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Category Archives: Performance

New Release: vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d

Today VMware released an update to its vCenter Server management solution.

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d | 27 JAN 2015 | Build 2442329
vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d Installation Package | 27 JAN 2015 | Build 2442328
vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 2d | 27 JAN 2015 | Build 2442330

Please make sure to review the release notes and download from vmware.com

While this is a minor release it does resolve many issues previously experienced as summarized here:

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SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering and the VMware Software Defined Data Center

The latest release of SAP HANA has brought the concepts of multi-temperature data and lifecycle management to a new level.  With SP09, SAP has addressed the size and cost constraints which may prohibit an all in memory solution. SAP HANA with the Dynamic Tiering (DT) option enables placement of the highest value “hot data” in the classic SAP HANA in-memory tables, and less frequently accessed “Warm Data” is placed or migrated to tables which reside on an SAP HANA Extended Storage Host (ES Host).

The data associated with the ES Host will reside on disk and not in-memory, however since data is stored using the same columnar paradigm as classic SAP HANA, performance is optimized for data processing.

SAP Business Warehouse Powered by HANA

The Dynamic Tiering option is Plug & Play for SAP Business Warehouse (BW) 7.4 SP8 Power By HANA. SAP BW provides full access to your data whether it resides in-memory data or on the extended host, access is transparent to the user, so no need to direct your queries to the SAP in-memory store or extended host store.

With the SAP HANA SP09 release BW Objects which can reside on the Extended Storage Host are the Write-Optimized Data Storage Objects and the Persistent Staging Area. Since these objects can comprise between 15% to 40% of the total database footprint, customers using DT in their landscapes can realize substantial savings by reducing the amount of RAM necessary to run SAP HANA. In addition the SAP HANA Extended Storage Hosts can be deployed on either Certified Servers or standard x86 commodity servers.

SAP HANA Native Use Cases

The number of software ISVs and developers choosing SAP HANA as their native database is quite impressive. Whether SAP HANA is being used for Data Marts, Enterprise Data Warehouses, or for custom applications, Dynamic Tiering presents interesting opportunities to make these use cases more robust. It’s important to adhere to the SAP HANA Node to ES Host ratios when using HANA as the native database. When the HANA in-memory database is 64GB to 512GB in size, the Extended Storage Host resident data can be 4 times the size of the HANA in-memory database. Below is a sizing summary:

SAP   HANA In-Memory Data

Extended   Storage Host Data Ratio

64GB – 512 GB

1:4

>512 GB to <2TB

1:8

>2TB

Unlimited

 

Deploying SAP HANA In The VMware Software-Defined Datacenter

SAP HANA Extended Storage Host is fully supported by SAP to runs on VMware vSphere. It’s interesting to note that SAP does not allow the deployment of a SAP HANA Worker Node and the Extended Storage option on the same physical server. In addition when deploying SAP HANA with DT in the physical world, SAP provides the following guidance:

“The distance between HANA hosts and Extended Storage hosts should be as short as possible to avoid performance impact on distributed INSERTs, UPDATEs, or Queries. Ideally, ES hosts should be placed inside the same rack as the HANA hosts.”

VMware can actually go one better. In the VMware Software Defined Datacenter both the SAP HANA Worker Node virtual machine and the Extended Storage Host virtual machine can be consolidated on a single physical vSphere Host which is a supported SAP configuration. This avoids the performance impact on distributed INSERTs, UPDATEs, or Queries which SAP mentions in the physical world. This is a clear benefit, by consolidating these virtual machines customers can better utilize server resources and increase their ROI. Also the consolidation and co-location of SAP HANA Nodes onto a single vSphere Host may reduce the internode communication latency associated with multi host deployments in a physical SAP Dynamic Tiering landscape.

SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering with VMware HA and Workload Management

For customers who choose to use the Dynamic Tiering option, SAP HANA System Replication is not available in SP09. However as with SAP HANA single node scale up deployments, the Extended Storage Host can be protected against hardware and or OS outages with VMware High Availability (HA). Enabling VMware HA allows the ES Host to be restarted on any vSphere hosts within the vSphere cluster without the need for a dedicated standby server. Also vMotion can be used to perform workload management or zero downtime maintenance by live migrating the ES Host to another server. Since the ES Host can run on both certified and standard x86 hardware, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) can be set to atomically migrate virtual machines to other vSphere hosts within the cluster in order to maximize performance and availability.

SAP has devised a brilliant multi-temperature strategy to manage the data lifecycle of their customer’s SAP HANA landscapes. When deploying SAP HANA with Dynamic Tiering our joint customers can extend and virtualize their SAP HANA databases beyond the 1TB vSphere 5.5 monster VM limitation. I will be discussing these topics in-depth, as well as techniques to simplify and accelerate SAP HANA deployments in the VMware Software Defined Data Center at VMware Partner Exchange 2015 in my session entitled; “Leveraging SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering Strategy and Concepts in The VMware Software Defined Data Center”

Performance Unplugged: vCenter Performance

Welcome to a new video series I’ve titled “Performance Unplugged”

In this video series, I’ll showcase a number of talented performance gurus and cover commonly asked questions and topics. Performance of the Software-Defined Datacenter should no longer be a concern for customers and we’ll explain why. Links to the latest information pertaining to the topic will also be provided.

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Performance Unplugged: Demanding Applications

Welcome to a new video series I’ve titled “Performance Unplugged”

In this video series, I’ll showcase a number of talented performance gurus and cover commonly asked questions and topics. Performance of the Software-Defined Datacenter should no longer be a concern for customers and we’ll explain why. Links to the latest information pertaining to the topic will also be provided.

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Assess the Performance Impact of the Security Change in Transparent Page Sharing Behaviour

As VMware continues to use a “secure by default” policy, there are some up-coming security changes to the Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) memory mechanism you need to be aware of and should assess for potential performance impact.

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Partner Exchange 2015 – Best Practices for installing and upgrading vSphere and vSOM

If your attending Partner Exchange 2015 and are interested in planning installs and upgrades for the latest versions of vSphere and vSOM be sure and come check out my session, INF4268.

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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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