PernixData FVP Freedom: Configuration and Performance (Part 3)
A continuation of a series for the installation and configuration of PernixData FVP Freedom. Part 1 shows how to install PernixData host extension module to the ESXi hosts and Part 2 demonstrates how to install the application and get started with PernixData FVP Freedom. This post will show how to create a cluster, add acceleration resources, add VMs to be accelerated, and display some quick and dirty results from using the application.
Now that we have PernixData FVP Freedom installed and running, let’s take a look at some configuration options we have to help improve performance for our VMs by using the application. Since FVP Freedom limits us to Read Through polices and RAM as an acceleration source, we’ll be looking at those options specifically.
1) The first configuration step we need to accomplish is the creation of the FVP Cluster. This simple step involves giving it a name and selecting the underlying vSphere cluster. In my lab, I have a single cluster with two physical hosts as members.
2) To configure the FVP cluster, click the name to open the configuration page. Here we can see a high level overview of the cluster, its settings, and performance metrics. To create acceleration resources, add/remove VMs/Datastores, and access Advanced options, click the Configuration tab.
3) Time for the fun stuff….let’s add some Acceleration Resources that will be used by our VMs for caching. For the purpose of this post, we’ll be adding Acceleration Resources of 20GB of RAM for each host. Click the +Add button and make the proper configurations for your environment.
The follow displays my resources that were added from both hosts in my environment.
4) At this point, we have FVP Freedom installed and mostly configured. Now we can choose which VMs we wish to accelerate with FVP. You can do this two ways, 1) add the VMs one by one or 2) add by datastore which automatically adds all related VMs. Choose your preference and add the VMs you wish. My selections are below.
After the VMs have been selected, they will now be accelerated using the Acceleration Resources we configured. If you have fairly busy VMs in terms of disk usage, you should be able to quickly view performance charts and see the results of our work above. I did a few tests using the ATTO disk benchmarking tool.
First, let’s check out what acceleration looks like from VMware vCenter’s point of view on a VM without FVP. As you can see, the initial test workload shows what you’d expect from 1Gb iSCSI…higher latency (spiking to 200ms) and lower performance.
Next, I ran the same exact workload against the same VM but with FVP enabled. The results, as you can see below, are quite staggering. Latency for this workload is much lower (90% lower to be exact) while performance is through the roof. And remember, this is on the exact same iSCSI target.
Last but not least, here are the ATTO test results from both tests. As you can see from the first test, reads and writes were fairly on par with each other. However, check out the performance difference between the reads and writes when FVP was enabled (remember Freedom only allows read-cache).