StoreVirtual Storage
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

VSA - Performance Tweaks

Gregory J. Boehnlein
Occasional Advisor

VSA - Performance Tweaks

Hey guys,
I use a pair VSAs in my Lab for testing, and am wondering about a few things.

1. The Vmware Tools are always "out of date". Is there some process / procedure whereby we can manually self install the latest tools on the VSA?

2. The VSA is configured as a VM Version 4, instead of the newer VM Version 4.

3. The VSA uses the "Flexible" network adapter, rather than using the newer VMXNET3 adapter, which would increase performance.

Any plans on releasing an ESX 4 specific VSA that will use the newer features?
7 REPLIES
damogill
Occasional Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

1) if you right click the VM under Guest you will see install/upgrade vmware tools. This will mount the tools iso within the cdrom on the VM.. if it doesnt autostart go to my compuer and manually run it.

Any existing VMtools will be upgraded. Any non present tools will be installed.

2) I presume you meant version 7? If you shutdown the VM then right click there is an option to upgrade the hardware of the VM.

3) Have you tried removing it and adding in a E1000 network card? Not sure if the VSA has the driver but you could try on a test VSA.
Gregory J. Boehnlein
Occasional Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

>1) if you right click the VM under Guest you
>will see install/upgrade vmware tools. This >will mount the tools iso within the cdrom on
>the VM.. if it doesnt autostart go to my >compuer and manually run it.

This is on an ESX 4u2 server. Automated Tools installation inside of the VSA fails w/ the following, very descriptive message in Vcenter: "The Vmware Tools Upgrade operation was cancelled".

Since the VSA runs Linux, I suppose I could hack into it via Single User mode, get a root shell and install them manually, but that would assume that the pre-compiled binaries that are distributed by Vmware will load properly into the VSA's kernel, which is a stretch. It would also assume that all of the necessary dependencies (such as Perl etc..) are installed on the VSA console. From past experiences, it appears to use an RPM based distribution.

But seriously, doesn't HP recognize that customers are going to need to upgrade their VSAs on a fairly regular basis? Several times a year, based on the last 18 months of releases/patches from Vmware.

>2) I presume you meant version 7? If you >shutdown the VM then right click there is >an option to upgrade the hardware of the VM.

Yes. I will look into that.

>3) Have you tried removing it and adding in >a E1000 network card? Not sure if the VSA >has the driver but you could try on a test >VSA.

E1000 is not the VMXNET3 driver. The VMXNET3 driver is significantly faster in many test cases, and would reduce overall Storage I/O latency when communications stay within the same vSwitch.

Also, mucking around w/ the Network driver might potentially cause license key issues for me.

It's looking more and more like I'll need to just take a VSA, break into it and see what kernel drivers / etc. are hanging around in it.

Or maybe it's just time to switch the lab to the new, free EMC VSA:

http://nickapedia.com/2010/05/01/celerra-vsa-uber-smaller-faster-easier-geekier/

At least with that I can get in and actually do some work under the hood.
damogill
Occasional Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

1 ) Sorry I didnt read your question properly! yes that does suck a bit I think your right you would need to get into the shell and manually upgrade but doubt this is possible.

Realistically what benifits are you going to get from upgrading the tools? What are your reasons for wanting to?

3) Do you know any good links to info on this? I have always stuck with the default e1000
Gregory J. Boehnlein
Occasional Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

Regarding what benefits I want to receive.. I want better performance, higher number of IOPs and lower latency on my VSAs.

As for the differences between versions, this KB from Vmware does a much better job discussing it than I do:

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1001805
damogill
Occasional Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

Thanks for the link. Hope you find an answer for your VSAs.
RonsDavis
Frequent Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

I tried a few of these tweaks. Found I got way better performance when I did not use the new network card drivers. I think HP has tuned the performance for the nic they shift with, and messing with it just messed with me.
Jim Silvia
Advisor

Re: VSA - Performance Tweaks

What are you guys seeing in terms of performance with VSA.

I'm trying to move large files from one SAN to a VSA LUN via robocopy from a Windows 2003 that uses MS iSCSI software.

Performance is poor.

Queue Depth = 32
IOPS = 80
Throughput = 3,233,000 B/s

Were you able to do anything to improve performance?