Posts Tagged ‘solori’

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Preview: Install ESXi 4.0 to Flash

May 22, 2009

VMware’s vSphere’s ESXi 4.0 now installs directly to USB flash from the install CD without the “funky” methods we’ve explained in earlier posts. By comparison, the installation process is straight-forward, simple and painless.

vSphere ESXi Install to USB Flash

vSphere ESXi Install to USB Flash (click for animation)

After the quick installation to USB flash, the system reboots into ESXi for the first time: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Operton vs. Nehalem-EP at AnandTech

May 22, 2009

AnandTech’s Johan DeGelas has an interesting article on what he calls “real world virtualization” using a benchmark process his team calls “vApus Mk I” and runs it on ESX 3.5 Update 4. Essentially, it is a suite of Web 2.0 flavored apps running entirely on Windows in a mixed 32/64 structure. We’re cautiously encouraged by this effort as it opens the field of potential reviewers wide open.

Additionally, he finally comes to the same conclusion we’ve presented (in an economic impact context) about Shanghai’s virtualization value proposition. While his results are consistent with what we have been describing – that Shanghai has a good price-performance position against Nehalem-EP – there are some elements about his process that need further refinement.

Our biggest issue comes with his handling of 32-bit virtual machines (VM) and disclosure of using AMD’s Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI) with 32-bit VMs. In the DeGalas post, he points out some well known “table thrashing” consequences of TLB misses:

“However, the web portal (MCS eFMS) will give the hypervisor a lot of work if Hardware Assisted Paging (RVI, NPT, EPT) is not available. If EPT or RVI is available, the TLBs (Translation Lookaside Buffer) of the CPUs will be stressed quite a bit, and TLB misses will be costly.”

However, the MCS eFMS web portal (2 VMs) is running in a 32-bit OS. What makes this problematic is VMware’s default handling of page tables in 32-bit VM’s is “shadow page table” using VMware’s binary translation engine (BT). In otherwords, RVI is not enabled by default for ESX 3.5.x:

“By default, ESX automatically runs 32bit VMs (Mail, File, and Standby) with BT, and runs 64bit VMS (Database, Web, and Java) with AMD-V + RVI.”

–    VROOM! Blog, 3/2009

Read the rest of this entry ?

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VMware: vSphere Pricing/Features Announced

April 21, 2009

VMware released more information to the public about its next-generation virtualization product today with the announcement of vSphere. The target is cloud computing and 100% virtualization will become the new mantra.

vSphere introduces much requested support for new operating systems as well. Starting with the release version of vSphere 4.0, the following OSes will be fully supported on VMware’s platform:

Asianux, CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD, OS/2, Solaris, SCO OpenServer, SCO Unixware.

These come in addition to the already supported array of Windows, RedHat, Suse, DOS and Netware operating systems. This broadening of supported OSes extends the gulf between VMware and Xen/Hyper-V even further. As Cloud-OS is a tenant of VMware’s future plans, the ability to support an extended array of operating systems is a requirement as customers export/import between private and public clouds.

vSphere Essentials Editions

vSphere Essentials Editions

For the long-neglected SMB space, VMware now offers a vSphere Essentials to spur the growth of enterprise virtualization in that space. The new package comes in two editions: Essentials and Essentials Plus retailing at $995 and $2,995 respectively. Both packages come with vCenter Server and associated management licenses. The real value here for SMB’s is the included licensing of three physical servers with up-to two processors and 12-cores each.

vSphere Essentials

Why is the Essentials offering so important to the SMB market? With the exception of vMotion technology, the Essentials editions offer small businesses the ability to consolidate up to 85 virtual machines for as little as $35/VM including server hardware (based on 2P, quad-core Opteron systems with 32GB RAM and 4:1 VM:core consolidation ratios).

Feature Essentials Essentials Plus
ESXi or ESX
(64-bit hardware)
X X
vStorage VMFS X X
vStorage Thin
Provisioning
X X
Four-way vSMP X X
vCenter Server
Agent
X X
vStorage API X X
VMware
Consolidated
Backup
X X
vCenter Update
Manager
X X
VMware HA X
VMware Data
Recovery
X
vCenter Server
Essentials
X X
Suggested Retail
Price
$995 $2,995

We believe most SMBs will prove to have more aggressive utilizations than large enterprise averages. As a result, we expect fairly conservative consolidation ratios of 2:1 to 3:1 (per core) in vSphere Essentials integrations with only 3 servers.

Even so, Essentials delivers its solution for under $70/VM (30-40 VMs), and Essentials Plus comes in at $115/VM in a fully HA environment (no single host with more than 66% of design capacity). Likewise, one must consider the value of Update Manager, vCenter, vSMP, Thin Provisioning and VMware Consolidated Backup to SMB’s moving forward.

The additional “IT muscle” leveraged with these options could create may “virtualization as a service” propositions for small integrators wishing to covert CAPEX into recurring revenues. We expect to see many offerings of this ilk cropping-up in the SMB space as wallets tighten and virtualization in-sourcing becomes more popular. In any case, either option presents an attractive value proposition for SMB’s and the integrators/solution providers that serve them and vSphere is the leading platform to make it all happen. Read the rest of this entry ?