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Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

9,570,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes

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In 2008, the year before I left VMware, I was invited to help measure the amount of information being enterprise computers processed in the entire year.  My invitation came from Dr. James Short of the University of California, San Diego, who was on the team leading this project.  The team called their project “How Much Information?” (HMI).  And Dr. Short, or Jim, wanted me to provide comment on a small portion of the systems that process information: enterprise hardware.

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Designing VMs with Performance SLAs

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Consolidation amplifies the uncertainty of application performance. Still, VI administrators need a means of guaranteeing performance SLAs to their applications’ users. But the best VMware has been able to offer are resource controls, which are at best an indirect mechanism for sustaining application performance. With the acquisition of B-hive, now AppSpeed, VMware moved a step closer to allowing VI administrators to guarantee a performance SLA. As an application-aware latency measurement tool, AppSpeed may eventually provide feedback to vCenter to guarantee throughput levels. But it does not today. So how are VI administrators to guarantee application performance?

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SPECvirt Released

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SPEC has diligently working on an industry standard version of VMmark since something like 2006. The first version of their product is complete and was released during my recent holiday. I have been talking with colleagues and customers about SPECvirt for years and would like to talk about what SPECvirt is and what it is not.

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First Ever TPC Result on VMware, New Records

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A new era has dawned on VMware virtualization: the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) has posted an audited result on a virtual platform.  That platform, VMware vSphere 4, ran ParAccel’s Analytic Database (PADB) to set new records for the TPC-H benchmark using a 1,000 GB database.  You can read more about ParAccel’s work in their recent press release.

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Optimal Web Servers: vSphere Required

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Just over a year ago VMware set a world record for web server performance on 16-core systems. The reason ESX beat native performance is its excellent scalability when compared to the poor scalability of commercial web servers. By implementing multiple web servers in virtual machines on a single host, VMware can drive more web transactions through the host than possible without ESX present.  Today I want to update everyone on our work with virtual web servers and repeat my plea: virtualize your web servers now!

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vSphere 4.0, Hyper-Threading, and Terminal Services

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I recently wrote a blog article detailing Hyper-Threading (HT) and its effect on vSphere.  An astute reader pointed out, a recent update to Project VRC‘s terminal services analysis suggests disappointment with HT on vSphere.  We spent a lot of time looking at those results to understand why they contradicted the body of performance data, which show HT offering 10-30% gain on vSphere. What we discovered led us to create a vSphere patch that would allow users to improve performance in some benchmarking environments.

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vSphere Performance Leadership with Terminal Services

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Project VRC’s latest update (document available with registration) to their ongoing analysis of Terminal Services and XenApp performance in virtualized environments supports VMware’s claims of industry-leading performance.  There are two main conclusions of the revised version: (1) VMware outperforms XenServer and (2) previous performance measurements of XenServer were in error, reporting artificially high results on that product.

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SQL Server Performance Problems Not Due to VMware

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[First re-post of an old favorite.  This document is my most popular blog entry from the communities.]

Microsoft SQL Server runs at better than 80% of native on VI3 in most benchmarked environments. In production environments, and under loads that model those conditions, SQL Server runs at 90-95% of native on ESX 3.5. I can say this with confidence despite a large amount of the industry’s skepticism because I’ve spent so much time on SQL Server in the past half year. I’d like to share some of my research on the subject and observations with you.

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