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Is file server performace higher on Virtual Machine?

Posted on 2009-05-09
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Is file server performance better if system is installed on top of virtual server, of bare metal installation is better?
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Question by:mrmut
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by:quickcat88
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Normally it's better to install it on the machine directly to avoid unneccessary data exchange. However, if thousands of other things are installed on the same machine, it might be a different story.
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by:Cuteadder
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Bare metal would be better as other resources come into effect on a virtual server such as CPU and memory for the VHD. Only slight difference...
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by:mrmut
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It has sense to me that BM is better performance wise, but could there be a trick? - is FS virtual, than underlying Virtualization Platform could optimize performance.

+ How Virtual Machines instruct controller to read data? VM's have their Virtual Drives stored as single files, so it seems logical to me that FS on VS could actually be faster, especially with small files.

Could that be so?
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by:mrmut
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(Smaller number of real HDD head seeks, as HDDs read just one big file which is later separated into small files of the virtual FS.)
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by:Cuteadder
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Unless you can configure some kind of perfomance raid with no other deciding factors through VHD's and VS/VM then yes.

But don't forget you can do all that on bare metal to get good results...
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by:mrmut
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So, for example, if I create a 6HDD RAID 10, and put this single VM on it. - Than the performance should be higher than it should be greater than BM installation?
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by:mrmut
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I think we need to precisely define the answer;

-> Regardless of underlying RAID field, would the performance of VHD be better than the regular Hard Drive, due to underlying Virtualization Platform?

-> It would also be great if I could get some link to the specifics.

Thank you.
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larstr earned 500 total points
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The performance depends on the type of workload. Sequential workloads seem to be faster on BM than virtual, but with a mixed workload you will see a workload very similar in both environments.

I did some testing a while ago and the pic below is taken from that test.

Lars

iometer-physical-and-virtual.png
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by:mrmut
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Great!

Even better - a machine in question is almost the same configuration:)

Thanks a lot!
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