Dec 092011

vSphere Replication and Site Recovery Manager make it very easy to replicate your VMs to your DR site (ahem, once they are set up).  Some customers asked me if there is any way to throttle the bandwidth used for replication.  The good news is that there is a way in vMware software but it cannot be found in SRM.  Unfortunately, it can only be found in the Enterprise Plus Edition of vSphere 5.  It’s Network I/O Control in the Distributed vSwitch (DvS) in v5.  I’m not going to go into a deep dive on Network I/O Control but I will recommend that you read the Network I/O Control best practices doc here.

To enable Network I/O Control we need to have a DvS in place.  If we select the distributed switch and then select the Resource Application tab on the right, this gives us the “properties” option on the far right.  By selecting the Properties option, you can enable Network I/O Control on the DvS.  Once enabled you can see all of the System network resource pools.  There is one at the bottom of the list labeled “vSphere Replication (VR) Traffic”.  Selecting it and then clicking the “Edit Settings” link just below it opens up the settings window.

From here, you can edit the adapter shares.  The shares are to balance the bandwidth so that network flows can use the bandwidth thats available from a given dvuplink.  The shares are for a given dvUplink.

Alternatively, you can uncheck the Unlimited checkbox and set a host limit.  Keep in mind that this is Megabits per sec, not MegaBytes.  This is also the limit of the combined set of dvUplinks on a given host.

Lastly, a QOS priority tag can be used.  The traffic will have a 802.1p tag applied to it.  The IEEE does not standardize or mandate the use of the priority tag applied to the packets but the switches should treat higher tags with higher priority.  The choices are None, 1-7.

While not the granular controls that we may wish for, say individual bandwidth controls on a per VM or per-site replication limits, these settings and options are a start.  Hopefully in the future in vSphere Replication v2 we will have more granular controls for bandwidth throttling but until then, these are what we can use.  Happy computing.


Dec 032011

Vacation this week so slightly delayed.  Chargeback Manager 2 was released this week and can be downloaded here.  There are some significant updates in this release that can be found in the What’s New Section of the Release Notes:

The vCenter Chargeback Manager 2.0 provides various new features.

  • Automatic Report Scheduler
    In vCenter Chargeback Manager, you can define automatic report schedulers. These schedulers create report schedules for hierarchies and entities that match the criteria specified in the automatic report scheduler. The automatic report scheduler scans all the hierarchies and creates report schedules for the hierarchies and entities that match the specified criteria.
  • Charge thin and thick provisioned virtual machines differently
    In this release, you can charge thin provisioned disks and thick provisioned disks differently. By default, thin provisioned disks are charged for the actual usage of the disk. You can override this behavior to charge the thin provisioned disks as thick provisioned in your billing policy.
  • Cost variance and cost optimization
    vCenter Chargeback Manager provides a cost variance graph in the report dashboard that lets you analyze the day-to-day change in cost for a selected hierarchy or entity. The graph shows cost data for the last 30 days and that projected for the next 3 months in sets of 30 days each. vCenter Chargeback Manager lists different cost optimization opportunities, such as oversized virtual machines, undersized virtual machines, idle virtual machines, and powered off virtual machines. Cost variance and cost optimization is displayed only for the vCenter Servers that are integrated with VMware vCenter Operations.
  • Showback Report
    A showback report lets you analyze how the cost is distributed among the entities based on a specified distribution policy. It is a configurable report that does not include any costs when it is generated. You can specify the total cost, fixed cost, and resource weight in the generated report to obtain the cost for each entity and for each resource per entity. The cost per entity is calculated based on the distribution policy that you select when generating the show back report.
  • Apply fixed cost based on virtual machine state
    In vCenter Chargeback Manager, you can now define fixed costs that will be applied on an entity only for the duration for which the virtual machine in the entity is powered on.
  • Tier-based storage costing
    vCenter Chargeback Manager lets you define storage tiers and configure cost on the tiers. All the datastores under a tier will be charged uniformly as per the cost configuration settings on the tier. You can also include VM storage profiles in a tier. The storage profiles defined in vSphere are synchronized and the datastores are automatically grouped according to their storage profiles. The cost configuration defined on a profile is applied on all the datastores that match the storage profile. Similarly, the cost configuration defined on a tier is applied to all the datastores or storage profiles added to the tier.
  • Support for raw device mapping
    vCenter Chargeback Manager accounts for usage of hard disks that use raw device mapping. The corresponding cost and usage data is reported for the virtual machines that have disks using raw device mapping.
  • Complete support for vSphere 5.0 and vCloud Director 1.5
    vCenter Chargeback Manager 2.0 supports the new features introduced in vSphere 5.0, such as VM storage profiles, and that introduced in vCloud Director 1.5, such as support for an SQL Server database.
  • Partial support for IPv6
    In this release, vCenter Chargeback Manager supports IPv6 over IPv4 on an experimental basis. You can provide URLs with IPv6 IP addresses when connecting to vCenter Servers, LDAP Servers, vCenter Chargeback Manager databases, and vCenter Server databases. Ensure that the IPv6 IP address is enclosed in square brackets [ ] in the URL as per the standard convention.
  • VM Instance Cost support for all hierarchies in vCenter Chargeback Manager
    In vCenter Chargeback Manager 2.0, you can define fixed cost pricing matrices for virtual machines based on vCPU count and memory bundles. Unlike earlier releases, this functionality is now available for all the hierarchies created in vCenter Chargeback Manager.
  • Support for burstable billing or 95th percentile billing for the external network traffic in vCloud Director
    You can now calculate the cost for external network traffic in your vCloud Director setup based on the 95th percentile transfer rate. Starting with this release, vCenter Chargeback Manager introduces the external network transmit rate and external network receive rate resources and the Burstable Utilization resource attribute for these resources. You can define a billing policy that has these resource-attribute pair in the expression to calculate the cost based on the 95th percentile transfer rate. vCenter Chargeback Manager calculate the 95th percentile value based on the daily samples. That is, vShield Manager Data Collector runs a job that accounts for the samples for the last 24 hours and computes the 95th percentile value based on these samples.
  • Support for overage charging for org vDCs in the Allocation Pool model of vCloud Director
    In this release, vCenter Chargeback Manager provides the VMware Cloud Director apply overage charge on Allocation Pool vDC property for the Cloud Director Data Collector. This property must be set to true (default value is false) to account for the resource usage over and above the guaranteed reservation in vCloud Director. This is applicable only for CPU and memory. Also, you must use the VMware Cloud Director Overage Allocation Pool Cost Model to account for resource overage. You must, however, modify the cost model to define the base rate and overage rate for the resources.
  • New cost models and billing policies for vCloud Director
    This release of vCenter Chargeback Manager introduces two new cost models and billing policies that are made available when you install the Cloud Director Data Collector. 

    • VMware Cloud Director Actual Usage Cost Model: This cost model uses the new VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Actual Usage. This billing policy lets you calculate cost based on actual resource usage for all resources except count of networks, enabled IPSec VPN tunnel count, and NAT, DHCP, and firewall services. For these resources the allocation values defined in vCloud Director is used.
    • VMware Cloud Director Overage Allocation Pool Cost Model: This cost model uses the new VMware Cloud Director Billing Policy – Overage Allocation Pool. Only for this beta release, the billing policy calculates the overage cost for CPU based on actual usage and that for memory based on allocation. For external network transmit and external network receive the actual usage values are used and for all other resources the allocation values are used.