Feeds

Physical vs virtual: What's your poison?

Power management and VDI

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.