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Category Archives: Performance

vSphere with Operations Management Product Walkthroughs

If you’ve ever tried to watch a product demo video, or tried to use it to show a product to someone else, often times you find yourself trying to pause the video at the exact right moment, and then having scrub backwards or forwards because you missed the timing.  At VMware we’ve created an alternative way ot showing demos, which we call Product Walkthroughs.  These are web-based demos that let you walk through a scenario screen-by-screen, at your own pace.  Each screen has annotations to explain what’s going on and markups that highlight important parts of the screen, both of which can be turned off if you want a clean view.

Although we have created Product Walkthroughs for numerous products and solutions, the ones I want to focus on are for vSphere 6 and vSphere with Operations Management.  Both of these provide a great way to learn about these products and their features at your own pace, as well as to show how something works to your colleagues (or bosses).  The one on vSphere 6 highlights the features in this major new release, with sections on:

and more.

The vSphere with Operations Management product walkthrough provides an in-depth look at all the features of its two major components, vSphere and vRealize Operations, including

So, check them out and let us know what you think!

Big Data Extensions Version 2.2 - What's New? A summary of the new features.

The new  vSphere Big Data Extensions Version 2.2 shipped on the 5th June 2015!

Here is a quick summary of the new features that appear in the 2.2 release. This is an exciting and much-awaited release. As always, refer to the technical documents and the release notes to get more detail on these subjects. 

• Support for the Latest Hadoop Distributions. BDE 2.2 supports the latest versions from the major Hadoop distribution vendors, including Bigtop 0.8, Cloudera CDH 5.4, Hortonworks HDP 2.2, MapR 4.1, and Pivotal PHD 3.0.

• Better Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) Management. We found that some users had difficulty with generating FQDNs within their network for newly cloned virtual machines. BDE can now generate and propagate meaningful host names in FQDN form for your new  virtual machines that host the Hadoop nodes. The new FQDNs will be registered to a DNS server if you are using a Dynamic DNS server.

• Shrink clusters. You can now reduce (as well as expand) the number of worker virtual machines that belong to a running Hadoop cluster in an easy way. The virtual machines targeted for shrinking will be quiesced, withdrawn from the Hadoop cluster and then deleted to release any resources that they used completely.

• Active Directory/Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (AD/LDAP) integration. You can use an AD/LDAP server to manage the accounts generated by BDE within the Hadoop nodes . You can specify the accounts to be Hadoop users accounts and/or service accounts in an AD/LDAP server.

• vSphere 6.0 Instant Clone. BDE will, at the user's request, use Instant Clone technology to spin up new Hadoop VMs. This feature reduces the time of spinning up Hadoop VMs and the runtime footprint. This is an optional way to do this. You can choose to use the older "full clone" method also if you prefer to. We recommend that you use this new type of cloning for your test and development workloads to begin with.
• Centralised logging. You can configure BDE to direct logging information to an external syslog server including LogInsight.
• Quiesce the BDE management server. You can quiesce BDE management server with a command so that you can backup BDE management server's data for your clusters safely.
• Automatic GUI installation. BDE GUI is automatically registered to the vCenter after BDE is deployed.

• Support for the Latest Partner Hadoop Management Tools. BDE 2.2 supports Cloudera Manager 5.3, and Ambari 1.7. You have more flexibility to deploy Hadoop clusters, including a compute-only cluster,a  HBase-only cluster,a  data-compute separated cluster etc. even when using a Partner Hadoop Management tool.

• Support for the Latest Isilon Version. Fully automated process to deploy and manage compute only clusters on OneFS 7.2.

• Big Data Extensions Upgrade. You can upgrade Big Data Extensions 2.1 to the current version, Big Data Extensions 2.2, and preserve all the data for the Hadoop clusters that were created using Big Data Extensions 2.1. All of your existing clusters can be managed by Big Data Extensions once the upgrade completes.

• Localization. BDE is localized to 6 languages including DE, FR, ZH_CN, ZH_TW, KO, and JA.

Configure Auto Deploy Rules - PowerCLI

In the previous post Configure DHCP and TFTP for Auto Deploy, we discussed how to setup your DHCP and TFTP servers to allow your ESX hosts to PXE boot. However, once an ESX host boots, it will need directions to know what to boot. This is where Auto Deploy Rules come in. Continue reading

DRS Keeps VMs Happy

Since the introduction of Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) almost 10 years ago, it has become the most trusted way to ensure virtual machines are running at their peak performance. Over 80% of customers that have introduced DRS use it in fully automated mode, which allows for automatic placement and rebalance operations that simplifies capacity planning and administrative overhead.

There seems to be quite a bit of inaccurate information floating around recently about vSphere DRS. The most common thing I hear is that “DRS is focused on balancing hosts in the cluster, and is not focused on workload performance.”  Actually, nothing could be further from the truth, and hopefully this will help explain how DRS is working to keep your VMs performing optimally.

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Big Data on vSphere : Two Customer Case Study White Papers Published

VMware-vSphere-Adobe-Deploys-HAAS-CS

Two new white papers are now available on the work done at Adobe on virtualizing Hadoop. The VMware-authored paper,  Adobe Deploys Hadoop as a Service on VMware vSphere, focuses on the business background and justifications for virtualizing the workload. It also talks about implementing Hadoop-as-a-Service by the central Technical Operations function to satisfy the needs of the business units and data analysis groups that require Hadoop as a platform. This paper also gives details about the use of the vSphere Big Data Extensions tool which was used heavily in the project, as well as the connection to vRealize Automation that forms the basis for the cloud offering at Adobe.

The second, complementary white paper, on the same architecture, Virtualizing Hadoop in Large-Scale Infrastructureswas written by the EMC consulting team that supported the project. The EMC paper, with the title "Virtualizing Hadoop in Large-Scale Infrastructures", focuses on the technical reference architecture for the Proof-of-Concept conducted in late 2014, the results of that POC, the performance tuning work and the physical topology that was deployed using Isilon storage. The two papers were written in concert by the organizations and should be read together for a full picture of the Hadoop virtualization project. This system is now live at Adobe Digital Marketing, hosted on their Virtual Private Cloud and it is being used by different groups within the big data community there. The papers together provide an outline reference architecture for use in other installations also. Watch this space, there are more technical case studies in the works.

Speaking of technical reference material for Hadoop on vSphere, here is the current list of technical papers and websites that are now available for people to learn more about this particular subject - for your reference:

Big Data/Hadoop on VMware vSphere - Reference Materials

Deployment Guides

Reference Architectures

Customer Case Studies

Performance Studies

There are some very useful best practices in the first two technical papers.

vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE)

Other vSphere Features and Big Data

High performance lab and Infrastructure for Elite Database Workshop - SQL Server Event #2

The VMware BCA team successfully conducted the second batch for SQL Server MVPs April 21st-23rd. The attendee list includes.   Steve Jones, Tim Ford, Arnie Rowland, Wendy Pastrick, Eddie Wurech, Robert Davis, Sean McCown, Allan Hirt, Geoff Hiten,  Randy Knight, Chris Shaw, Jason Strate, Brandon Leach, Shawn Meyers, Melissa Connors. Alumni guests include David Klee, Mike Corey and Denny Cherry.

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Virtualized Big Data Faster Than Bare Metal

VMware is excited to highlight a new partner benchmark effort in the Big Data technology space.

Dell recently published two TPCx-HS results that demonstrate that Big Data technology on vSphere is actually 'faster' than bare metal.

Let's take a look...

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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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