Folks - we have talked a lot in the past about Exchange 2007 workloads on VMware Infrastructure here (net: Exchange 2007 on VMware works GREAT, you can get more users per server than you can on physical, you can get all the goodness of the new Exchange 2007 features without the server sprawl they create, and still get all the storage savings). Some folks have asked where they can get the detailed doc, including performance data. Read on for directions on how to find ALL the solutions docs(i.e. "teach someone to fish") - but if you're lazy, just download it here (also to just to stop the "EMC doesn't share detailed info" doubters out there).
BTW - there is more to come on that front - we still shattering our own current records of 16K users per ESX server (configured as 8 mailbox server role VMs each with 2K users) as new server platforms hit the market (last round was with the R900 series server with 64GB of RAM).
Now on to another "Tier 1 app".... Sharepoint is another great app, and a great app to virtualize since it's one that often has a lot of server components (like like Exchange 2007) and people were asking about our experiences running it on VMware. Curious? Read on....
So - first of all... a shout out to my brothers/sisters at the Cork Solutions Center (storagezilla has a great post on that crazy gang here). In particular - James Baldwin - an all-round all-star. Any customer who has called in for Replication Manager support knows, James is fantastic. He's off doing solution testing now, and here are his findings:
In terms of performance, (omitting the SQL backend - which has been virtualized in other tests showing EXCELLENT performance), across 3 baseline tests, on average:
- Our Virtualized SharePoint server infrastructure farm out-performed the physical SharePoint farm by 4%,
- But only used 26% of the electrical power (watts) required to power the physical server infrastructure - put another way, that’s a 74% power saving over physical, put yet another way, going physical means 380% more power.
- 1017 Watts versus 3952 Watts. 6 Power cords versus 22
And the comparison table:
Here are some excerpts from the upcoming Integration guide available to EMC and EMC partners...
ESX performance data:
Guest performance data:
Storage performance info:
Q: Where do I get stuff like this?!!
A: If you're a customer, EMC Partner (including strategic Alliance Partners), or an EMC Employee, it's right there on powerlink (screenshots of how to get there).
The documents come in several types:
- Reference Architecture Guides - these are around 10 pages long, and are kinda glossy. Useful for a pointy haired boss, but still useful as a summary - they say "we tested this configuration, and it worked within these boundary conditions". It provides a parts list, and all software versions if you want to recreate it.
- Best Practices Guides/Integration Guides/Applied Technolgoy Guides - These are usually 50-100 pages long, and contain the "do's and don'ts" (i.e. "configure the storage this way"). Sometimes where it's not self evident, they include the data that supports the conclusion. Otherwise, they point to the Validation Test Report (below)
- Validation Test Reports - these are around 100-300 pages long, and contain all the data from the tests - ALL THE DATA, including failures (which is just as important as the successes). There's little interpretation - it's left up to the
- Build Documents: step-by-step (with screenshots) of how we constructed the test (if someone wants to replicate it).
To give you an idea, here's a screenshot when I click on Exchange 2007:
I highlighted a couple things:
- there are 33 different reference architectures (and this is just in the "mid-size enterprise" category - i.e. configs that cost tens of thousands of dollars) - there's one that reflects YOU.
- Note we've done it for all sorts of platforms, and protocol types (iSCSI, FC, NFS datastores)
- Note we've done it in remote replication and "local only" configurations.
- Note we've done it with our own (it's on the next screen) and 3rd party software (like other backup apps and tools from Ontrack, Quest and others)
If you're not a customer (or a competitor looking for something to help you because your company doesn't take the "end-to-end" solutioneering as importantly as we do) - just ask me, I'll provide anything you are looking for :-)
So here's the question of the day...
"Why would anyone deploy in physical vs. VMware (except the obvious "it's not a supported guest OS type" or it's "not an x86-64 workload")."
Challenge to you:
"Please comment with an ask: "what's EMC's perspective on virtualizing mission-critical app _____ and do you have data to support that?" - I bet you I have it, and can post it... and if I don't have it yet, I can tell you which global solutions lab is building it :-)"