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virtualization memory management

Posted on 2014-11-14
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Last Modified: 2014-11-20
Hi!

How do you counter your application team or 3rd parties when they require systems to be set up according to ridiculous hardware or load specific requirements such as 24 or 32GB of RAM, although the application runs fine on the provided 8GB. But still they point their fingers because the system is not tuned to what the software developers state as minimum or recommended settings.(Usually this is based on some load in a large enterprise environment, which may not be the case).

I do refer to the systems utilization, weekly or monthly graphs of memory usage, but always when they have a problem it's because the system does not have enough memory allocated(But 20-30% of the VM's memory is not allocated by the server, even when configured below what the application developer states as minimum or recommended.)

I am a big fan of right sizing VM's to lower the overhead, to optimize and to get the most out of the environment.

Therefore, what are your thoughts on this and how do you handle such cases. I know from a business perspective(you migh't say), either the customer pays for the hardware or pays for the resources used, but from an operational perspective it is still my task to keep resources well spent and right sizing the virtual machines in "my" environments.

I know at the end of the day it's the same people who ask me, when the environment is capped on resources and they have to spend money on more. What can we consolidate or save resources on?
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Question by:synackrst
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by:SagiEDoc
SagiEDoc earned 167 total points
ID: 40442464
In these situation I normally provide the server with 8GB. If they complain that it is too little memory my standard line is "Well let's give it a try, if we run into problems we can always assign more." Nine times out of ten they never come back, and if they do I usually increase the memory by 2GB and "try again." The only time I do not argue is when hosting ERP applications, then I normally give them what they ask for as these applications tend to be very resource heavy.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 166 total points
ID: 40442569
We setup as per their requirements, and monitor vigorously for 1 month, and when we have the evidence, that their Server only ever uses 8GB of 32GB required we notify them, and reduce it.  We also charge them based on what they have requested, and ensure we have enough in the Cluster/Farm for their requirements.

We often setup all VMs, with Hot Plug CPU and Memory, so we can adjust in real-time with no downtime required.
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Neil Russell earned 167 total points
ID: 40443233
We constantly have this battle but like Andrew, we charge per GB of RAM, per CORE of CPU, per GB of disk space.  It is surprising how quickly they see things our way when faced with a £10,000+ bill for a single server.
Likewise with the hot plugging. Often overlooked by people but is such an important feature.

We recently had a vendor insist that as it was a virtual machine then it required 32GB RAM and 8 Cores.  Needless to say this is now reduced by half and there is no noticeable loss in performance.
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Author Comment

by:synackrst
ID: 40456754
Thank you guys, I agree with all the approaches. However I am leaning more towards setting up a lower setting than whats required and increase the memory if needed.
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