Wednesday, August 31, 2011

vSphere 5.0 New *.vswp file

Virtual Machine swap files have been around since the early ESX days and overtime we have learn how to play with Memory Reservations to constrain their maximum size and reduce storage footprint. This type of operation may not be as effective with server virtualization as it is with desktop virtualization.

The size of a .vswp file is equal to the memory size allocated to the VM, minus any assigned memory reservation. As an example, assume a virtual desktop with Windows 7 with2GB RAM, and 1GB memory reservation. In this case the .vswp file is 1GB.

As an example, in a deployment with 2,000 virtual desktops with 2GB RAM and 50% memory reservation the administrator would be able to save 1TB of storage footprint (2,000 x (2GB x 0.5) = 1TB).

The new *.VSWP file

ESxi 5.0 implements a second .vswp file for every virtual machine created either with hardware version 7 or 8. This second .vswp file is dedicated to memory overhead and will be used when the host is under resource constraint. When the virtual machine is created the memory overhead is defined, however the VM and the VMkernel will not use the whole reserved memory until required.

The total memory overhead is defined by the following factors:

• Number of virtual CPU
• Amount of RAM
• Amount of VRAM (defined by Number of Displays, Screen Resolution and Color Depth)
• 3D Support

Memory overhead is not something new and most VMware administrators were used to calculate overhead based on vCPU, RAM and VRAM. However, with the introduction of a Video memory Calculator, vSphere Client 5.0 provides an easy way to define the amount of VRAM required for a given video configuration.

Friday, August 26, 2011

vSphere 5.0 Features

When discussing vSphere 5.0 internally someone came up with the idea to list all new features that vSphere brings. Let me warn you that this is a long list, and the list could even be longer if we would have included all API changes and back-end changes.

Here we go:


1
Storage DRS
2
Storage I/O Control for NFS
3
VMFS-5
4
ESXi Firewall
5
VMFS Scalability and Performance enhancements
6
2TB+ pass-through RDM support
7
vCenter inventory extensibility
8
Storage APIs -- VAAI T10 Compliancy
9
Storage APIs -- VAAI Offloads for NAS
10
Storage APIs -- VAAI Thin Provisioning
11
Storage APIs -- Storage Awareness/Discovery
12
Storage APIs -- Data Protection compatible with MN
13
APD, Permanent APD Survivability Enablement
14
Snapshot enhancements
15
Storage vMotion scalability improvements
16
iSCSI Enablement: iSCSI UI Support
17
iSCSI Enablement: Stateless Support
18
Multi-queue Storage IO adapters
19
Increase NFSv3 Max Share Count to 256
20
SATA 3.0
21
Software FCoE initiator support
22
Enhanced logging support
23
Enhanced Storage metrics
24
Profile-Driven Storage
25
Storage vMotion support for snapshots
26
vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)
27
SSD Detection and Enablement
28
vSphere Replication
29
vSphere Data Recovery 2.0
30
VADP enhancements
31
vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) Enhancements
32
vCO -- Library extension and consolidation
33
vCO -- vSphere Client integration
34
vCO -- Scalability
35
Network I/O Control (NIOC) Phase 2
36
NIOC -- User Defined Resource Pools
37
NIOC -- HBR traffic type
38
NIOC -- 802.1p tagging
39
Network Traffic Stats for iOPS
40
Improvement to UDP and Multicast traffic types
41
New networking drivers for server enablement
42
vDS support for Port mirror, LLDP and NetFlow V5
43
vDS Manage Port Group UI enhancement
44
Hot-Insert/Remove of Filters
45
Enhanced vMotion Compatibility
46
Storage vMotion support for Linked Clones
47
vMotion scalability (dual-NIC & longer latency support)
48
vNetwork API enhancements
49
vNetwork Opaque Channel
50
Support for 8 10GbE Physical NIC ports per host
51
Add Host Resources MIB to SNMP offering
52
Metro vMotion
53
Host Profile for DRS to support Stateless ESX
54
HA/DPM/DRS interop with agents VMs
55
DRS enhancements for Maintenance Mode
56
Enhanced processor support for FT
57
vSphere 5.0 HA aka "FDM / Fault Domain Manager"
58
vSphere HA - Heartbeat Datastores
59
vSphere HA - Support for partitions of management network
60
vSphere HA - Default isolation response changed
61
vSphere HA - New Status information in UI
62
vSphere HA - IPv6 support
63
vSphere HA - Application Awareness API publicly available
64
Extensions to create special icons for VMs
65
ESX Agent Management
66
Solution Management Plugin
67
Next-Gen vSphere Client
68
Host Profiles Enhancements
69
vCenter enhancements for stateless ESXi
70
vCenter Server Appliance
71
vCenter: Support for FileManager and VirtualDiskManager APIs
72
Virtual Hardware - Smartcard support for vSphere
73
Virtual Hardware Version 8
74
Virtual HW v8 -- 1TB VM RAM
75
Virtual HW v8 -- 32-way Virtual SMP
76
Virtual Hw v8 -- Client-Connected USB Devices
77
Virtual HW v8 -- EFI Virtual BIOS
78
Virtual HW v8 -- HD Audio
79
Virtual Hw v8 -- Multi-core Virtual CPU Support UI
80
Virtual HW v8 -- New virtual E1000 NIC
81
Virtual HW v8 -- UI and other support
82
Virtual HW v8 -- USB 3.0 device support
83
Virtual HW v8 -- VMCI device enhancements
84
Virtual HW v8 -- xHCI
85
Support SMP for Mac OS X guest OS
86
Universal Passthrough (VMdirect path with vMotion support)
87
Guest Management Operations (VIX API)
88
Guest OS Support -- Mac OS X Server
89
VM Serial Port to Host Serial Port Redirection (Serial Port Pass-Through)
90
Passthrough/SR-IOV
91
VMware Tools Portability
92
VMRC Concurrent Connections enhancements
93
Scalability: 512 VMs per host
94
ESXCLI enhancements
95
Support SAN and hw-iSCSI boot
96
Hardware -- Interlagos Processor Enablement
97
Hardware -- SandyBridge-DT Processor Enablement
98
Hardware -- SandyBridge-EN Processor Enablement
99
Hardware -- SandyBridge-EP Processor Enablement
100
Hardware -- Valencia Processor Enablement
101
Hardware -- Westmere-EX Processor Enablement
102
Platform -- CIM Enhancements
103
Platform -- ESX i18n support
104
Host Power Management Enhancements
105
Improved CPU scheduler
106
Improved scalability of CPU (NUMA) scheduler
107
Memory scheduler improvements to support 32-way VCPU's
108
Swap to host cache
109
API enhancements to configure VM boot order
110
VMX swap
111
Support for ESXi On Apple XServe
112
Redirect DCUI to host serial port for remote monitoring and management
113
UEFI BIOS Boot for ESXi hosts
114
Scalability -- 160 CPU Threads (logical PCPUs) per host
115
Scalability -- 2 TB RAM per host
116
Scalability -- 2048 VCPUs per host
117
Scalability -- 2048 virtual disks per host
118
Scalability -- 2048 VMs per VMFS volume
119
Scalability -- 512 VMs per host
120
Stateless -- Host Profile Engine and Host Profile Completeness
121
Stateless -- Image Builder
122
Stateless -- Auto Deploy
123
Stateless -- Networking Host Profile Plugin
124
Stateless -- VIB Packaging Enhancement
125
Stateless -- VMkernel network core dump
126
Host profiles enhancements for storage configuration
127
Enhanced driver support for ESXi
128
Intel TXT Support
129
Memsched policy enhancements w.r.t. Java balloon
130
Native Driver Autoload support
131
Root password entry screen in interactive installer
132
vCenter Dump Collector
133
vCenter Syslog Collector
134
VMware Update Manager (VUM) enhancements
135
VUM -- Virtual Appliance enhancements
136
VUM -- vApp Support
137
VUM -- Depot management enhancements
138
vCLI enhancements
139
PowerCLI enhancements
140
VProbes -- ESX Platform Observability

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