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Virtual Servers - Impact on performance

Posted on 2013-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi all,

I suspect I may be asking "How long is a piece of string "  .. but here goes!

A client needs to a new server but does not want to spend!  The client is using an application similar to SAP.

The client has a very new existing server with loads of capacity.

Question: If they create a "virtual server" then will this have diminished response times.

Unfortunately I cannot provide more info.
I appreciate that it is a very broad question
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Question by:Patrick O'Dea
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by:Nick Rhode
Nick Rhode earned 100 total points
ID: 39598412
Reasons and why you should virtualize:  http://www.vmware.com/virtualization/
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 39598444
You really can't tell us what operating systems they use?  

Anything virtual WILL be slower than if it is installed physical.

HOWEVER, the performance hit when using a Type 1 hypervisor (Hyper-V, VMWare) is USUALLY not too significant as to cause problems.

But if you virtualize (this shouldn't be an if - you SHOULD ALWAYS VIRTUALIZE unless there is an explicit, specific reason NOT to) DO NOT add on to a server already running things... the bare metal should run the type 1 hypervisor and ALL the services except those DIRECTLY supporting the virtualization platform should be running from virtualized guests - DCs, file servers, print servers, DNS, DHCP, etc.
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by:edster9999
edster9999 earned 100 total points
ID: 39598750
I'll take a guess on this one - and it is a guess as you are keeping us in the dark :)

I think on your question you are saying they have an existing server and they want to put a new server inside a virtual service on that server so it is running both.

Assuming the box has multiple processors, Hyper-V stuff built into the processor / bios, and lots of memory then this will work.
It will slow the main box down.  Think of it as a program running on that server. It will not only use but it will lock processor time and memory to itself.

If it crashes it should be easy enough to reboot it inside its virtual house without effecting the main server at all.
If the main server crashes or needs restarting then obviously it will also take down the virtual one inside it.

One other option would be to clean everything off the new server and install a big empty OS to run 2 virtual machines inside it.  Re-install the main one and then add your new one.
The two boxes would now run independently.
Neither machine will ever run at the full speed of the box - but you will be surprised at how fast it does all run.  Quite often big servers are sitting round idling away at just a few percent CPU and memory used and the rest of the cpu and memory would just love to do something.
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by:Kyle Green
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ID: 39598901
I'll give you a real-world comparison. We have a little over 50 servers whose data sits on an IBM XIV san and the processing happens in a 10-blade blade center.

Within these servers we have web servers, domain controllers, exchange servers, application servers of MANY kinds, Spiceworks dedicated servers, and the list goes on and on and on.

All of these run about as fast as I could hope a server to run on spindle disk storage and I never notice any problems with the native performance of the virtualized machines.
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by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39598922
great answers ... more contributions welcome!
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Kyle Green earned 200 total points
ID: 39617477
We're derailing here. To answer your question, yes, no matter what visualization solution you use there is a performance ding.

Let me also follow this up with, in my experience both working for a bank, the USAF, and at home (where I also run vSphere 5.1), there is not really a noticeable hit. All of them seem to run just as fast as if they were individual bare metal machines.

If you have a shiny new server with loads of capacity, the processing power, ram and at least 2 nics to go with it, you should definitely wipe the server and install a type 1 hypervisor (I personally recommend VMWare). If you've never used it before the learning curve isn't too drastic, and it's really fun to work with.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39625774
Folks,

Thanks all for comments .... I am learning.

The bottom line!
The client I am dealing with has decided to use a virtual server.
The client has previously avoided virtuals.
Hopefully all will go well ..... there is a great fear of a slow server.
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