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OCAU VMware Virtualisation Group!

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by NIP007, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Skitza

    Skitza Member

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    You seem to always have problems or a problem with like..everything :) No offense but it's getting a bit old. Your setup must be out of this world for everything to not work how it does for 99% of other people. Vmware themselves must have a shit storm on their hands daily just looking after their own operations if things are as bad as you make it out to be. Don't take it the wrong way but surely there are bigger setups than yours somewhere who are not having these massive issues you do, you cannot be the only one, are are you ?
     
  2. 7nothing

    7nothing Member

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    At least with those figures you can pretty much rule out VMWare being the root cause of the issue.
     
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    From our discussions with numerous consultants and VMWare themselves, it's clear we cannot push VMWare as hard as we push KVM, Xen or HP Integrity Virtual Machine (all alternative virtualisation technologies we either use now, or have in the past).

    When VMWare invite us to talk to other "reference" customers, they speak glowingly of their 8:1 ratio consolidation systems and how well they perform. When we ask about higher consolidation ratios, they can't ever imagine having such "intense" systems.

    So if 99% of the population are not having issues, it seems 99% of the population really aren't pushing their systems like we are. I certainly don't deny that the org I work for is very much on the frugal side of things (infrastructure budgets are tight at the best of times) and really doesn't spend on hardware like they should, but it doesn't excuse that time and time again, we're seeing far better performance and consolidation ratios from EVERY OTHER enterprise virtualisation platform on the market.

    With that said, trying to get official recommendations from VMWare is nigh impossible. They'll gladly tell us AFTER we've pushed a system too far, but trying to get a black and white recommendation from them before we tip over the edge into performance degradation hell is like pulling teeth.

    And finally, a few more fun factoids to finish this rant off. Today we measured disk latency to one of our SANs - from VMWare, HP-UX and RHEL5. All doing average workloads during the day, all with similar consolidation ratios.

    VMWare: 500 ms + write delay
    HP-UX: 1-10 ms write delay
    Linux: 1-10 ms write delay

    Prior to recording the figures for the latter two, our VMWare consultants were trying to push a shiny new EMC SAN on us to fix all our troubles (for the unaware - EMC own VMWare). Then we measured the stats from non-VMWare kit back to our existing SAN and presented it back. Our friendly consultants didn't have much left to say.

    The deeper we dig, the worse VMWare looks. We keep being blamed for doing things "wrong", but after 6 months of external help nobody can seem to show us how to do it "right" at the scale we're doing it at, which is more and more embarrassing when alternative platforms are doing it fine, without breaking a sweat, and at 1/10th the dollar cost.

    I'm not going to apologise for listing these faults here in this thread. This thread is about VMWare discussion, and I'm discussing VMWare. Consider me the balance of the universe, proving that no matter what the product, there aren't always 100% satisfied customers, nor guaranteed workloads that can be fixed by "silver bullet" software, regardless of how popular that software is across the industry.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  4. usedbodychocola

    usedbodychocola Member

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    Small question elvis, are you using HP blades with VMware? have you tried other hardware to see if it somewhere on the hardware side that you are having issues?

    Just curious about where you are having your issues, is it with ESX? I'm currently looking at a few vendors for a internal upgrade in our company and vmware is a product we are looking at. What would be your suggestion?
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Sadly due to very direct instruction from above, we are forced to use HP. There is talk of going back to rackmount servers (away from blades), but it's still in discussion phase at the moment.

    We've tried ESX and ESXi, 3.5 and 4. All updates.

    At this point, my opinion is rather moot. Given my experience these last two years, my only suggestion is use anything but VMWare. But saying I have a negative bias toward the product due to poor experiences is the understatement of the year.
     
  6. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    elvis it's time for a proof of concept Dell R815 ;)

    the 6000 series opteron utilises quad channel memory and having 4 processors drawing data from 32 sticks of ram means some of your throughput issues may subside.
     
  7. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    You think you'll hear about them though? I'm a little surprised Elvis is talking about it - but very appreciative of hearing about his experiences. Usually this stuff gets buried.
     
  8. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I've been trying for ages to get Dell in. It's never gotten past approval stage, and not for lack of trying over the last 2.5 years. That won't stop me trying, of course.

    Correct. Bad news never makes it out the door.

    I think people don't realise how many bad or unsuccessful tech rollouts never see the press. All you hear are positive stories. There's two reasons for that: (1) Vendors push good stories and references out to press, (2) companies hide failure for fear of shame.

    I'm taking considerable risks posting these stories here (I've already been contacted in person by a few vendors asking if these posts were by me - some because they like the content, and some because they really don't like it). But I've never been the kind of person to withhold the truth. It's the one trait I have that employers love and loathe at exactly the same time. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  9. exodus_68

    exodus_68 Member

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    Elvis I'm curious to know the difference between guests on the environments you have tested. As you are most likely the aware majority of performance issues in a virtualised environment are due to storage performance. I would like to see more information about the tested environments (including VM function, storage backend, LUN configuration) for some further clarification.

    Also are the VMware consultants you are dealing with VMware employees, or vendors from a partner? Every VMware and EMC employee I have dealt with have made it very clear that they have policy in place at each organisation which stipulates them NOT pushing the other's product. Once again curious to know more...
     
  10. 007*

    007* Member

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    Im in! :)

    - Number of users: ~1200 Laptops ~ 250 desktops
    - Number of offices and location: 1 but 17 buildings
    - Number of physical servers before virtualisation: 24
    - Major applications/systems: Exchange X2, web servers X6, ISA servers, Forfront TMG servers, clickiew, moodle, Game servers, print servers, 6x AD DC's,openfire servers in a cluster.
    - Reason for virtualisation: cause i can! :p, nahh it so we can run some more servers we spent a piss load on a couple of ibm servers and a hp as the mamager.
    - Outline of infrastructure: oh wow. erm, 50+ Ap's, procruve core switch fibere links between buidlings, cisco is in there somewhereaswell! :p 42TB HP SAN aswell.
     
  11. gbh

    gbh Member

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    everyone else get the vForum 2010 email today?
    We should arrange a hook up...
     
  12. Glide

    Glide Member

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    Was considering going, if the boss will let me. Looks good.
    Has anyone played around with EMC FLARE 30 and vSphere integration yet?

    I'm still on flare 28, contacting dell about a flare upgrade to 29/30. Looking at enabling native vsphere multipathing on our test environment, been reading a few posts on it, but I'm not very knowledgeable in this area.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  13. Skitza

    Skitza Member

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    Anyone use the VCUM 4.1 to remediate vm's instead of say WSUS or Windows Update? Who do you trust to be correct cause right now WU tells me there are no patches, VCUM tells me there are like 20 and WSUS is different again. I'm going to play with VCUM and see how it goes against WSUS.
     
  14. narkotix

    narkotix Member

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    have you tried turning it off and on again??

    /me ducks
     
  15. gbh

    gbh Member

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  16. DrNick

    DrNick Member

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    Hey all!

    Anyone going to the vForum later this month in Sydney?

    S
     
  17. Nyarghnia

    Nyarghnia (Taking a Break)

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    I'm about to take our entirely new VMWare cluster and throw into the Yarrah...

    I can't get our consultants to get me a backup strategy that works :(

    VMDR keeps shitting itself, Symantecs software is so bloody expensive that i'd be better off buying entire spare boxes to back it all up and i'm at wits end...

    I'm at wits end, the budget is stretched...

    VMWare could well be a career ender for me... think twice before even looking at it. I feel like i'm working on BETA Software half the time... I can see why Elvis is so pissed off with it.

    Then again.. maybe I could piss VMWARE off and get RHEL on the job on the same hardware??

    Oh yeah..let me re-state something..

    VMDR IS SHIT!!!! I'm now looking at other backup solutions that have been mooted here.

    Just for the record..

    VMDR IS SHIT!!!!

    -NyarghNia
     
  18. Rampage101

    Rampage101 Member

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    Or you could try XenServer which I believe I suggested you look at last time.
     
  19. s.Neo

    s.Neo Member

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    What sort of issues are you having with VMDR, Nyarghnia?

    We use VMWare ESXi free edition at work for some small applications, and it seems to work quite well. There is interest in expanding to paid VMWare products, so I'm definitely interested to hear about some of the problems that people have encountered.
     
  20. Nyarghnia

    Nyarghnia (Taking a Break)

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    In a nutshell, it just doesn't bloody work, i'm on VSphere 4.1 and all the latest HP gear. It's just shit, I don't really have much more to say other than that, it consistently fails to take snapshots and consumes insane levels of resources. It does however seem to have behaved itslef with last nights backups...but do I trust it?

    THEN... Oh My God... I need to get this stuff to tape for offsite/vaulting/archive purposes..

    You would not believe the drama we're having with trying to get this done, the poor bastard that the solution provider has put onto the case has been trying everything to get this to work.. we're running all HP Gear, HP Tape, HP Drivers, HP servers, latest firmware, latest approved patch bundels, top notch switching gear, brand new rack, cables.. everything.

    The poor bugger is pulling his hair out, this should all just work.

    But for a week now we've been trying to get any combination of products to back this stuff up without success and frankly I'm over it all, I got a quote form Smantec today for their backup solution and the price of VMware agents is frankly fucking ridiculuos, i'd be better off keeping a pile of spare boxes in a storage room and keeping shadowprotect running. Hell, I could almost DOUBLE my hardware budget for this projet and have a duplicate set of kit for the price they want for their agents..

    Symantec can go fuck themselves imho.

    HP Data Protector fails to write to the tape drive, there's a fucking bug with the stupid HP tape monitoring tool that randomly decides to reset the SCSI buss that the tape drive is mounted on...found a workaround though, the backup server needs a registery HACK or HP Services disabled to stop it from fucking up backups midway through. HP have taken a HUGE hit in terms of credibility from my perspective.

    I have a requirement to get a tape level backup in addition to my other stuff that I need to do, but so far... trying to backup this all up onto tape is prooving to be the biggest obstacle.

    I'm 'this' close to cancelling the entire VMWARE project, I'm holding a crisis meeting with the solutions provider today and have told them i'm not spending a single cent more on this, they're wearing the fixed price implementation too, this project has turned to shit for them also and they're now just as trapped as I am, it's like some kind of horrible death-grip... the conversations with the solutions provider are now about crisis meetings and 'working through the issues' and this means that now all parties are in official 'arse covering' mode.

    Pardon my tone over recent days, but i'm having a bad week. To sum up my feelings towards VMWARE...

    If I could go back in time two months ago, i'd tell myself to NOT DO IT.


    -NyarghNia
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010

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