How important is server reliability and resilience in hypervisor performance?
All data center applications require some amount of server reliability and resilience. However, server availability alone does not directly affect hypervisor performance. Nevertheless, preventing server hardware from experiencing performance problems in the first place will help you avoid significant workload disruption, data loss and virtual machine restart or migration delays.
Further reading on server availability
Using high availability servers and systems
Highly available and fault-tolerant servers
High availability server management practices
Numerous technologies aim to forestall or prevent server failures and keep the hypervisor running. Aside from redundant power supplies and RAID 5 disk storage groups, consider technologies such as memory mirroring, which effectively maintains duplicate synchronized copies of all memory contents. Mirroring can be used along with memory sparing to allow for the installation of hot spare memory modules, which the server can use if it detects a problem with an active memory module.
It may also be possible to boost hypervisor performance and improve server availability by making software upgrades at the BIOS or firmware, or by installing driver or hypervisor updates that address bugs, enhance hardware compatibility, and boost performance.
Hypervisor performance is often governed by the same factors that affect regular application performance. In many cases, the hypervisor benefits from basic BIOS tweaks or software updates, and it’s always important to ensure that the system provides enough computing resources to support the intended workloads. System availability is not tied to hypervisor performance directly, but anything that keeps the server running will prevent a great deal of wasted time and IT effort.
This was first published in April 2013