VMware and Microsoft have collaborated to validate and support the functionality and performance scalability of SQL Server 2017 on vSphere-based Linux VMs. The results of that work show SQL Server 2017 for Linux installs easily and has great performance within VMware vSphere virtual machines. VMware vSphere is a great environment to be able to try out the new Linux version of SQL Server and be able to also get great performance.
We were able to get one of the new four-socket Intel Skylake based servers and run some more tests. Specifically we used the Xeon Platinum 8180 processors with 28 cores each. The new data has been added to the Oracle Monster Virtual Machine Performance on VMware vSphere 6.5 whitepaper. Please check out the paper for the full details and context of these updates.
The generational testing in the paper now includes a fifth generation with a 112 vCPU virtual machine running on the Skylake based server. Performance gain from the initial 40 vCPU VM on Westmere-EX to the Skylake based 112 vCPU VM is almost 4x.
In our third episode of machine learning performance with vSphere 6.x, we look at the virtual GPU vs. the physical GPU. In addition, we extend the performance results of machine learning workloads using VMware DirectPath I/O (passthrough) vs. NVIDIA GRID vGPU that have been partially addressed in previous episodes:
Performance is one of the biggest concerns that keeps high performance computing (HPC) users from choosing virtualization as the solution for deploying HPC applications despite virtualization benefits such as reduced administration costs, resource utilization efficiency, energy saving, and security. However, with the constant evolution of virtualization technologies, the performance gaps between bare metal and virtualization have almost disappeared, and, in some use cases, virtualized applications can achieve better performance than running on bare metal because of the intelligent and highly optimized resource utilization of hypervisors. For example, a prior study  shows that vector machine applications running on a virtualized cluster of 10 servers have a better execution time than running on bare metal.
Back in March, I published a performance study of SQL Server performance with vSphere 6.5 across multiple processor generations. Since then, Intel has released a brand-new processor architecture: the Xeon Scalable platform, formerly known as Skylake.
Our team was fortunate enough to get early access to a server with these new processors inside – just in time for generating data that we presented to customers at VMworld 2017.
Each Xeon Platinum 8180 processor has 28 physical cores (pCores), and with four processors in the server, there was a whopping 112 pCores on one physical host!
Thank you to everyone who attended VMworld 2017 and especially those that participated in this year’s Extreme Performance Series. While the conference is wrapped up, the content created and presented there, is now available to everyone! So grab a chair and advance your performance skill set.