The VirtualizationPro Summit was March 16-19 in Las Vegas. It was my first conference and my first time in Vegas as an adult, so it was a good time. Here are a few highlights from the sessions and keynotes I attended.
Day 1 Keynote: Edwin Yuen, Microsoft senior technical product manager for integrated virtualization
Edwin Yuen spoke on Microsoft’s virtualization offerings. He gave some insight into Microsoft’s stance on virtualization. One of his first topics was the concept of a “private cloud computing solution” of resources within a company. He said Microsoft wants companies to have options—companies should be able to choose to what extent they use traditional infrastructure, virtualization, private clouds, and the public cloud.
Yuen also said that Microsoft’s philosophy is that in the future, virtualization is going to a large a part of IT, like how the Internet is now, and that IT pros would need to know how to use it.
“We believe that virtualization is a skill, not a specialty,” Yuen said.
Yuen also said that he wanted to stress that Microsoft’s virtualization technology can coexist with existing VMware deployments, in the same way that a company can have both HP and IBM racks.
Session: John Savill, “How Many Virtual Machines Can I Cram on This Box?”
Windows IT Pro author John Savill gave a technical session on loading physical hardware with VMs. I won’t cover too much of what he said—check his FAQs for Windows for technical information—but one of his major points was that you should get detailed benchmarks of your workloads, and not simply duplicate your existing physical servers. You should benchmark over time, too, because some workloads are very cyclical, and you need to understand the peaks of your workloads, not their averages.
Another tips was to remember that for most workloads, RAM and CPU power are the primary performance bottlenecks, but workloads with databases, such as Exchange and SQL Server, can be limited by disk performance.
Session: Alan Sugano, “ VMware: Performance Tuning and Configuration”
Alan Sugano spoke about VMware tuning. Among other tips specific to VMware virtualization, Sugano spoke about while it’s possible to use CPUs that aren’t exactly the same, it’s best to use identical CPUs for VMotion. Also, VMotion traffic can be a security concern, because this traffic isn’t encrypted.
An important point Sugano noted was that, if possible, everyone using ESX Server 3.5 should upgrade to vSphere 4, because this new version is 15 to 30 percent faster on the same hardware.