Extreme Scaling with Microsoft® Windows Server® 2012 Beta and the Dell™ PowerEdge™ R910
This blog post was originally written by Michael Schroeder.
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With the recent release of Windows Server 2012 Beta, Microsoft has made great improvements in virtualization scalability. In this blog, we’ll take a look at just a few of these new updates with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) and demonstrate how these new scale up capabilities harness the capabilities of our Dell PowerEdge R910 Rack Server which is well-equipped with four CPU sockets and plenty of memory capacity with a whopping 64 DIMM slots in a 4U chassis.
To put the new scalability enhancements in perspective, here’s a quick table comparing Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V to Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V. As you can see, the improvements are major across the board ranging from 2x to 32x.
Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V
Windows Server 2012 Beta Hyper-V
Logical processors on hardware
Up to 64
Up to 160
Up to 1 TB
Up to 2 TB
Virtual processors per host
Up to 512
Up to 1,024
Virtual processors per virtual machine
Up to 4
Up to 32
Memory per virtual machine
Up to 64 GB
Maximum size per virtual disk
Up to 64 TB
Using the Datacenter Edition of Windows Server 2012 Beta, I created a large VM on my R910 configured with 1 TB of memory and 32 virtual processors. My healthy BigBoy VM ended up with the following Memory and Processor settings—
From inside the VM, Task Manager gives you a clean view of each of the virtual processors assigned—
Figure 1: Windows Server 2012 running a 32 Virtual Processor VM!
In addition, you can see below in the Hyper-V Manager that I was able to assign a whopping 998144 MB RAM to my Windows Server 2012 Beta Datacenter guest.
Figure 2: Windows Server 2012 running a VM with 900+ GB of memory!
Now, you may not have a bunch of workloads in your infrastructure that require 32 virtual processors and a 1 terabyte of memory; the ability to support these workloads, however, demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to improving hypervisor scalability as well as helping you get the most out of your hardware. Larger sized database, data mining and scientific workloads are very likely to benefit from these types of improvements. The large jump in officially supported processors and memory for both the VMs and the Host (from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 Beta) takes better advantage of today’s large-scale server hardware, and in future platform releases, if testing is successful, will further improve the price/performance ratio of virtualization.
Because Windows Server 2012 Beta is a pre-release product still in active development, all features are of course subject to change. Dell does not provide any support for this pre-release software and it is not recommended for use in a production environment. Feel free to check out the new features of the Beta release on your test servers and let us know what you think. Stay tuned for more blogs from the Dell OS Engineering team.