Hitting the New Year Running – Virtualization

10 Gigabit Ethernet, InfiniBand, Virtualization

You don’t have to ask – vacation was awesome and as always not as long as we would like it to be.

Now that we’ve taken the rust off our fingers, we’ve made progress with a bit more complex testbed.

We’ve decided to look at the virtualization space and run our next application on top of VMware ESX 3.5. The application we’ve picked was the Dell DVD-Store application. Dell DVD Store is a complete online e-commerce test application, with a backend database component, a web application layer, and driver programs. In order to stay in-line with what is being used in the industry we’ve taken a 2-tier configuration which is using a MS SQL server (which will be running on VMware). This means we’ve used (as you can see in the picture) 2 hosts/systems running 20 Virtual Machines, Microsoft SQL server and Client driver.

The database contained a size of 1GB, serving 2,000,000 customers. During the testing we increased the number of Virtual Machines running the client driver from 2 to 20, and measured the number of generated orders per minute from the database.

The only change we performed after the out of the box deployment (which if you recall we’ve set as our goal) in order to execute the test more efficiently, was some developed scripts we created for test execution and results analysis.

The results of our tests are shown in the graph below:
The results clearly show a greater than 10% benefit when using VPI (both 10GigE and 40Gb/s InfiniBand). We’ve added the “up to 10 VMs” results, but from our results it seemed that the valid numbers (when jitter is not a factor) are till 8 VMs, and it seems like there is a dependency on the amount of cores on the systems running VMware.

In my next blog post I’ll plan to either review a new application or anther aspect of this application.
Nimrod Gindi

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