Feeds

The art of optimising VM performance

Physical and virtual hiccups

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Lab While it is unfair to say (as many vendors do), that server virtualisation will take over the world during the course of the next fifteen minutes, we know from the readers of The Register that ever-expanding numbers of virtual machines (VMs) are being spun up by organisations large and small.

A primary driver for early server virtualisation projects has been to consolidate footprint onto a smaller number of physical servers, each running multiple VMs. But are virtual systems making best use of the resources at their disposal?

You also told us that the routine management of virtualised systems can be problematic, to put it lightly. But considering the drive for server consolidation in particular, there has been nowhere near as much discussion around how to configure the physical resources allocated to VMs at run time. The same goes for sizing physical host servers in order to optimize service delivery while keeping control of costs.

So how does an administrator set about specifying the amount of RAM, disk space and I/O for each virtual machine? A good starting point is to monitor the physical resource consumption of the original servers hosting the applications over their typical work cycles. This information can then form the basis for working out just how much resources the corresponding VMs will consume, after adding in the requirements of the virtual server software itself.

So while some testing and experimentation can provide an idea of the needs of each individual VM the next question becomes one of working out which VMs to run on which physical servers. Getting this right can be tricky, especially in terms of working out how to satisfy the I/O requirements of the combined virtual servers and, more particularly, to ensure that all of the networking needs are adequately resourced.

Of course, real life is rarely so accommodating and we know that many of you report significant challenges in getting resource allocation right. There is a risk that virtual machines running on your systems have been allocated more physical resources than they actually require, especially if management tools cannot provide visibility into opportunities for optimising resource consumption.

If you have any examples of how to manage the physical resources allocated to each VM we would be very interested to hear what you do. Your comments in the past have indicated that VMs tend to be set up once and then left alone until something changes the status quo, thus leaving open the potential that physical resources may have been allocated but not used.

We also need to remember that today the majority of environments run their virtual servers in a relatively static mode. Virtualisation holds the promise of flexibility to cater for changing workloads and business demands, but so far few organisations have taken advantage of this capability. In order to do this properly, a way of dynamically allocating physical resources to virtual machines is required. We’d like to hear about how you’re making all this work, whether you’re doing it manually or if you’re one of those ‘dynamic’ types. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.