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Category Archives: Performance

vCenter Availability and Performance survey

As many of you know, I work very closely with VMware Product Management and Engineering and we are always looking for data points to support concepts and aid the development of future generations with our products. We have created a 3 page survey that covers Performance and Availability within vCenter Server environments.

Help us make our products better by spending a few minutes to complete, your participation is much appreciated.

https://www.tinyurl.com/VCPerf

 

Does Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) Affect Performance?

YES!

Now that I’ve scared you, lets take a look at these use cases.

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Checking the vNUMA Topology

I’ve been asked a few times recently how to determine what virtual topology vNUMA recommended and created for us and besides looking at the obvious guest OS for the final result, you can also check the vmware.log file for more detailed information.

Additional background here.

Examples:

1) “Wide and “Flat” virtual machine – default configuration

This virtual machine was configured with 20 vCPUs (20 sockets and 1 corespersocket) on a 4 socket, 10 core, hyper-threading enabled, host:

numa: Exposing multicore topology with cpuid.coresPerSocket = 10 is suggested for best performance

numaHost: 2 virtual nodes, 20 virtual sockets, 2 physical domains

Here we see vNUMA has automatically set corespersocket = 10, which matches the physical topology, and presented 2 “virtual nodes” aka NUMA nodes.

2) Spanning pNUMA nodes – manually configured

This virtual machine was configured with 20 vCPUs (1 socket and 20 corespersocket) on a 4 socket, 10 core, hyper-threading enabled, host:

numa: Setting.vcpu.maxPerVirtualNode=20 to match cpuid.coresPerSocket

numaHost: 1 virtual nodes, 1 virtual sockets, 2 physical domains

Here we see vNUMA has respected the manual configuration and set the vNUMA advanced setting maxPerVirtualNode = 20 which doesn’t match the physical topology.  1 “virtual nodes” aka NUMA node is presented which spans 2 “physical domains,” aka pNUMA nodes.

So searching vmware.log for ‘numa’ and ‘numaHost’ will provide these details and again a reminder to let vNUMA provide the optimal configuration when possible.

SAP HANA Now Supported on VMware vSphere 5.5 for Production Scenarios

Eighteen months ago at SAP SAPPHIRE Madrid 2012, VMware presented impressive performance data showcasing SAP HANA running on vSphere. At that time, vSphere 5.1 received support from SAP to run SAP HANA for non-production scenarios.

After an extended and successful joint testing program with SAP, we’re proud to announce that vSphere 5.5 has achieved production support for SAP HANA.  Today, joint customers can run and scale single node SAP HANA databases up to 1TB in a virtual environment while taking advantage of all of the vSphere features they know and rely on to achieve high availability and improved Quality of Service for their mission critical workloads.

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Enabling and Monitoring Storage I/O Control

Storage I/O Control (SIOC) is one of those features that tend to get forgotten about. I’ve talked to many customers both while I was in the field doing architectures and deployments and still today and many either don’t know about the feature or never looked into it.

SIOC is extremely powerful, it can increase your consolidation ratios on the storage side, allowing more VM’s per datastore. Which leads to lower storage costs and less administrative overhead.

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Intro to Storage Resource Management

Most customers are aware of and are utilizing vSphere’s Resource Management capabilities in regards to compute and memory. On the contrary many of our customers, even the ones who own the licenses, aren’t utilizing the resource management capabilities on the storage side.

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Effect of VAAI on cloning with All Flash Arrays:

Cloning virtual machines is an area where VAAI can provide many advantages. Flash storage arrays provide excellent IO performance. We wanted to see what difference VAAI makes in virtual machine cloning operations for “All Flash Arrays”.

The following components were used for testing VAAI performance on an all Flash storage array:

  1. Dell R910 server with 40 cores and 256 GB RAM
  2. Pure FA-400 Flash Array with two shelves that included 44 238 GB Flash drives and 8.2 TB usable capacity.
  3. Centos Linux Virtual Machine with 4 vCPU, 8 GB RAM,  16 GB OS/Boot Disk & 500 GB Data Disk all on the Pure Storage Array
  4. SW ISCSI on dedicated 10GBPS ports.

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Flash to the Rescue, Virtualizing Business Critical Applications in a Flash

There is no doubt that the barriers to virtualization have been rapidly falling. In fact today with VMware’s Monster VM capabilities and the scalability of vSphere 5.5, many organizations have recognized that practically any application can be virtualized and they have adopted a virtualization first policy. But there are still some customers that have been hesitant about virtualizing their most critical applications.  Often times I/O bottlenecks and high storage latency are the cause for poor application performance.  That is where a new breed of storage comes to the rescue.

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Benchmarks – Keeping Perspective

As a performance guy, my world is full of benchmarks – both good and bad.  I wanted to share my perspective of them, as they often seem to make people crazy.

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PVSCSI and Large IO’s

Here’s a behavior that a few people have questioned me about recently:

Why is PVSCSI splitting my large guest operating system IO’s into smaller blocks?

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