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Lab Validation: EMC Symmetrix VMAX and Microsoft Server Virtualization Scalability

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The right side of Figure 7 shows the TimeFinder approach, where multiple replicas of a Gold Master LUN were created. The replicas were then implemented as TimeFinder images. These TimeFinder images were then presented to the cluster server nodes and the LUNs were configured as CSV volumes within the cluster. At that point, the virtual machine instances were imported. As shown in Figure 8, the time to deploy virtual machines with the SAN-based approach is a fraction of what’s required by the traditional network-based method.

Figure 8. Rapid VM Deployment with EMC TimeFinder and Microsoft Cluster Shared Volumes

Elapsed Time to Deploy 64 Virtual Machines (less is better)

Hyper-V Templates

TimeFinder and CSV gold images

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Elapsed Time (minutes)

What the Numbers Mean

  • Deploying 64 virtual machines using the fully automated TimeFinder method took 26 minutes during ESG Lab testing. Most of that time was spent waiting for virtual machine boot and sysprep activities.

  • An estimated elapsed time of 12 hours for the traditional Hyper-V template method was projected based on the time it took to deploy ten virtual machines.

  • The TimeFinder method was more than 27 times faster and generated dramatically less LAN traffic.

Why This Matters

Rapid and efficient methods are needed when deploying large numbers of virtual machines in a consolidated virtual environment. Rapid deployment of virtual machines helps the IT organization respond faster to the needs of the business. Using TimeFinder to make replicas of gold images reduces network traffic compared to traditional methods which copy them over a LAN. Less network traffic reduces the impact that large-scale VM deployment can have on production application performance.

ESG Lab confirmed that EMC Symmetrix VMAX storage with TimeFinder and Auto-provisioning Groups, combined with Hyper-V R2 and CSV, greatly simplifies and accelerates the deployment of virtual servers and storage. The ability to easily deploy large numbers VMs in minutes instead of hours (or days) increases efficiency and reduces costs.

© 2010, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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