You are previewing vSphere High Performance Essentials.
O'Reilly logo
vSphere High Performance Essentials

Book Description

Improve the performance of VMware vSphere using this fast-paced guide

About This Book

  • Design, configure, and monitor your virtual landscape to run performance-intensive workloads

  • Implement a reliable and high-performance network for virtual infrastructures with confidence.

  • Investigate and eliminate virtual machine performance issues

  • Who This Book Is For

    If you’re a system administrator who has some experience with VMware vSphere but would like a quick guide to be able to identify and fix performance issues in your vSphere systems, then this book is for you.

    What You Will Learn

  • Choose the right hardware and server components suitable for high-performance scenarios

  • Adopt availability and automatic load-balancing in your virtual infrastructure

  • Understand and monitor CPU and memory resources

  • Monitor performance on the vCenter, ESXi, and virtual machine levels

  • Configure storage resources to achieve greater performance

  • Incorporate latency and performance sensible networking

  • Tune and tweak common guest operating systems

  • In Detail

    VMware vSphere is all the components and operating system that comes together to make VMware’s enterprise virtualization platform unique. When running enterprise-driven application workloads, the VMware vSphere family has become a preference of many developers. The vSphere platform is designed to work with numerous servers and infrastructure core components to create virtualized platforms and/or a complete cloud computing fabrics.

    This book will guide you through tuning, tweaking, and optimizing vSphere in order to improve the performance of your systems. It will also help you identify and fix common performance bottlenecks.

    Starting with planning high-performance infrastructure setups, the book covers the core concepts of cluster setups such as resource pools, DRS, and availability options, along with CPU virtualization concepts. Next, it covers the management of physical and virtual memory mechanisms, swapping, and ballooning.

    Moving on, you’ll get an understanding of how vCenter Server can assist you with recognizing performance issues, and how to utilize advanced technologies such as Storage I/O Control and vSphere Flash Read Cache to tune storage resources. Next, you’ll learn to implement a reliable and high-performance network for virtual infrastructures.

    Finally, the book shows you how esxtop and resxtop can provide advanced metrics to detect performance issues, and how you can optimize storage and network resources inside virtual machines.

    Style and approach

    This book is a step-by-step guide, but at a fast pace. It explains high-performing VMware vSphere infrastructure setups and workloads through real-world examples.

    Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the code file.

    Table of Contents

    1. vSphere High Performance Essentials
      1. Table of Contents
      2. vSphere High Performance Essentials
      3. Credits
      4. About the Author
      5. About the Reviewers
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
          1. Why subscribe?
          2. Free access for Packt account holders
          3. Instant updates on new Packt books
      7. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
        6. Customer support
          1. Downloading the color images of this book
          2. Errata
          3. Piracy
          4. Questions
      8. 1. Hardware Design Concepts and Best Practices
        1. Optimizing CPU and memory configurations
          1. Understanding the CPU configuration variety
            1. Cores and threads
            2. Configuring Hyper-threading
            3. Intel vs. AMD
            4. Getting real
        2. Understanding memory configurations
        3. Choosing adequate server designs
          1. Conventional tower and rack servers
          2. Blade-based approach
          3. Hyper-converged infrastructure
            1. Nutanix
            2. SimpliVity OmniCube
            3. VMware EVO:RAIL
            4. Comparison of products
        4. Optimizing storage hardware design
          1. Understanding storage type possibilities
            1. Hard disk drives
            2. Pick the right HDD type
            3. Solid-state drives
              1. Single-level cell SSDs
              2. Multi-level cell SSDs
              3. Pick the right SSD type
            4. Hybrid drives
          2. Evaluating shared storage design concepts
            1. Storage area network concepts
              1. Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet, and iSCSI
        5. Network-attached storage approach
          1. VMware vSphere® Storage APIs – Array Integration
            1. Thin-provisioning capabilities
            2. VMware Virtual SAN
            3. Choosing the right storage concept for you
        6. Planning network infrastructure designs
          1. Understanding network cards and media variety
            1. Copper
            2. Fiber
            3. Media comparison
          2. Planning network switch design
          3. STP network card variety
            1. Ports and speeds
            2. Vendors
              1. Feature comparison
          4. Network design examples
            1. Use case 1: Rack-server setup
            2. Use case 2: Blade-server scenario
        7. Summary
      9. 2. Cluster Optimization Approaches
        1. Cluster hardware design concepts
          1. Cluster examples
          2. Creating a cluster
        2. Improving resource pools
          1. Understanding resource pools
          2. Optimizing resource pools
        3. Distributed resource scheduler
          1. Working of DRS
          2. Configure DRS
          3. Enhanced vMotion capability
            1. Configuring EVC
          4. Affinity and anti-affinity rules
            1. Configuring affinity/anti-affinity rules
              1. Example 1: VM-VM relationship
              2. Example 2: VM-Host relationship
          5. Distributed power management
        4. High Availability
          1. Virtual machine monitoring
          2. HA admission control
            1. It's all about slots
            2. Resource percentage reservation
              1. Example calculation
            3. Picking the right mechanism
            4. Datastore heartbeating
        5. Fault Tolerance
        6. Summary
      10. 3. Understanding CPU Resources
        1. How CPU virtualization works
          1. Resource mapping and scheduling
          2. Virtual machine monitor
          3. Memory management unit
          4. Changing execution and MMU modes
        2. Non-uniform memory access
          1. NUMA under vSphere – vNUMA
            1. Action-affinity and NUMA thrashing
            2. Guest operating system support
        3. The vCPU design approaches
          1. Getting real
        4. Latency-sensitive workloads
          1. Latency-sensitive tweaking
          2. Host settings
          3. DirectPath I/O and single root I/O virtualization
            1. Configuring single root I/O virtualization
        5. Summary
      11. 4. Understanding Memory Resources
        1. Understanding memory types
        2. Memory mapping and utilization
        3. Memory reclamation
          1. Transparent page sharing
          2. Ballooning
          3. Compression and swapping
        4. Summary
      12. 5. Performance Monitoring with vCenter Server
        1. Introducing vCenter Server metrics
        2. Configuring vCenter Server metrics
          1. The vCenter Server settings
          2. Thresholds and limits
            1. Example calculation
              1. Default settings
              2. Enhanced statistics
        3. Discussing vCenter Server metrics
          1. Utilizing metrics
            1. Creating a customized performance chart
          2. CPU metrics
          3. Memory metrics
          4. Storage metrics
            1. Virtual disk
            2. Datastore
            3. Disk
          5. Networking metrics
        4. Identifying performance bottlenecks
          1. Example use case 1 – CPU bottlenecks
          2. Example use case 2 – poor storage
          3. Example use case 3 – networking issues
        5. Summary
      13. 6. Implementing High-Performance Storage
        1. General storage recommendations
        2. Optimizing SAN resources
          1. Hardware basics – components and cabling
          2. Implementing larger LUNs with VMFS
            1. Raw device mapping
          3. I/O alignment
            1. Verify VM alignment
              1. Microsoft Windows
              2. Linux
        3. Optimizing NFS resources
          1. Jumbo frames
        4. Utilizing virtual flash resources
          1. Preparing virtual flash resources
          2. Configuring Virtual Flash Read Cache
          3. Configuring Virtual Flash Host Swap Cache
        5. Storage I/O Control
          1. Configuring SIOC
        6. Storage DRS
          1. Configuring Storage DRS
        7. Summary
      14. 7. Implementing High-Performance Networking
        1. Recap – planning high-performance network architectures
        2. Configuring vNetwork switches
          1. The vSwitches, dvSwitches, or Hybrid?
          2. Mastering teaming and load balancing
        3. Network offloading
          1. Configuring offloading on ESXi
          2. Configuring offloading on Microsoft Windows
          3. Configuring offloading on Linux
        4. Network I/O Control
          1. Configuring Network I/O Control
            1. Mapping resource pools and port groups
            2. Settings reservations and shares on a per-VM basis
        5. Summary
      15. 8. Performance Monitoring with esxtop
        1. Introduction to esxtop and resxtop
          1. Access esxtop using DCUI
          2. Access esxtop using SSH
        2. Accessing esxtop remotely
          1. The resxtop utility
          2. The vSphere Management Assistant
          3. VisualEsxtop
        3. Common shortcuts, metrics, and views
          1. CPU
          2. Memory
          3. Storage
          4. Network
        4. Capture and analyze data
          1. Utilize esxtop to record data
          2. Analyze data with PerfMon
        5. Getting real
          1. Example 1 – poor CPU resources
          2. Example 2 – poor memory resources
          3. Example 3 – poor storage resources
        6. Summary
      16. 9. Guest Operating System Performance Monitoring and Tweaking
        1. Storage provisioning types
        2. Generic storage tips
          1. SCSI controller types
            1. Performance comparison
          2. Dedicated SCSI controllers
        3. Virtual network cards and drivers
          1. Performance comparison
        4. Common filesystems tweaks
          1. Linux mount options and I/O schedulers
        5. Swapping and paging considerations
          1. Huge pages and large pages
            1. Enabling large pages on ESXi
            2. Enabling large pages on Linux
            3. Enabling large pages on Windows
          2. Swap file placement
          3. Linux swap usage
        6. Virtual machine benchmarking
          1. I/O benchmarks using Iometer
            1. Crunching your hard drive
          2. Network benchmarks using iperf
            1. Parameters
            2. Make your network cables glow
          3. Application-related benchmarking tools
        7. VMware Tools
          1. Automatic upgrades
          2. VMware Tools 10
        8. Upgrade to VMware Tools 10
        9. Summary
      17. Index