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P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

Occasional Advisor

P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

System CPU Utilization is very high (almost 100%) when moving VM's with VMotion or during VM backup causing node failure 'Not Ready' and VM's on that cluster volumes unresponsive for a moment.
Software version is and is running on ESX 4.0 U2.
If you need more details I wil be more than happy to provide.


Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

Just seen your post after putting up the same question. I have the same issue. Any storage vmotions or large sequential writes the vCPU maxes out at 100% causing issues.

Can you confirm if your utalisation is on the host or the VM. If so what physical CPU's do you have in your host?

I feel that the VSA needs a second vCPU to avoid this issue but I dont think adding a second vCPU is supported
Trusted Contributor

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

You can try adding Multiple cores to the VSA.
2 Core would be fine.

VMware VAAI vStorage offloads

HP StorageWorks SAN/iQ software version 9.0 includes support for VMware ESX 4.1 and higher to offload tasks to the storage to improve efficiency and speed of specific workloads:

Deploying templates, cloning, and storage VMotion are offloaded to the array

Creation of large virtual disks for use with Fault Tolerance (block zeroing) offloaded to the array

Volume and LUN locking is enhanced to allow more virtual machines to share the same volume without affecting performance
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Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

I know several people tried the VSA with multiple vCPUs on ESX and Hyper-V, but it did not work correctly.

Multiple cores, that sounds interesting.

VMKB1010184 - Setting the number of cores per CPU in a virtual machine

If I remember correctly, it is 'supported' beginning with ESX 4.1, but was already built into 4.0
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

Thank you for your quick response guys.

Host CPU model is Intel Xeon E5420.

Didn't use more CPU's because of a post to this forum explaining that multiple CPU's can cause a lot of problems, especially during the boot.

I can try adding more cores, but as Uwe Zessin said we are using ESX 4.0 U2 which is not supported at the moment.

Please let me know if there is another way to sort this issue, maybe some protection mechanism of some sort?

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

We are running the latest version on San IQ. Not sure that the multiple core trick would be much different to a second vCPU.

I thought the multiple core config was really a licensing fudge for apps there were licensed by socket.

For this to work The San iq kernel would need to support smb processing. I did read some people had thus working in 8.5 but then couldn't upgrade to 9.0

This is a production environment and must be supported config.

I am surprised there are not more complaints about this since 9.0 and the introduction of VAAI. We may have to look at disabling this feature as currently we have to be very careful when doing anything that uses VAAI as it swamps the single vCPU - not much if a step forward

I am assuming the physical appliances make use of multiple cores so why not document and allow the same on the VSA

Anyone from HP got any ideas?
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

It turns out that the problem is by design.

The VSA itself is optimised for older CPU types with less cores and higher speed (MHz).

What I have discovered is that in some documents the minimum CPU resource reservation recommended is 2000MHz and in other 4000MHz.

For example our physical CPU is Intel Xeon E5420 with 2.49GHz speed, which means that there is no way to reserve more than 2.49GHz which is lower than recommended minimum.

That explains why we are experiencing issues.

With the new CPU's on the market with even lower MHz per core this problem will even worsen.

Our new ESX server has Intel Xeon E7540 with only 2GHz speed.

I hope that HP will find a way to support more than one vCPU, our entire infrastructure is on the VSA SAN now.

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

Yes, its by design, but not in the way you are thinking :) I think HP have done this to "guide" people down the physical appliance road.

At the end of the day SANIQ is just software and I doubt they have restricted the physical appliances to use a single core.

People have added second vCPU's in the past but then they were unable to upgrade to V9.

In the past I donâ t think the single vCPU would have been much of a show stopper. But now 10Gb networks are more common and technologies like VAAI allow tasks to be offloaded direct to the SAN I really think HP need to rethink this strategy ASAP and provide a supported method of adding a second vCPU

I am still waiting for our paper licenses to arrive and direct support with HP. They should be here next week so I will log a call with HP, as it seems they donâ t really monitor these forums. But if anyone gets a chance to log a call before then it would be greatly appreciated.

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

life is never easy. Finally got our 10 node VSA license through. Now trying to get a SAID number generated to log a call.


I take it no one has had any joy with increasing the CPU count?

Occasional Advisor

Re: P4000 VSA (ESX) node high CPU usage

Any update on this? Maybe new P4000 version brewing?