vSphere .6.5

New White Paper: Fast Virtualized Hadoop and Spark on All-Flash Disks – Best Practices for Optimizing Virtualized Big Data Applications on VMware vSphere 6.5

A new white paper is available showing how to best deploy and configure vSphere 6.5 for Big Data applications such as Hadoop and Spark running on a cluster with fast processors, large memory, and all-flash storage (Non-Volatile Memory Express storage and solid state disks). Hardware, software, and vSphere configuration parameters are documented, as well as tuning parameters for the operating system, Hadoop, and Spark.

The best practices were tested on a 13-server cluster, with Hadoop installed on vSphere as well as on bare metal. Workloads for both Hadoop (TeraSort and TestDFSIO) and Spark Machine Learning Library routines (K-means clustering, Logistic Regression classification, and Random Forest decision trees) were run on the cluster. Configurations with 1, 2, and 4 VMs per host were tested as well as bare metal. Among the 4 virtualized configurations, 4 VMs per host ran fastest due to the best utilization of storage as well as the highest percentage of data transfer within a server. The 4 VMs per host configuration also ran faster than bare metal on all Hadoop and Spark tests but one.

Here are the results for the TeraSort suite:

And for Spark Random Forest decision trees:

Here are the best practices cited in this paper:

  • Reserve about 5-6% of total server memory for ESXi; use the remainder for the virtual machines.
  • Do not overcommit physical memory on any host server that is hosting Big Data workloads.
  • Create one or more virtual machines per NUMA node.
  • Limit the number of disks per DataNode to maximize the utilization of each disk: 4 to 6 is a good starting point.
  • Use eager-zeroed thick VMDKs along with the ext4 or xfs filesystem inside the guest.
  • Use the VMware Paravirtual SCSI (pvscsi) adapter for disk controllers; use all 4 virtual SCSI controllers available in vSphere 6.5.
  • Use the vmxnet3 network driver; configure virtual switches with MTU=9000 for jumbo frames.
  • Configure the guest operating system for Hadoop performance including enabling jumbo IP frames, reducing swappiness, and disabling transparent hugepage compaction.
  • Place Hadoop master roles, ZooKeeper, and journal nodes on three virtual machines for optimum performance and to enable high availability.
  • Dedicate the worker nodes to run only the HDFS DataNode, YARN NodeManager, and Spark Executor roles.
  • Run the Hive Metastore in a separate MySQL database.
  • Set the YARN cluster container memory and vcores to slightly overcommit both resources
  • Adjust the task memory and vcore requirement to optimize the number of maps and reduces for each application.

All details are in the paper.

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Now Available: vSphere 6.5 Update 1

VMware has announcedthe general availability of vSphere 6.5 Update 1, the first major update to the well-received vSphere 6.5 that was released in November of 2016. With this update release, VMware builds upon the already robust industry-leading virtualization platform and further improves the IT experience for its customers.

vSphere 6.5 focuses on 4 areas of innovation directly targeted at the challenges customers face as they digitally transform their businesses:

  • Simplified customer experience – Re-architected vCenter Server Appliance, streamlined HTML5-based GUI, and simple rest-based APIs for automation.
  • Comprehensive Built in Security – Policy-driven security at scale to secure data, infrastructure, and access.
  • Universal App Platform – A single platform to support any application, anywhere.
  • Proactive Data Center Management – Predictive analytics to address potential issues before they become serious problem.

Additional support and enhancements found in vSphere 6.5 Update 1 include:

  • vSphere Client Now Supports 90% of General Workflows
  • vCenter Server Foundation Now Support 4 Hosts
  • vSphere Support and Interoperability Across Ecosystems
  • vSphere 6.5 General Support Has Been Extended
  • Upgrade from vSphere 6.0 Update 3 Now Supported

Visit the vSphere blog to learn more about the new features included in vSphere 6.5 Update 1.

A recap of key capabilities offered in vSphere 6.5 can be found here.

The post Now Available: vSphere 6.5 Update 1 appeared first on VMware Tech Alliances (TAP) Blog.

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DRS Lens – A new UI dashboard for DRS

DRS Lens provides an alternative UI for a DRS enabled cluster. It gives a simple, yet powerful interface to monitor the cluster real time and provide useful analyses to the users. TheUI is comprised ofdifferent dashboards in the form of tabs for each cluster being monitored.

Cluster Balance

Dashboardshowing the variations in the cluster balance metric plotted over time with DRS runs. This shows how DRS reacts to and tries to clear cluster imbalance every time it runs.

VM Happiness

This dashboard shows VM happiness for the first time in a UI. This chart shows the summary of total VMs in the cluster that are happy and those that are unhappy based on the user defined thresholds. Users can then select individual VMs to view performance metrics related to its happiness, like CPU ready time and memory swapIn rate.

vMotions

This dashboard provides a summary of vMotions that happened in the cluster over time. For each DRS run period, there will be a breakdown of vMotions as DRS-initiated and user-initiated. This helps users see how actively DRS has been working to resolve cluster imbalance. It also helps to see if there are vMotions outside of DRS control, which may be affecting cluster balance.

Operations

This dashboard tracks different operations (tasks, in vCenter Server) that happened in the cluster, over time. Users can correlate information about tasks from this dashboard against DRS load balancing and its effects from the other dashboards.

 

Users can download DRS Lens from VMware flings website.

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Oracle Database Performance on vSphere 6.5 Monster Virtual Machines

We have just published a new whitepaper on the performance of Oracle databases on vSphere 6.5 monster virtual machines. We took a look at the performance of the largest virtual machines possible on the previous four generations of four-socket Intel-based servers. The results show how performance of these large virtual machines continues to scale with the increases and improvements in server hardware.

Oracle Database Monster VM Performance on vSphere 6.5 across 4 generations of Intel-based four-socket servers

In addition to vSphere 6.5 and the four-socket Intel-based servers used in the testing, an IBM FlashSystem A9000 high performance all flash array was used. This array provided extreme low latency performance that enabled the database virtual machines to perform at the achieved high levels of performance.

Please read the full paper, Oracle Monster Virtual Machine Performance on VMware vSphere 6.5, for details on hardware, software, test setup, results, and more cool graphs. The paper also covers performance gain from Hyper-Threading, performance effect of NUMA, and best practices for Oracle monster virtual machines. These best practices are focused on monster virtual machines, and it is recommended to also check out the full Oracle Databases on VMware Best Practices Guide.

Some similar tests with Microsoft SQL Server monster virtual machines were also recently completed on vSphere 6.5 by my colleague David Morse. Please see his blog post and whitepaper for the full details.

This work on Oracle is in some ways a follow up to Project Capstone from 2015and the resulting whitepaper Peeking at the Future with Giant Monster Virtual Machines . That project dealt with monster VM performance from a slightly different angle and might be interesting to those who are also interested in this paper and its results.

 

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New Certification & Exams: VCP6.5-DCV

Introducing a new certification: VMware Certified Professional 6.5 - Data Center Virtualization (VCP6.5-DCV)

VMware vSphere 6.5 enables companies toaccelerate their digital transformation to cloud computing and introduces a number of new features and capabilities that increases business agility. With that much change, this new certification provides you an opportunity to prove your expertise in the latest version of the industry-leading virtualization platform.

For those who already have your VCP, this new VCP provides a new path and recertification opportunity.

There are three exams associated with this new certification:

  1. vSphere 6.5 Foundations (exam # 2V0-602)
  2. VCP6.5-DCV elective exam (exam # 2V0-622)
  3. VCP6.5-DCV delta exam (exam # 2V0-622D)

More details on the certification requirements, and the specific exam objectives can be found at the links above.

The post New Certification & Exams: VCP6.5-DCV appeared first on VMware Education & Certification.

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New vSphere, Horizon Cloud, and Exam Prep Courses Now Available

This month the VMware Education Services team released several new VMware vSphere® 6.5 courses, afree elearning course on VMware Horizon® Cloud Service™, plus a new video series to help you prepare for the VCP6-NV exam based on NSX v6.2.

VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V6.5]

This three-day training course equips you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to design a VMware vSphere 6.5 virtual infrastructure. You’ll follow a proven approach to design a virtualization solution that is available, scalable, manageable, recoverable, and secure, and that uses VMware best practices.This course also discusses the benefits and risks of available design alternatives and provides information to support making sound design decisions.

VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage and Optimize and Scale Fast Track [V6.5]

This extended-hours course takes you from introductory to advanced VMware vSphere® management skills. Building on the installation and configuration content from our best-selling course, you will also develop advanced skills needed to manage and maintain a highly available and scalable virtual infrastructure. Through a mix of lecture and hands-on labs, you will install, configure, and optimize vSphere 6.5. You will also explore the features that build a foundation for a truly scalable infrastructure, and discuss when and where these features have the greatest effect.

VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop

This five-day, hands-on workshop teaches you the advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities to troubleshoot the VMware vSphere® 6.x environment. This workshop increases your skill and competence in using the command-line interface, VMware vSphere® Web Client, VMware vRealize® Log lnsight™, and other tools to analyze and solve problems.

VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V6.5]

This intensive, extended hours course focuses on installing, configuring, managing, and troubleshooting VMware vSphere® 6.5, including VMware ESXi™ 6.5 and VMware vCenter Server® 6.5. Featuring plenty of hands-on training, this course prepares you to administer a vSphere infrastructure for an organization of any size. It is the foundation for most other VMware technologies in the software-defined data center.

VMware Horizon Cloud Fundamentals

This free eLearning course provides information on how VMware Horizon Cloud Service helps IT meet the expectations of today&#rsquo;s mobile workforce. This course explains the architecture, features, benefits, and functionality of the two service offerings of Horizon Cloud and demonstrates how to install an agent and create a desktop image.

VMware Certification Exam Prep: VMware Certified Professional 6 - Network Virtualization (VCP6-NV) Exam v6.2 (2V0-642)

This comprehensive, 110-video training course focuses on preparing youto take the VCP6-NV exam #2V0-642. Itincludes tips for preparing, an in-depth review of each objective, and sample questions. These videos providea time-saving and methodical study plan designed to let you review exam topics and identify and close knowledge gaps – building both your knowledge and your confidence before taking your VMware Certification exam.

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SQL Server VM Performance with VMware vSphere 6.5

Achieving optimal SQL Server performance on vSphere has been a constant focus here at VMware; I&#rsquo;ve published past performance studies with vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 which showed excellent performance up to the maximum VM size supported at the time.

Since then, there have been quite a few changes! While this study uses a similar test methodology, it features an updated hypervisor (vSphere 6.5), database engine (SQL Server 2016), OLTP benchmark (DVD Store 3), and CPUs (Intel Xeon v4 processors with 24 cores per socket, codenamed Broadwell-EX).

The new tests show large SQL Server databases continue to run extremely efficiently, achieving great performance on vSphere 6.5. Following our best practices was all that was necessary to achieve this scalability – which reminds me, don&#rsquo;t forget to check out Niran&#rsquo;s new SQL Server on vSphere best practices guide, which was also just updated.

In addition to performance, power consumption was measured on each ESXi host. This allowed for a comparison of Host Power Management (HPM) policies within vSphere, performance per watt of each host, and power draw under stress versus idle:

Generational SQL Server DB Host Power and Performance/watt

Additionally, this new study compares a virtual file-based disk (VMDK) on VMware&#rsquo;s native Virtual Machine File System (VMFS 5) to a physical Raw Device Mapping (RDM). I added this test for two reasons: first, it has been several years since they have been compared; and second, customer feedback from VMworld sessions indicates this is still a debate that comes up in IT shops, particularly with regard to deploying database workloads such as SQL Server and Oracle.

For more details and the test results, download the paper: Performance Characterization of Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere 6.5

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Performance of Storage I/O Control (SIOC) with SSD Datastores – vSphere 6.5

With Storage I/O Control (SIOC), vSphere 6.5 administrators can adjust the storage performance of VMs so that VMs with critical workloads will get the I/Os per second (IOPS) they need. Admins assign shares (the proportion of IOPS allocated to the VM), limits (the upper bound of VM IOPS), and reservations (the lower bound of VM IOPS) to the VMs whose IOPS need to be controlled. After shares, limits, and reservations have been set, SIOC is automatically triggered to meet the desired policies for the VMs.

A recently published paper shows the performance of SIOC meets expectations and successfully controls the number of IOPS for VM workloads.

We tested SIOC under a variety of conditions using the storage micro-benchmark Flexible I/O Tester (FIO) on two vSphere 6.5 hosts each with 8 VMs (for a total of 16 VMs) which shared one VMFS datastore that was made up of SSDs from an EMC VNX5700 hybrid storage array. Our tests showed the following:

  • Users can combine the three performance features (share, limit, and reservation) together to give a detailed performance specification (policy) for each VM. We tested the sample policies, provided in a vSphere cloud VM, for high priority, medium priority, and low priority VMs in our experiments to prove the efficiency of policy-based management.
  • In real datacenters, over a long period, storage usage is not stable. It is very normal to see sudden spikes in I/O requests amid a low-demand period. We mimicked the datacenter environment by introducing different types of VMs like logging, production, and others. We assigned each of the VMs a different priority level, and we tested the system performance over a long period to make sure that the overall system performance was
  • Uneven configuration is also very common among hosts. It is entirely possible that some hosts carry a heavier workload compared to others. We wanted to make sure that heavy computation demands on a host did not impact the I/O performance of the VMs located on that host. To mimic this condition, we created an uneven setting, using a shared datastore, and proved that the policy was still met, regardless of the number of VMs on each host.

To learn more about the performance experiments and test results, download Performance Implications of Storage I/O Control–Enabled SSD Datastores.

For instructions on how to use SIOC, see the vSphere 6.5 Resource Management guide > Chapter 8: Managing Storage I/O Resources.

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