Virtualization Performance Management: Busting the top 5 myths and checking the realities

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Virtual infrastructure performance management has become an inevitable layer in the datacenter virtualization stack.  But over the past few years, many myths have emerged around virtualization performance management.  Virtualization administrators have been blindly following these misconceptions without understanding the reality. This blog discusses the top five myths and the corresponding realities to help virtualization administrators take an informed direction forward with their virtualization performance management.

 

Myth 1: The hypervisor view of performance is sufficient to manage the virtual infrastructure performance

 

Reality: Most hypervisors provide limited and aggregated performance metrics. Virtualization Performance management tools must be able to collect information across IT domains.  This includes network, storage, server, and hypervisor layer that covers both physical and virtual data sets. Without a cross domain collection of performance data, the virtualization administrator cannot pinpoint and troubleshoot performance problems in their virtualized environment.

 

Myth 2: Virtualization performance management needs to not be in real time

 

Reality: One of the key benefits that virtualization promises to the IT department is to allow them  to support dynamic and elastic business requirements. This introduces a very high rate of change at the virtualization and infrastructure layer. Due to this dynamism, it is very important to collect virtualization metrics in real time (data collection frequency up to one second) to understand transient performance problems. Without this, it is very difficult for the virtualization administrator to locate all of the performance bottlenecks.

 

Myth 3: Virtualization platforms include all necessary tools to manage the virtualization layer

 

Reality: The Virtualization platforms see the only outside and allocated view of different virtual machines. The actual resource usage and virtual machine performance is different between machines, and has to be measured separately and directly from the virtual machines. To debug performance problems that exist inside a virtual machine, it is very important to have an insider view from that particular virtual machine to understand current workloads and resource capacity. The platform tools are very primitive tools that cannot provide an insider view and do not have the end-to-end virtualization performance management capabilities that do not offer this capability.

 

Myth 4: Over-provisioning and resource reservation can be used to ensure virtual machine performance

 

Reality: When multiple VMs share the same physical resources, it may cause all VMs in that group to experience performance problems due to demand surge in resource requirements from any singular VM in that group. Many virtualization administrators normally overprovision their VMs and reserve CPUs and Memory. But this does not guarantee virtual machine performance, because I/O or network bandwidth, or any other element may create performance bottlenecks. Also it significantly reduces the resource sharing benefits that virtualization promises. 

 

Myth 5: Virtualization is an independent infrastructure domain and can be managed separately.

 

Reality:  Virtualization introduces a new technology into the data center. As a result, the central IT organizations have a tendency to treat virtualization as a separate domain. But this thinking does not necessitate that the IT organization create a separate silo for virtualization management. To maximize your IT operations efficiency, it is very important to integrate the virtualization management along with organizations broader business service management (BSM) strategy.

 

Summary

Virtualization administrators should understand these realities before designing their virtualization performance management strategy and process. Also it is very important for them to select a virtualization performance management tool like HP Virtualization Performance Viewer (HP vPV) which understands these realities.  You can download it here and see how HP Virtualization Performance Viewer (HP vPV) can help you with your virtualization performance management strategy and process.

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About the Author
Anil is an enterprise software professional with 15+ years of experience. He has both breadth and depth of understanding in IT Infrastructur...


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