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May 28, 2009


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Andrew Storrs

Fantastic news Chad! I'm off to tune things up. :)

Itzik Reich

just wanted to share my experience with installing vSphere in VMware workstation 6.5.2 and what i was / wasn't able to achieve:

hardware ingidients:
1. intel i7 motherboard.
2. 12 GB of RAM
3. Windows 7 64bit as the base OS
4. VMware workstation 6.5.2

two esx4 servers installed, configured with:
esx's VM's running under workstation 6.5.2 to automatic mode
(they will pick the latest intel-vt-x)

Use "Other 64-bit" as the guest OS type, and manually add the
following to the configuration file for each ESX VM:
monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = TRUE
(this is extremley important as it will allow nested VM's to run under the Nested ESX's)

If you are using ESX Classic, you should allocate a minimum of 2 vCPUs
for an ESX 4.0 VM. For ESXi, you can get by with one.

set the nested VM (windows xp) cpu/mmu virtualization settings
at 'automatic' if you like.
edit the nested VM's vmx file to have:
replay.allowBTOnly = TRUE
(without this line, FT will NOT work..)

that's it..couldn't test powerpath as i didn't have the licenses, but i could multi-path my iscsi connections (RR) using duncan article:


also, SRM does not work, nothing to do with the vmware workstation..vSphere is not working with SRM.

Itzik Reich

Solutions Architect



where Information Lives

Chad Sakac

And folks - THAT is why Itzik here is one of the best of our army of VMware Champions here within EMC :-)

Itzik - you rock!

BTW - the current release of SRM(and VMware View) don't work with vSphere. They are both coming relatively shortly. In

fact the beta for the next release of SRM is starting soon, and already is dominated by EMC customers :-)

David Barker

Well, I've just tried monitor.virtual_mmu = "hardware" on a shiny new dell m710 - it works, but doesn't seem to add or subtract from the vsa's performance.

Still, all is nice and quick :-)

Erik Bussink

After having downloaded the latest Celerra Simulator 2DM from Powerlink, I realized that I needed to also add the following line to the .vmx configuration

monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = "true"

to get passed the Blackbird slow startup.

Mark Soho

I have a VSA on both my laptop and on one of our esx servers (3.5). The two config options seem to help with the workstation instance, but the esx instance still idles around 25% and hits 90-100% cpu when going through the web gui. Should I just go ahead and wait till the upgrade to vSphere? Thanks!

Chad Sakac

@Mark - the config changes only matter in ESX 4 (vSphere ESX 4) - not ESX 3.5, so to get the same effect you see on Workstation 6.5 (hardware offload enabled by Intel VT and AMD-V)


Will it work on ESXi4?

Itzik Reich

Dani, yes it will


Will this configuration work with any Intel i7 motherboard? Itzik, what model processor are you using? I just want to make sure what I purchase will work with vSphere. Thanks!!!


Hi Chad,
I asked this in the emc forums but haven't had a huge response. So if you dont mind i thought i would ask through the comments of the blog post.
I was wondering do you know if the celerra VSA supports spc-3 Persistent Reservations? I'm trying to get it to work with hyper-v.


Chad Sakac

@DC - the Celerra has supported SCSI-3 compliant (works with W2K8) persistent reservations on the iSCSI target since DART 5.6.39. You're good to go!

Ben Conrad

Great videos! I've got VT-x enabled and the GUI performance is snappy, host CPU is relatively low.

[NOTE] I'm not a Powerlink subscriber, and my EMC forums (ENC) account is showing that I don't have access to some content.

I'm having issues with the write performance on my LUNs. When I've got an iSCSI LUN mounted I can only write with 'dd' at about 1.3MB/s. If I dd in /tmp while logged into the Celerra locally (/dev/sda2; EXT3) I get about 55MB/s. Same symptoms using 2 different vSwitches. I'm using the VMWare LSI Logic parallel SCSI adapter that came with the simulator.

It's as if the LUNs have no write-back cache?

I don't care about data integrity, I just need 10-20MB/s of sequential write I/O to do some basic VM testing.

Any thoughts?


Ben Conrad

At Storage > Systems > Clariion CX600 it says 'Write Cache Size: <1MB'.

Ouch, is there a way to get it to 64-128MB?


Pete Karelis


I've created a virtual-hardware 7 version of the Celerra VSA using VMXNET3 and PVSCSI. Works quite well so far. If interested, the download is available here:




I have an opteron box at home that I can use. I'll bench it and try to get the proper settings for CPU based MMU. I'll let you know what I can come up with.


I use i7 860 8GB WS 7.1 on XP x64. 2 ESX4 servers work fine. Nearly all new CPUs meet the vSphere requirements.

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