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I believe, after reading Part 1, why choose x86 for SAP (http://wp.me/p4d8v7-2L) it would be clear that x86 is the way going forward for all your business critical applications. Now in Part 2, lets understand why virtualize SAP on VMware for your critical SAP environment.

  1. SAVE MONEY!!! Decrease SAP datacenter costs for space, energy, cooling, hardware, and labor. This will help to achieve ROI much faster.
  2. Increase SLA for SAP setup: Increase availability, reliability & efficiency of all environments. You can increase uptime during planned maintenance.
  3. Cost-effective and Efficient disaster recovery: VMware’s DR solution make things so easy that anyone in the organization can do a DR. Please refer http://wp.me/p4d8v7-1q for more details.
  4. Faster Time To Market: Quickly deploy new SAP solutions-based environments for development and test drastically reducing provisioning time. Upgrade safely to the latest SAP solutions and simplify the transition to new environments.
  5. Align SAP resources with business priorities: Now IT will be more focused towards the business deliverables keeping IT issues aside.
  6. More advantages for why to choose VMware can be looked at http://www.vmware.com/in/advantages/http://www.vmware.com/in/advantages/

All this is fine, lets understand the relation between SAP and VMware

  1. VMware is a charter member of the SAP Enterprise Virtualization Community.
  2. VMware is one of a very limited number of SAP Global Technology Partners.
  3. vSphere is the virtualization platform supported by SAP across both Linux and Windows for all environments, including production.
  4. More details at http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-27384 .

 

You may worry about performance of SAP On VMware, here you go http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10128. Refer this whitepaper and this will tell you that it actually delivers upto 99% of native performance.

If you still want to know more about VMware and SAP collaboration, please refer http://www.vmware.com/business-critical-apps/sap-virtualization/index.html and this will tell you why you should not hesitate to virtualize SAP on VMware.

More pointers available at http://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2012/03/your-guide-to-virtualizing-sap-on-vsphere.html

Source: http://www.walkonblock.com/part-2-sap-on-vmware-why-virtualize/

Using SAP on VMware is no more a myth or risky but a reality. There are good number of customers who had not only virtualized their SAP test/Dev but also their production SAP on VMware’s reliable platform.

To understand all the aspects better, let me break this post into various parts.

This part 1 will talk about the typical challenges customers faces while if they use non-x86 or don’t virtualize their SAP.


Battle between x86 & non-x86

Customers have started looking at x86 servers v/s non-x86 (SUN SPARC / HP-UX / IBM-AIX) for the obvious benefits as below

Some of the driving factors are

  1. No Vendor Lock-in: When it comes to x86 world, there is no vendor lock-in as you can use any vendor and any make and model as per your requirements.
  2. Lower hardware & maintenance costs: x86 servers are far better than cheaper than non-x86 servers. This also includes the ongoing annual maintenance costs (AMC) as well.
  3. Better performance: Some of the models of x86 servers can actually out-perform the non-x86 servers in various forms.Please access the URL http://www.intel.it/content/dam/doc/white-paper/performance-xeon-7500-next-gen-x86-paper.pdf which will give insight about the same. http://www.eweek.com/servers/intel-changes-direction-on-next-generation-itanium-platform/ will put more light on how intel is changing the face of the server industry
  4. Choice of OS: You have choice of using any OS of your choice and not forced to choose a specific OS. See the operating system trend at http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23974913
  5. Disaster Recovery: You can use any type of hardware, make and model when it comes to disaster recovery (DR). You don’t need to maintain hardware from same vendor.
  6. Unprecedented scalability: You can now scale the x86 servers the way you want, TB’s of RAM’s , more than 64 cores etc is very much possible/available in x86 environment.
  7. Support from Implementation Vendor: If you check with your implementation vendor/partner, you will find they that almost all of them can certify/support implementation of SAP on x86 environment. The same is the case if you are thinking about migrating from non-x86 to x86 world.

Along with above mentioned reasons, other reasons also includes scope for further cost reduction using VMware virtualization.

 

Gartner has clearly indicated that RISC/Itanium Unix servers continued to decline at 4.5 percent … Please refer http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2632515 more details.


SAP, themselves has recommended x86 for their customers. They mentioned “if a workload requires 10 IBM Power 740 3.55GHz cores, it would require 26 BL460c G7 cores.  This contrasts to the per core estimated SAPS based on the 2-tier benchmark which suggests just that the Power 740 would have been just 1.4 time the performance per core….” More details at http://saponpower.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/is-the-sap-2-tier-benchmark-a-good-predictor-of-database-performance/

 

In short, x86 delivers compelling total cost of ownership (TCO) while considering SAP on x86 environment.

 

SAVE $$$ if you want to :)  :)  :) ..

Source: http://www.walkonblock.com/part-1-sap-vmware-choose-x86/


VMware vCenter Log Insight (will term as log Insight) is a tool to play around with log data if you are looking for

Why another tool for Log Management

  • Loads of logs is generated by systems all day throughout the year.
  • Scanning through logs in case of troubleshooting or monitoring or during Root cause analysis (RCA) is time consuming & tedious hulk task.
  • Log analytics in an ongoing pain for many of us as logs contain important & valuable behavior and diagnostics information about dynamic environments
  • Log management, an untapped area is not widely explored by customers.

VMware vCenter Log Insight

  1. Just like VMware’s vC Ops (Operations Management solution), which is analytic’s based solution for structured data, VMware introduced Log Insight which applies analytics based approach to logs & unstructured machine generated data.
  2. Collects and analyzes all types of machine-generated log data, e.g. application logs, network traces, configuration files, messages, performance data, system state dumps, and much more.
  3. Enables administrators, a single location to collect, store, and analyze logs at scale.
  4. Search and Query Box with predictive query keyword suggestions.
  5. Interactive Visualizations of Query Results.
  6. Adds structure to all types of unstructured log data, enabling administrators to troubleshoot quickly, without needing to know the data beforehand.
  7. Delivers real-time monitoring, search, and analytics, coupled with a dashboard for stored queries, reports, and alerts, enabling correlation of events across multiple tiers of a hybrid cloud environment.
  8. Highlighted fields increase visibility of tags and keywords
  9. Built-In vSphere Content Pack
  10. Automated correlation of performance and log data with the help of VMware vCenter Operations (vC Ops).

  Licensing

  • Licenses per OS instance
  • An OS instance is defined as any physical server, virtual machine, virtualized host (running ESXi, Hyper-V, KVM, etc.), network device (such as firewalls or routers), storage device, or any other system that can be identified through an IP address that generates log data

VMware vCenter Log insight

More details available at http://www.vmware.com/in/products/vcenter-log-insight/

What could be probably be an endpoint disaster?

  • Complete site goes off due to some natural calamity.
  • Site not available due to some planned unplanned hardware or software issues.
  • Individual Laptop/Desktop (referred as Endpoint) crash could also be a disaster for that user.
  • Virus infection on a Endpoint/s
  • And many more

I don’t have to mention how does Disaster impacts the productivity of the user and thus the Business

 

How VMware Horizon Mirage helps?

For some reason if a Endpoint crashes Mirage delivers below following ways for Disaster Recovery

 

1.       File Portal

  • If a user shift deletes a file, he can simply open upon a web browser, point to Mirage server, Feed-in username and password and download his files which was there on his Endpoint.
  • This is independent of location and Endpoint

2.       Restoration to same hardware

  • In case of a virus infection or hard disk replacement, simply restore endpoint on the same hardware

3.       Restoration to a new hardware

  • If you are migrating to new hardware or same hardware is broken/lost etc, you can restore the image on it
  • It can also be restored as a Virtual Machine

4.       Snapshot restore of an Endpoint

  • If any corruption of system file or virus attack etc happens, restore an endpoint to a previous state
  • During new installation of any software, problem occurs on endpoint, use snapshot restore.

5.       User profile restore

  • If there is a requirement of restoring only user files and settings on same/new hardware it can  be restored easily.
  • In profile restore, OS or applications will not be restored

6.       Restoration using boot USB

  • In case if endpoint fails to boot, use this option.

 

Why VMware Mirage?

  • Ease of management with a matter of few mouse clicks
  • End user experience remains intact independent of the hardware which is crucial for the business
  • All important and crucial files remains available all the time without depending on the hardware.
  • The downtime or the productivity loss of the user can be minimized to great extent
  • All the above features work very well even over WAN.

Happy new year to all and thank you for your patience. WELCOME to final round of the war to understand where both stand as per TCO/ROI justification

You would have about Part 1 & Part 2 and would have realized by now which hypervisor suits you considering technical & licensing parameters into account.

Assumptions

  • All pricing are list price for respective vendors as per URL below. The prices may not be actual. You need to contact the respective vendors to get the pricing.
  • Refer VMware prices at http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/pricing.html & I have considered, Enterprise Plus Edition with 3 Yrs SnS
  • Refer Oracle DB prices at https://shop.oracle.com/pls/ostore/product?p1=Database&p2=OracleDatabase&p3=&p4=&intcmp=ocom_database_oracledatabase. Though oracle licenses are a bit confusing to understand we will use perpetual Enterprise Edition for license consideration.
  • In general, oracle does not allow 3rd parties to publish benchmark results against their products without their consent & approval. Since OVM is Xen based, we will use benchmarks of Xen vs. VMware to identify the density of VM’s which implies the number of VM’s that can be hosted on any server at same point of time without any performance pinch on the applications. Please refer the URL http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vmware-maximize-workload-density-tg.pdf (though old) will clearly indicate that vSphere performs better than other hypervisors. So number of VM’s packed on one server using VMware would be more compared to other’s and thus less hardware is required. (Pg 1 says and in our view gives ESXi as much as a 2:1 density advantage over XenServer, once we consider the ability of the hypervisor to access the full performance of the underlying hardware) For simplicity I take consolidation ratio as 1.5:1, If I need 4 servers for VMware solution, I will need 6 servers for Xen based solution.
  • All calculations are based on 4 servers using vSphere vs. 6 servers using XEN based solution.
  • Other components are been ignored like storage, network, OS cost etc

Final analysis

Cost for

vSphere

OVM

Servers ($6500 per server for 2 CPU, Hex Core, 64 GB RAM)

$26,000

$39,000

Energy cost to power on the servers (0.0893$ per KW) (300 W per server ) (3 yrs)

$2,838

$4,257

Cooling (1.5 times of energy to power on servers)(3 yrs)

$4,257

$6,386

VMware cost (6 sockets)

$46,419

$0

3 yrs 24 X 7 production support

OVM cost ( I say they give it for free)

$0

$0

No support , you have to buy it separately. They don’t give support for free.

Total

$79,514

$49,643

 

Oracle DB cost for Enterprise Edition

$285,000

$380,000

Final Total

$364,514

$429,643

$65,129

If we see above, this is how you’ll find many comparison against hypervisors to show how cost effective they are. They simply compare the license prices and show fancy graphs. But if you consider the actual costs like DB cost etc, you will know where you stand. The TCO using VMware vSphere is much smaller compared to OVM thereby giving more ROI

Don’t forget to consider the technical advantages and disadvantages before shelling out $$ from your pockets. Don’t buy a car because types comes for free, do look at the total cost of the car before you buy one along with its features.

This concludes my 3 part series of VMware vSphere vs. Oracle VM OR popularly called as VMware vs. Oracle War.

Decide the winner for yourself.

Thank you for the patience folks. Again Players in the game are VMware & Oracle

 

 

 

In Level 2, we will see how Oracle DB in particular is licensed on physical world , virtual and pointers around support & certification by oracle.

 

Oracle Licensing: Either by CPU/core, or by User(may vary for customers depending on their agreement with Oracle). Here we will not look at user based licensing

 

 

 

Physical world

 

Primarily Editions look like as below, there are mode editions available apart from below.

 

 

Edition

Licensed by

Sockets limited

How it works

Standard One

Socket

2

License all sockets

Standard

Socket

4

License all sockets

Enterprise

Core

NA

Apply x86 factor of 0.5 to cores

'

 

Hard partitioning of physical systems is allowed in case if you want to license only 1 socket out of 2 sockets available on the server

 

Oracle is virtualization friendly to a good extent. J Lets see how

 

Virtual world

License FULL server Once “fully licensed” you can deploy unlimited VMs AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE! This is a good use case if you need more than 2 instances of DB.

Software partitioning is not allowed by Oracle

 

Certification

Oracle certifies DB & RAC on OVM , but not on VMware. (Obviously they can’t deny certifying on their hardware)

PLEASE NOTICE that Customer not just run DB on Sun servers but also with other OEM’s as well like HP, IBM, Dell etc and Oracle never certifies anything below OS. So make sure that underlying OS which you will run on hypervisor is certified on that hypervisor. If it is certified we know what other certification matters. J Also one important point to be noted is that VMware claims that they don’t make any changes to the Guest OS which is another plus point.

 

Support

Oracle support DB on OVM & on VMware.

Oracle will fix the bug/problem and will do so if the problem is known and independent of the underlying hypervisor (Specific to VMware). If it is not, you need to migrate oracle software to bare metal

Not sure if Oracle support ever denied support to customers running oracle on VMware

As per https://www.vmware.com/support/policies/oracle-support.html VMware claims that VMware Support will accept accountability for any Oracle-related issue reported by a customer. By being accountable, VMware Support will drive the issue to resolution regardless of which vendor (VMware, Oracle, or others) is responsible for the resolution.

 

Other points to consider in using Oracle in virtual world

How many DB instances can I run on 1 box?

Majorly depends on underlying hypervisor, lower the footprint of hypervisor, better it is.

 

High Availability

If 99.999% of availability is required, you do need an Oracle RAC, else HA features of hypervisors should suffice the purpose. BEWARE HA feature of Oracle & VMware does differ with respect to their functionalities, latter one gives better control & ease of management.

More robust features like storage load balancing, prioritizing storage I/O’s etc needs to be considered while deciding on the hypervisor. Please check before you select virtualize you business critical application.

 

Scalability

Hypervisor should support HOT ADD OF CPU, MEMORY, DISK & NETWORK without bringing application down.

 

I hope above points gave some fair idea to choose your hypervisor….Decide your own WINNER.

Stay tuned for LEVEL 3 in the WAR GAME

 

 

Thank you for the patience folks. Again Players in the game are VMware & Oracle

 

In Level 2, we will see how Oracle DB in particular is licensed on physical world , virtual and pointers around support & certification by oracle.

Oracle Licensing: Either by CPU/core, or by User(may vary for customers depending on their agreement with Oracle). Here we will not look at user based licensing

 

Physical world

Primarily Editions look like as below, there are mode editions available apart from below.

Players in the game are latest vSphere 5.5 and VM Server 3.2

These points will help you understand to host Oracle DB's or any other business critical applications on which hypervisor.  All the below points are very much available on the respective vendors documentation.

Below points will make it clear who WINS LEVEL 1 of the GAME....Decide your best choice for hypervisor for yourself.

Stay tuned for LEVEL 2 in the WAR GAME.

   

OracleVMwareComments
1VM Server is based upon on underlying Xen hypervisor technology, and includes  VM Agent, a Linux kernel with support for a broad array of devices and file systems.vSphere is not based on Linux kernel but uses proprietory vmkernel which is purpose builtOVM is bulky
2Guest OS support is limited.Guest OS support is vast including Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD, Windows 2000, SCO OpenServer, eComStation etcOVM needs to work on increasing the list
3Per VM RAM/vCPU = 2 TB/128Per VM RAM/vCPU = 1 TB/64Better job , please refer point 17
4PER SERVER CPU/RAM = 160/4TBPER SERVER CPU/RAM = 320 / 4TBDo you have such server?
5PER SERVER VMs = 128PER SERVER VM's = 512VMware doing a good job here. Infact they are known to deliver more VM's per server
6Virtual disk size = 10 TBVirtual Disk size = 62 TBLarge DB can be hosted easily on VMware
7Create New VM Wizard creates a new VM even if Wizard is CancelledALL is WELL
8Drag and Drop to invalid targets fail without an error messageIt does not allow drag and drop to invalid targets
9Windows 2012 is not supportedSimple Install fails on Windows Server 2012 with DHCPBoth needs to buckle up
10No Single Signon/Autodeploy feature availableSome issues around vCenter Single sign-On & auto-deploy serverVMware needs to work hard to make these features more compelling than others
11When a server pool has finished being created, it is not possible to change the virtual IP address.You can dynamically change the sameSimple, in  recreate one or BE PERFECTO
12I/O-intensive Storage Operations disrupt Cluster HeartbeatvSphere continues to perform during I/O intensive storage operationsCan I virtualize my business critical applications???
13Editing VM configuration file results in unexpected behaviorALL is WELLBE PERFECTO OR …
14Concurrent Clone fails without errorMultiple cloning is possibleno multitasking please
15Live Migration fails but VM reports running VM on target VM ServerIf vMotion fails, it doesn't show anything on other hostIt is a Ghost???
16Solaris 10 machine hangs during Shutdown on  VM ServerALL is WELLIsn't Solaris 10 is their own product??
17Guests with >32 vCPUs hang at bootALL is WELLWhats the point  supporting 128??
18Live Migration of a VM may be affected by Guest Linux Kernel VersionALL is WELLLive migration dependent on kernel???
19Hot removal of vCPU's is possible for some configurationsNot possibleVMware anything you could think off?
20Solaris 10 Release 8-11 Guest hangs at bootALL is WELLTheir own OS hangs??
21Changing Cluster Heartbeat Network Does Not Reflect New IP AddressALL is WELLEdit the /etc/ocfs2/cluster.conf file on each  VM Server in the network to reflect the new IP address, and restart each  VM Server???
22Rescanning a LUN Does Not Show the New Size of a Resized LUNALL is WELLWhat VM user should do?
23MySQL performance is degraded on  Linux Systems using the EXT4 FilesystemALL is WELLDid we hear degraded performance? Why will I virtualize at first place then?

VMware Site Recovery manager (SRM), one of most cost effective solution by VMWare …

1. Can deliver RTO (recovery Time Objective) of 30 minutes and above for Tier 1/ Tier 2 / Tier 3 Applications.
2. Five mouse clicks for automatic failover of workloads from primary datacenter to secondary datacenter

  •     All application dependencies are taken care like IP change, Database booting first than applications etc.
  •     Anyone in the organization can do disaster recovery in case of disaster, thanks to VMware.

3. Five mouse clicks for automated failback from secondary to primary datacenter.

  •     One of the unique differentiation where you can simply reverse the recovery plan.

4. Supports both storage based replication & host based replication (vSphere Replication)

  •    Depending on your RPO (Recovery Point Objective) requirement, you can select either of the replication.

5. Manual runbooks are replaced with centralized recovery plans

  •    No more using Excel sheets to maintain disaster plans and update. The automation in SRM will take care of the same.

6. From weeks to minutes to set up new plan

  •     Setup a recovery plan within minutes rather thans hours and days.

7. Frequent non-disruptive testing/drill test can be done in scheduled manner

  •    You can test your DR plan during production hours without impacting production.
  •    One test is done, reports can be utilized from the compliance perspective.

8. DR topologies

  •     Active Passive failover a most commonly used scenario
  •     Active-Active failover where non critical workload can be used at secondary site & can be shut during actual failover.
  •     Bidirectional failover where both sites can be used to host production wherein each can failover on other site.
  •     Shared Sites failover where multiple sites can failover to a single site.

9. Beyond DR

  •     Disaster Failover where actual full or partial site is failed over to other site
  •     Disaster avoidance where you could anticipate potential datacenter outages like planned hurricane alert etc
  •     Planned migration where you migrate during datacenter maintenance or global load balancing etc

10. You can also leverage SRM in the cloud based site recovery which is supported from leading service providers.

Why Migrate

  • Microsoft has declared end of support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014.
  • No updates available from Microsoft, so new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its “end of life” will not be addressed by new security updates from Microsoft.
  • Attackers will be more active as defenders (MS) is not watching it’s back for Win XP.

Your Known Traditional way

  • User is intimated for giving laptop/desktop (called as endpoint) to IT team for OS migration.
  • User takes data backup himself.
  • User gives Endpoint to IT team & roams around till he/she gets the endpoint back.
  • IT manually/automatically (with some imaging software) format endpoint with Windows 7 image.
  • Adding to domain.
  • Dumping data back into C: drive in a backup folder (Most likely IT misses to take backup of the favorites/Bookmarks).
  • IT returns the Endpoint to user after 2-3 hours of activity.
  • User takes some time to return back in production as he struggles to locate his files. Sometimes printer missing or his custom installed applications are missing.

In a nutshell, End user is unproductive all the time IT takes for Migration and also after that for couple of days.

Modern way with VMware

  • On Mirage Server (8 Mouse Clicks)
  • In Mirage Console, Click on XP to Windows 7 Migration.
  • Select Base image to apply & click next.
  • Select Endpoint’s you want to migrate (I can select all at same time) & click on select button & click next.
  • Validated results will be shown in case of any mismatch to be fixed. Click next.
  • Click on finish on final screen.

On Endpoint (1 Mouse Click)

  • User continues to work. Mirage is pushing the binaries for migration in the background over network .
  • Please note, files are transferred using network deduplication making sure no local files are re-transferred. Also Branch reflector enables peer-to-peer image download.
  • Once all bits are downloaded on user’s endpoint, user gets a popup to reboot for migration.
  • User clicks on Reboot now Option.
  • Endpoint reboots and migrates from XP to Windows 7. It takes around 20-40 minutes for migration.
  • One more reboot required by OS after applying the changes.
  • After reboot user can login into its new Windows 7 image.
  • Watch out video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfedbA552GI

Benefits

  • User is productive all the time.
  • End user experience remains intact.
  • All data, bookmarks , Wall paper etc is intact.
  • If user doesn’t like windows 7, he can be reverted back to his same windows XP image.
  • 1500 Endpoints can be migrated in one short.

Above migration using VMware Horizon Mirage can be done OVER WAN AS WELL and this is the uniqueness of this solution.

More Details at http://www.walkonblock.com/9-clicks-for-windows-xp-to-78-migrations-over-lan-wan-using-vmware-mirage/