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Manage Workloads in Virtualized Environments

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa Jan. 18, 2011

Per Bauer

"Don’t expect dynamic resource scheduling and migration to quickly fit everything together on the fly," warned Bauer.

Bauer said the three best techniques for ensuring workloads coexist in virtualized environments are estimation, analytical modeling and synthetic load testing.

"You need to understand a lot about the resource requirements of the underlying applications in order to know whether one workload might interfere with another," he said. Bauer advised that it makes sense to do some careful, up-front analysis.

Analysis Options

Estimation analysis involves stacking workloads on top of each other until a predetermined threshold is reached, but is the least accurate option. Load testing is more accurate than estimation, but may not be the best option for virtual environments. Analytic modeling (analytic queuing network solver) is much simpler and more accurate than load testing, and is the best option of the three.

Whichever technique is used, Bauer emphasized the need to plan ahead and make sure that placement and migration policies are designed to ensure that workloads will run efficiently together.

Illustrating the Process

Bauer compared the process of ensuring workload efficiency to playing Tetris. Tetris-like blocks symbolize the irregularities among different workloads. A simple workload with a moderate need for resources would be represented by a basic two-piece block. Higher needs for resources and higher complexity would cause the block to expand in various directions.

An inability to combine the blocks translates into workloads that are starved for resources and can’t be migrated to another host. All of a sudden, two of the key mechanisms that enable flexibility in virtualized environments become unusable.

"If you don’t pay attention to the characteristics of the workloads you’re hosting, there’s a big risk you’ll either over-provision or starve your applications," said Bauer.

Additional Content:

About TeamQuest Corporation

TeamQuest Corporation is the global leader in IT Service Optimization (ITSO), specializing in Capacity Management software. TeamQuest helps IT organizations consistently meet service levels while minimizing costs and mitigating risks. By combining performance data and business metrics, TeamQuest software enables IT organizations to provide accurate, objective information as input to critical business decisions. Companies around the world trust TeamQuest software to help them proactively improve service delivery and support best practices.

SOURCE TeamQuest Corporation

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