Virtualisation at Ringo


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A talk at BarCamp Cameroon 2010 by Jeremy Brown (Limbe Labs Solutions) and Patrick Azogni (Ringo) about the use of virtualisation and it's benefits to Ringo.

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  • Virtualisation at Ringo

    1. 1. Virtualisation at Ringo Jeremy Brown - Limbe Labs, & Patrick Azogni - Ringo,
    2. 2. A loose definition “Virtualisation is a framework or methodology of dividing the resources of a computer into multiple execution environments, by applying one or more concepts or technologies such as hardware and software partitioning, time- sharing, partial or complete machine simulation, emulation, quality of service, and many others.”
    3. 3. The old model • A server for every application • Software and hardware are tightly coupled • Under utilised resources introduce real cost into the infrastructure
    4. 4. The new model • Physical hardware is abstracted by a virtualisation layer, or hypervisor • Manage OS and application as a single unit by encapsulating them into virtual machines • Separate OS and hardware and break hardware dependancies • Optimise utilisation levels
    5. 5. Increased hardware utilisation • Before virtualisation • After virtualisation
    6. 6. Under utilisation of resources • Most organisations over- provision • Multiple processors in each server • Memory requirements over-estimated • Aim to drive up CPU Sample customer data – 120 utilisation servers monitored
    7. 7. Virtual Infrastructure • Virtual infrastructure brings uniformity to the data centre • Dynamically map computing resources to the business • Lower IT costs through increased efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness • Provision new services and change the amount of resources dedicated to a software service • Treat your data centre as a single pool of processing, storage and networking power
    8. 8. Usage scenarios for Virtualisation
    9. 9. Production Server Consolidation • Consolidate workloads • Infrastructure applications • Low-utilization workloads • Branch office and datacenter workloads • Efficient use of available hardware resources • Re-host legacy OS and applications • NT4 guest applications on virtual platform • Run on current hardware and current OS • No application updates required • Partition resources • Limit CPU resource per VM
    10. 10. Business continuity management • Disaster Recovery • Maintain DR systems as virtual machines • Eliminate traditional problems associated with bare metal restores • OS and application patching • Deploy and test patches off-production, and swap • Eliminate scheduled downtime • Isolation / sandboxing • Isolate OS environments for untrusted applications • Prevent malicious code from affecting others
    11. 11. Dynamic datacenter • Workload mobility • Package up entire OS environment and move to other location • Flexible deployment of workloads
    12. 12. Development and test • Rapid provisioning of virtual machines • Create arbitrary test scenarios • Wider test range for niche scenarios
    13. 13. Virtualisation use in Ringo • Currently using virtualisation for: • Server consolidation • Seeing a typical 60% decrease in resources used - we can go further but need to install more RAM • Easier management of servers - both physical and virtual • Dynamic Datacenter • Can live migrate servers between physical hosts • Can provision servers much faster through the use of templates
    14. 14. Before Virtualisation • Before the Virtualisation Project: • Ringo was using various versions of VMWare on single servers, but mainly all servers were running unvirtualised. This met needs but there was no pooling of servers, it wasn’t possible to do live migration, templating and snapshotting of VMs. • VMs were stacked on physical servers but it wasn’t possible to do maintenance on the physical servers without stopping the VMs. • This meant only a small part of the benefits of virtualisation was realised - there was still a very high management overhead.
    15. 15. After Full Virtualisation • After the project: • Changed to Citrix XenServer (free). Feature advantages over VMWare (free) make it a compelling choice for those on a budget. Performance advantages and a better licensing model (per server rather than per CPU) • Able to manage VMs in pools (production, hosting and development) • Live Migration - physical servers can be maintained without shutting down VMs. • Templates/Snapshotting - reduced management overhead.
    16. 16. Lessons learned • It’s not easy to migrate physical to virtual (P2V) or virtual to virtual (V2V), there are some gotchas you need to look out for. • Network cards and network settings. • Drivers • Need to test and plan carefully • Shared Storage - SAN critical to smooth operation of VMs. • Test small pools of non-critical servers before migrating your critical servers - performance test network, disk and application performance of old server vs VM, when it all works then do the critical services. • Snapshots are not backups - still need to have a good deployment framework and methodology for testing before deployment. • You are only limited by the memory of your physical machines - CPU usage is always low, so the more physical memory you have the more VMs you can run - unfortunately memory ballooning is a paid feature with XenServer.
    17. 17. Still a long way to go... • Improvement is never ending • Build out VMs in development pool - automatic migration to production. • Better management of VMs - improve templates •
    18. 18. Demonstration of Virtualisation Patrick Azogni
    19. 19. Questions?
    20. 20. Thank You Jeremy Brown - Limbe Labs, & Patrick Azogni - Ringo,