Feeds

Physical vs virtual: What's your poison?

Power management and VDI

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Worse yet is load balancing your virtual machines across your hosts. The major virtualization players offer some neat software that can do this automatically for you, but I might as well ask the magic budget fairy for a Toughbook. It isn’t going to happen, and thus, I load-balance my VMs by hand. This creates interesting conflicts when trying to weigh load balancing against power management and even critical VM distribution.

As much I want to power down all non-essential systems when not in use, I also don’t want a single hardware failure taking out all of the production VMs responsible for the manufacturing equipment in a single go. I must also ensure that critical VMs have full LOM capabilities in case there is a problem with the host, and it needs to be repaired remotely. As not all of my servers have full LOM capabilities, this means being choosy about which hosts they live on.

Virtualization has its power management bonuses too. Overall, even with leaving the servers running 24/7, I am consuming less electricity than if all VMs were physical desktops or blade servers. With everything that is required for after-hours work confined to the datacenter, I can actually shut off entire segments of the network at night. Switches, phones, desktops, monitors, printers and all other forms of electronic gadgetry.

Still, it is interesting how much virtualization can complicate the life of a sysadmin. The “eggs in one basket” syndrome common with VDI has power management implications of its very own. Intel would love to come along and tell me that with their ridiculous new shiny servers, I could collapse thirty-two virtual hosts into six. They’d even be right; I’ve run the numbers, and right now I can run my entire network on six ridiculous servers. Eighteen months from now I could run it on three.

If I did that, however, I’d be sitting there praying every night that those three servers don’t blow a stick of RAM or lose a CPU fan, or that rodents of unusual size chose not to have a gnaw on cat6. For this reason, I feel I am actually better off with my older servers; there is a “sweet spot” past which I feel a host simply has too many guests for comfort.

These problems laid bare, my next article will focus on what I’ve done to overcome these issues. Some approaches are technological, while others are matters of policy and procedure. I don’t have access to the really awesome tools used to make virtualization really shine, so it will be an investigation into VDI power management with nothing but the bare basics to help you. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.