vSphere 4’s improved vCPU scheduling: performance improves across the board

VMWare’s whitepaper posted in August, The CPU Scheduler in VMware ESX 4, shows how they have significantly improved the performance of their vCPU (virtual CPU core) scheduling at both light loads and heavy loads (performance stays about the same in between though). Light load performance improves through better scheduling on idle pCPUs (physical CPU core) with avoidance of unnecessary pCPU migrations, and heavy load performance improves thru less scheduling overhead, finer grained vCPU scheduling, along with better decision making for vCPU migrations between pCPUs.

In ESX 4, many improvements have been introduced in CPU scheduler. This includes further relaxed co-scheduling, lower lock-contention, and multi-core aware load balancing. Co-scheduling overhead has been further reduced by the accurate measurement of the co-scheduling skew, and by allowing more scheduling choices. Lower lock-contention is achieved by replacing scheduler cell-lock with finer-grained locks. By eliminating the scheduler-cell, a virtual machine can get higher aggregated cache capacity and memory bandwidth. Lastly, multi-core aware load balancing achieves high CPU utilization while minimizing the cost of migrations.

Continue reading vSphere 4’s improved vCPU scheduling: performance improves across the board

Utilizing the cloud to synchronize game save files

Some backstory: for my 32nd birthday, a few of my friends pooled their money and bought me an Acer Aspire1 netbook. As this netbook is conveniently portable, but somewhat underpowered, my choice of video games to load on it for long plane trips is limited. I then considered the overpowered beast of a desktop machine I sit in front of daily, and realized that I wanted my save games synchronized between both machines. Now, like regular backups, unless its mindless easy (i.e. automated), the likelihood of 100% compliance is very unlikely, so I considered some options, and settled on using Microsoft’s Mesh service. Continue reading Utilizing the cloud to synchronize game save files

Microsoft releases Security Essentials Antivirus, for FREE!

Today Microsoft released their free anti-virus product, Security Essentials. It uses the same Forefront engine as their enterprise class products, slimmed down and simplified for the average home user. Its been tested against other free and commercial anti-virus solutions, with various conclusions drawn on its effectiveness. Overall, its a great product, and simple for currently unprotected Windows users to get and install. It will automatically update itself, has realtime scanning, and you can schedule quick or full scans for any time and day of the week.

Excellent & Free VSphere tutorial videos!

Christopher pointed out these great videos by Mike Laverick to supplement his forthcoming book. I know what I’m doing for the next few hours! They’re in Flash video format at 1024×768, so most netbook users won’t be able to see all the action, and there’s no transport controls, so make sure you have enough time to finish the clip when you start it (the clips vary in length from 10 to 30 minutes), or you’ll get to “review” the content when you come back to finish it.

my little soapbox of tech (r)evolution