Virtualizing Tier One Applications - Varrow

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  • Make sure to put out Tier 1 App Definition, survey audience too.
  • Once upon a time, breaking the 4 minute mile was considered impossible. Then one fateful day, May 6th, 1954. Roger Bannister did the impossible. Breaking the 4 minute mile barrier.But what does this have to do with virtualization?
  • So you don’t think you can virtualize Tier 1?Well, I have a flow chart to prove you wrong!
  • Q.  How do I license SQL Server 2008 for my virtual environments?A.  For Standard, Workgroup, and Enterprise, if you decide to license on a per processor basis, you must buy a SQL Server license for each virtual processor. For Enterprise Edition, you can also choose to license all physical processors in a box. This gives you rights to run SQL Server on any number of virtual processors running on the same physical server. If you use Server/CAL based licensing, for Standard and Workgroup editions, you must obtain SQL Server licenses for each Virtual Operating System Environment on which you run instances of SQL Server. However, for the Enterprise edition, if you have a Server license for the physical Server, you may run any number of SQL Server instances in any Virtual Operating System Environment that you run on that same physical server. If you are using hardware partitioning on a multi-processor server, you can use any number of virtualized instances for SQL Server Enterprise Edition as long as all processors in that hardware partition are licensed. For example, if you have a partition of 10 physical processors on a 32-processor server, purchasing 10 processor licenses of SQL Server 2008 gives you the rights to run any number of SQL Server instances on physical or virtual environments on that partition. other big selling point is the consolidation of SQL and the potentially very large cost reduction that organizations can see.  If organizations consolidate SQL and save even two CPUs of SQL 2008 R2 Enterprise licensing that could be over a $50,000 savings right there.  There is a large potential for cost savings even with the move to per-core licensing in SQL 2012.
  • We’ve all taken a wrong turn for last 15 years but it’s not too late to go back….no more FCoE, iSCSI, or NFS – time to standardize on FCoTR.
  • Anyone score A+ in Math raised their hand? 
  • Pretty sure no one wants to ask questions but I’ll hang around for discussion.


  • 1. Virtualizing Tier One Applications May 10, 2012 Varrow Andrew MillerSenior Technical Consultant, vExpertt: @andriven w:
  • 2. Housekeeping• If tweeting, include #varrow and maybe #vbca• Feel free to send me commentary at @andriven• Hours of stuff packed into a single hour so…• No shame about content source.
  • 3. Agenda• Top 10 Myths About Virtualizing Business-Critical Applications• Best Practices for Virtualizing Mission Critical Applications (courtesy of @cxi and VMware)• Real-world Tools – Confio IgniteVM – vCenter Operations – Note: Varrow is 1 of 10 VBCA Compentency Holders.
  • 4. Top 10 Myths About VirtualizingBusiness-Critical Applications
  • 5. Myth 2: Newer applications may be "built for the cloud," but mylegacy business-critical applications are not designed to benefitfrom cloud infrastructure.Truth: Virtualization brings cloud-like benefits to existing legacyapplications by providing dynamic scalability, built-in highavailability, provisioning in minutes and automated disasterrecovery at the infrastructure level.
  • 6. Myth 4: Virtualization is about cost savings, and Im not willing torisk the health of my business applications to save on hardwarecosts.Truth: Virtualization is not just about cost reduction. It also helpsimprove application quality of service by enabling applications toscale up or scale out on demand. The need for fully tested disasterrecovery is one of the key drivers for many organizations tovirtualize their most important applications. Site A (Primary) Site B (Recovery) VMware Site Recovery VMware Site Recovery vCenter Server Manager vCenter Server Manager VMware vSphere VMware vSphere Servers Servers
  • 7. Myth 9: Virtualization can handle everything except my most I/O-intensive applications.Truth: vSphere features like storage and network I/O controls, forexample, allow reservations and priorities to enable policy-basedcompute, network and storage resource management for businessapplications.
  • 8. “Oh,  and  one  more  ti n g…” h • Link:
  • 9. Best Practices for Virtualizing Mission Critical Applications(courtesy of @cxi and VMware)
  • 10. Virtualizing Tier 1 is Impossible
  • 11. Who’s doing it?• United States Navy/Marine Corps – 750,000 mailboxes• University of Plymouth – 40,000 mailboxes• VMware IT – 9,000 very heavy mailboxes• University of Texas at Brownsville – 25,000 mailboxes• EMC IT – 53,000 mailboxes
  • 12. Virtual Exchange Start Here• Refer to Support Policies, Recommendations and Best Practice Documents• Architect for the application, not for the virtualization solution• Pretend like you’re doing it physically… and Just do it virtually• Defaults unless requiring optimization!
  • 13. Start Simple• Deploy VMs with similar roles on separate hosts – MBX VMs in same DAG should not co-locate – Deploy with VMFS – Scale up and scale out – Spread your CAS around
  • 14. Licensing Exchange in the Virtual!• One server license is required for each running instance of Exchange Server 2010 – whether it is installed natively on a physical machine or on a virtual machine• That’s pretty simple!
  • 15. Configure Storage• Review the Exchange Calculator to determine your memory, spindle and IOPS requirement• Configure your storage how you would handle it physically, then present it to your VMs• Size your MBX VMDK <2TB – Some suggest 2040GB to be on the safe side• Take advantage of “Optimized for Virtualization” acceleration technologies by storage vendors – Storage Offloading (VAAI) – Per VMDK Locking• Unlike in the physical world, most data stores host more than one VM so account for that IO• Auto-tiering with small granularity (768k) can result in significant storage savings
  • 16. Exchange Best Practices• Do not P2V your Exchange Servers – Build new servers virtually and move mailboxes• Split your roles and size their CPU/Mem on a role by role basis• Analyze performance characteristics before and after if performing migration• Less physical servers != fewer resources
  • 17. Exchange Best Practices• Size Exchange VMs to fit within NUMA nodes for best performance• Do not over commit memory unless absolutely required• Consider DAG for local site HA, and SRM for site resiliency/DR
  • 18. Get on the road to Virtual SQL
  • 19. Virtual SQL Start Here• Refer to Support Policies, Recommendations and Best Practice Documents• Architect for the application, not for the virtualization solution• Pretend like you’re doing it physically… and Just do it virtually• Defaults unless requiring optimization!
  • 20. Start Simple• The average physical SQL Server uses 2 CPUs is 6% utilized, 3Gb Mem, 60% utilized, ~20 IOPS• Light workload? – Start with 2vCPUs, 3Gb ram• Heavy workload? – Start with 4vCPUs, 8Gb+ ram• Really Heavy workload? – Architect as if physical in the virtual – Use a capacity planner tool to assist• Remember: what’s above is for Tier 1. You can start smaller if you want (and it’s good idea overall).
  • 21. Licensing SQL in the Virtual?!• Standard, Workgroup, Enterprise per proc – You must license SQL for each virtual processor• Standard, Workgroup per Server/CAL – You must license each virtual operating system• Enterprise per physical proc – Licensing each physical processor entitles you to run any number of SQL server instances• 2012 switches to per core licensing!• Unsure? Contact licensing professionals!
  • 22. Virtualized SQL is blazing fast!
  • 23. Configure Storage Correctly• Database LUN needs enough spindles• Log LUN needs enough spindles• Mixing sequential (logs) and random (database) can result in random behavior – Avoid mixing workloads, refer to storage vendor• Eager-Zeroed Thick VMDK for your Database and Log volumes
  • 24. Configure Storage Continued• vMotion is supported with SQL Server• Try to leverage Array Tiering and Acceleration technologies if possible – Use Array based caching to improve performance• Most DBs, even High IO ones are hot ~10-15% of the database, the rest is cold IO – Automatic Tiering makes for higher performance and higher efficiency while reducing cost
  • 25. Migrating SQL• Analyze your existing environment• Perform a virtualization assessment• Pay attention to disk spindles not total space• Easy Migration: Use converter to clone server• Easier mgmt and provisioning: Use Templates• In between: Open Migrator  P2V + vRDM  Storage vMotion = VM with vmdk’s. – More complicated but minimizes downtime.
  • 26. Database Best Practices• Follow Microsoft Best Practices for SQL Server• Evaluate workloads for SQL-intensive ops• Consider Scaling Out for high end deployments• Defrag SQL Databases• Design back-end to support workload (IOPS)• Monitor DB/Logs for Disk r/w, Disk Queues• Use Fibre-channel connectivity for storage
  • 27. Configuring Physical Files• Os/App, Data, Log and TempDB on separate spindles – Separate LUNs on single datastore will not provide IO separation• Use RAID10 or RAID5 (read-only) – Refer to your storage vendors best practices• Pre-size data files, do not AUTOGROW• Pre-size log files, ~10% of DB on average
  • 28. Configuring TempDB• Move TempDB to dedicated LUN• # of TempDB files = # of CPU cores• All TempDB files should be equal in size• Pre-Allocate TempDB space for workload• Set file growth increment to minimize expand• Microsoft recommends FILEGROWTH incr 10%
  • 29. SQL Failover Clustering Best Practices• Failover clustering is supported with caveats – Follow best practices guide for SQL Clustering – Use RDMS for DB and Log volumes – Use eagerthickzeroed disks – Use separate vSCSI controller for OS and Data – Use separate vSwitches for Public and Heartbeat – Team NICs for network redundancy
  • 30. SQL Failover Clustering Best Practices• SQL Database Mirroring (SQL 2008) or AlwaysOn Availability Groups (2012) can provide similar levels of availability as failover clusters but without the strict requirements or vendor support issues.• Most DBs have no failover capability not clustered. By making them virtual and letting them take advantage of vSphere HA adds availability not possible with physical servers
  • 31. General Best Practices - Memory• Allocate your memory based upon your application workload• Database memory doesn’t dedupe well• Do not over subscribe mission critical workloads• Do NOT OVER SUBSCRIBE MISSION CRITICAL WORKLOADS – Use memory reservations for mission critical SQL workloads to avoid memory contention issues.
  • 32. General Best Practices - CPU• Only allocate vCPUs which are being used – Idle vCPUs will compete for system resources• If workload is unknown, size for fewer vCPUs – You can always add more later if reqs demand• For Performance Critical VMs – Try to ensure total number of vCPUs assigned to all VMs is <= total number of cores on the host – CPU load average of <=1. If greater, add more cpu
  • 33. FCoTR is the key to the future.
  • 34. General Best Practices - Networking• Separate vMotion, Logging and console traffic; or use VLAN tagging• Use a paravirtualized vNIC for high performance workloads• Leverage 802.1q using Virtual Switch Tagging (VST). - VST is most common configuration• Follow networking design guidelines• Do NOT use Jumbo Frames* – Let’s chat afterwards if questions.
  • 35. Clusters• Microsoft does not support migration of running virtual machines running cluster software. – Caveat*
  • 36. Alignment• Ensure your VMs have their disks aligned – Boot alignment is auto in 2008, manual in 2003 – Application LUN is manual, follow application and storage vendor best practices Images courtesy of Vaughn Stewart, @vStewed
  • 37. Links• Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments• Exchange 2010 on VMware - Best Practices Guide•••• Microsoft Virtualization Best Practices for Exchange• Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Virtualization Environments• Refer to these great blog series which covers Exchange and VMware•••• Duncan Epping•• Best Practices for SQL Server with VMware• Microsoft SQL Server and VMware Virtual Infrastructure Best Practices• Consolidation Guidance for SQL Server• Licensing SQL• Alignment
  • 38. Database Performance Analysis When Virtualized (aka Confio IgniteVM)
  • 39. Monitoring - vSphere Get access to vSphere client • Need a user account • http://<machine> - provides download link Why should I use vSphere? • Standard O/S Counters may be wrong!
  • 40. VMware Perfmon Counters Special Perfmon Counters on Windows VMs16
  • 41. O/S Counter Problem This is what the O/S thinks, but it is based on 6GB. Because of 2GB limit, the correct utilization is 83%25
  • 42. Monitoring - Memory Primary Metric – Swapping, Ballooning Secondary Metrics – VM & Host Memory Utilization, VM Memory Reservation, VM Memory Limit Rules • If Any Swapping is occurring – Host needs more memory because it cannot satisfy current demands – Lessen demands for memory – lower reservations where possible • Excessive Ballooning – May be ok for now, but could be a pending issue • VM Memory Utilization High – May not be a problem now unless Guest O/S swapping is occurring – If VM is limited, may want to increase memory this VM can get • If Host Memory Utilization High – May not be a problem now if no swapping or ballooning – Could be a problem soon for all VMs on this host
  • 43. CPU Metrics Primary Metric – VM Ready Time Secondary Metrics – VM CPU Utilization, Host CPU Utilization Rules • If VM Ready Time > 10-20% – If Host CPU Utilization is high => Need more CPU resources on Host – If Host CPU Utilization ok => VM is limited, give more CPU resources • If VM CPU Utilization high (sustained over 80%) – May not be a problem now if no ready time – could be a problem soon for this VM • If Host CPU Utilization high (sustained over 80%) – May not be a problem now if no ready time on any VM – Could be a problem soon for all VMs on this host – Balance VM resources better
  • 44. Monitoring - Storage Primary Metrics – Host maxTotalLatency, Host Device Latency (by device), VM Disk Commands Aborted, VM Command Latency Secondary Metrics – Host Disk Read Rate, Host Disk Write Rate, VM Disk Usage Rate Rules • If Host Latency >= 20-30 ms – Review Device Latencies to understand which one has latencies – Review Disk Read / Write rates – If Close to Storage Capacity - Overloaded Storage – Otherwise - Slow Storage • If VM Command Latency >= 30ms only for your VM – Tune Disk I/O intensive processes on database – Are Memory / CPU issues causing I/O problems
  • 45. Monitoring - Network Primary Metric – Dropped Receive Packets, Dropped s Transmit Packets Secondary Metrics – Network Rate Rules • If any packets are being dropped – Look  for  errors  on  te  H t ’s  NIC h o – See if one NIC is getting all traffic – Understand which VM is causing the most traffic and reduce it • If Network Rate is getting close to maximum for hardware – Understand which VM is causing load – May need to get better network hardware
  • 46. Layers and Annotations
  • 47. This Layer shows Database Response Time Metrics This Layer shows Database Health Metrics This Layer shows O/S and Virtual Machine Metrics This Layer shows Metrics for the Physical Host This Layer shows Metrics for the Storage Layer40
  • 48. 41
  • 49. 42
  • 50. Tooltip: Another VM (ProdServerB) moved onto this Physical Host43
  • 51. 44
  • 52. 45
  • 53. Confio Software  Award Winning Performance Tools  Ignite8 for Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase  IgniteVM for Databases on VMware • Download at  Provides Answers for • What changed recently that affected end users • What layer (VM or DB) is causing the problem • Who and How should we fix the problem Download free trial at www.confio.com46
  • 54. vCenter Operations
  • 55. 4 Big Things• Performance Monitoring• Performance Trending• Capacity Planning• Root Cause Analysis
  • 56. Managing Performance Is it healthy? Is it enough? Is it optimised?• Every VM & ESX • Enough CPU, RAM, • Which VMs need performing well? Network, Disk? adjustment? CPU, RAM, Future risk? • What are my key Network, Disk? • Time remaining? ratios?• Are they behaving • Capacity • How much can I expectedly? remaining? claim back from• Any fault on any • Where are the “fat” VMs? component? “Stress points” • How many more in time? VMs can I put without impacting performance?
  • 57. • Is it healthy = Health – Workload – Anomalies – Faults• Is it enough = Risk – Time remaining – Capacity remaining – Stress period• Is it optimised = Efficiency – What can we reclaim? – Density. Key ratios for management
  • 58. Threshold: Shift in Mindset• vCenter sets “static” threshold, which can be misleading – During peak, it is common for VM to reach high utilisation. • Static threshold will generate alerts when they should not. • vSphere admin quickly learns to ignore them, defeating the purpose of alert to begin with. – During non-peak, it might be abnormal for VM to reach even 50% utilisation. • Static threshold will not generate alerts when they should have.• vCenter only sets high threshold – Do you set static threshold when CPU or RAM utilisation drops below 5%?  • A drop in entire array storage IOPS might be a sign of terrible day ahead. – Will not alert when these happen: • Utilisation drops from 75% to 1% when it should not. • Utilisation change from 5% to 70% when it should not. – We need to plots both upper range and lower range• But each VM differs. And the same VM differs depending on day/time…  – Intelligence required to analyse each metrics and their expected “normal” behaviour.
  • 59. m 1m 1 m 0,0 i, j i, j 0,0 1 m 1m 1 m m 1m 1 m i 1 j 1 i m, j 1 1 1 P1,1,P1,2 ,...,Pm ,m ( p1,1, p1,2 ,..., pm,m ) m 1m 1 m pi , j i,j pi , j i,j 1 pi , j pi , j i 1 j 1 i m, j 1 i 1 j 1 i m, j 1 0,0 i, j i, j i 1 j 1 i m, j 1 m 1m 1 m where pi , j pi , j 1 0 , pi , j 1 and z t z 1e t dt 0 i 1 j 1 i m, j 1 The marginal distribution of the i th row of J is: m 1 Dirichlet i, j , i ,1 , i ,2 ,..., i ,m 1 for i 1 m 1 ,..., j 1 ( pi ,1,..., pi ,m 1 )  m Dirichlet 0,0 m, j , m,1 , m,2 ,..., m, m , 0,0 for i m j 1 m 1m 1 m where 0,0 i, j i, j i 1 j 1 i m, j 1 It is pretty difficult for a human to beat the computer in analysis of the data.. The above is one of the many algorithm applied by vCenter Operations. Thank goodness I don’t have to explain this 
  • 60. Heat Maps
  • 61. Recap• Figures out normal – this is huge.• 500 VMs, 50 ESX Hosts = 10,000+ Counters• Setup and walk away for a while.• Walkthrough Demo by Clint Kitson –• Less technical but much more fun overviews –• Great in-depth training doc up on VMware Communities (179 slides with notes). –
  • 62. Questions?(I’m hanging around.)