Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Running Apple OSX Lion on vSphere 5


In my last blog article I counted the ability to virtualize Apple’s new OSX Lion as one of the top 10 reasons for upgrading to VMware vSphere 5.  Aaron Hossain pointed out that an article I linked as support for this claim really suggested that virtualization on vSphere would not be supported by Apple.  Aaron’s question was interesting enough, and the answer complicated enough, that I want to include my reply in its own article.  Here is the scoop on OSX Lion on vSphere with new commentary not in my previous comment.

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Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5


I was recently re-watching the classic cultural assessment of our friends down under, Bart vs. Australia. Among the other completely accurate portrayals of our Aussie friends, you will see MPs slopping pigs, the Prime Minister drinking beer from an inner-tube on a lake, and of course The Boot. All of this got me thinking of the Melbourne stop in EMC’s five-city Pre-sales Conference Roadshow that finished a week ago. VMware partially sponsored this event and its fantastic SE and one of my good friends, Pete Marfatia, gave an electrifying presentation on the top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 5.

In this entry I want to share with you VMware’s top 10 list that Pete presented with Tim Hartman. I have provided a PDF version of their presentation on my blog in case you want more detail. Feel free to contact me, your local VMware SE, or a vSpecialist if you want more information. Now, on to the top 10!

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Performance Survey from VMworld (US)

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The VMworld events in both San Francisco and Copenhagen included a new discussion forum where subject matter experts spent time interacting with a small group of similarly-minded enthusiasts.  VMware was kind enough to invite me to host a performance discussion and the interactions I had with each group were fantastic.  At the organizers’ request, I seeded the discussions with an interactive survey that touched off deep conversation and engaging debate.  The results were collected by local staff and just recently I received those from the San Francisco VMworld’s group discussion on performance.

I asked about nine questions of the forum’s attendees and four of them generated rich discussion.  There were about 25 people in attendance, which were self-selected to have both opinions and total comfort sharing them.  Here are the questions, the results, and my commentary.

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vSphere 4.0, Hyper-Threading, and Terminal Services


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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Hyper-Threading on vSphere


I continue to receive many questions from our customers on the expected performance gains of the new version of Hyper-Threading in Intel’s Core i7 processors. The answer requires a little bit of discussion on Hyper-Threading, a little bit on ESX, and comes with some performance data. If you are still interested, read on.

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Four Things You Should Know About ESX 4's Scheduler


[This is the last re-post of old community content.  But this content is important enough to be worth a re-post.]

I spend a great deal of time answering customers’ questions about the scheduler. Never have so many questions been asked about such an abstruse component for which so little user influence is possible. But CPU scheduling is central to system performance, so VMware strives to provide as much information on the subject as possible. In this blog entry, I want to point out a few nuggets of information on the CPU scheduler. These four bullets answer 95% of the questions I get asked.

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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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