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Testing Virtualization

By Jurrie Van Den Breekel On September 19, 2009
Networks
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It’s no secret what’s driving the move to virtualization in data centers. The demand for new and expanded software systems is growing, but the geographic and carbon footprint required for scaling underutilized dedicated servers is too costly on many levels.

This issue has led to the maturation of the virtual server, where increased reliability and stability means reduced risk, making virtualization of the data center a viable solution. Virtualization makes it possible to replace physical servers running at 10% capacity with fewer, more powerful servers running at 60% capacity or more.

When working with a dedicated server, it’s a fairly straightforward process to characterize performance and isolate factors that affect it. You use a test system to emulate realistic users, traffic and network conditions and measure the response times of the application with the test system.

When working with dozens of virtual servers in a single physical server, it’s not as straightforward. A connection from the test system to the physical server won’t provide the granularity of testing required for meaningful results. The single physical interface handles traffic for many VM instances, making it difficult to isolate and measure the performance of each VM instance or the performance of the virtual switch.

We need visibility into the performance of each VM, but how can we get it? By creating the capability to capture results and generate traffic from within the virtual server instance. We need a virtual test system inside the virtual server.

Read the rest at the Virtualization Journal

 

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