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hot add cpu / memory vmware exchange 2010

Posted on 2014-01-20
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Is anybody aware of any issues that exist when hot adding cpu and memory on a virtual machine running server 2008 r2 / exchange 2010?
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Question by:cmatchett
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Expert Comment

by:bill_lynch
ID: 39794053
nope in fact I believe I have done it.  Are you experiencing issues?  If your vmware tools are up to date and the hot add has been enabled in the virtual machine settings you should be good to go.
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by:cmatchett
ID: 39794067
need to upgrade the vcpus on this particular server.  Hot add memory and cpu isn't currently enabled.

i would like to enable it when i am turning the vm off to add the vcpus - for future changes
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Expert Comment

by:bill_lynch
ID: 39794072
OK.  The VM will need to be shut down to enable it.  But then it should work moving forward.
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794082
what size of deployment did you do this on?
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Expert Comment

by:bill_lynch
ID: 39794088
one server typical install.  roughly 500 mailboxes.   I made sure I had a good backup before doing so.  I recommend that for you of course as well.
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794092
ok, thanks.  It might be a week or two before i get this done.  i will report back
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LVL 119
ID: 39794098
Personally, on a production machine, I would not Hot Add Memory or CPU!
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794130
Any particular reason?  My outlook is that technology has moved on now with vmware etc and applications have now been written to better cope with the facility to hot add?
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39794143
Fragmentation of Memory, on starting a server, with the full amount of memory, it will better utilize it, as Exchange resources grow.

As you have to shutdown the VM, anyway to enable the option to hot add memory and cpu, you might as well adjust the values you require before VM Power On.

Only, in an emergency situation would I add more memory/cpu, via Hot Add.

But you should be monitoring capacity of VMs, to ensure resources are correct and then request Change, at the next scheduled maintenance period, e.g. patch updates etc
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794174
Ok, i have come across a DAG that consists of 2 servers and 4 databases.  2 passive copies on each server, so thats +20% already on the processor.

these two servers only have 4 vcpus.  there are 2000 users.

CPU is nearly constantly sitting above 90 % on each server, so when one of the server fails the server hosting all copies of the databases doesn't do to well.

i understand that utilization should be around 40% on a dag member
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LVL 119
ID: 39794207
Add more servers.
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794214
The only options available to me is to increase the vcpu / memory
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LVL 119
ID: 39794230
That may not resolve the 90% cpu issue, adding CPUs, is not linear....
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794259
I suppose the process will have to be that i first upgrade the vCPUs.

I was looking at this pdf

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/exchange-2010-on-vmware-best-practices-guide.pdf

I was going to up the vCPU from 4 to 8, although 12 might be the correct amount.

I should really use the exchange 2010 calculator but arranging to run the profiling tool could prove difficult
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LVL 119
ID: 39794270
Just be cautious, and check metrics that adding too many vCPUs may not have the desired effects and make performance worse.

Many VMware Admins, add too many vCPU and oversubscribe VMs, making performance worse, because they can!
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794408
doesn't the profile analyzer add load to the exchange servers whilst it is running?
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LVL 119
ID: 39794431
Yes it does.
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39794716
I will perform a switchover of the active databases when upgrading each server?

As opposed to running the DAG maintenance scripts?
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 39811608
when you add a vcpu to a vm, do you have to..

turn it off
add the vcpu
turn it on
turn it off
turn it on again?

Like change block tracking?
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LVL 119
ID: 39811617
You will generally find, after adding a vCPU it will be added automatically via Plug and Play, BUT, you then may find, a message which states, New Hardware Found, Restart Yes or No.

That message does not go away, and is displayed to any admin which logs in, so best to restart again, to avoid any restart during production hours!
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