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

  • From: "Braebaum, Neil" <Neil.Braebaum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 14:58:38 -0000

I don't think you're in the minority - read my comments carefully ("Same
with VMware - for certain things - app co-existence, underutilised boxes
- it's great.").
There's many scenarios it can be great for, but if you want the most out
of your tin, with either demanding apps, or OS requirements, it's not
It's gone full-circle for me - these days the default tends to be
VMware, unless it's a scenario where up-front the requirements are
likely to be as in my previous sentence.
All I was really saying is that as a strategy it's getting pushed - and
application vendors are proving to be often reluctant to commit to it -
and it can be something of a battle to derail the bandwagon if up-front
you can see that the requirements may not be ideally suited to a VM
None of that is to say that I'm against it, or don't embrace it's
advantages and positives - I do - but just like any other aspect to this
techology, it's not an all-encompassing panacea, or silver bullet - and
it would be nice for the higher ups to be more pragmatic, than simply
assume that everything will fit in this one-size-fits-all box.


        From: thin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:thin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Michael Pardee
        Sent: 23 February 2007 13:10
        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


                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 environment. 
                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>

                        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 trustworthy! 
                        Steve  Greenberg
                        Thin Client  Computing
                        34522 N. Scottsdale Rd  D8453
                        Scottsdale, AZ  85262
                        (602)  432-8649
<http://www.thinclient.net/> <http://www.thinclient.net/>  
<mailto:steveg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <mailto:steveg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>  



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