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VMware: Comparing Performance of 1vCPU Nehalem VM with 2vCPU Harpertown VM

September 22nd, 2009 No comments

vSphere has a new feature called Fault Tolerance that allows for a VM to be running in vLockstep on two physical servers at the same time.  In the event of a failure of the primary VM, the secondary VM will immediately take over with no downtime for the VM.  There is a great whitepaper that covers FT architecture and performance.  There have also been a couple of blog posts on VROOM! recently that cover FT performance as well.  One uses VMmark to show how FT has excellent performance in a heavily loaded multi workload environment.  The other blog post shows how an Exchange VM maintains excellent performance while supporting 2000 users with FT enabled.

FT currently requires that 1vCPU VMs be used.  This presents a challenge for some applications that have traditionally been run in 2vCPU VM configurations.  At the same time, new processors have features that provide much higher performance than in the past.  When combined with the performance enhancements of ESX 4, it is now possible to get much better performance per core. 

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