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February 2012, Vol. 37

What not to do when you’re consolidating: Five common VM mistakes

To get good virtual machine (VM) consolidation ratios, avoid these common mistakes and apply a little common sense to VM specification and placement. 1. Creating contention To achieve high consolidation ratios, you’ll want to avoid contention. That can happen when you have more than one VM on the same host, network or storage unit, leading to the possibility they could compete for resources.  Focus on the “four core” resources— CPU, memory, disk and network—and make sure that you don’t gather intensive VMs on the same resource. Separate network- and disk-intensive VMs on different networks or spindles to massively increase scalability, while at the same time reducing the chance of performance problems later. 2. Overtaxing the scheduler Placing two CPU-intensive VMs on the same physical host will not only tax the CPUs unnecessarily, but also cause the hypervisor’s “scheduler” to work harder. The scheduler decides where the VM’s vCPU executes, and the more vCPUs you allocate to the VM, the harder the scheduler must work to ...

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