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Virtuous Virtual Performance: Why You Don't Have It and How To Get It
The universal demand for greater datacenter performance and lower hardware investment has brought about the phenomenal growth of virtualization. Consolidating resources for greater efficiency is the promise of virtual performance, but it is also the source of a major barrier to achieving optimum I/O throughput.

While virtualization offers attractive benefits such as near-instant provisioning, better hardware utilization, and energy and space savings, it comes with a critical performance consideration. The system’s ability to process I/Os, already a bottleneck relative to the speed of the CPU and RAM, is doubled between the host and Virtual Machines. Virtual performance declines rapidly.

Virtual performance cannot be optimized without handling both host and virtual machine levels. But the VMs compete for shared resources and are not aware of each other. Excess and unnecessary use of disk I/O channels from any VM will impede performance across all other systems running on the host. Worse, virtual disks are commonly set to dynamically grow and don’t shrink when users or applications remove data. This results in rapidly accumulating wasted free space that is inaccessible to other virtual systems. As free space shrinks, it causes fragmentation to accelerate. Eventually, the promise of virtual performance becomes a more expensive proposition than was originally planned for.

Fortunately, Diskeeper Corporation has stayed a few steps ahead of virtual performance issues in system technologies. The company recently released V-locity 2 virtual platform disk optimizer for VMware and Hyper-V. In this product, IT managers will find the full promise of virtual performance they originally envisioned. V-locity 2 optimizes the performance on the entire virtual platform from the host disk to the VMs by optimizing performance on both without resource management conflicts. The only solution of its kind, V-locity 2 also eliminates “bloated” free space on thin/dynamic disks.

V-locity consists of several components. The V-locity Host is installed in the VMware ESX Host or Windows Server 2008/R2 operating system running Hyper-V. The V-locity Guest is installed in all Windows virtual machines. For VMware ESX platforms, V-locity also includes a third component, a small application that allows you to remotely connect from your Windows desktop to the V-locity Host component on an ESX system.

Managing a virtual platform is a commitment to greater efficiency and cost-savings. The combined technologies on V-locity 2 are designed to ensure greater compatibility between related functions and maximum I/O efficiency across the platform. As a result, you get something not available elsewhere – all of the benefits of virtualization with none of the I/O bottleneck liabilities.

Published Thursday, April 07, 2011 5:46 AM by David Marshall
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