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Virtualization Short Take #32

Here it is—the last Virtualization Short Take of 2009! This is just a small collection of various virtualization-related links and articles that I’ve gathered over the last few weeks (OK, maybe more than a few weeks).

  • Scott Drummonds posted a good article with a performance comparison of thick provisioned disks vs. thin provisioned disks. This is good information and helps to clear up a lot of misinformation about the behavior of thin provisioned disks.

  • Interested in using the software iSCSI initiator with a dvSwitch and multiple paths? This article can give you the information you need to get started.

  • Frank Denneman has a great article providing some details on memory reservations and memory usage. It’s definitely worth a read, as is this post on the impact of guest OS type mismatch. See, there is a reason why it’s important to make sure you select the correct guest OS type when creating VMs.

  • I’ve written about the paravirtualized SCSI (PVSCSI) driver before, but Scott Sauer over at Virtual Insanity has a great two-part series on PVSCSI that is definitely worth a read (part 1 and part 2).

  • Although a bit dated now, Dave Lawrence has a great review of some of November’s technical white papers. He references the thin provisioning performance paper that’s also referenced in Scott Drummond’s post above, as well as a white paper on optimizing SRM performance. Thanks for bringing our attention to these documents, Dave!

  • The release of VMware View 4 brings with it PCoIP, which is supposed to bring enhanced performance over older display protocols. Unfortunately, everything I was hearing was that PCoIP was incompatible with many WAN acceleration solutions. So I was quite puzzled at this press release. Reading the press release a bit more closely, though, it would seem that Expand’s solution doesn’t actually optimize or accelerate PCoIP; rather, it enables it to be tunneled and applies Quality of Service (QoS). Something is better than nothing, I guess.

  • Rick Scherer describes a strange issue with vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1 and VMware ESXi 4.0 Update 1. Rick was seeing a number of strange symptoms, including ESXi hosts suddenly disconnecting from vCenter Server. Last time I checked Rick still hadn’t identified the root cause, although the symptoms he was seeing have since disappeared.

  • Stu provides a thorough explanation of why VMware is recommending not to install vCenter Server 4.0 Update 1 when managing VMware ESXi 4.0 hosts.

  • Need to install the HP Management Agents on VMware ESX 4.0? Here are some helpful instructions.

  • Nigel Poulton has started a great series on rack area networks (RANs), of which a key component is I/O virtualization. So far, Nigel has published part 1 (introducing the concept of a RAN), part 2 (IOV’s role in a RAN), and part 3 (IOV and hairpin turns). Part 2, in particular, has a good discussion of SR-IOV and MR-IOV. Nigel’s discussion of SR-IOV is a good complement to my own.

  • Greg Schulz also has a lengthy article on I/O virtualization.

  • Curious to know why NUMA is important with vSphere? Network Computing blogger Jake McTigue (with whom I had the honor of participating on a recent virtual networking webcast) has a good overview of NUMA and what it means for virtualized environments. It’s worth a read if you’re not already familiar with NUMA.

  • Need more information on storage alignment and VMFS block sizes? Check out this VIOPS document.

I also have a whole list of other links that I haven’t had the chance to read yet but that look like they might be interesting or useful:

A handy new addition to the Command Line Tool for View 4

Whats what in VMware View and VDI Land

How to get PCoIP with View 4 to work every time!

Revisiting the Components of the Cisco Nexus 1000v

File Virtualization The short primer

Is Your Blade Ready for Virtualization? A Math Lesson

RSA SecureBook for VMware View hardening now publicly available!

I guess that’s enough for now. If you have any other useful, unique, or interesting virtualization-related links, feel free to share them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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