Virtualizing Performance-Critical Database Applications in VMware VSphere

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Executive Summary

VMware vSphere 4.0 with ESX 4.0 is the latest enhancement to the cloud operating system. For example, database applications are very resource intensive, and network managers are often in two minds on whether or not to virtualize them. High CPU and memory consumption requires that your virtualization be really efficient. VMware vSphere 4.0 with ESX 4.0 helps administrators virtualize demanding applications like databases. This paper discusses and proves the benefits of the enhancements to the VMware vSphere 4.0 with PVSCSI, improved I/O concurrency, improved interrupt coalescing and delivery mechanisms, hardware support for memory management unit virtualization, and the improved CPU scheduler that helps a virtualized environment handle high storage IOPS and network packets/second. The tests used Order-Entry benchmark to quantify performance gains and differentials. The tests show 8.9K DBMS transactions/second with the accompanying 60K IOPS is possible with an 8vCPU virtual machine which is over 50 times that needed by a typical Oracle database application. The performances in the paper are compared to the native and with ESX 3.5, in addition to testing some of the enhancements to the ESX 4.0/. The paper proves that the vast majority of the most demanding applications can be run, with excellent performance, in a virtualized environment with vSphere 4.0 and that VMware vSphere 4.0 with ESX 4.0 is the best platform to virtualize Oracle databases.

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