VMware Cloud on AWS Benchmarks Performance SQL Server Tier 1 Virtualization

SQL Server Performance of VMware Cloud on AWS Instance Types

We recently announced the new I4i instance type as an addition to our VMware Cloud on AWS offerings. Here is a high-level summary of the differences between the three instance types we now offer:I3 I3en I4i summary

So how do these instances compare when running Microsoft SQL Server, one of the most popular database applications in the world? To answer this, I ran DVD Store, an open-source benchmark (co-written by my teammate Todd Muirhead) that measures database throughput in orders per minute (OPM).

For each instance type, I created a separate SDDC, each with a single cluster of three hosts:

I3 I3en I4i SDDCs

First, I ran a single SQL Server VM on one host on each instance type:

I3 I3en I4i SQL Performance 1 Host

Key highlights:

  • The new I4i instance outperformed the I3 instance by 158% (over 2.5x)
  • The I3en instance outperformed the I3 instance by 52%

Next, I ran the same SQL Server VM benchmark across two hosts simultaneously in each instance:

I3 I3en I4i SQL Performance 2 Hosts

As you can see, the performance doubled across all three, a testament to the scalability of VMware Cloud on AWS.

Finally, I put the “pedal to the metal” by saturating all of the hosts in each SDDC:I3 I3en I4i SQL Performance 3 Hosts

Scalability is still very impressive: a fully saturated 3-host SDDC performed 2.6-2.9x better than a single host.

As the results above show, the I4i instance achieves superior SQL Server performance. Compared to previous instances, it delivers superior value in migrating and operating both memory-bound and general-purpose workloads. It offers:

  • More processing power: 128 logical processors (3.5x more than I3)
  • More memory: 1 TB (2x more than I3)
  • More storage: ~20 TiB NVMe storage capacity (~2x more than I3)
  • More networking speed: 75 Gbps physical NIC (~3x more than I3)

This instance type can be used for general purpose workloads, database workloads like transactional databases (Microsoft SQL Server as shown above, Oracle Database and MySQL), NoSQL databases (MongoDB, Couchbase, Aerospike, Redis), and VDI workloads.

Here are details of the benchmark test environment:

SDDC instance types I3, I3en, I4i
Number of hosts per SDDC 3
VMware ESXi version / build number VMware ESXi 8.0.0 build 20430035
vCenter Server version / build number vCenter Server 8.0.0 build 20432146
VM operating system Microsoft Windows Server 2022
VM database application Microsoft SQL Server 2019
VM vCPU count Right-sized for each instance type to use all the host’s physical cores
VM memory Right-sized for each instance type to use all the host’s memory
VM disks 200 GB OS
500 GB database
100 GB logs
Benchmark DVD Store 3.5
Database size 100 GB (10 stores)


Here are some resources to learn more:


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