[THIN] Re: OT: VMWare ESX 3.x Internal / DMZ networks on same physical server

  • From: Evan Mann <emann@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 08:51:17 -0500

I don't think you are in the minority.I have 5 ESX 3.0 servers
currently,  I've consolidated about a dozen boxes so far, with another 4
or 5 to go as part of initial phase.  A lot of new machines will go
straight into VMware.
It's been great for server consolidation in general, but the point most
people are making is it may, or may not, be great for Citrix.  I have 9
Citrix servers and I will not be putting any into VMware in the near
future.  My production Exchange and SQL servers won't go into VMware

It's pretty easy to consolidate low load servers like DCs, many web
servers (not all), WI, TS License server, general resource servers (say
your A/V master server, maybe a blackberry server or a syslog server,
etc).  But, when you have to look at high load (CPU and memory) usage,
VMware sometimes doesn't make any sense.   

I believe a 2 CPU license for Vi3 Enterprise runs about $5000 if I
recall correctly.  If you can only get 2 servers on the 1 VMware server
because of load issues, it may or may not be worth the extra $5000 to do
so.  In many instances, that $5000 may be better spent on a second
dedicated machine instead of virtualizing.   For others, they may feel
it's still worth going virtual because of consolidation reasons such as
power consumption, heat generation, DR, etc.  

From: thin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:thin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Michael Pardee
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 8:10 AM
To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [THIN] Re: OT: VMWare ESX 3.x Internal / DMZ networks on same
physical server

I must be in the minority, or maybe I just drank too much of the
Kool-Aid, but we couldn't be happier with VMWare.  It's been a great
technology for us and has delivered on our goal of greater server
consolidation.  We tend to use GSX for dev/test and ESX for production.
Some applications are actually seeing greater availability with the
Virtual Infrastructure/HA pieces, and performance has been great.  We
put very little Citrix, SQL, Exchange, and F&P in VMWare because it's
not worth it to take resources away from other servers/apps that could
make better use of the resources.  Things like DCs, web servers, Web
Interface, license servers, etc. have been great in VMWare, and it has
helped with disaster recovery and redundancy.  Our costs aren't looking
too bad either.  We buy fewer, larger servers with lots of memory, but
we then see 40-50 guests on that hardware.  We have an official goal of
virtualizing 20% of our intel servers by the end of 2007, 35% by the end
of 2008, and 50% by the end of 2009.  We'll see if we get there, but the
first goal has almost been reached.

It reminds me a lot of Citrix way back in the day, where you couldn't
get vendors to officially support their products if you ran them in a
Citrix environment.  Now that is almost unheard of.  Same with VMWare,
but the Vendors are coming around.

We are currently testing boot from SAN from our IBM Blades to our HP EVA
8000 storage.  So far the testing is going very well, but there is
definitely a cost to doing it as the Blades need daughter cards, the
chassis need redundant Brocade switches, etc., but we are looking to see
if this actually increases our performance since the IBM Blades give you
no write cache for the internal drives = at least with the HS20 model.

As always, your mileage will vary with all of this!


From: "Braebaum, Neil" <Neil.Braebaum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: <thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 10:50:50 -0000
To: <thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Conversation: [THIN] Re: OT: VMWare ESX 3.x Internal / DMZ networks on
same physical server
Subject: [THIN] Re: OT: VMWare ESX 3.x Internal / DMZ networks on same
physical server

Agreed on all points - SAN disk being key to most large infrastructures,
but there's no such thing as a free lunch, there. It's not a panacea for
all disk requirements - and as you point out, for certain usages is
undesirable, and probably pointless.

Same with VMware - for certain things - app co-existence, underutilised
boxes - it's great. But if you want performance and the most out of your
tin, it's not where I'd go - if nothing else you've got the OS overhead,
plus the virtualised overhead.

It's a bit of a bandwagon, at the moment, and it just seems that it's a
case of no bandwagon too slow. Whereas in the past, we may have had to
fight to get things like VMware adopted, now we seemingly have to fight
to get things implemented on real tin, where there's a case for it.



        From: thin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:thin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rick  Mack
        Sent: 23 February 2007 10:37
        To:  thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
        Subject: [THIN] Re: OT: VMWare ESX 3.x Internal /  DMZ networks
on same physical server
        Hi Steve,
        VMs aside, there are still a couple of significant areas where
SAN  disks just don't hack it as a system disk. 
        The first is latency which can be 4-5 times worse on a SAN
"disk" (overhead of fabric switch and other infrastructure) compared to
local  disks. I know that DR etc is a lot easier with SAN disks than
local hard  disks, but if you decide to go SAN boot and still want want
real  performance then you'd better at least consider using the local
hard disks for  paging, spooling and user profiles. 
        The second issue is price. Even with 72 GB disks where most of
the disk  space is wasted, SAN disk space still costs quite a bit more
than RAID  mirrored local drives.
        I have a suspicion that there will be a time in the near future
when  people will start realising that that VMWare isn't nearly as cost
effective as  everyone argues. Please don't get me wrong, I love the
idea of VMWare and just  wouldn't do without it. It's just that VMWare
isn't really about saving money  once we get away from a development
        And until we can overcome disk and network i/o bottlenecks,
having more  CPU power to play with just isn't all that critical. Of
course there are  things like Vista/Longhorn's flash drive read/write
caching that even  things up a bit but what we really need is the next
generation of hard disks  that have obscenely large on-board caches.
That'll let them run at close to  the interface speeds (eg up to 6 Gb
per disk on SASI). 
        On 2/23/07, Steve Greenberg <steveg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>  wrote:

                Nice! This is one  of those mind set changes that we
periodically have to go through. I am  going through one right now with
the idea of booting servers off the SAN, in  the old days this was flaky
but I have to update my thinking and accept that  it works and is
                Steve  Greenberg
                Thin Client  Computing
                34522 N. Scottsdale Rd  D8453
                Scottsdale, AZ  85262
                (602)  432-8649
                www.thinclient.net   <http://www.thinclient.net/>
                steveg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx   <mailto:steveg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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