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Announcement: Next SAP LinuxLab Virtualization Certification Workshop

Dear Forum Users,

the SAP LinuxLab announces the next SAP LinuxLab Virtualization Certification Workshop. Please find more information in this SDN blog:

[SAP LinuxLab Virtualization Certification Workshop #3|SAP LinuxLab Virtualization Certification Workshop #3]

Please use this thread as discussion base as written in the blog,

Thanks,

Hannes

Edited by: Hannes Kuehnemund on Oct 28, 2008 3:06 PM

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  • Best Answer
    Posted on Dec 13, 2008 at 03:30 PM

    8 socket quad core x86_64 CPU

    The workshop #2 testing covered 4 socket quad core x86_64 host machines.

    The HP DL785 G5 is an 8 socket quad core AMD machine. It is listed in the HP released hardware note 171371 but just as a physical machine only. It does not (yet?) have the designation for VMware or Xen. (The SDN page for the HP hardware has not been updated to list the DL785 at all based on the note.)

    Joe

    Edited by: Joseph Ledesma on Dec 13, 2008 4:39 PM

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    • Thanks for your thoughts on all these suggestions.

      > I/O testing NAS options

      I guess NAS should be tested in general with virtualized environments before comparing the more specific configurations I was interested in:

      database (MaxDB?) -> VFS -> ext3 -> guest scsi driver -> VMware ESX -> NFS -> 10 GbE

      In this configuration with NFS on the host the guest resembles a "normal" server with direct-attached storage.

      database -> VFS -> NFS -> guest lan driver -> VMware ESX -> 10 GbE

      In this configuration with NFS in the guest, the database and SAP could be installed adaptively if desired without needing 3rd party storage libraries.

      > HP Integrity Virtual Machines

      Here is the [Novell Yes Certification for HPVM|http://developer.novell.com/yes/102633.htm]. These HP certification pages at [http://www.hp.com/go/lxintegritycert ] list HPVM at the bottom but show Red Hat on HPVM as just HP supported but not Red Hat certified.

      Using HPVM would be a way to run VMs on the NUMA/cell-based larger servers since HPVM already supports these as hosts since as you noted Xen Itanium does not seem to be making progress toward running on the larger platforms. (Maybe someday [KVM - The Linux Kernel-Based Virtual Machine on Itanium|http://www.ice.gelato.org/apr07/pres_pdf/gelato_ICE07apr_kvm_yu_intel.pdf] will eventually support the larger hosts if Xen does not.)

      > Additionally, the current x86_64 8 socket servers already deliver huge performance

      Maybe the non-x86_64 Linux platforms won't be viable for business apps. This [Gartner Server Selection Guidelines paper (promoted by HP)|http://mediaproducts.gartner.com/reprints/hp/159367.html] gives HP Integrity high marks in the platform-level area but don't know if there will be enough customers who will see value in paying the higher acquisition costs. SAP IT is quoted in this [HP marketing paper|http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA2-1192ENW.pdf] as using Linux on Itanium. I wonder if they will use this platform long term as compared to SAP Hosting on x86_64.

      Joe

      Edited by: Joseph Ledesma on Dec 21, 2008 2:43 AM

  • Posted on Dec 13, 2008 at 03:39 PM

    Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS

    Certify a particular distribution for use only as a virtual machine guest operating system. Have an operating system capable of running SAP but in which the operating system is much smaller. This goes beyond just selecting and deselecting certain patterns when installing SLES. Customer benefit: far less online updates to apply.

    [http://www.novell.com/linux/appliance/]

    I've read that Novell is working with SAP on a version of SLES tailored for SAP. Maybe this is it.

    Joe

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  • Posted on Dec 13, 2008 at 03:43 PM

    Xen / Itanium NUMA cell-based

    Continue the next steps in this work:

    [https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/9546] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken];

    Re:

    > I'm looking forward to get my hands on such a machine to do such a certification.

    --Maybe a partner could find a reburbished rx7620 or rx8620. These two cell-based machines are no longer listed on the HP released hardware note 171371 but these models were listed in a past version (34) of this note. These models might be less difficult to obtain than the currently shipping models rx7640 and rx8640.

    Customer benefit: Achieve greater hardware consolidation using fewer, larger machines. Rely on the claimed better single-system HA for 8+ socket cell-based HP Integrity platform versus Integrity entry-class 2-4 socket non-cell-based or HP ProLiant platform. Use the midrange systems while continuing to use the same operating system as used on smaller Itanium servers or on x86_64 servers.

    Joe

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  • Posted on Dec 13, 2008 at 03:48 PM

    HP Integrity Virtual Machines

    Linux as the guest operating system with HP-UX as the host operating system.

    In the note for supported virtualization environments for Linux, 1122387, HPVM was previously listed in version 10 of this note in the section for non-productive SAP test and development systems and later removed.

    Outside of SAP, HPVM already supports Linux guests. Drivers for HP's Advanced Virtual I/O (AVIO) desirable.

    HPVM currently runs on all HP Integrity servers, including larger cell-based machines. Xen (Red Hat only) currently is only certified for SAP for non-NUMA 2-4 socket Itanium machines (at least among HP machines). HPVM was supported for HP-UX SAP productive guests since 2005-11 (note 901732), although use before 2007 was probably rare.

    Customer benefit: With higher software acquisition costs higher for HP-UX on the host rather than Red Hat Xen then get greater integration between the host operating system and the hardware when these come from the same supplier, possibly yielding lower operating costs. The Virtual Machine Manager in HP-UX should be able to better take advantage of advanced hardware features such as offlining a real processor or memory while keeping virtual machines running. Yet still be able to run SAP on the same operating system in Itanium guests as is used by the same customer on x86_64 (rather than running some SAP directly on HP-UX and other SAP on Linux).

    Joe

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  • Posted on Dec 13, 2008 at 03:27 PM

    Since no one has suggested any ideas...hope one of these is helpful.

    Joe

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  • Posted on Dec 13, 2008 at 03:37 PM

    I/O testing NAS options

    I/O throughput testing for having the database on ext3 inside the virtual machine when using NFS on the host machine and for having the database on NFS inside the virtual machine.

    Some storage vendors, notably NetApp, are promoting using NFS on the hypervisor to provide the backing stores for the virtual machines. We would assume a separate, un-routed backend Gigabit Ethernet network. 10 Gigabit would be nice. Jumbo frames optional.

    I realize that "SAP does not certify storage."

    Test machine setup: VMware ESX, two or more additional network ports on the host machine and connected to this backend network. One or more ports configured for the vmkernel NFS client and used for storage for virtual machines. One or more ports configured as ports for virtual machines in addition to the regular network ports for the virtual machines.

    Both sets of VMs could have their operating systems stored on ext3 but with the underlying VMDKs on vmkernel NFS.

    One set of VMs would have additional VMDKs provisoned from the vmkernel NFS and ext3 mount points set up for SAP and the database. The other set of VMs would have a second network port configured for the backend virtual machine network and would have NFS mount points for SAP and the database.

    Would use MaxDB for the database. (Oracle for one thing does not fully support third-party x86_64 virtualization, though Oracle is more vocal about NFS for databases than SAP is for MaxDB.)

    Xen can apparently also use NFS for virtual machine backing stores.

    Joe

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