Tuesday, December 13, 2005

VMWARE 5.5 ...

VMWARE 5.5 rocks.  It changes everything.  At first, I wasn’t too excited about getting it – based on HJR’s blog entry calling it a “non-event”.  But it kept nagging me so I finally checked out the “what’s new” sheet myself.  That is where I read this interesting blurb:
Experimental support for 2-way Virtual SMP
Assign up to two virtual processors to a virtual machine. Users can create more realistic and powerful development and testing environments when working with multi-threaded, resource-intensive software. This capability is available for all supported configurations of 32-bit and 64-bit host and guest operating systems running on multi-processor host machines, including dual-core and hyper-threaded, uni-processor machines.

I read that and immediately started the download.

I have an 2 cpu Dell machine in the basement I use a lot – my main desktop type machine (it is a 10lb notebook) has a hyperthreaded P4 in it so – I was very interested in SMP support in vmware.  Normally, vmware uses 100% of one cpu when it is doing something really intense.  Now with this setup, I can get 100% of both cpu’s going.  Huge difference in performance.  The main reason this is “good” – Oracle algorithms change radically when cpu_count goes from 1 to more than 1 (but don’t set it to more than 1 on a single cpu machine! It won’t be “a good thing”).  In order to do tests of how something might scale (based on latch usage and such), I always had to get to my larger machines.  Now I can do some of that on the road easier (and demonstrate the differences too – I could only report “what happened on another machine” instead of showing it).

Not only that – but the 2 cpu VM’s run faster on my machines so far than the 1 cpu VM’s – by a measurable difference (we are not talking fractions of a second here, it is so far significant).  In order to test, I installed the same OS (red hat AS 4.0) twice using the same options – only one time the SMP version built itself and the other time a single cpu version.  Then I installed 10gr2 twice on both VM’s.  Other than one having 2 cpus and one having only 1 cpu – they were configured identically.  The database runs measurably faster doing cpu intensive operations on the 2 way VM.

So, I’ll have to disagree with Howard as to this being a “non event”.  The one thing I needed in vmware was this feature (SMP support).  It was available only in their high end server product before, now that it is in the workstation offering – I can use vmware for even more stuff.

Only downside, now I have to rebuild some VM’s… But actually, that is a good thing – cleans them out.  This time I’m going to keep my Oracle installs separate on linux (10gr2 in its own vm, 10gr1 in its own and so on).  It was handy having them all in one, but there are advantages for having them separate.
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17 Comments:

Blogger oracos said....

great to hear that Tom,
could you post somewhere, some 'cpu' intensive operations that you were using for the test? I think maybe that's where Howard might have gotten tripped; for, for every test, depending on circumstances, may or may not apply for a particular situation...so I'm anxious to try the stuff as well as I also have a dual dell workstation box ;-)
thx a bunch,
Cosmin

Tue Dec 13, 06:52:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Howard might not have been looking at the SMP edge. He was just commenting that "not much new". But to me, the dual CPU makes a huge difference for what I need vmware for.


The code I was testing with is from my all about binds talk:

create or replace procedure do_sql( p_job in number )
as
l_cursor sys_refcursor;
l_rec job_table%rowtype;
begin
select * into l_rec
from job_table
where job = p_job;

for i in 1 .. l_rec.iters
loop
open l_cursor for
'select * from t t' ||
p_job ||
' where x = ' || i;
close l_cursor;
end loop;
delete from job_table
where job = p_job;
commit;
dbms_alert.signal
( 'MULTIUSER', '' );
commit;
end;
/


lots and lots of hard parsing....

Tue Dec 13, 07:08:00 PM EST  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

Howard was indeed not particularly interested in the multiple CPU feature, because he uses Athlon CPUs which don't do hyperthreading, and hasn't yet been able to stump up the necessary cash for a multi-core Athlon.

He also isn't particularly excited about VMware 5.5's reported ability to install a 64-bit operating system in a virtual machine running on a 32-bit host, on the grounds that he hasn't stumped up the cash for 64GB of RAM either and can't think why else you'd be interested in trying it!

Sorry if a description of how something rocks or doesn't rock me persuaded anyone not to give it a whirl for themselves. I'll write more carefully in the future.

Wed Dec 14, 12:14:00 AM EST  

Anonymous ghassan salem said....

Tom,
I also did the upgrade just to find that it does not support the shared bus between VMs (needed if you want to RAC 2 VMs): it gives you a message that Workstation does not support clustering. So I had to uninstall then go back to 5.0 in order to run my RAC demos.

Wed Dec 14, 09:35:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I also did the upgrade just to find that it does not

Interesting, I'm using the Datacenter DVD's (for 10gr1/r2, can download from otn) - but they do RAC in a single VM with OCFS and all. That is still working fine.


Now, if I can figure out how to get the linux kernel to build me a SMP one without destroying the single VM :)

Wed Dec 14, 10:00:00 AM EST  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

Tom: I have tried emailing you a couple of times in response to yours, but I get send failure messages each time. So I'll say most of it here:

The above comments were not supposed to be read as though I were in any way aggrieved at getting a mention on your blog. Far from it! It was as you said, I just wasn't interested in the multi-processor thing, but I should have expressed myself more carefully.

I've now written a new blog entry dealing with the CPU and the 32/64 bit things with a little more thought, hopefully.

Wed Dec 14, 10:57:00 AM EST  

Blogger Noons said....

Just attended a presentation from the local Intel evangelist at the Oracle users group. This vmware thing is gonna get very big next year with a lot of new hardware releases from Intel specifically to speed up the way vmware works.

Basically, they have split ring0 into two and reserved the lower level for software like vmware that intercepts OS-level calls.

My dream of one day being able to run MacOS, Lunix and Windoze in the same box AT THE SAME TIME has just inched forward a little...

Wed Dec 14, 07:19:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

My dream of one day being able to run MacOS, Lunix and Windoze in the same box AT THE SAME TIME has just inched forward a little...

mumble mumble EULA preventing running MacOS on non-Apple hardware mumble mumble

Thu Dec 15, 10:03:00 AM EST  

Blogger smartDBA said....

I am just wondering how Xen www.xensource.com can be different than VMware? Deciphering through the doc's it looks to me Xen can do better than VMWare, any one can enlighten me :)

Thu Dec 15, 05:10:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I am just wondering how Xen

well, it only does one OS on a single OS - vmware does multipled OS's on multiple OS's (something I need, I need to be able to run more than just linux).

Deciphering through the doc's it looks to me Xen can do better than VMWare

The only way to know that would be to actually get them both, use them and see which fits your needs. To me Xen doesn't do it, it doesn't meet my basic need of "more than one OS on more than one OS"

Thu Dec 15, 05:24:00 PM EST  

Blogger Noons said....

(EULA preventing running MacOS on non-Apple hardware)

yeah, but there is no EULA saying you can't run Windoze and Lunix INSIDE an Apple box! In fact, in my early MAC days back in 1990 I was running dos/windos 1 INSIDE my SE30 with guess what? VMWare! Yes, the product dates back from those days, different maker back then.

If Mohammed can't go to the mountain,...

Thu Dec 15, 08:01:00 PM EST  

Blogger oracos said....

"Interesting, I'm using the Datacenter DVD's (for 10gr1/r2, can download from otn) - but they do RAC in a single VM with OCFS and all. That is still working fine.
Now, if I can figure out how to get the linux kernel to build me a SMP one without destroying the single VM :) "

Tom, I received my DVD's w/ Datacenter for Linux 4.0 and installed them on the vmware 5.0 that is provided. any gurus out there on how to rebuild Linux for 2 cpu's so that Ora recognizes both of them? -- basically I'm new at the Linux stuff and even newer experimenting w/ the Datacenter;

thx much,
Cosmin

Thu Dec 15, 11:30:00 PM EST  

Anonymous ghassan salem said....

"Interesting, I'm using the Datacenter DVD's (for 10gr1/r2, can download from otn) - but they do RAC in a single VM with OCFS and all. That is still working fine."

Tom,

I was speaking about having 2 VMs doing RAC, not RAC INSIDE a single VM.

rgds

Fri Dec 16, 07:42:00 AM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I was speaking about having 2 VMs doing RAC

I know, that is why I said "but they do RAC in a single VM..." - noting the difference (why my setup worked but yours did not)

Fri Dec 16, 07:59:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Guy said....

I got really excited when I came across this, b/c I run the desktop datacenter RAC kit on a 2-way Dell box and it grinds to a halt from time to time even though I can see I have spare host machine resources.

However, it looks like the VM has to be created from scratch to use both CPUs, or have I got that wrong? So far, using VMWare 5.5 I can't get the guest to recognize both CPUs.

Thanks for everything....

Sun Feb 05, 08:59:00 PM EST  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

If you are using linux, you need to have the SMP kernel - which you probably don't have built in your VM - in order to "see" both CPU's.

So, I've found for me the path of least resistance has been a fresh install of the OS into a VM, but you should be able to also build an SMP kernel (something I have never myself done after the fact - only during install)

Sun Feb 05, 11:34:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Nuno Souto wrote --
" In fact, in my early MAC days back in 1990 I was running dos/windos 1 INSIDE my SE30 with guess what? VMWare! Yes, the product dates back from those days, different maker back then. "

Hello? VMWare was founded in 1998. Back in 1990 it probably was VM/386, not VMWare.

~vaget

Thu Mar 02, 12:26:00 PM EST  

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