Monthly Archives: February 2015

ESXi 5.5 enable SSD

VMware’s ESXi servers frequently are unable to recognize attached SSD devices, especially when they are behind a RAID controller. If a storage device is not recognized as an SSD, it cannot be designated for vFRC or the Virtual Flash Host Swap Cache function. A set of commands outlined in VMware’s KB 2013188 will mark the storage device as a local SSD and enable the required functionality. If you are up to living dangerously, you can mark any local storage device as an SSD. Continue reading

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VMware 10G NIC Performance Evaluation

For the last few years we have been running IBM x3850 x5 servers in our cloud, with Emulex 10G NICs for all of our networking needs. One of our services was starting to run out of steam, and we picked up a pair of HP DL580 G8 servers for the needed horsepower. These servers were configured with Intel based 10G NICs. At the time of the purchase, our main concern was to get the maximum CPU performance and minimal attention was paid to 10G NIC selection.

As we put these servers into production, we noticed that the VMware iSCSI performance on the new HP hosts seemed especially good. The E7-8891v2 Xeons undoubtedly have a large role to play in the improved performance, but we began to wonder how much of the performance improvement can be attributed to the 10G NICs. Not one to let such thoughts sit idle for long, I asked our friends at Zones if we can borrow a few 10G NICs for performance evaluation. Within a few weeks I had dual port Intel and Mellanox 10G NICs in hand for testing, in addition to the Emulex NICs already present in our IBM hosts. Continue reading