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If you follow this blog, you probably already had a chance to review the “Hyper-V over SMB” overview talk that I delivered at TechEd 2012 and other conferences. I am now working on a new version of that talk that still covers the basics, but adds brand new segments focused on end-to-end performance and detailed sample configurations. This post looks at this new end-to-end performance portion.
2. Typical Hyper-V over SMB configuration
End-to-end performance starts by drawing an end-to-end configuration. The diagram below shows a typical Hyper-V over SMB configuration including:
The main highlights of the diagram above include the redundancy in all layers and the different types of network connecting the layers.
3. Performance considerations
With the above configuration in mind, you can then start to consider the many different options at each layer that can affect the end-to-end performance of the solution. The diagram below highlights a few of the items, in the different layers, that would have a significant impact.
These items include, in each layer:
It’s also important to note that the goal is not to achieve the highest performance possible, but to find a balanced configuration that delivers the performance required by the workload at the best possible cost.
4. Sample configuration
To make things a bit more concrete, you can look at a sample VDI workload. Suppose you need to create a solution to host 500 VDI VMs. Here is an outline of the thought process you would have to go through:
Please note that this is simply as an example, since your specific workload requirements may vary. There’s no general industry agreement on exactly what a VDI workload looks like, which kind of disks should be used with it or how much RAM would work best for the Hyper-V hosts in this scenario. So, take this example with a grain of salt :-)
Obviously you could have decided to go with a different type of disk, JBOD or host. In general, higher-end equipment will handle more load, but will be more expensive. For disks, deciding factors will include price, performance, capacity and endurance. Comparing SSDs and HDDs, for instance, is an interesting exercise and that equation changes constantly as new models become available and prices fluctuate. You might need to repeat the above exercise a few times with different options to find the ideal solution for your specific workload. You might want to calculate your cost per VM for each specific iteration.
Assuming you did all that and liked the results, let’s draw it out:
Now it’s up to you to work out the specific details of your own workload and hardware options.
5. Configuration Variations
It’s also important to notice that there are several potential configuration variations for the Hyper-V over SMB scenario, including:
6. Speeds and feeds
In order to make some of the calculations, you might need to understand the maximum theoretical throughput of the interfaces involved. For instance, it helps to know that a 10GbE NIC cannot deliver up more than 1.1 GBytes per second or that a single SAS HBA sitting on an 8-lane PCIe Gen2 slot cannot deliver more than 3.4 GBytes per second. Here are some tables to help out with that portion:
Also, here is some fine print on those tables:
I’m still working out the details of this new Hyper-V over SMB presentation, but this posts summarizes the portion related to end-to-end performance.
I plan to deliver this talk to an internal Microsoft audience this week and also during the MVP Summit later this month. I am also considering submissions for MMS 2013 and TechEd 2013.
You can get a preview of this portion of the talk by watching this recent TechNet Radio show I recorded with Bob Hunt: Hyper-V over SMB 3.0 Performance Considerations.