VMware recently released a whitepaper presenting the results of a performance investigation using a representative enterprise-level Java application on VMware vSphere 4.1. The results of the tests discussed in that paper show that enterprise-level Java applications can provide excellent performance when deployed on VMware vSphere 4.1. The main topics covered by the paper are a comparison of virtualized and native performance, and an examination of scale-up versus scale-out tradeoffs.
The paper first covers a set of tests that were performed to determine whether an enterprise-level Java application virtualized on VMware vSphere 4.1 can provide equivalent performance to a native deployment configured with the same memory and compute resources. The tests used response-time as the primary metric for comparing the performance of native and virtualized deployments. The results show that at CPU utilization levels commonly found in real deployments, the native and virtual response-times are close enough to provide an essentially identical user-experience. Even at peak load, with CPU utilization near the saturation point, the peak throughput of the virtualized application was within 90% of the native deployment.
The paper then discusses the results of an investigation of the performance impact of scaling-up the configuration of a single VM (adding more vCPUs) versus scaling-out to deploy the application on multiple smaller VMs. At loads below 80% CPU utilization, the response-times of scale-up and scale-out configurations using the same number of total vCPUs were effectively equivalent. At higher loads, the peak-throughput results for the different configurations were also similar, with a slight advantage to scale-out configurations.
The application used in these tests was Olio, a multi-tier enterprise application which implements a complete social-networking website. Olio was deployed on SpringSource tc Server, running both natively and virtualized on vSphere 4.1.
For more information, please read the full paper at http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10158. In addition, the author will be publishing additional results on his blog at http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/haroldr.