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VMware Torture Testing

We are in the process of receiving two sets of test hardware to run a VMware ESX 3.5 cluster with the full blown HA, Vmotion, and extras.  We would like to compare these hardware sets by building as many copies of a template virtual machine as we can until either the software or hardware begins to fail (can I say I love my job?).  In any case, I need some opinions on how to go about testing a virtual machine.  One thought I had was to boot into prime95 or similar software and run the same stress tests concurrently on all the VM's as I am adding them to the cluster for consistancy.  I was also thinking of building a template Centos machine and running a stress test from within the OS that maxed CPU, Memory, and Network concurrently (haven't found anything to do this yet, suggestions welcome).  
We are getting some of the new nehalem stuff to test, and we would like to justify the extra cost and risk of new hardware by testing the heat-sinks out it and proving it will hold up and spank the older Core2/Opteron architectures.

Thanks in advance!
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WINAIRMVS
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WINAIRMVS
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ElloDarkstarCommented:
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WINAIRMVSAuthor Commented:
ElloDarkstar,

Thanks for the link.  To clarify, We are testing clusters of 2RU servers each of which will have dual 4gbps HBAs connecting to a 40TB SAN.  There will be boatloads of bandwidth to this cluster via a Cisco 7609 platform which will connect to our 10gbps network and soon to be DWDM network capable of over 400gbps.  Despite testing the network and IO, we are really just looking to bake the hardware with as many virtual machines as possible to see how much a VMware license buys you on a Nehalem and non-Nehalem machine.  We are planning to roll out a hosted service for customers off our network POPs to have hosted virtual machines, so the platform we build this on needs to be bullet proof.  The article you posted is relatively old and some of the links to the tools are broken.  Funny, a Google search didn't find this page when I was searching myself!  Thanks for the info!
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