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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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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:quickcat88
ID: 24343598
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
ID: 24343605
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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Author Comment

by:mrmut
ID: 24343643
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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Author Comment

by:mrmut
ID: 24343649
(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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Expert Comment

by:Cuteadder
ID: 24343676
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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Author Comment

by:mrmut
ID: 24345073
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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Author Comment

by:mrmut
ID: 24347396
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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Accepted Solution

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larstr earned 2000 total points
ID: 24350338
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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Author Comment

by:mrmut
ID: 24350354
Great!

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

Thanks a lot!
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