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Happy holiday’s to everyone in the VMware community!  I hope that you are able to find some downtime to spend with friends and family over the next few weeks.  We are winding down 2010 at VMware, but the great virtualization blog posts don’t stop for the holiday’s.  Here are the top 5 posts for week 51.

Rebecca Grider – Performance Scaling of an Entry-Level Cluster – Performance benchmarking is often conducted on top-of-the-line hardware, including hosts that typically have a large number of cores, maximum memory, and the fastest disks available. Hardware of this caliber is not always accessible to small or medium-sized businesses with modest IT budgets. As part of our ongoing investigation of different ways to benchmark the cloud using the newly released VMmark 2.0, we set out to determine whether a cluster of less powerful hosts could be a viable alternative for these businesses. We used VMmark 2.0 to see how a four-host cluster with a modest hardware configuration would scale under increasing load.

Duncan Epping – vCenter and Memory metrics – I received a question last week from a former colleague around some of the memory details in vCenter. There are a couple of places where memory details are shown on a “VM level” within the vCenter client. The first tab that we will discuss is the Summary tab. It shows “General” and “Resources”. It appears that there is a lot of confusion around this topic and that probably comes from the fact that some of the Performance Metrics are named similarly but don’t always refer to the same.

Kendrick Coleman – Fixing Storage Alignment for Virtual Machines – There are plenty of great blog post articles out there about storage alignment, so I’m not going to dive much into that because we don’t need to beat that horse to death much longer. One of the best easy to read and beginner articles I’ve come across is Best Practice for File System Alignment in Virtual Environments by NetApp and My #1 Issue with VMware ESXi Today by Aaron Delp. Why all the fuss? Misaligned VMs negatively impact performance resulting in increased IO and search time. Everyone is aware of the alignment issues, but we’re not 100% sure on how to fix these issues.

Sean Crookston – Home Lab Setup – VLANs and Routing – A few months back I began thinking about doing a few things to my home lab setup to give it a little extra in terms of the capabilities it had. One thing near the top of my list was beefing up the network side of things a little bit.  Originally I had just the two hosts hooked up to a couple of 8 port gigabit switches. For the most part this was perfectly fine as I had full gigabit connectivity along with Jumbo frames. What was lacking though was manageability of the switch and VLANs.

Jakob Fabritius Nørregaard – P2V pre-migration checklist – and considerations – My previous post was a P2V post migration checklist. This post is a pre-migration checklist which is about all the information that should gathered and checked before doing any P2V conversions.  I have been involved in a number of larger P2V projects (+50 P2V’s) and, in my experience, proper planning is a key element for a successful project. Typically, you, as a VMware- or P2V person, have no real knowledge of the Windows servers to be converted – their just another server.