Virtualization performance — PerfectDisk vSphere review

Our user community is a critical part of the success Raxco has enjoyed over the years. They honor us with their business, complain when we do something they don’t like, and overall make us better with the dialog they generate with us, to improve what we do. Our user community ranges from casual consumers to leading executives from Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies.

We always like receiving input from respected professionals in the IT field. Chris Wahl, based in Chicago, is one such individual. He’s a Microsoft Certified IT Professional, VMware Certified Professional, and self-described “virtualization-aholic.” Because he is so interested in all things virtualization, including virtualization performance, the PerfectDisk vSphere Bundle got Chris’ attention. He knew defragmentation and file placement are important for VMware guests, just as in a physical environment. He also knew there are various defrag solutions, but he saw nothing that addressed vSphere defrag and the issues of resource contention specifically, noting that “one major challenge is that these tools are ignorant of the underlying storage structure, assuming that the server is a standalone silo without any disk contention.”

So Chris had his review planned. “I gave PerfectDisk 11 vSphere Bundle a spin for 2 weeks on a number of servers that, for this test, were made to purposely share a single VMFS datastore on a single LUN to introduce contention.” The post in his blog Wahl Network reviews “the installation process, configuration requirements, and results from this test.”

The review has a lot of details about the testing and environment. Wahl describes his setup of the PerfectDisk Enterprise Console and using the Console, which is “laid out in an easy-to-navigate manner.” As he goes on to install the PerfectDisk software, he writes that “even with the learning curve of using new software, the configuration took less than 30 minutes to get some guests tied to the Enterprise Console and reporting back.”

Regarding daily administration, Chris gives a one word description before providing details: “Zero!….there is nothing for the administrator to do besides view the reports or deploy agents to additional guests.” And as for the defragmentation results, “to my surprise, the servers started at nearly at double-digit fragmentation (Server 4 was at 38% on the data disk). All servers maintained less than 1% fragmentation after being scheduled with StealthPatrol.” And finally, “there is a definite downward trend in latency.”

Wahl concludes that “the software works well, is almost completely hands off, and even in a test environment I’ve seen general latency values drop. Additionally, the licensing is at a per-host model, so it’s simple to figure out what both the CapEx and OpEx will turn out to be.” He notes PerfectDisk’s pricing model compares favorably to the one other possible option in this virtualization space, observing that for the other product, “the licensing model (per core) would be incredibly expensive on my 12-core servers.”

Chris’ final conclusion? “All in all, I think the value of this software is worth the purchase and am interested in seeing how much performance can be gleamed in a production environment with hundreds of servers tied to a variety of SAN tiers.”

Expert opinion on virtualization performance — it’s the usual best defrag software, virtual style. The review in the blog is here.

Category: PerfectDiskStorageVirtualization