Data centers

08:00 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

VMware: The Virtualization Drag

By consolidating applications onto a single system, VMware provides cost savings, flexibility and improved application management, but there are trade-offs. We took to the lab to identify and determine

   

In our tests of Vmware's Infrastructure 3 Suite, the performance overhead of VMware ESX Server, while typically less than 10 percent, spiked as high as 20 percent. We're not saying running VMware will hobble your systems--hardware virtualization simplifies server consolidation, saving money and data-center real estate while cutting power usage, and double-digit performance hits can be avoided with proper planning. But there is an undeniable cost in terms of performance.

In tests at our Boston partner labs, we found the primary benefit of running ESX Server is, not surprisingly, making the most of hardware resources by letting existing servers run more apps. In fact, virtualization may be server vendors' worst nightmare: Gartner sees a slim possibility that the technology could reduce the compound annual growth rate for x86 servers to--get this--negative 0.6 percent by 2010. We expect savings in data center power as well.

VIRTUALIZATION
Immersion Center

NEWS | REVIEWS | BLOGS | FORUMS TUTORIALS | STRATEGY | MORE

Oddly enough, then, when we recently asked readers which tech buzzword they most despise, virtualization came in a strong second, just behind SOA. One in four respondents threatened bodily harm to the next salesperson who mentioned it, and 20 percent said they didn't realize expected benefits.

Still, virtualization is here to stay, and that's a good thing despite its apparent image problem. Whether you use Microsoft Virtual Server, VMware, Xen or another package, virtualization delivers a raft of benefits, from better use of physical assets to improved management of applications to the ability to divvy up resources across machines in a way that the sum of a virtual assigned resource--such as memory--exceeds actual physical memory. Using virtual machines may reduce physical server count by moving older applications off older hardware to newer systems that are less likely to experience hardware failure or, in the event of failure, have better parts availability. We found ways to boost the payoff from virtualization technologies, and our testing highlights which areas will suffer least from performance drags.

Continue Reading This Story...

IMAGES
Click image to view image
NWC REPORTS
bullet Chip Changes Propel Virtualization
New x86 processors from Intel and AMD are paving the way for data center virtualization. But is a world of virtual systems that take care of themselves really possible in our lifetime?

Previous
1 of 13
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Cartoon
Slideshows
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
Jeremy Schulman, founder of Schprockits, a network automation startup operating in stealth mode, joins us to explore whether networking professionals all need to learn programming in order to remain employed.
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Current Issue
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Video
Twitter Feed