The Virtualization Practice

Tag Archive for Performance

DataCenterVirtualization

In early 2012 SanDisk, well-known manufacturer of flash memory products, acquired FlashSoft. Like a number of other companies in the virtualization storage space, FlashSoft has several different products designed to use SSD and flash memory to cache storage I/O. They have specific products for Microsoft Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and clones). They also have a product for VMware environments, SanDisk FlashSoft 3.1 for VMware vSphere.

Java based applications can now be moved between not only a SpringSource TC-Server Java platform on VMware vSphere, but also between the same platform on VMForce, and now Google AppEngine. This level of support from VMware, Salesforce.com, and now Google is starting to make SpringSource look like the early leading technology for PaaS Clouds. This is a significant advance in the state of PaaS clouds as there were previously no examples that offered such broad support for one platform by such a diverse set of industry leaders. However as is always the case, platform advances have outstripped security, management and performance assurance capabilities.

With virtualization technology we, the system administrators, have a lot of tools available to make our day to day operation and administration of our environments easier to work with and speeds up the time it takes to do a lot of administration tasks. Take for example the ability we have to add resources to a virtual machine. You can add processors, memory and or increase disk space within a matter of minutes and very little downtime. On a physical host you would need to purchase the hardware first and wait for it to arrive and then schedule the downtime to add the resources to the machine. This speed and power can be both a blessing and a curse. Once application owners understand how easy it is to add resources to the virtual machines then comes the requests for additional resources any time the application owners think there is the slightest bit of need for any additional resources.

We recently received a presentation on a combined solution from Eucalyptus and Terracotta. Initially we were suspicious because they clearly share an investor – Benchmark Capital. Was this a PowerPoint integration dreamt up by two Venture Capitalists over a power breakfast? However, the combined solution was presented by some very plausible techies with a real-live demo and does look as though it starts to provide a generally-useful abstraction over which to deploy scalable applications (specifically Java stacks), and it too works with commodity hardware. It’s not as slick as the 3Tera solution, more of a command-line approach, but it potentially has the edge in scalability.

Bringing a Virtual Host to its Knees

I recently got called to examine some performance issues that were happening to a VMware VDI Cluster. I was told all the hosts in the cluster would run at 100% CPU utilization for an extended period of time and the client would like an explanation and recommendation. I pretty much had a good idea what the problem was before I ever started looking at hosts. I know this topic has been covered many times before but it does not seem like it has been covered enough.

Akamai Technologies, Inc. announce the industry’s first managed Internet service for optimizing delivery of virtualized applications and desktops. Based on Akamai’s IP Application Accelerator solution this new service is designed to help enterprises realize the cost efficiency, scalability and global reach inherent with the Internet to deliver VDI solutions offered by companies such as Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware.