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This topic provides guidance on the key physical and virtual performance counters you need to watch for each of the resources. I must be honest, unless you are nut for infrastructure performance and optimization, the information below is not exactly as riveting as watching an episode of CSI (New York is my favourite), or Heroes/ 24! :) Why then have I included it in this series?
At some point you, or a member of your SharePoint Infrastructure team, will need to measure and optimize the performance of your physical or virtualized SharePoint farm. This is when this blog post will be very handy! It will help you understand WHICH performance counters to look at, WHAT they are really measuring and reporting, and lastly HOW to optimize your virtualized environment based on what is reported.
Finally this topic provides a brief overview of the supporting management technologies that can improve the governance and management of your virtualized SharePoint environment.
This topic discusses:
What does this fancy statement from TechNet really mean to a SharePoint infrastructure administrator? Hell, I had to read that statement a couple times! It means that the hypervisor of Hyper V (which sits between host machine and SharePoint guest machines) determines how physical CPU resources are allocated across your guest virtual machines. The hypervisor does this by scheduling guest processor time in the form of threads on the physical processor. How much time? This is determined using a combination of your virtual machine logical CPU allocation settings, and secondly reserves, caps and weights to balance CPU time between your hosts guest machines.
The amount of physical memory available to the Hyper-V host operating system can be determined by
Memory that is available to the guest operating systems can be measured with the same performance monitor counters used to measure memory available to the Hyper-V host operating system.
For best initial Read and Write disk performance indicator, use “\Logical Disk(*)\Avg. sec/Read” and “\Logical Disk(*)\Avg. sec/Write”. These performance monitor counters measure the amount of time that read and write operations take to respond to the operating system.
Use logical disk versus physical disk performance monitor counters is recommended because Windows applications and services utilize logical drives represented as drive letters wherein the physical disk (LUN) presented to the operating system can be comprised of multiple physical disk drives in a disk array.
Measuring Disk Latency: Use “\Logical Disk(*)\Avg. Disk sec/Read” or “\Logical Disk(*)\Avg. Disk sec/Write” performance monitor counters when measuring disk latency on the Hyper-V host operating system:
Response times of the disks used by the guest operating systems can be measured using the same performance monitor counters used to measure response times of the disks used by the Hyper-V host operating system.
For more information about disk performance analysis, see the following resources:Ruling Out Disk-Bound Problems at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=120947 .
Hyper-V allows guest computers to share the same physical network adapter. While this helps to consolidate hardware, take care not to saturate the physical adapter. Use the following methods to ensure the health of the network used by the Hyper-V virtual machines:
If a network adapter on the Hyper-V root partition is busy as indicated by the performance monitor counters mentioned above, then consider using the “\Hyper-V Virtual Network Adapter(*)\Bytes/sec” performance monitor counter to identify which virtual network adapters are consuming the most network utilization.
This section discusses the tools and products you can use to manage your virtualized SharePoint environment. It is focussed on Microsoft products but recognises that there are other fantastic virtualization support products such as VMware Infrastructure. Please refer to their site for more information on what they provide.
Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is the ideal management tool for SharePoint admins tasked with the upkeep of virtualized SharePoint farms, as it provides valuable tools that allow for rapid provisioning of new SharePoint front-ends servers, conversion of physical servers to Hyper-V guests, and other highly useful management capabilities.
Virtual Machine Manager is an end-to-end management solution that can manage both Hyper-V guests and VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3). It directly integrates with VMware’s VirtualCenter server to directly manage the VMware hosts. This allows for VMM to perform tasks specific to VMware, such as moving sessions from ESX hosts using VMotion technologies.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2008 provides a straightforward and cost-effective solution for unified management of physical and virtual machines, consolidation of underutilized physical servers, and rapid provisioning of new virtual machines. It provides for critical virtual management functionality in environments that are considering virtualizing SharePoint farms, particularly when dealing with multiple servers and farms.
System Center Operations Manager 2007 is an end-to-end service management product which works seamlessly with Microsoft software and applications enabling greater control of the IT environment. Some features I think will be of interest to virtualized SharePoint environments include:
System Center Configuration Manager is the solution to comprehensively assess, deploy, and update your servers, clients, and devices—across physical, virtual, distributed, and mobile environments. Optimized for Windows and extensible beyond, it is the best choice for gaining enhanced insight into, and control over, your IT systems.
Some features I think will be of interest to virtualized SharePoint environments is patch management of offline virtual machines and management of software upgrades.
Focused on the primary Microsoft server workloads, DPM 2007 was specifically built to protect and recover SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, SharePoint Portal Server, Microsoft Virtual Server, as well as Windows file services. In addition, DPM 2007 blends the best aspects of continuous data protection (CDP) with traditional tape backup. Some features I think will be of interest to virtualized SharePoint environments is virtual machine backup and restore and disaster recovery scenarios.
This article was authored by:
Brian Wilson Senior Consultant Microsoft Consulting Services UK Brian.Wilson@Microsoft.com
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