vmware esx

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by thingy, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. thingy

    thingy Guest

    Anybody running this seriously?

    ie heavy duty production work on a 4 cpu box.... 2 or 3 instances.....

    Looking for feedback on heavy CPU work.....mathematical type stuff....

    Also for this work load whether an Opteron or Xeon was found to offer
    better performance for the $.


    thingy, Jun 8, 2006
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  2. thingy

    Steve Guest

    I use it very heavily for testing, with good results although on cheaper
    hardware than you suggested. All I can say is keep away from ATI based
    motherboards and dual core amd64 processors... the clock on the master
    system is solid as a rock, but the client systems are all over the place (
    and before I get loads of posts saying there are plenty of fixes on the
    net, I've tried them all, believe me! ).

    Steve, Jun 8, 2006
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  3. thingy

    thingy Guest

    hrmm....Im looking at the opteron 880 in a Sun v40z.... dual cores.....


    thingy, Jun 8, 2006
  4. thingy

    Shane Guest

    whats the gain/loss against [say] xen?
    Shane, Jun 8, 2006
  5. thingy

    Peter Nield Guest

    I'm in the middle of a deploying a ESX infrastrucutre with four IBM x366 (4
    way, 32GB RAM etc), SAN attached etc, for a development, test and production

    For CPU intensive applications, ESX is probably not what you are wanting to
    use UNLESS you are trying to make better use of the CPUs in single machine
    e.g. you have 4 servers who processing occurs at different times - so
    instead of have four dual CPU machines, you a a single dual CPU machine with
    the four server running on it to isolate the servers (e.g. the applications
    running on each machine require different OSes or distributions or
    whatever), with the "resource shares" raised for the machine that needs the
    CPU at the time. You do loose some performance due the virtualisation
    overhead, and with ESX 2.5.3 you can only have a 2-way SMP - if you have a
    2-socket dual core machine, a VM can only be use 2 cores - but you get back
    the cost of 3 machines to pay for the ESX licenses.

    If you have more than single ESX server, Virtual Center is invaluable as

    The system I'm commisioning currently has 13 VMs running on one machine -
    and they are rattling around just a bit...

    From what I've heard, for most applications, the four-socket Opterons leave
    the four-way Xeons behind - excepting the IBM x366 and x460, as they use the
    IBM X3 chipset which has the 2 pairs of Xeon CPUs, each pair having their
    own independant Front Side Bus.

    If the applications you are looking at run significantly better on Opterons,
    stick with an Opteron platform if you decide to VM them.
    Peter Nield, Jun 8, 2006
  6. thingy

    thingy Guest

    So far I am trawling through the marketing hype and trying to find real
    world situations where virtualisation pays dividends, hence my asking in
    here, trying to find anyone in NZ who has really used this
    stuff....heavily. I have attended some Dell/vmware sing alongs and its
    neat stuff....but its like test driving a ferrari as a passanger before
    you buy it for the racing track.....pretty but pointless.

    My conclusion so far is,

    Virtualisation is great where you need high availability of multiple
    lowly loaded servers and can consolodate 3 or more onto one standard
    box, goto one bigger box....and way this against say 3 blades v a Dell
    6850 + vmares cost with 3 virtual servers on it and the economic sense
    makes to fly out the window...3 instances on one blade makes
    sense....but possibly not for what I want.


    Overhead loss of 5~25%...in performance compared to native, so I buy a
    quad box but only get 3 CPUs.....so I just spent several K on a vmware
    licence to throw away several K on a cpu I am never going to use for
    real work.....expensive....

    Cost, it aint cheap.

    Complexity, it aint as easy as it looks compared to standard builds, get
    the management addons to make it easier and they arnt cheap either.


    Are resource sheduling, ie I can have a quad dual core cpu and overnight
    for processing, give that instance all the CPU resources, at 8am switch
    back to 30~50%....looked like I could do this on the fly......


    Vmware is very mature, will boot; Debian, Redhat, win2k3, probably
    Solaris x86....few if any questions about its stability.

    Xen will boot Linux only, no where near ready for Windows booting,
    though that is not a primary, its a nice to have. Seems stable.

    Xen seems to have a very low overhead, 5%, others seem to be 20%.

    MS Virtual server 2005, not as mature as Vmware
    I wouldnt trust it to boot Linux especially on high loaded server type
    duties. Seems stable....

    Really it comes to sieving out the hype and looking to see if what is
    left will suit what I want....it is proving quite hard....


    thingy, Jun 8, 2006
  7. thingy

    thingy Guest


    - so
    Yes, I need isolation...

    (e.g. the applications
    Yes, intensive overnight processing v quiet during the day....

    You do loose some performance due the virtualisation
    yes this looked neat.
    yep, I need to do some testing but I suspect Opterons are the way to go.
    Also the Sun boxes mean I am more likely to have success running
    Solaris x86....


    thingy, Jun 8, 2006
  8. thingy

    Nik Coughlin Guest

    Do you mean stay away from ATI based motherboards in conjunction with dual
    core amd64s, or stay away from either? What issues do you have? I'm
    running on a dual core amd64.
    Nik Coughlin, Jun 9, 2006
  9. thingy

    Steve Guest

    Yes it does happily. Also OpenSolaris and *BSD variants.

    Steve, Jun 11, 2006
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