Virtualization Performance on the IBM PureFlex System

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Learn about Virtualization Performance on the IBM PureFlex System. the white paper shows that the IBM PureFlex system can deliver VM consolidation in a heterogeneous, self-contained environment capable of impressive levels of throughput performance. It can dramatically reduce time to production for virtualized data center application operations, providing multiple compute and operating system platforms, advanced storage, and integrated networking in a single manageable system.

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Virtualization Performance on the IBM PureFlex System

  1. 1. 89 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor New York, NY 10003 www.TheEdison.com 212.367.7400 White Paper Virtualization Performance on the IBM PureFlex System
  2. 2. Printed in the United States of AmericaCopyright  2012 Edison Group, Inc. New York. Edison Group offers no warranty eitherexpressed or implied on the information contained herein and shall be held harmless for errorsresulting from its use.All products are trademarks of their respective owners.First Publication: April 2012Produced by: Craig Norris, Sr Analyst; Barry Cohen, Editor-in-Chief; Manny Frishberg, EditorThis document was developed with IBM funding. Although the document may utilize publiclyavailable material from various vendors, including IBM, it does not necessarily reflect thepositions of such vendors on the issues addressed in this document.
  3. 3. Table of ContentsExecutive Summary ..................................................................................................................... 1Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 3 Objective .................................................................................................................................. 3 Audience .................................................................................................................................. 3 Contents of this Report .......................................................................................................... 3The Business Value of Virtualization ...................................................................................... 4IBMs Unified Virtualization Infrastructure: PureFlex ........................................................ 5TPoX: Benchmark Workload for Modern Virtualized DBMS-Based Environments...... 7Benchmark Comparison Study and Results ........................................................................... 8 Test System .............................................................................................................................. 8 Test #1: Virtualization Tests and Results............................................................................. 9  Methodology .................................................................................................................... 9  Results.............................................................................................................................. 11 Test #2: Storage ..................................................................................................................... 13Conclusions ................................................................................................................................. 15
  4. 4. Executive SummaryUsing virtualization to consolidate data center servers has become an integralcomponent of the way successful companies design their IT infrastructures. Most,however, use consolidation ratios of only around six virtual machines (VMs) perphysical server. Even world-class organizations typically are only consolidating at aratio of about 18 to 1 at best.1 Yet many commonly published virtualization benchmarkstest with hundreds of VMs per physical server, which the average data centeradministrator has difficulty relating to their actual environment. This white paper ismeant to appeal to anyone seeking benchmark evaluations of consolidation solutionsthat look more like what they themselves are doing or considering for theirorganizations.The tests described in this paper applied Transaction Processing over XML (TPoX)benchmark workloads to the IBM PureFlex system: a synergistic solution capable ofsimultaneously running and managing the best of heterogeneous IT environments —Linux, AIX, Windows, and IBM i operating systems, POWER7- and x86-based integratedtechnology elements (ITEs), PowerVM and VMware vSphere virtualization, HDD andSSD storage — all in a general-purpose system having all the simplicity of an appliance.TPoX is a much more suitable benchmark for assessing transaction processingthroughput for today’s complex, virtualized IT environments than traditional industrystandard benchmarks. In this paper, benchmarks are used to examine the throughputperformance for various system configurations the PureFlex system can accommodate,as well as the ability of the solution to scale without degrading that performance. Alltests were performed on the same self-contained PureFlex system unit.Key findings include the following: IBM PowerVM on the IBM POWER7 ITE can deliver over 78 percent more throughput at 80 virtual machines (VMs) than vSphere 5 on an Intel Xeon E5-2690 (Sandy Bridge2)-based ITE. AIX and Linux deliver near equivalent performance in leveraging this PowerVM capacity.1Aberdeen Group report, Best-in-Class Practices for Virtualizing Microsoft Applications, August 20102Sandy Bridge is the codename for both the Intel microarchitecture innovation following Nehalem, andgenerally for the associated family of 32nm processors based upon that microarchitecture.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 1
  5. 5.  On either Intel-based or POWER7-based platforms, the PureFlex system exploits IBM Storwize V7000 to deliver up to 10 times the number of VMS per SSD than is possible using HDDs.This paper makes clear that the IBM PureFlex system is a superior solution for runningand managing mixed IT environments in a unified solution. It also show that, for thoseinterested in getting serious about virtualized consolidation, PowerVM virtualizationtechnology on POWER7 processor-based platforms offers greater performance than thatoffered by VMware vSphere 5 on Intel x86 platforms. It enables high consolidation ratiosand increased flexibility for a far superior virtualization solution.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 2
  6. 6. IntroductionObjectiveThe objective of this white paper is to demonstrate the performance and capabilities ofIBM’s PureFlex system, presenting results that showcase throughput and virtualizationcapacity for each of the multiple operating systems and ITEs comprised by thisadvanced modular server system, as well as its storage subsystem and its next-generation networking system. It describes tests using the industry-standard TPoXbenchmark to compare virtualization technologies. The results were reviewed, analyzed,and presented by Edison Group.AudienceThis paper is intended for anyone interested in the advantages of server consolidationthrough virtualization. The testing described herein employed a means of assessingvirtualization efficiency at a 5 VM-per-core ratio, which more closely reflects typical datacenter environments than the hundreds of VMs per server tested in other commonlypublished virtualization benchmarks.CTOs, CEOs, IT managers, and others will find valuable information here that couldhelp them further enhance and/or adopt virtualization technology within their ITenvironments.Contents of this ReportThis white paper contains the following major sections: The Business Value of Virtualization — This section discusses the business value propositions underlying the benchmark evaluations presented in this paper. IBM’s Unified Virtualization Infrastructure: PureFlex — This section describes IBM’s PureFlex system offering on which the benchmarks were conducted. TPoX — This section describes the TPoX benchmark and the reason for using it to evaluate transaction throughput in modern virtualized environments. Benchmark Comparison Study & Results — This section presents the comparative testing, describing the test equipment setup, the benchmarks, the actual tests, and the results of the tests.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 3
  7. 7. The Business Value of VirtualizationAs the foundation platform for today’s data center, server virtualization is quicklyreaching maturity. Virtual machines now host more than half of business serverworkloads.3 Virtualization has become the default build for new server installations,reducing costs and establishing the foundation for more efficient and flexibleconfigurations and technology platforms. 4 The performance of virtualization is criticalto realizing success of server pools and cloud computing (and is also a key component inIBM’s roadmap in its Smarter Computing initiative).Well-implemented virtualization solutions may be employed to: Reduce hardware expenditures by consolidating multiple environments, including underutilized servers, and systems with varied and dynamic resource requirements. Reduce costs for power and cooling, floor space, hardware maintenance, and software licensing. Grow and shrink resources dynamically according to business needs. Deploy new workloads through provisioning VMs on new systems rapidly to meet changing business demands. Develop and test applications in secure, independent domains while allocating production to its own domain on the same system. Transfer live workloads to support server migrations, balance system load, or avoid planned downtime that can otherwise adversely impact productivity. Control server sprawl, reducing system management costs.Despite these benefits, the majority of businesses fall far short of seizing upon the fullpotential of server consolidation. Their average consolidation ratios hover around sixVMs per server,5 yet economic advantages from data center consolidation increasesignificantly at much higher VM densities. By increasing the consolidation ratio persystem, businesses can reduce capital expenditures and operational costs by reducingthe number of systems in their data center or IT organization.IBM’s Smarter Computing systems, which allow for greater VM density withoutdegrading system performance, can deliver considerable economic advantages toorganizations using them. This study examines the performance and scaling aspects ofthe IBM PureFlex system across the commonly employed industry benchmark TPoX.3 The Value of Memory-Dense Servers: IBM’s System x MAX5 for its eX5 Server Family, March 2010, IDC4 Ibid.5 According to an Aberdeen Group report, Best-in-Class Practices for Virtualizing Microsoft Applications,August 2010, even the best-in-class organizations in the study consolidate at only an 18:1 ratio.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 4
  8. 8. IBM’S Unified Virtualization Infrastructure:PureFlexWith the PureFlex system, IBMbrings together advancedmodular server and storagetechnology in a virtualizationinfrastructure that leveragessuperior unified managementand integrated Ethernet andfibre channel networkingtechnology.The PureFlex system bringsIBM’s leadership in computingsystems and extensive expertisein systems integration to asynergistic solution capable ofsimultaneously running and managing the best of heterogeneous IT environments —Linux, AIX, Windows, and IBM i operating systems, Power Systems and x86-based ITEs,PowerVM and various x86 virtualization platforms, HDD and SSD storage — in ageneral-purpose system having all the simplicity of an appliance.Based on solidly established patterns of expertise, the PureFlex system is designed to getdata center operations up and running in as little as four hours, cutting months off thedeployment time for new application projects. The major subsystems integrated into thePureFlex system are: POWER7 Processor-Based Power Systems ITEs — Automatically optimizing performance and capacity at either a system or VM level, these ITEs benefit from the POWER7 processor, which contains innovative technologies that help maximize performance and optimize energy efficiency. They represent the most flexible and cost-efficient solutions for UNIX, IBM i, and Linux deployments available in the market. IBM x86-Based ITEs — These ITEs support a wide selection of processor technologies and operating systems. They are designed to reduce complexity, improve systems management, and increase energy efficiency while driving down total cost of ownership.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 5
  9. 9.  IBM Storwize V7000 — This is a virtualized storage controller designed to consolidate block and file workloads into a single storage system for simplicity of management, reduced cost, highly scalable capacity, performance, and high availability. It offers improved efficiency and flexibility through built-in solid state drive (SSD) optimization, thin provisioning, and non-disruptive migration of data from existing storage. Next-Generation Networking — The PureFlex system incorporates a platform networking and storage fabric technology, utilizing integrated 16 Gb fibre channel switches and 10 Gb Ethernet switches to enable heterogeneous ITEs to run concurrently with little or no impact on each other, tying together these various subsystems with Ethernet and/or FC into a single manageable system.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 6
  10. 10. TPoX: A Benchmark Workload for ModernVirtualized DBMS-Based EnvironmentsOne of the goals of this study was to more closely approximate typical virtualized datacenter usage by organizations. This includes the type of application workloads to beused in the testing. Cloud computing, database-as-a-service, and virtualization arechanging the way customers deploy databases, and a benchmark workload used to testthe transaction processing performance of DBMS-based applications should be able toaddress these architectures, and illustrate to data center operators what they can expectas they increasingly leverage virtualization.TPoX (Transaction Processing over XML) is an application-level “XML database”benchmark. It is an XML OLTP benchmark using data-oriented XML structures, verylarge numbers of relatively small XML documents (1 kb to 20 kb), short read/writetransactions, and a high degree of concurrency. It essentially models a security-tradingscenario that uses a real-world XML Schema (FIXML).TPoX can be used to evaluate any database that offers XML support. The TPoXworkload driver is architected such that only a thin layer (a single Java class) deals withthe specific interaction to the database system under test. The combination of these XMLand Java components makes the workload relevant for a wide range of web andcollaboration applications.Applications in the real world typically have many concurrent users, a mix of read andwrite operations, and millions or even billions of XML documents. This is exactly whatthe TPoX benchmark is designed to capture. It simulates an actual application thatperforms queries, inserts, updates, and deletes in a concurrent multi-user workloadusing a real-world database. In the study to follow, the enterprise-class DB2 databasewas used on all three platforms tested.As a database-centric application, TPoX stresses CPU, memory, and storage I/O. It iscapable of driving high CPU utilization to study true technology capability. In addition,in a multi-VM environment such as that tested for this study, it stresses thevirtualization infrastructure supporting these resources on the tested platforms.TPoX is an open-source benchmark jointly developed by IBM, Intel, and others. Thebenchmark, along with documentation and published results, is publicly available at:http://tpox.sourceforge.net 66 Reference: http://nativexmldatabase.com/2011/03/04/new-tpox-benchmark-results-available/Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 7
  11. 11. Benchmark Comparison Study and ResultsThis section of the paper describes the system configuration used in the tests,methodology employed, and results for each.Test SystemThe test system consists of a single PureFlex system provisioned with the followingmajor subsystems: One IBM Power p260 node with two 3.56 GHz Power 7 processors One 2-socket ITE with 2.9 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2690 (Sandy Bridge) processors Two Storwize V7000 storage controllers, each provisioned with 24 300 GB SSDs Networking fabric comprising two 16 Gb fiber channel switches integrated into the PureFlex chassisFigure 1 (below) shows the positioning of the subsystems within the overall PureFlexsystem unit. Figure 1. Diagram of Test SystemEdison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 8
  12. 12. Table 1 (below) presents how the PureFlex system was configured for the TPoXperformance benchmarks. NOTE: Not every component was necessarily utilized for every test. IBM Flex System P260 Sandy Bridge 2-Socket Compute Node Compute Node Processors 2 x IBM POWER7 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2690 Guest Operating AIX 7.1 System(s) SUSE Linux Enterprise SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 Server 11 SP2 Virtualization IBM Power VM Enterprise VMware vSphere 5 Edition v2.2 Database Backend IBM DB2 v9.7 Workload TPoX v2.1 Storage IBM Storwize V7000 / SSD Table 1: Configuration of the PureFlex System for TPoX BenchmarksTest # 1: Virtualization Tests and ResultsThe goal of these tests was to determine aggregate transaction throughput performanceand VM scalability.MethodologyThese tests employed a VM-to-core ratio of 5:1. The system was scaled up from a singlecore to two full sockets. In this way, tests were run on sets of 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 VMs,each running TPoX, as shown in Figure 2, below.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 9
  13. 13. TPoX Virtualization Tests 2 socket ITE 1 socket 1 core 5 VMs 10 VMs 20 VMs 40 VMs 80 VMs Figure 2: TPoX Virtualization Tests MethodologyThe TPoX benchmark is I/O-intensive and its performance is partially dependent onstorage performance. Both ITE platforms used the same PureFlex system storagesubsystem although each used a different Storwize V7000 Controller to store its data andlogs.Each VM had its own XML database servicing clients; a 1 GB database was used in orderto match up with each VM’s CPU (0.2 core) and memory capacity (3 GB). A single-tierTPoX configuration was chosen for each VM where the client and the database reside inthe same VM. The goal was to run enough clients to ensure that each VM reached highutilization. The database for each VM on each of the platforms was populated with thesame configuration set. The transaction rate for populating the database is shown inTable 2. Flex System Sandy Bridge / VMware p260/PowerVM/AIX vSphere 5 Order (inserts per second) 1915 1028 Custacc (inserts per second) 769 400Table 2. TPoX Database Populated Rate for First Configuration SetEdison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 10
  14. 14. The VM configuration has multiple options on both PowerVM and VMware vSphere 5technologies . These tests strove to utilize the full capacity of each core deployed. In thecase of PowerVM, five virtual CPUs (vCPUs) per core were sufficient to accomplish this.In the case of vSphere 5, it was established in an earlier study 7 that two vCPUs per VMwas more efficient than one vCPU per VM. Thus, each core was configured with 10vCPUs for the vSphere 5 subsystem.For each test, the per VM transaction rate was measured, and the aggregate transactionrate at the system level was reported.ResultsThe results presented in Figure 3, below, indicate that the throughput performance ratefor populating the database are impressive for the Intel Xeon E5-2690 Sandy Bridgecompute node on the IBM PureFlex system. However, as may be expected, throughputperformance for Linux on POWER7/PowerVM technology averaged over 54 percentbetter. A slightly greater advantage proved to be the case when the workload was runon the AIX operating system. The POWER7/PowerVM advantage over SandyBridge/VMware also tended to grow with the number of VMs, with POWER7/AIXshowing a nearly 76 percent advantage at 80 VMs, and POWER7/Linux showing asimilar advantage at 72 percent. PowerVM / Flex p260 vs. vSphere / Sandy Bridge 10000 9000 8000 Transactions per Second 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 5VMs 10VMs 20VMs 40VMs 80VMs Figure 3: TPoX Benchmark Results for Throughput Performance7IBM PowerVM Virtualization Technology on IBM POWER7 Systems - A Comparison of PowerVM and VMwareVirtualization Performance, Edison Group, Inc., 2012.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 11
  15. 15. Table 3, below, presents detailed information on the total number of TPoX users used ineach test, throughput, and VM configuration for each tests. Total System Configuration for TPoX Benchmark Virtual Total # of Transactions (1 to 80 VM Scaling) # of VMs CPUs TPoX Users per second IBM Flex p260 3.56 GHz DPSM mode, 2 socket, 256 GB RAM, SMT4 enabled, PowerVM, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 is the host OS for each VM. Each LPAR is 5 5 50 600 configured with 1 vCPU/ uncapped/3 GB RAM 4 LPARs have 0.2 cores and 1 LPAR have 0.1 core. Shared pool has one core 9 LPARs are configured each with 0.2/1 vCPU/ uncapped/ 3 GB memory, 1 LPAR is 10 10 100 1112 configured with 0.1/1 vCPU/uncapped/3 GB memory. Shared pool has two cores 18 LPARs are configured each with 0.2/1 vCPU/ uncapped/ 3 GB memory, 2 LPARs are 20 20 200 2316 configured with 0.1/1 vCPU/uncapped/3 GB memory. Shared pool has four cores 37 LPARs configured with 0.2core/ 1vCPU/uncapped and 3 LPARs configured 40 40 400 4710 with 0.3 cores/1vCPU/ uncapped. Shared pool has eight cores 74 LPARs are configured each with 0.2/1 vCPU/ uncapped/ 3 GB memory, 4 LPARs are 80 80 800 9499 configured with 0.1/1 vCPU/uncapped/ 3 GB memory. Shared pool has 16 cores 2 socket 2.9 GHz, Intel Xeon E5-2690 compute node with 256 GB system RAM (HT and Turbo enabled in BIOS Intel VTx with EPT HW virtualization assist) VMware vSphere 5. Each VM has guest OS SUSE Linux Enterprise 5 10 50 428 Server 11 SP2. Each VM is given 0.2 of a core/1 2 vCPUs/3 GB memory. DB2 buffer pool for data is configured in each VM. Schedule affinity is set to cpu0 and cpu1. Schedule affinity is set to cpu0 to cpu3 10 20 100 785 Schedule affinity is set to cpu0 to cpu7 20 40 200 1526 Schedule affinity is set to cpu0 to cpu15 40 80 400 2839 Schedule affinity is set to cpu0 to cpu31 80 160 800 5516Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 12
  16. 16. Total System Configuration for TPoX Benchmark Virtual Total # of Transactions (1 to 80 VM Scaling) # of VMs CPUs TPoX Users per second IBM Flex p260 3.56 GHz DPSM mode, 2 socket, 256 GB RAM, SMT4 enabled, PowerVM, IBM AIX .1 is the host OS for each VM. VIOS is configured with 0.1 core/1 vCPU/ 5 5 50 629 uncapped mode/ 4 GB RAM. Each LPAR is configured with 1 vCPU/ uncapped/3 GB RAM 4 LPARs have 0.2 cores and 1 LPARs have 0.1 core Shared pool has one core 9 LPARs are configured each with 0.2/1 vCPU/ uncapped/ 3 GB memory, 1 LPAR is 10 10 100 1307 configured with 0.1/1 vCPU/uncapped/3 GB memory. Shared pool has two cores 18 LPARs are configured each with 0.2/1 vCPU/ uncapped/ 3 GB memory, 2 LPARs are 20 20 200 2642 configured with 0.1/1 vCPU/uncapped/3 GB memory. Shared pool has four cores 37LPARs configured with 0.2core/ 1vCPU/uncapped and 3 LPARs configured 40 40 400 5063 with 0.3core/1vCPU/ uncapped. Shared pool has eight cores LPARs are configured each with 0.2/1 vCPU/ uncapped/ 3 GB memory, 4 LPARs are 80 80 800 9703 configured with 0.1/1 vCPU/uncapped/ 3 GB memory. Shared pool has 16 coresTable 3. TPoX Benchmark Detailed Test InformationTest # 2: StorageThe Storwize V7000 storage controller in the PureFlex system provides the flexibility todeploy any mix of both hard drive disks (HDDs) and Solid State Drives (SSDs). SinceOLTP applications (such as TPoX) particularly benefit from high-throughput storage,the goal of this setup was to determine the effect that provisioning the Storwize V7000controller with SSDs would have on the VM density capability of the PureFlex system.Figure 4, below, presents a visual representation comparing maximum virtualizationpossible using the TPoX benchmarks for the Storwize V7000 Controller provisioned withEdison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 13
  17. 17. a full 24 HDDs (for an earlier study 8), and the same controller provisioned with 24 SSDsfor the present study. As the figure indicates, a tenfold increase in the possible numberof VMs per core results in provisioning SSDs rather than HDDs. HDD SSD Storwize V7000 Controller with 24 HDDs Storwize V7000 Controller with 24 SSDs Figure 4: VM Density Comparison between HDDs & SSDsWhen the Storwize V7000 was provisioned with 24 HDDs, 12 HD spindles wererequired for every four VMs in order to achieve sufficient parallelization to overcomethe latency (seek time) associated with HDDs. Unlike the mechanical HDDs, which arelimited by factors such as spindle speeds and actuator movement, SSDs involve nomoving parts. They consume a fraction of the power required to operate and to coolHDDs, while taking up a fraction of the space.SSDs can also yield I/O response times up to 100 times greater than HDDs, making themparticularly good choices for transaction-intensive workloads typical in databaseapplications. While once too costly for all but the highest-end performance-intensiveuses, SSDs have dropped in price considerably which — along with their savings inspace, power, and maintenance (due to much fewer devices needed and their non-mechanical nature) — they can in certain scenarios actually be the more cost-effectivechoice over HDDS.8IBM PowerVM Virtualization Technology on IBM POWER7 Systems - A Comparison of PowerVM and VMwareVirtualization Performance, Edison Group, Inc., 2012.Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 14
  18. 18. ConclusionsThis paper shows that the IBM PureFlex system can deliver VM consolidation in aheterogeneous, self-contained environment capable of impressive levels of throughputperformance. It can dramatically reduce time to production for virtualized data centerapplication operations, providing multiple compute and operating system platforms,advanced storage, and integrated networking in a single manageable system.The benchmark results presented in this paper show that the IBM POWER7 processor-based ITE platform using PowerVM virtualization, in particular, demonstratedsignificantly superior throughput performance at all levels of VM population over thex86 Sandy Bridge ITE platform using vSphere 5. IBM PowerVM technology — thevirtualization software built into the POWER7 processor-based systems — offers anunprecedented level of platform support, scalability, efficient resource utilization,flexibility, and heterogeneous server management. IBM PowerVM virtualization offersautonomic resource affinity, resulting in higher workload performance in a virtualizedenvironment.The IBM PureFlex system delivers efficient virtualization of IBM POWER7 Systems andPowerVM technology, along with integrated IBM Storwize V7000 controllers that canaccommodate SSDs for maximum per-core VM density, making the IBM PureFlexsystem an excellent foundation for cloud computing environments. POL03114-USEN-01Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 15
  19. 19. Appendix AThis appendix describes the test methodology used to compare PowerVM to VMwareapplication benchmark performance across three (pLinux, AIX and xLinux) operatingsystems on the IBM Unified Virtualization Infrastructure.This performance evaluation characterizes hypervisor efficiency in scaling virtualmachines on POWER7- and x86-based integrated technology elements (ITEs ). Theexperiments conducted assess the effect of adding VMs incrementally as well asincrementally increasing system resource consumption. Throughput performance wasmeasured as the number of VMs was scaled from 5 to 80.To ensure fair comparison across platforms and to remove variability across each set oftests, the following actions were taken:1. Deployment of optimized VM configurations in terms of virtual processors on each platform and similar memory allocated per VM. a. a. On PowerVM, resources can be allocated to an I/O hosting partition, therefore resource allocation to I/O hosting partition is optimized for each set of tests on Power systems. This is not applicable to VMware.2. The same set of “benchmark parameters” were used across platforms.3. Except for the virtualized workloads under investigation, a common software stack was maintained across the three operating systems (DB server).4. Tuning was performed based on best practices for respective platforms.5. VMware vSphere 5.0, SuSE 11 SP2 (xLinux and pLinux), AIX 7.1, DB2 tuning.System TuningX86 (Sandy Bridge) Integrated Technology Element System (uEFI/BIOS) default settings were used (HT enabled, Turbo mode enabled, Operating Mode set to MAX performance).IBM POWER7 Integrated Technology Element Dynamic Power Management / Favor Performance was enabled. POL03114-USEN-01Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 16
  20. 20. Virtualization TuningVMware Virtual Machine Configuration Details VMware VMs were created using Virtual Machine version 8. Virtual Disk LSI Logic Parallel was used. It was noted that the LSI Logic Parallel adapter and the LSI Logic SAS adapter offer equivalent performance. 9 Updates were made to the latest VMware tools. esxtop –ab and vmstat were collected from the VM.AIX and pLinux (PowerVM Guest OS) and xLinux (VMware Guest OS)TuningsAIX Tunings *raso -r -o mtrc_enabled=0 (disables lightweight memory trace) *ctctrl -P memtraceoff (disables component trace) *errctrl -P errcheckoff (disables run-time error checking) *skeyctl -k off (disables storage keys) dscrctl -n -s 1 (disable prefetch) Remove the Java 5 version from AIX 7.1 install (the benchmark used Java 6). Disk queue depth increased to 20 on the VM (default 3 is low for this I/O-intensive workload).Disclaimer: These AIX tunings were done for benchmarking reasons; customers do not changeany of these tunables in a production environment unless they are asked to by the AIX supportteam in the process of resolving an issue.pLinux Tunings ppc64_cpu –dscrctl=1 (disable prefetch)DB2 Tuning on all three operating systems (xLinux, pLinux, AIX 7.1) Database buffer pool (0.2 GB) is allocated for table space on each VM.9 vSphere Help POL03114-USEN-01Edison: IBM – TPoX Benchmark Results on IBM PureFlex System White Paper Page 17

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