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vmware esxi server 2003 high pages/sec and disk queue

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Host: esxi 4.1
host disk: raid5 sata (yeah, i know...budget constraint)
Guest: Server 2003 32-bit std edition
ram: 4gb

Performance monitor show intermittent (but frequent) high memory pages/sec and high disk queue length.  This results in issues with SQL server it is hosting.  Clients running an app that connects to the database get connection errors.

The guest was a P2V conversion initially P2V'd to a vmware server 2.x guest, then converted again to esxi.

I noticed the v-disks are IDE:0, 1.  Do they need to be converted to scsi?

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Question by:snowdog_2112
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 33517947
Use the following KB to convert to SCSI from IDE

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1016192

This should help performance
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simonseztech earned 2000 total points
ID: 33531223
Since you use VMware Hypervisor 4.1 you have access to the new optimised paravirtualSCSI disk controller.

IDE -> SCSI
Power up and upgrade VMware Tools & Restart... (Migrate to hardware version 7)
1. Add the second disk on an LSI Logic adapter and boot VM;
2. Add LSI Logic driver;
3. Reboot into PE / DOS and using ghost, etc. clone the original disk (IDE) to the new disk (LSI Logic);
4. Shutdown and remove the IDE disk; (do not delete from disk)
5. Ensure the new disk is at scsi0:0;
6. Power up and make sure all is good;
7. at this point you can remove your old ide vmdk

SCSI to pvSCSI
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1010398

Use VMware snapshot and proper backup before any attempt.
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Expert Comment

by:simonseztech
ID: 33531278
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Author Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33580223
The ghost method was giving me 80MB/min transfer rate.  At that rate, it would have taken over 10 hours to clone the drive.

Would I be better off running the vmware converter or something like that?  How about vmfstools?  Is there a command line conversion  - short of editing the IDE vmdk file and adding a bunch of numbers which seems to be an invitation for trouble.
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Author Closing Comment

by:snowdog_2112
ID: 33614232
The ghost took 13 hours for 100GB.  Painfully slow, but successful.  I'll know over the next few days if that was the problem, but given that it took 13 hours at 75MB/min, I believe it is.
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