Nick66
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ESXi virtualization problem

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I have a motherboard ASUS M4A785D-M PRO with AMD Opteron 1389 .
AMD Opteron 1389 is not supported from ASUS M4A785D-M PRO but it works perfectly
By CPU-ID Utility downloaded from VMWare web-site, I noted a different behavior between Windows 2003 V.M. and ESXi or Windows 2008.
At the line Supported EVC mode , in W2003 it recognizes AMD Gen 1 ,2 and 3 , but the other two only AMD Gen 1 .
Virtualizing ESXI  I'm not able to use the functions which require a processor of 3 Gen (i.e. Fault Tolerance , EVC , ...) as my AMD Opteron 1389 .
My question is: which is the reason of this different behavior? Is it a bug of wrorkstation 8??
I thank you in advance for your suggestion /support .

B.Rgds

Nicola

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Nick66 wrote:

BT stay for Binary Translation ??

Yes.

Inside vmx there's also replay.supported = "FALSE" ?

I would try changing that to TRUE.

It's necessary to change somethings or only add replay.allowBTOnly = "TRUE" ?

With vSphere 4, that was sufficient.  With vSphere5 and virtualized HV, you may also have to explicitly select binary translation for the nested guest:

monitor.virtual_exec = software

This setting is in contrast with flag that enable Virtualize ... AMD-V/RVI for EVC ?? or both may be used together ??

Both can be used together, but HV-enabled replay is not supported in a nested VM, due to insufficient PMC support.

I think that FT don't need of AMD-V/RVI enable and i think that when FT is enable automaticaly disable AMD-V/RVI .. right ??

FT works best with VT-x or AMD-V, but that is not possible in a nested VM.  FT does not make use of EPT or RVI.  Enabling FT only disables EPT or RVI; it does not disable VT-x or AMD-V.

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Nick66
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Hi guys ,

i "upgrade" my lab from ESXi 4 to ESXi 5 and apply the jmattson cpu suggestions in vmx file .. great ... now EVC validate until 3rd Gen (no 3DNow ) ...

now i want to proceed step by step to try to solve also the FT problem .

At this point what i need to do exaclty ??

Inside ESXi5 vmx files i need to do the following changes :

- add replay.allowBTonly = "TRUE"  ???

- change replay.supported = "TRUE"   ???

nothing else ???

Inside nested win7pro (x32) VM :

- monitor.virtual_exec = software    ???

nothing else ???

Before to do all describe above , now , SiteSurvey utility tell me that the processor doesn't support FT but i think that is only instructions not virtualized and not a realy unsupported processor .

Do you think that with only the first two step , the Sitesurvay message disappear ??

Regards

Nicola

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admin
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The nested win7pro VM configuration file should have both:

replay.allowBTonly = TRUE

monitor.virtual_exec = software

SiteSurvey will probably still report that the processor does not support FT, since BT-replay is not supported.

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Nick66
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This means that i insert/modify the first two lines in ESXi vmx files and the others two lines inside win7pro VM settings .

BT-replay is not supported means that vmware ws is not able to "virtualize" this instruction that is available inside HW processor ( .. Opteron 1389 is support FT .. ) ??

In processor setting there's the possibility to virtualize Binary Translation  OR  .. EPT/RVI .. this binary translation is another thing compared to allowBTonly that i try to "virtualize" for FT ??

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Nick66 wrote:

This means that i insert/modify the first two lines in ESXi vmx files and the others two lines inside win7pro VM settings .

You should not have to make any changes to the configuration file for the ESXi VM.

BT-replay is not supported means that vmware ws is not able to "virtualize" this instruction that is available inside HW processor ( .. Opteron 1389 is support FT .. ) ??

FT is normally based on HV-replay.  HV-replay is not available in a nested environment, because we do not virtualize the PMU.  BT-replay is an alternative that works in a nested environment, but it is not supported.

In processor setting there's the possibility to virtualize Binary Translation  OR  .. EPT/RVI .. this binary translation is another thing compared to allowBTonly that i try to "virtualize" for FT ??

This selection is for the preferred execution mode.  To use BT-replay, you would select a preferred execution mode of "binary translation."  This has the same effect as adding the following configuration option to the vmx file:

monitor.virtual_exec = software

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Nick66
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Before you have write .....

I am not sure what VC is complaining about, but note that HV-based record/replay is not supported for nested guests. You'll have to use BT-based record/replay, which means adding the following option to your primary and secondary VMs:

replay.allowBTOnly = TRUE

and now ...

You should not have to make any changes to the configuration file for the ESXi VM.

.. for primary and secondary i understand ESXi (primary) and win7pro (secondary) .. or i don't need to add anything in ESXi vmx because i have migrate from ESXi4 to ESXi5 ??

The PMU ( Performance Moniyor Unit  ??) is a CPU Hardware Register ??

This is not virtualized inside VMWare Workstation and for this reasons is not possible to use HV-based record/replay ??

HV stay for ... ?? ( Hardware-assisted virtualize ) ??

In place of HV-based ... i try to use BT-based record/replay and to do this i need to add

replay.allowBTonly = TRUE

monito.virtual_exec = software

only in secondary vm (win7pro ) ??

With these instructions and that of cpuid , for these kind of applications ( EVC and FT ) , maybe my 200$ Opteron aren't important but the old Phenom was the same ...Smiley Sad

I hope that in a next version/release of Workstation , also PMU will be supported ... have you any idea ??

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Nick66 wrote:

Before you have write .....

I am not sure what VC is complaining about, but note that HV-based record/replay is not supported for nested guests. You'll have to use BT-based record/replay, which means adding the following option to your primary and secondary VMs:

replay.allowBTOnly = TRUE

and now ...

You should not have to make any changes to the configuration file for the ESXi VM.

.. for primary and secondary i understand ESXi (primary) and win7pro (secondary) .. or i don't need to add anything in ESXi vmx because i have migrate from ESXi4 to ESXi5 ??

Primary and secondary refer to the pair of win7pro VMs that are used for software fault-tolerance.  I'm not familiar with the way that VC sets up the secondary.  It may be that the configuration file for the secondary VM is copied from the primary, in which case it would suffice to make this change to the primary VM.  The ESXi VM is neither the primary nor the secondary.

The PMU ( Performance Moniyor Unit  ??) is a CPU Hardware Register ??

This is not virtualized inside VMWare Workstation and for this reasons is not possible to use HV-based record/replay ??

HV stay for ... ?? ( Hardware-assisted virtualize ) ??

Yes, PMU is the Performance Monitoring Unit.  It is much more than a CPU hardware register.  You can find a description of it in volume 2 of the AMD64 Architecture Programmer’s Manual.  This is not virtualized by VMware Workstation, and it is required for HV-based record/replay.  HV stands for hardware-assisted virtualization.

In place of HV-based ... i try to use BT-based record/replay and to do this i need to add

replay.allowBTonly = TRUE

monito.virtual_exec = software

only in secondary vm (win7pro ) ??

If you correct the typo in monitor.virtual_exec, then yes, this should be sufficient

I hope that in a next version/release of Workstation , also PMU will be supported ... have you any idea ??

It is VMware policy not to comment on unannounced features.

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Nick66
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Do you think that if i add the lines

replay.allowBTonly = TRUE

and i made the second choice ( Binary translation ... )  inside vm settings panel is a rights things ??

After i check if both , primary and secondary , have the same settings .

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Nick66 wrote:

Do you think that if i add the lines

replay.allowBTonly = TRUE

and i made the second choice ( Binary translation ... )  inside vm settings panel is a rights things ??

Yes.  See http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2011/07/how-to-enable-nested-vft-virtual-fault.html if you need more information.

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Nick66
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Great .... also the FT problem is solve .

I follow the virtuallyGhetto info and now vFT works .

Isn't necessary to add lines but only modify from false to true the  ..

replay.supported = "true"

replay.allowFT = "true"

replay.allowBTOnly = "true"

and in my lab environment vFT start .

For the moments thanks a lot for this two fundamentals info (EVC and vFT )  ... i have some other questions to understand better what i have made .. but i ask you next time ...

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Nick66
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only images ..

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