VMware CPU Co-Stop and SQL Server Performance

VMware CPU Co-Stop and SQL Server Performance (via Convergence of Data and Infrastructure)

VMware CPU Co-Stop and SQL Server Performance

Not too many people know about the intricacies of virtualization CPU scheduling and its impact on the performance of the VMs, so application owners out there – listen up! I’ve written about Ready Time (VMware ESXi) / Wait Time Per Dispatch (Microsoft Hyper-V) in the past, but a different challenge arises with VMs that have large vCPU count footprints. It’s called CPU Co-Stop, and it can devastate your application’s performance in a VM.


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Virtual SAN 6.2 – Deduplication And Compression Deep Dive

Virtual SAN 6.2 – Deduplication And Compression deep dive

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Virtual SAN 6.2 introduced several highly anticipated product features and in this blog, we’ll focus on some of the coolest ones: Dedupe & Compression. These features were requested by VMware customers and I am glad that we listened to the customer. When talking about Dedupe and Compression, one first needs to determine why an organization would want to use Dedupe & Compression and what these features actually do. One of the many reasons for using Dedupe and Compression is to lower TCO for customers. Customers benefit from space efficiency as the Virtual SAN cluster will not utilize as much storage as it would if it was not using Dedupe and Compression, hence saving dollars. It is also important to note that Dedupe and Compression are supported on All Flash Virtual SAN configurations only.

What are Dedupe and Compression?

The basics of deduplication can be seen in the figure below. What happens is that blocks of data stay in the cache tier while they are being accessed regularly, but once this trend stops, the deduplication engine checks to see if the block of data that is in the cache tier has already been stored on the capacity tier. Therefore only storing unique chunks of data.

Pic 1

So imagine if a customer has lots of VM’s sharing a datastore and these VM’s keep using the same block of data due to a certain file being written too often. Each time a duplicate copy of data is stored, space is wasted. These blocks of data should only be stored once to ensure data is stored efficiently. The Deduplication and Compression operation happens during the destage from the cache tier to the capacity tier.

In case you are wondering how all these blocks of data are tracked, hashing is used. Hashing is the process of creating a short fixed-length data string from a large block of data. The hash identifies the data chunk and is used in the deduplication process to determine if the chunk has been stored before or not.

Together with Deduplication, Compression is enabled at the cluster level. It will not be enabled using Storage Policy Based Management. The default block size for dedupe will be 4k. For each unique 4k block, compression will only be performed if the output block size will be smaller than the fixed compression block size. The goal is to get this 4k block compressed to a size of 2k as seen below. A compressed block will be allocated and tracked in translation maps.

2

Enabling Dedupe & Compression

To enable Dedupe and Compression is not rocket science by any means. Simply go to the Virtual SAN Cluster and enable it from the Edit Virtual SAN Settings screen. Once dedupe has been enabled, all hosts and disk groups in the cluster will participate in deduplication. In this discussion, dedupe domains will be the same as a disk group; therefore, all redundant copies of data in the disk group will be reduced to a single copy, however redundant copies across disk groups will not be deduped. So the space efficiency is limited to the disk group. This means that all components that are in a disk group will share one single copy if multiple components are using the same block.

Dedupe can be enabled and disabled on a live cluster, however there are some implications to doing this. Turning on dedupe means going through all disk groups in the cluster and evacuating all of the data and reformatting the disk group. After this, Virtual SAN will perform dedupe on the disk groups.

So it’s a rolling upgrade. It’s important to remember that dedup and compression are coupled, therefore, once you enable deduplication you are also enabling compression as seen below.

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IO Intensity

Dedupe is an IO intensive operation. In a non-dedupe world, data is written from tier 1 to tier 2, however with dedupe, things remain the same for the first part. With this in mind, more operations are inherently performed during destaging. IO will go through an additional dedupe path. This will happen regardless of the data being dedupe friendly or not.

Read – When performing a read, extra reads need to be sent to the capacity SSD in order to find the logical addresses and therefore find the physical capacity (SSD) address

Write – During destage, extra writes are required to the Translation Map and to the Hash Map tables. The translation map and hash map tables are used to reduce overheads. So this needs to be accounted for that this overhead is incurred and that a 4k block size is being used.

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Dedupe Ratio

When looking in the Summary screen for the Datastore, different capacities and dedupe ratios can be viewed. Logical capacity is a new term. It is the capacity footprint seen if Dedupe and Compression are not turned on. So in the example below, the Physical used is 10G and the dedupe ratio is 3.2. Therefore logical capacity is 32G

5

Summary

In summary Dedupe and Compression are fantastic features that are going to be very useful to customers that have all flash configurations, it will reduce their TCO, and from a technical stand point, it is very simple to implement. Customers do not really need to learn anything new so there is no ramp-up on the technology from a learning perspective.

(Courtesy of VMware vSphere Blog)


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New Fling: vSphere HTML5 Web Client

New Fling: vSphere HTML5 Web Client

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VMware first introduced the vSphere Web Client with the release of vSphere 5.0. The vSphere Web Client would be the future management tool replacing the vSphere client aka “Legacy, Thick or C# Client”. This would be become more evident over time with each release of vSphere. New features could only be managed through the vSphere Web Client. While the concept of a browser based client is a step in the right direction, the dependency of flash was not. Keep in mind the decision to use flash was made when it was the standard for web applications, times and standards have changed. With that change it has taken some time to work on replatforming the vSphere Web Client. This always leads to the question, when will we see a HTML5 version of the Web Client? I’m happy to announce the wait is over!

The first step towards making a HTML5 Web Client a reality is the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling. This release of the Fling will focus primary on VM management, with more updates coming.  Here is a list of the features and operations available in this first release:

  • VM power operations
  • VM Edit Settings (simple CPU, Memory, Disk changes)
  • VM Console
  • VM and Host Summary pages
  • VM Migration (only to a Host)
  • Clone to Template/ VM
  • Create VM on a Host (limited)
  • Additional monitoring views: Performance charts, Tasks, Event
  • Global Views: Recent tasks, Alarms (view only)
  • Integrated Feedback Tool

HTMl5 Client

The vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling is a standalone appliance that can be deployed in your existing or new vSphere 6.0 environments. It supports both the vCenter Server Appliance or vCenter for Windows. The Fling does not make any changes to your existing vCenter or Platform Service Controller components. Nor does it affect any operations, such as the use of the current vSphere Web Client, as it is meant to run side by side.

HTML5 Client

One of the most import features in my opinion is the feedback tool. Located in the upper right hand corner, Smiley as I like to call him is your chance to provide valuable input back to the engineering team and help shape the future of the product. If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling news fill out the the following form and stay tuned for more to come.

Take the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling for a test drive and most importantly provide feedback. It took six months or so for the Embedded Host Client (EHC) Fling to be a feature rich product now included in vSphere 6.0 U2.  The same could happen with the vSphere HTML5 Web Client Fling, this is your client, help shape its future :)

(Courtesy of Emad Younis)


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vSphere 5.5 Storage Policies

vSphere 5.5 Storage Policies

vSphere 5.5 Storage Policies

A big push of VMware in the past couple of years has been policy based EVERYTHING. With the move towards automating every aspect of the implementation process, from storage to compute to networking, it seems that object metadata (tags) and policy associations are going to continue to play a bigger role in every tool set that VMware pushes.


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SDDC Intelligent Operations Management

SDDC Intelligent Operations Management

SDDC Intelligent Operations Management

I’m fortunate. I get a lot of opportunities to meet with customers to discuss all of the new technologies and products that can help them build a more dynamic and flexible software defined data center (SDDC). We will go around the table talking about how these innovations can make their lives better and without fail at some point someone will ask, “How am I going to manage this whole thing”? That can sometimes take the air out of the conversation and they will often start looking around the table at each other questioning how to move forward. This is where I will grab a marker and head to the white board and start mapping out intelligent operations management for them.


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Introducing VMware User Environment Manager Configuration Templates

Introducing VMware User Environment Manager Configuration Templates

Introducing VMware User Environment Manager Configuration Templates

by Raymond Wiesemann, product line engineer, R&D, VMware End-User Computing

Last week, we launched VMware User Environment Manager 9.0 (UEM), with many new features that will help deliver a truly stateless desktop and eliminate the need for point products.

UEM 9.0 provides the following new features and enhancements:

  1. Smart Policies: Enable administrators to contextually and dynamically manage client settings based on various conditions
  2. App Authorization: The ability for administrators to authorize or block any application based on a rich set of conditional policies
  3. Seamless application personalization and configuration across both native and virtualized applications (including VMware ThinApp and other application virtualization vendors)
  4. User data management enhancements

You can read more about these great new features in this blog post from Aaron Black, senior product line manager, VMware End-User Computing.

Closer Look at VMware User Environment Manager (UEM)

UEM works with configuration files to save user and app settings for every user. This means only the personal settings for a user are saved and not all kinds of other data, which can cause slow log-in times and profile corruption.

Although it is not difficult to create these configuration files using the built-in templates or with the VMware User Environment Application Profiler, we do receive requests for more UEM profile templates.

So today, I am pleased to announce the availability of what we are referring to as “UEM templates.” Built in collaboration with the UEM R&D product engineers and the Technical Enablement Team, these templates give IT the ability to save the settings they want for an application, helping deliver faster user log-in times and a superior workspace experience.

How Do I Use These Templates

1.  First, go to the UEM Templates site, where you can choose from a repository of several templates that are already available. As soon you download the UEM configuration files necessary for your environment, you’ll need to unzip these files and copy the templates to the location where you keep your other UEM Configuration files

This location can easily be found; just go to your UEM management console and push the “configure” button.uem configuration vmware

2.  Browse to this UEM Configuration share, and copy the unzipped files to a folder under the General folder, shown in the screenshot below as “Applications.”
uem configuration files download copy vmware3.  After you copy the UEM Configuration files, you can go back to the UEM management console and push the “Refresh Tree” button. The downloaded UEM configuration files will then show up in the folder where you copied them.

uem configuration settings vmware directflex4.  That’s it! From now on, settings will be saved for your users when they log off their session or when they close an application, if DirectFlex is enabled.

We are excited to bring this to our customers and partners and, as always, welcome your feedback. Please leave us your comments below, or reach out on Twitter @VMwareHorizon @raymond_himself. And don’t forget to share your own User Environment Templates.


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