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VMWare - How Many CPUs Should I Use in this App?

Posted on 2014-07-31
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Last Modified: 2014-08-07
We have struggled with CPU spikes often running 100% today.  Sage 100 ERP 2013 a server based ERP program running on a Windows 2008 64-Bit Standard VMWare Server.  Box is a Free ESXi 5.0 HP DL 380 Gen 7 server.
Below is a PNG of the current ESXi settings.  It has 6GB RAM and seems to use less than 2GB.
My question is this, can I or should I increase it from 1 CPU to 2 CPUs?  Do i need to put it in Maintenance Mode to change the number of CPUs?
If I cannot increase it to 2 CPUs because it is free version that will speed up the purchase of vSphere Essentials that is already in the works.  I know that will allow 6 CPUs, 2 for each server.
VMWare settings for APP Server
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Question by:pjam
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by:Forrest Burris
Forrest Burris earned 125 total points
ID: 40232711
By all means, increase it to 2 vCPUs. The free version is limited only to the amount of socket/cores you have in your server. Power the virtual machine down and make the change. No need to put the host in maintenance mode.
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by:gheist
ID: 40233015
If application uses 100% of CPU for extended periods you need to add vCPUs
And because of same reason less than total number of physical cores (or in case of hyperthreading - not more than cores)

Otherwise you run in very time consuming and rarely understood area of resource reservation per ESXi component.
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by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40233042
system requirements show intel xeon or quad-core amd
i would increase to 4

Sage 100 Standard ERP Version 2013 Supported Platform Matrix
http://www.escsoftware.com/sites/default/files/esc/SPM%20for%20Sage%20100%20Standard%20ERP%202013.pdf
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 375 total points
ID: 40233153
Increase to as many as required, until performance is acceptable.

There is no need to enter maintenance mode.

But you will need to power off the VM,

Change vCPU and power up.

You could also enable Hot Plug CPU and Memory if supported by your OS and Hypervisor.
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by:pjam
ID: 40238692
Gheist has raised an issue I am investigating.  Since it is ESXi 5.0 I cannot look at Windows properties to determine how many Cores I have.
I know that it has at least one Xeon X5560 CPU (Quad Core).  Trying to find out if it has two from vendor.  And if only one get a quote for a second X5560 CPU.
Reporting back when i find out.
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by:gheist
ID: 40238944
ESXi shows cores you have and if hyperthreading is enabled.
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by:pjam
ID: 40239001
I just found out the server has 2 Xeon X5560 Processors.
Looking at the 5 VMWare servers it seems a mixed bag as each server was built by a different Tech.
I have the following:
Current VMWare Settings
How do I determine if hyperthreading is enabled (how does that affect settings).  Why do different servers show some with 1 Virtual socket and 2 cores per socket and others are vice-versa.
What is optimal settings here?  
Looks like I have 24GB RAM (ESXi Needs some I know), and 8 cores to play with.

PS Server 1 is the AP server which is the only one I built and it was converted from physical, so it probably mimicked the parent.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 375 total points
ID: 40239044
As for Hyperthreading, Enable it, and check the Host Summary Page, it states if enabled.

I would recommend (unless you have a need for Cores! e.g. licensing!).

You standardise, on using Sockets! e.g. vCPUs not Cores.

They are different because different techs (do not know what they are doing! Educate them, and Standardise on your builds!)

Performance is the same for both....

Shutdown the VM, edit VM Settings, and change the CPU options.

see here

http://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2013/10/does-corespersocket-affect-performance.html
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by:pjam
ID: 40239063
Seth,
Looking at the SPM it does not give a recommendation for ESXi CPU only for a physical, which is Intel or AMD 64-bit capable, such as Intel Xeon or Quad-core AMD Opteron.  If  can free up CPUs from the other servers I will try to set that up.
I have already reset Server 2 to 1 & 1 as it is the WSUS server and it seems to be doing fine with that so far.
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LVL 117
ID: 40239083
It's not often, that VMs need more than 1 or 2 vCPUs.

Check performance.
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by:pjam
ID: 40239136
Sorry Andrew I missed your first comment on enabling hyperthreading.  This is what I see in Summary:
ESXi Summary
I do not see where to enable hyperthreading.
Heading over to your blog to see if i can figure this out.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 375 total points
ID: 40239158
Hyperthreading is ENABLED!
Hyperthreading is Active! it's in the Summary.

That's what it states!

(Hyperthreading is a function of the BIOS on the Server, not ESXi!)

Plenty of resources on that server, for many VMs, Memory is ALWAYS the bottleneck, and you will run out of memory, before CPU becomes an issue!
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by:pjam
ID: 40239172
Andrew,
I must be blind.  did not see that, thanks.  Reading Blog now.
also writing PO Request for vSphere essentials.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40239561
You have 2 4-core X5560 CPUS

4-vCPU machine will run in single NUMA node (optimal for any load)
8-VCPU machine will run on both (optimal for numa-aware guest of 5.5 or loads that dont share much data between threads)
16-VCPU machine will use half-cores aka hyperthreading (more or less same as previoes, but shows bigger numbers to impress users)

Turbo Mode - enable C1E in BIOS, that will allow 1-vCPU machine to overclock CPU a bit when others are idle ("a bit" turns +50% in later CPUs)
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by:gheist
ID: 40239572
As for bad interactions = you need more than 2 vCPUs per core, i.e >>> 16 vCPUs in total to see any effect.
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by:pjam
ID: 40239600
gheist,
So you are telling me that the 100% is not due to CPU settings then?
I have set Trend Micro Enterprise to exclude the Sage directory this morning, so will be interesting to see if it spikes 100% again.  I restarted the Guest Thursday (off Friday due to 9/80 schedule here) as we could not RDP to it at all.  Seems quiet today.
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LVL 117
ID: 40239788
Are you performing Real Time scanning with Trend Micro ?
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by:pjam
ID: 40239817
I believe I have stopped that for the Sage folder now.  I had asked to have it stopped some time ago and nothing ever happened.  So this morning i got into the top TM server and excluded the two folders on the AP server from Real time and Scheduled scanning to the best of my knowledge.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40239851
1) your software requires 4 CPUs, so 4 vCPUs is a good approximation.
2) Trend micro is likely to consume just one vCPU and not more.
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Author Closing Comment

by:pjam
ID: 40245804
All very helpful.  I will adjust vCPUs when i can shut down and move on to installing vSphere Essentials.

thanks everyone, still forming a picture of how this works.  Dense I guess.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40247574
Check performance best practices doc for your vmware release while waiting for big licence.
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