VMware vSphere vMotion enables the live migration of virtual machines from one VMware vSphere 5 host to another, with no perceivable impact to the end user. vMotion brings invaluable benefits to administrators—it enables load balancing, helps prevent server downtime, and provides flexibility for troubleshooting. vMotion in vSphere 5 incorporates a number of performance enhancements which allow vMotion to be used with minimal overhead on even the largest virtual machines running heavy-duty, enterprise-class applications.
A new white paper, vMotion Architecture, Performance, and Best Practices in VMware vSphere 5, is now available. In that paper, we describe the vMotion architecture and present the features and performance enhancements that have been introduced in vMotion in vSphere 5. Among these improvements are multiple–network adaptor capability for vMotion, better utilization of 10GbE bandwidth, Metro vMotion, and optimizations to further reduce impact on application performance.
Following the overview and feature description of vMotion in vSphere 5, we provide a comprehensive look at the performance of migrating VMs running typical Tier 1 applications including Rock Web Server, MS Exchange Server, MS SQL Server and VMware View. Tests measure characteristics such as total migration time and application performance during vMotion. Test results show the following:
- Remarkable improvements in vSphere 5 towards reducing the impact on guest application performance during vMotion
- Consistent performance gains in the range of 30% in vMotion duration on vSphere 5
- Dramatic performance improvements over vSphere 4.1 when using the newly added multi–network adaptor feature in vSphere 5 (for example, vMotion duration time is reduced by a factor of more than 3x)
Finally, we describe several best practices to follow when using vMotion.
For the full paper, see vMotion Architecture, Performance, and Best Practices in VMware vSphere 5.