Just a few technical papers released this past month on vmware.com but I thought I should review them because I think some of them are very important.
Dynamic Storage Provisioning – A very nice introduction to Thin Provisioning in vSphere. The concept of Thin Provisioning is explained as well as when you want to use it. Some interesting points I noted in the article: Thin disks expand in chunks the size of the vmdk’s block size (1MB by default) and the only way to defragment a vmdk currently? – Storage vMotion.
Performance Study of VMware Thin Provisioning – Very good read on the performance impact of thin provisioned disks vs. thick disks. I was somewhat surprised by the results. There’s not nearly as much of a performance impact as I thought there would be. A very good read if you are looking to justify Thin Disks for some applications within your organization.
VMCI Socket Performance – This was a very interesting paper that I’m still scratching my head on. VMCI is the interface that programmers can use to communicate between VM’s on a given host. So if a programmer is writing an app and it requires 2 VMs that do a lot of communication to each other, they can communicate on the VMCI interface instead of traversing the TCP/IP network and going thru all of the networking stack. This paper shows the performance of using VMCI instead of TCP/IP for Windows and Linux boxes. I’m scratching my head because the results are not as linear as I would have expected and there are scenarios that perform much better or worse than others. Take a read and make your own conclusions.
VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 4.0 Performance and Best Practices for Performance – I’m probably the #1 fan of SRM. I think what SRM does for DR is like what a conductor does for an orchestra. As you may know, SRM 4.0 now scales to 1,000 VMs. It can take a while to optimize that number of VMs for recovery. This paper is an excellent resource for optimizing the setup and config of SRM to scale effectively to a very large number of VMs.