Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Storage Consolidation (or: How Many VMDKs Per Volume?)


Part of the performance best practices talk I co-presented at VMworld in San Francisco and Copenhagen focused on answering the question, “How many virtual machines can be placed on a single VMFS volume?”  There are a lot of theories as to a best answer.  It will not surprise you to learn that no single consolidation ratio works in every environment.  Your workloads will influence the maximum consolidation.  But we know enough about how ESX virtualizes storage to provide guidance as to the right storage consolidation ratios.

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The Tipping Point

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If you missed the keynotes at the recent VMworlds you missed a sensational bit of information that marks just how far the VMware revolution has come. I have since seen a graphical summary of the research that supported Steve Herrod’s claim and want to add myself to the chorus proclaiming the incredible incredible influence VMware has acquired in the industry.

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VMworld Europe 2010: Copenhagen


The VMworld conference organizer just sent me feedback from my presentations at VMworld 2010 in San Francisco.  He also sent me my VMworld Europe schedule, which I want to share with you.  You’ll have seven opportunities to catch me talking performance at the show and many more to catch me talking trash at a local pub.  Here is my schedule and some comments on what you can expect at each appearance.

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Databases, Storage, and Solid State Disks

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A colleague of mine dropped by my desk on Friday to talk about storage best practices for virtualized databases (SQL Server in this case).  He observed a VMware deployment where the data and log files for a SQL Server virtual machine were consolidated on a single VMFS volume backed by a RAID 5 LUN.  “Is this a VMware best practice?” he asked.  “Should you not put the redo logs on a RAID 10 LUN?”  The answers are ‘no’ and ‘yes’, respectively.  And with the solid state disk (SSD) auto-tiering from EMC (FAST) the second answer is an emphatic “YES!”

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VMworld 2010 Performance Lab


As you can imagine, we VMware employees are starting to ramp up for VMworld 2010 and its younger brother in Copenhagen, VMworld Europe 2010.  Last year I ran the performance lab and this year I plan on making it even more awesome than last year.  Since this blog enjoys a small following of the performance faithful and VMworld attendees, I want to put the question to you: what do you want to see in the upcoming performance troubleshooting lab?

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