HPM Performance Virtualization vSphere

Host Power Management in VMware vSphere 7.0 – Recommendations and Best Practices

VMware recently released a white paper describing the impact of the Host Power Management (HPM) policies on application performance and power consumption. VMware vSphere (ESXi) provides several pre-configured policies for power management, targeting applications to optimize for latency, throughput, and power consumption. Prior technical papers have described the available power policies in vSphere, their functionality, and present performance and power consumption data.

This paper provides an updated guide to vSphere 7.0 users on different power policies’ performance and power tradeoffs. It provides insights regarding the power management capabilities of VMware vSphere through experimental results obtained on the latest processors using several modern workloads.

While observing the performance and power consumption on a range of workloads, the paper recommends the use of power policies as follows:

  • The Balanced policy is the default recommended policy in vSphere, because it maximizes performance-per-watt overall and provides an optimal point between performance and power consumption for a wide variety of application characteristics.
  • The High Performance profile is preferred in the case of latency-sensitive applications at the cost of higher power consumption.
  • The Low Power profile is recommended only for low utilization servers; it results in higher power savings at the expense of performance.

The published technical paper describes:

  1. The steps to adjust the BIOS settings to achieve the maximum benefit of HPM
  2. The utilization of P-states and C-states by the vSphere power policies
  3. The steps to select a power policy in ESXi and the available options for custom policy
  4. Using the esxtop interface to obtain and understand statistics related to HPM, including the ESXi host’s power usage, the processor’s P-states, and the current actual core frequency
  5. Experimental results showing the impact of HPM on workloads such as SPECpower, VMmark, and View Planner (VDI)
  6. The impact of the power policies on Turbo Frequency
  7. The HPM recommendation and best practices

For more information, read the paper Host Power Management in VMware vSphere 7.0 – Recommendations and Best Practices.

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