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Lab Validation: EMC Symmetrix VMAX and Microsoft Server Virtualization Scalability


What the Numbers Mean

  • Long IO response times make applications feel slow to end-users.

  • Predictably low response times are needed to support a growing number of virtual machines running on a consolidated infrastructure.

  • Eight virtual machines running an IO-intensive workload maintained an excellent IO response time of 1.5 milliseconds.

  • Response times remained predictably low as the number of virtual machines increased.

  • A maximum response time of 7 milliseconds was recorded for 64 virtual machines. Response times were under the generally accepted limits for common business applications.

  • For example, the Microsoft guideline for the maximum response time for Exchange database reads is shown as a green dotted line (20 milliseconds).

  • Results were recorded with a performance-intensive workload for 64 virtual machines (45,000 IOs per second) that is beyond what most IT organizations would require for a single LUN. This methodology was chosen to provide solutions-based guidelines that customers can use when configuring a scalable infrastructure based on Microsoft CSV and EMC VMAX technologies.

Why This Matters

Slow storage response times can result in loss of productivity, loss of competitiveness, and, in the worst case, loss of revenue. With more and more organizations deploying entire suites of production applications on virtual servers, predictably fast storage performance that can scale to meet the needs of the business is a critical concern. Adding storage hardware to an over-engineered solution to avoid potential performance problems increases costs as it reduces the potential savings that can be realized with consolidation.

ESG Lab has confirmed that the enterprise-class performance capabilities of two or more VMAX engines, combined with the low overhead of Hyper-V R2 and CSV, can be used to deliver the predictably fast response times needed in a consolidated environment supporting up to 1,024 virtual machines.

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

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