VMWare ESX and FBSD 7.2 AMD64 guest

Steve Bertrand steve at ibctech.ca
Fri Jul 24 14:47:50 UTC 2009

John Nielsen wrote:
> On Thursday 23 July 2009 19:44:15 Steve Bertrand wrote:

>> My problem is performance. I'm only willing to make this box virtual if
>> I can keep the abstraction performance loss to <25% (my ultimate goal
>> would be 15%).

>> usable memory = 8575160320 (8177 MB)
>> avail memory  = 8273620992 (7890 MB)
>> FreeBSD/SMP: Multiprocessor System Detected: 4 CPUs
>>  cpu0 (BSP): APIC ID:  0
>>  cpu1 (AP): APIC ID:  1
>>  cpu2 (AP): APIC ID:  6
>>  cpu3 (AP): APIC ID:  7:
> Did you give the VM 4 virtual processors as well? How much RAM did it have? 
> What type of storage does the server have? Did the VM just get a .vmdk on 
> VMFS? What version of ESX?

I gave it all four procs to use, and all available memory. See below
about storage system.

> The system time is what's running away. My guess is that 
> that is largely due to disk I/O and virtualization of same. What you can do 
> to address this depends on what hardware you have. Giving the VM a raw 
> slice/LUN/disk instead of a .vmdk file may improve matters somewhat. If you 
> do use a disk file be sure that it lives on a stripe (or whatever unit is 
> relevant) boundary of the underlying storage. Ways to do that (if any) depend 
> on the storage. Improving the RAID performance, etc. of the storage will 
> improve your benchmark overall, and may or may not narrow the divide.

The storage system is the following, with 512MB cache. I'm trying to
figure out if the cache has a battery backup installed, as I've read
that disk performance could be affected without it.

kernel: ciss0: <HP Smart Array P400i>

With six Fujitsu MHW2120BS 120GB 5.4k SATA laptop drives.

After performing multiple in-OS and outside-of-OS benchmark tests, the
maximum read speed I can achieve is ~7MBps. Before I reconfigured the
machine from the default RAID6 to RAID1+0, I was capped at ~5.

This is certainly a huge bottleneck. I'm not impressed in any way with
that type of performance, when a lesser system that I have running FBSD
7.2 and ZFS can achieve ~160MBps. I know the drives are only 5.4k, but
~7MB just isn't right.

I'm off to see what we can do about that.

Thanks John,

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