Tech: On VMware’s virtual machines density with Cisco UCS

Kevin Goodman, Senior Systems Engineer at Odyssey Logistics, is running an interesting technical blog titled Colocation to Virtualization where he’s reporting about the experience with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) blade platform, EMC storage and VMware vSphere 4.0.

He recently shared some interesting numbers about the consolidation ratio he’s achieving with such system (a UCS B200-M1):

…There are a total of 7 blades in our VMware environment, but only 5 of those are dedicated to our main HA/DRS cluster. That gives us ~240 gigs of RAM for the main cluster. Currently, I am seeing a VM consolidation ratio of about 24 VMs (virtual machines) per B200-M1 blade. The limitation here is definitely the RAM. The CPU itself is less than 25% utilized per blade…

Even more interesting, Goodman is sharing details about the VMs density he scored when the virtual machines are running Oracle Database workloads:

The server itself is running mainly Oracle database VMs.  Blade specs are as follows:

  • Dual – Quad core Intel Xeon X5570 2.93 GHZ CPUs
  • 98 gigs of RAM Since the Oracle VMs are running semi-intensive databases, the RAM allocated to the heavy hitters are between 8-10 gigs.

Again, this is a mix between Windows Remote desktop and Oracle (Red Hat Linux) database servers.  The following shows utilization information perm VM.