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Web 2.0 Applications on VMware Virtual SAN

Here in VMware Performance Engineering, Virtual SAN is a hot topic. This storage solution leverages economical hardware compared to more expensive storage arrays and offers all the vSphere solutions like vMotion, HA, and DRS. We have been testing Virtual SAN with a number of workloads to characterize their performance. In particular we found that Web 2.0 applications, modeled with the Cloudstone benchmark, performs exceptionally with low application latency on vSphere 5.5 with Virtual SAN. We are giving a quick glimpse of the testing configuration and result here and the full detail can be found in the recently published technical white paper about Web 2.0 applications on VMware Virtual SAN.

We ran the Cloundstone benchmark using Olio server and client virtual machine pairs. Server virtual machines were on a 3-host server cluster, whereas client virtual machines were on a 3-node client cluster. An Olio server virtual machine ran Ubuntu 10.04 with a MySQL database, a NGINX Web server with PHP scripts, and a Tomcat application server. An Olio client virtual machine simulated typical Web 2.0 workloads by exercising 7 different types of user operations that involved web file exchanges and database inquiries and transactions. Virtual SAN was configured on the server cluster. Web files, database files, and OS files were all on the Virtual SAN with dedicated virtual disks to store files separately.

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In the paper, we report test results that show Virtual SAN achieves good application latency performance. Each server-client virtual machine pair was pre-configured for 500 Olio users. In one test, we ran 1500 Olio users and 7500 users by having 3 and 15 pairs of virtual machines respectively. We collected the average round-trip time of Olio operations. These operations were divided into frequent ones (EventDetail, HomePage, Login and TagSearch) and less frequent ones (AddEvent, AddPerson, and PersonDetail) according to how often they were exercised in the tests.

The following graph shows the average round-trip times for various operations. The threshold for these operations was defined in the passing critera, which used 250 milliseconds for the frequent operations and 500 milliseconds for the less frequent operations. In the 15VMs/7500 users case, the server cluster was at 70% CPU utilization, but the round-trip time was well below the passing threshold as shown. We also present the 95th-percentile round-trip time results and how it performed in the white paper.

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To learn the full story of the 15VMs/7500 Olio users test and how we further stressed storage with the workload and read the results, see the white paper.

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About Zach Shen

Zach Shen is a Member of Technical Staff in the Performance Engineering team. His work focuses on improving storage and network performance of VMware's virtualization products.

One thought on “Web 2.0 Applications on VMware Virtual SAN

  1. Jordan Van Ahn

    Hi there!

    Thanks for sharing your article.

    The reason I’m contacting you is because I work in marketing for a VMWARE Certified Competency Partner… We recently just launched our blogging and social media efforts. I was wondering if we could receive some type of authorization to share your content to our own blog… Mostly just looking to get authorization from you as I certainly wouldn’t want to violate your copyright.

    We would be promoting your content on social media with advertising dollars though.

    Please let me know your thoughts. We will be contacting all of our vendors to see if they’re interested.

    Thank you,

    Jordan

    Reply

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