Database performance shines on vSphere 4

recently released a whitepaper Virtualizing
Performance-Critical Database Applications in VMware® vSphere™
that shows
why vSphere 4 is an excellent platform
for performance-critical database applications. 
The paper details performance experiments using an OLTP workload against
an Oracle database. Results show that even at very high loads, benchmark
thoughput is  85% of native on vSphere 4.
The table below summarizes statistics which give an indication of the load
placed on the system in the native and virtual machine configurations.


Table 1. Comparison of Native and Virtual Machine Benchmark Load




Throughput in business
transactions per minute






Disk Megabytes/second


258 MB/s

Network packets/second

12K/s receive

19K/s send

10K/s receive

17K/s send

Network bandwidth/second

25Mb/s receive

66Mb/s send

21Mb/s receive

56Mb/s send



ratios show that every doubling of vCPUs results in a 90% increase in

Figure 1 

Figure 1. vSphere 4 vs. Native – throughput
normalized to 2vCPU, ESX 4.0.

  These results are the outcome of numerous
performance enhancements in vSphere 4. These include added hardware support for
memory virtualization, more efficient and feature-rich storage stack, and
significantly better CPU resource management. The net result is a 24-28%
increase in throughput over ESX 3.5, for 2- and 4- vCPU VMs, respectively.
Additionally, with support for 8-vCPU VMs,
maximum throughput achievable from a single VM is much higher in vSphere 4 than
in ESX 3.5.

Figure 2 

Figure 2. vSphere 4 vs. ESX 3.5 –
throughput normalized to 2vCPU, ESX 4.0.


vSphere has
the capability to handle loads far larger than that demanded by most Oracle
database applications in production. Support for VMs with  8 vCPUs, a near-linear scale-up and a 24%
performance boost over ESX 3.5, make vSphere
4 an excellent platform for virtualizing very high end Oracle databases.


For details regarding experiments and the
performance enhancements in vSphere, please read the paper at:  Virtualizing
Performance-Critical Database Applications in VMware® vSphere™


3 comments have been added so far

  1. Hmmm..
    How many Fibre Channel HBA PORTS were used?
    If you require more HBA ports than Hyper-V, for the same level of IO activity, then IO per port will be lower in VMware.
    And don’t forget each FC HBA port costs money! Which means VMware costs more $$ per IO.

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