Unusual Usage for CPU Resource Controls

Unusual Usage for CPU Resource Controls

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In Hyper-V (and Virtual Server) we allow you to configure a CPU resource reservation, limit and relative weight.  This is usually used for providing performance guarantees for virtual machines - however - last weekend I found a rather obscure usage for this set of settings.

Last weekend there were a number of tests that I needed to run on the RC release of Hyper-V as we were preparing for the formal release.  In order to do this I just grabbed one of my old (slightly dodgy) computers.  After installing Windows Server 2008, and the RC build of Hyper-V, I started setting up a number of virtual machines.

When I was ~80% through guest OS installation the computer spontaneously powered off. 

When I turned it back on the BIOS came up and told me that the system had powered off because I had exceeded thermal limits on the hardware!  After starting up the system again and resuming OS installation I ran for about 5 minutes before the system powered off again due to exceeding thermal limits. 

At this stage it was apparent that my hardware was busted, but I really did not want to have to rebuild on a new system.  So in a moment of inspiration I bought the system up and went through each virtual machine and set the processor limit to 50%.  Once I did this I was able to complete my testing without overheating the computer.

Two hours later - my testing was completed - and a post-it note was put on the physical computer to remind me not to use this computer in the future.

Cheers,
Ben

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  • There's also the old-school way to solve this kind of problems. It involves open case covers and household fans.

  • There's also the old-school way to solve this kind of problems. It involves open case covers and household fans.

  • My thoughts exactly Jonathan.

    Not a good idea for the long term, obviously.  But for a short term it would be acceptable.

  • Hm, I would simply replace the CPU fan!

    But hey that's just me :-)

  • You need to virtualize the CPU fan, and replace it with a more powerful emulation.

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