In the past, I’ve always benchmarked performance of SQL Server VMs on vSphere with “on-premises” infrastructure. Given the skyrocketing interest in the cloud, I was very excited to get my hands on VMware Cloud on AWS – just in time for Amazon’s AWS Summit!
A key question our customers have is: how well do applications (like SQL Server) perform in our cloud? Well, I’m happy to report that the answer is great!
VMware Cloud on AWS Environment
First, here is a screenshot of what my vSphere-powered Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) looks like:
This screenshot shows several notable items:
- The HTML5-based vSphere Client interface should be very familiar to vSphere administrators, making the move to the cloud extremely easy
- This SDDC instance was auto-provisioned with 4 ESXi hosts and 2TB of memory, all of which were pre-configured with vSAN storage and NSX networking.
- Each host is configured with two CPUs (Intel Xeon Processor E5-2686 v4); each socket contains 18 cores running at 2.3GHz, resulting in 144 physical cores in the cluster. For more information, see the VMware Cloud on AWS Technical Overview
- Virtual machines are provisioned within the customer workload resource pool, and vSphere DRS automatically handles balancing the VMs across the compute cluster.
To measure SQL Server database performance, I used HammerDB, an open-source database load testing and benchmarking tool. It implements a TPC-C like workload, and reports throughput in TPM (Transactions Per Minute).
To measure how well performance scaled in this cloud, I started with a single 8 vCPU, 32GB RAM VM for the SQL Server database. To drive the workload, I created a 4 vCPU, 4GB RAM HammerDB driver VM. I then cloned these VMs to measure 2 database VMs being driven simultaneously:
I then doubled the number of VMs again to 4, 8, and finally 16. As with any benchmark, these VMs were completely driven up to saturation (100% load) – “pedal to the metal”!
So, how did the results look? Well, here is a graph of each VM count and the resulting database performance:
As you can see, database performance scaled great; when running 16 8-vCPU VMs, VMware Cloud on AWS was able to sustain 6.7 million database TPM!
I’ll be detailing these benchmarks more in an upcoming whitepaper, but wanted to share these results right away. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave me a comment!
UPDATE (4/14/2020): The latest paper on this topic is at Performance Characterization of Microsoft SQL Server Using VMware Cloud on AWS.