is that in 2.1 the management tool from the Hadoop vendor is called by BDE directly.

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VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part II

Virtual SAN ObserverIn the first installment of the Virtual SAN Performance Testing series, we reviewed benchmarking performance using synthetic I/O generation tool Iometer, automated by the VMware I/O Analyzer appliance. Using Iometer, or other synthetic I/O generation tools is frequently the first option for benchmarking selected, as it is an operationally light weight method to benchmark storage performance. But what if you want to be able to simulate real world workloads within your Virtual SAN cluster, without the burden of building out applications. That is where I/O trace files can come into play.

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VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part I

Virtual SAN ObserverAs people begin to assess, design, build, and deploy VMware Virtual SAN based solutions for the first time, there is great curiosity in understanding the performance expectations to have,  and results one can achieve when utilizing Virtual SAN in specific configurations. Most customers are running some type of benchmark in proof-of-concept environments in order to gauge the performance of VMware Virtual SAN in their environment. In working with customers and partners, we have seen a variety of methods used in attempting to benchmark and analyze Virtual SAN performance. In order to ease this process, we are developing guidance on how best to perform performance testing on Virtual SAN. This guidance will be presented in a  four part series as follows:

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vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2 Released

Today VMware released Update 2 of its vSphere management solution, vCenter Server. In this release there are updates to the supported database versions and many resolved known issues.

What’s New

  • vCenter Server database support: vCenter Server now supports the following external databases:
    • Oracle 12c. Important: For pre-requisite requirements, see KB 2079443.
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • vCloud Hybrid Service: The vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) introduces a new container, Hybrid Cloud Service, on the vSphere Web Client home page. The Hybrid Cloud Service container contains the vCHS installer and the new vCloud Connector installer.
  • Customer Experience Improvement Program: The vSphere customer experience improvement program is introduced to collect configuration data for vSphere and transmit weekly to VMware for analysis in understanding the usage and improving the product. For more details, see the vSphere Documentation Center.

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