Multicast Performance on vSphere 5.0

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Aug 312011
 
Multicast Performance on vSphere 5.0

Multicast is an efficient way of disseminating information and communicating over the network. A single sender can connect to multiple receivers and exchange information while conserving network bandwidth. Financial stock exchanges, multimedia content delivery networks, and commercial enterprises often use multicast as a communication mechanism. VMware virtualization takes multicast efficiency to the next level by enabling multiple receivers on a single ESXi host. Since the receivers are on the same host, the physical network does not have to transfer multiple copies of the same packet. Packet replication is carried out in the hypervisor instead.

In releases of vSphere prior to 5.0, the packet replication for multicast is done using a single context. When there is a high VM density per host, at high packet rates the replication context may become a bottleneck and cause packet loss. VMware added a new feature in ESXi 5.0 to split the cost of replication across various physical CPUs. This makes vSphere 5.0 a highly scalable and efficient platform for multicast receivers. This feature is called splitRxMode, and it can be enabled with a VMXNET3 virtual NIC. Fanning out processing to multiple contexts causes a slight increase in CPU consumption and is generally not needed for most systems. Hence, the feature is disabled by default. VMware recommends enabling splitRxMode in situations where multiple VMs share a single physical NIC and receive a lot of multicast/broadcast packets.

To enable splitRxMode for the Ethernet device:                                                

  1. Select the virtual machine you wish to change, then click Edit virtual machine settings.
  2. Under the Options tab, select General, then click Configuration Parameters.
  3. Look for ethernetX.emuRxMode. If it's not present, click Add Row and enter the new variable.
  4. Click on the value to be changed and configure it as “1”. For default behavior the value is “0”.

Environment Configuration

  • Systems Under Test: 2 Dell PowerEdge R810
  • CPUs: 2 x 8 core Intel Xeon CPU E7- 8837  @ 2.67GHz (no hyperthreading)
  • Memory: 64GB
  • NICs: Broadcom NetXtreme II 57711 10Gb Ethernet

Experiment Overview

We tested splitRxMode by scaling the number of VMs on a single ESX host from 1 to 36 VMs with each VM receiving up to 40K packets per second. We had a consolidation ratio of 2 VMs per physical core when 32 VMs were powered on. The sender was a 2-vCPU RHEL VM on a separate physical machine transmitting 800-byte multicast packets at a fixed interval. The clients (receiving VMs) were 1-vCPU RHEL VMs running on the same ESXi host. Each receiver was using 10-15% of its CPU power for processing 10K packets per second, and the usage increased linearly as we increased packet rate. No noticeable difference in CPU usage was observed when splitRxmode was enabled. We then measured the total packets received by each client and calculated the average packet loss for the setup.

Experiment Results

The default ESX configuration could run up to 20 VMs, each receiving 40K packets per second with less than 0.01% packet loss. As we powered on more VMs, the networking context became the bottleneck and we started observing packet loss in all the receivers. The loss rate increased substantially as we powered on more VMs. A similar trend was observed for lower packet rates (30K packets per second).                                                                                                                     

 

We repeated the experiment after enabling splitRxMode on all VMs. As seen in the graph below, the new feature greatly increases the scalability of the vSphere platform in handling multicast packets. We were now able to power on 40% more VMs (28VMs) than before, each receiving 40K packets per second with less than 0.01% packet loss. At lower packet rates the performance improvement is even more noticeable, as we couldn’t induce packet loss with even 36 VMs powered on.

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Hands-on Labs Fast Pass and Lab Stats

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Aug 312011
 
Hands-on Labs Fast Pass and Lab Stats

fastpass.png

Hands-on Labs continue to push for new records of VM's created and labs completed. We have started handing out Fast Passes to people who have completed more than 4 labs. (photo shown)

 

Last year’s "labs completed" leader, Ron Davis (Landmark Healthcare), is again leading the pack of top lab takers with over 15 labs already completed, but closely followed by Natalie Lind (Landmark Healthcare) and Michael Forner (Regional Transportation District).

 

Here is a look at the top labs completed (as of Tues afternoon):

labs.png

 

Here is a look at labs with most VMs created (as of Tues afternoon):

labs-vms.png

 

One of the most notable parts to our labs this year is the passion shared by lab attendees.  As Steve Herrod, VMware CTO, mentioned in Tuesday's general session, it's not always about the technology -- it's about the people.  Several lab participants are jumping into the labs at the 7am hour just to be able to share the experience with others who share the same passion.

 

See you at the Labs!

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        Copyright © 2010 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved.

vExpert Spotlight: Greg Schulz

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Aug 312011
 
vExpert Spotlight: Greg Schulz

Twitter Handle: @storageio

Blog URL: http://storageioblog.com

Current Employer: Founder and Sr. Advisory consultant StorageIO (www.storageio.com)

How did you get into IT in   the first place, how did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011   vExpert?

I got into IT while going to college (or university) as I needed to find something that was fun and intuitive as opposed to difficult and boring. Turns out computer science was a natural fit that lead to different jobs while still going to school in addition to tutoring roommates and friends, what a great way to get free beer ;).

From college went on to work for an electric power generating and transmission company doing business applications development, moved on into systems management, systems programming, performance and capacity planning, backup/BC and DR strategy along with server, network and storage architects roles in various industries before going to work with some vendors. Became a vExpert in 2011 following on the momentum of being a 2010 vExpert leveraging an experience of having been a customer, vendor/var, analyst and consultant involved with servers, storage, networking, hardware, software and virtualization.

Learn more here: http://countdown2storageexpo.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/qa-with-greg-schulz-founder-of-storageio/

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

Broaden your horizons, learn about the technology as well as the business and applications to which are being supported. Look at the business and understand how technology can help it. Expand your cross technology domain skills across servers, storage, networks, hardware and software. Gain experience from having worked in different roles in IT organizations as well as check out the vendor or var side as well.

Don’t be scared, try new things out and take the risk of falling down, getting beat up while gaining experience. Learn how to keep on learning from others around you, look up, down, left and right, forward and back, there is knowledge to be gained in all directions however be sure to give back. Become both a student as well as teacher, find a mentor and become a mentor.

Be approachable and talk to people instead of at them, engage in conversations, learn what you don’t know, leverage that to become an expert and thus find new areas to expand your knowledge base. Set goals and objectives and the rewards and results will follow. Want to learn more, send me a note, be happy to chat.

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        Copyright © 2010 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved.

Naming conventions for vCloud Director objects in vCenter inventory (2004062)

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Aug 312011
 
Naming conventions for vCloud Director objects in vCenter inventory (2004062)

When an object created in vCloud Director is listed in vCenter inventory, the object display name combines the vCloud Director object name and the vCloud Director object

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Error al intentar configurar FCoE: This adapter must be bound to a switch uplink port for activation (2004482)

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Aug 312011
 
Error al intentar configurar FCoE: This adapter must be bound to a switch uplink port for activation (2004482)

Renuncia: Este artículo es una traducción de "Error when trying to configure FCoE: This adapter must be bound to a switch uplink port for

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Transfer server storage mountpoint changed by vCloud Director upgrade (2004049)

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Transfer server storage mountpoint changed by vCloud Director upgrade (2004049)

To provide temporary storage for uploads and downloads, an NFS or other shared storage volume must be accessible to all servers in a vCloud Director cluster. vCloud

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Cannot add an ESX/ESXi host with running virtual machines to an EVC enabled Cluster (1009571)

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Cannot add an ESX/ESXi host with running virtual machines to an EVC enabled Cluster (1009571)

· Cannot add ESX/ESXi host with running virtual machines to an EVC enabled Cluster. · If you try to add an ESX/ESXi host with running virtual machines to an

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Make sure you have adequate undo tablespace before upgrading a vCloud Director Oracle database (2005810)

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Aug 312011
 
Make sure you have adequate undo tablespace before upgrading a vCloud Director Oracle database (2005810)

Upgrading a vCloud Director database can modify nearly every database row. This creates a large set of undo records when using an Oracle

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High co-stop (%CSTP) values seen during virtual machine snapshot activities (2000058)

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Aug 312011
 
High co-stop (%CSTP) values seen during virtual machine snapshot activities (2000058)

While troubleshooting virtual machine performance issues, you observe: · One or more snapshots are present on the virtual machine · High CPU utilization is seen

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MTU recommendation for physical or virtual switch infrastructure (2005900)

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MTU recommendation for physical or virtual switch infrastructure (2005900)

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Installing VMware Tools in a Windows virtual machine (1018377)

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Installing VMware Tools in a Windows virtual machine (1018377)

This article provides steps to install VMware Tools in a Windows guest operating system. The article uses Windows 2008, but the same basic steps should apply to other versions of Windows.

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Enabling Centralized Logging in Cloud Director (2004564)

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Enabling Centralized Logging in Cloud Director (2004564)

In addition to the audit logs that are maintained in the vCloud Director database (and optionally forwarded to a syslog server) each vCloud Director cell creates several diagnostic log files.

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Creating a dedicated database owner role for a vCloud Director SQL Server database (2005698)

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Creating a dedicated database owner role for a vCloud Director SQL Server database (2005698)

Creating a dedicated database owner role for a vCloud Director SQL Server database The documented procedure for setting up a SQL Server database for use with vCloud Director specifies assignment of the built-in db_owner role to the vCloud

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Troubleshooting the Network Dump Collector service in vSphere 5.0 (2003042)

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Troubleshooting the Network Dump Collector service in vSphere 5.0 (2003042)

During a purple diagnostic screen outage on a vSphere ESXi 5.0 host: · No coredump is received by the network Dump Collector. · Connectivity to the network Dump Collector

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Aug 312011
 

Maureen Hello Partners, VMworld 2011 is here and Las Vegas is buzzing with VMware enthusiasts-networking, learning, and essentially taking customers yet another step further on their journey to IT as a service.

Today we announced the highly anticipated VMware View 5.  VMware View 5 Enables a new way to work for both IT and end users that goes beyond the walls of the physical PC.  IT gains greater control while simultaneously gaining flexibility to embrace new technologies and simplify management of the end user environment.  Meanwhile end users are able to access highly available desktop services from the “cloud” around the world.

View Learning Opportunities
I would like to highlight the immediate learning avenues that will help you quickly capitalize on View 5 opportunities that lie ahead.

Go to Partner University TV
If you have a VMware Partner Central Account please go to Partner  University TV (PU-TV) and take a look at the just released videos, delivered by end user computing experts on over 10 topics. In addition to the Sales, Pricing and Technical Overview topics you will find excellent presentations by business unit executives, subject matter experts on exciting topics such as:

• “Making the TCO/ROI” case
• VMware View as the Business Process Desktop
• Growing your Business ion the K-12 with View
• VMware View for Resilient Desktop in Healthcare
• vSphere for Desktop (Pricing and Packaging)

We also have some great material on “View and Windows 7 Migration” and “Why Choose VMware View over the Competition”.

Partner Track at VMworld 2011
If you’re at VMworld this week, we have several expert led end-user computing sessions to provide you the sales and pre-sales traction you need to successfully drive View 5 deals and opportunities. Please be sure to check the Partner Track Program Guide for these sessions.

• Over 60+ End User Computing  (EUC) sales and technical sessions
      9 EUC sessions Partner Track
      54  total sessions at VMworld EUC Track
     Includes Competitive Sessions

 New Desktop Advanced Technical Briefing (delivered at VMworld 2011)

 Hands on Labs
     2 hands on Lab sessions  HOL 22 and HOL 24

 VMware Solution Track for View 5 (Solution Track Express)  : Interactive 3 hour session covering solution, use cases and selling methodologies.

 Desktop Competency Boot Camps
FACT: Here is a fact on competencies from data collected by VMware from our partners that will convince you to continue your investment in the Desktop Competency.

“Average deal size with VMware Competency is up to 4 times larger” 

vmLIVE – Radio Events
We realize that with conflicting schedules, as much as we like to have you there, not everyone will be able to make it to Partner Track  at VMworld 2011.

Starting in early September we will host a series of View 5 Topics across all the geographies and we hope you will be able to take advantage by attending these live radio events.

The vmLIVE Calendar can be located here, register for the sessions that work for you.

In addition to the above you will see a series of learning opportunities rolling out over the course of the next several weeks in support of your competency training both instructor-lead and on-line learning opportunities. I wish you a lot of success over the course of the year and let us know how we can make your VMware  learning experience more effective and relevant!

-Maureen Lonergan

Senior Director, VMware Partner Strategy and Operations