Breaking VMware Views sound barrier with Sun Open Storage (part 2)

It’s been months since I performed a large performance measurement using the Sun Unified Storage array (7000 series) in conjunction with VMWare View and linked clones. Not much has been done with the report, not by me, not by Sun, not by my employer.

So now I have decided to share this report with the world. In essence it has been a true adventure “how to cram as many View desktops (vDesktops) into an array as small and cheap as possible”. The Sun 7000 series storage is built around the ZFS filesystem, which can do amazing things when used right. And linked clone technology appears to be a perfect match to the ZFS filesystem when combined with Read and log optimized SSDs. Combined with NFS, the “sound barrier” was broken by not needing VMFS and all of its limitations when it comes to using more than 128 linked clones per store. Instead, we did hundreds even nearing a thousand linked clones per store!

In the end, we managed to run over 1300 userload-simulated vDesktops without noticable slowness / latency. Then the VMware testing environment ran out of physical memory and refused to push further. To the Sun storage we had a sustained 5000-6000 WOPS at that time, which the ZFS filesystem managed to reduce to no more than 50 WOPS to the SATA disks. Too amazing to be true? Well, read all about it:

For the faint hearted, the excerpt can be download from here:
Performance Report Excerpt Sun Unified Storage and VMware View 1.0 (713 KB)
Or read the full-blown report here:
Performance Report Sun Unified Storage and VMware View 1.0 (4.06 MB)

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