Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Virtual Network Best Practices Aggregation


This week a colleague of mine asked me to help out with a customer’s network design in his VMware environment.  I have long possessed the kind of socratic wisdom that allows me to recognize my ignorance.  And I have either the confidence of the foolishness to boldly announce here that I am a networking ignoramus.  But the journey to enlightenment starts with one step.

I started my research on Twitter and asked friends to help me find whitepapers on the subject of VMware environment network best practices.  One Tweep (Nate Raper) asked me to share everything I found.  This article, vPivot’s first aggregation, contains the VMware environment network papers that I have received and reviews.

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vSphere 4.1: Performance Improvements


Last week I took my first vacation in a year and a half.  I had not missed a single day of work in 18 months.  So last week, when I was galavanting through Spain and running terrified, screaming, and covered in sangria through the streets of Pamplona, VMware made its biggest announcement in over a year: the launch of vSphere 4.1.  My old team put out what looks to be a wonderful “What’s New in Performance” paper so I want to take a few minutes to add my thoughts to some of the great work VMware has done.

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Chad Sakac was recently touring APJ and delivering his high energy VMware+EMC message with demos, demos, and more demos. His encyclopedia-sized deck of technical gems included a short discussion on VMDirectPath that merits comment. I will offer my thoughts here.

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Maximum Concurrent VMotions


A VMware customer and attendee of a talk I gave at a performance roundtable asked me for a preview of unreleased features*.  When I talked about the amazing improvements to VMotion that would enable as many as eight concurrent VMotions the customer said, and I am paraphrasing here, “Yawn.  I can already do that.”  Really?  I had no idea customers could do this.  As it turns out, many of us at VMware did not know that customers knew how to do this.

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Optimizing Network Performance on vSphere

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You should probably not be reading this article.

What follows is my tale of performance optimizations so arcane and of extremely limited relevance as to make this guidance useful to one customer in 100,000.  The parameters I reference here should rarely–if ever–be touched by a VI admin.  I am documenting them for here for that one mischievous soul that is allowed to do as much damage as good in the pursuit of performance excellence. The rest of you should not even consider these changes for your production environment.

Seriously.  Don’t do it.  Don’t do it.

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