vPivot

Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Storage IO Control

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Last year at VMworld 2009, Irfan Ahmad and Ajay Gulati presented a preview of an unreleased technology VMware is calling Storage IO Control (SIOC). SIOC is a feature aimed squarely at the number one cause of VMware performance problems: underperforming storage. Year after year I see misconfigured storage slowing virtualized applications with VMware blame for the problem. Now VMware hopes to add a new tool to our administrators’ toolboxes to help them identify and mitigate underperforming storage.

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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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Memory Compression

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Steve Herrod’s keynote at Partner Exchange 2010 included a tantalizing slide on an upcoming memory maximization technology: memory compression.  A few of you have already seen the overview of this technology Kit Colbert and Fei Guo previewed it at VMworld 2009.   Today I want to tell you how this upcoming feature will help you pack even more virtual machines onto your existing servers.

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VMworld 2010 Performance Lab

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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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VMware Performance Class: "VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance"

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Nearly a year ago I approached the VMware Education Services about designing a single or multiple day class focused on performance management, troubleshooting performance problems, and designing solutions for maximum performance.  I cited the perennial popularity of the VMworld performance troubleshooting lab as a demonstration of the potential market for this class.  I am incredibly pleased to announce that the content for this class is complete and we are soon to be offering it to the general public.

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Performance Troubleshooting: No PhD Required!

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A couple of weeks ago at VMworld in San Francisco I squeezed a few press meetings in between the 19 sessions of the performance lab I led. In one of those meetings I talked with David Vellante and two of his colleagues to discuss vSphere performance and performance monitoring.  David and company asked some hard questions about our performance work but my knowledge of this area runs deep, so the conversation was fruitful and interesting.

A few days after the conference a coworker of mine shared the following quote with me, courtesy of an article by David on Internet Evolution:

The fact is, most data center managers wouldn’t trust VMware to manage their Tier 1 applications because if something goes wrong performance-wise, you still need to roll in the VMware PhDs to solve it.

Let me respond to a few of the suggestions from this quote.

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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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