Deep Dive into SCVMM 2012 R2 Networking and Storage (Part 3)

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Dynamic Optimization Tab: Dynamic optimization is a mechanism in which VMM performs load balancing within the host clusters that support live migration. The settings that you enter at Dynamic Optimization tab, as shown in the screenshot below, is used by the VMM to automatically load balance the virtual machines across a host cluster.

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Figure 1

By default, Dynamic Optimization settings are inherited from the parent VMM host group. In case you need to configure Dynamic Optimization settings for the current VMM host group, uncheck “Use dynamic optimization settings from the parent host group” and then specify the settings under “Thresholds” configuration page. However, it is important to take a note of the points listed below before using the Dynamic Optimization feature:

  • Dynamic optimization settings will work only for host clusters. If a VMM host group contains standalone hosts or host clusters that do not support live migration feature of Hyper-V, Dynamic Optimization will not be performed for those hosts.
  • Virtualization hosts that are in maintenance mode will be excluded from Dynamic Optimization.
  • It is also important to understand that any Hyper-V cluster that contains virtual machines that are not highly available, Dynamic Optimization will be ignored for such virtual machines.
  • VMM supports Dynamic Optimization feature for Hyper-V hosts, VMware ESXi and Citrix XenServers.

The following settings can be configured at the Dynamic Optimization configuration tab:

  • Aggressiveness: In Aggressiveness, you can select one of three levels; High, Medium, and Low. Aggressiveness determines the amount of load imbalance that is required before the live migration of virtual machines can be started. Before live migrating a virtual machine, VMM takes aggressiveness setting into consideration. For example, if you set the aggressiveness to High, VMM will try to achieve more virtual machine migrations to achieve a better balance of the host resources across the host cluster. The default setting for aggressiveness is set to medium which should be acceptable in most of the environment. In case you see any impacts of Dynamic Optimization, you can always increase/decrease aggressiveness.
  • Automatically migrate virtual machines to balance load at this frequency (minutes): By configuring this setting, you are allowing VMM to move virtual machines automatically across a host cluster to load balance the resources on all nodes running in a host cluster. By default, the value is set to 10 minutes, which is suitable for most of the environment. So leave the frequency with its default value unless you have a reason to change it.
  • Dynamic Optimization Thresholds: Although Dynamic Optimization is an automatic mechanism, but it needs to know the initial values to determine the need for optimizing the nodes running in a host cluster. VMM uses “Thresholds” configured on a VMM host group before hosts can be considered for optimization. You can configure threshold settings for CPU, Memory, Disk I/O and Network I/O as shown in the screenshot above.

Apart from configuring Dynamic Optimization settings, you can also configure Power Optimization settings for hosts located in a VMM host group. Power Optimization, a very useful feature of SCVMM, helps you conserve energy by having VMM turn off hosts when they are not needed. VMM can automatically turn hosts on when they are needed. To enable Power Optimization, all you need to do is to check “Enable power optimization” checkbox as shown in the screenshot above. Once checked, next is to define the thresholds and schedule so VMM can consider these values when executing Power Optimization functions. Click on “Settings” button to show you below configuration window.

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Figure 2

As stated on the Customize Power Optimization Schedule window, hosts located in a VMM host group can be considered for power optimization only if it meets the threshold values and the schedule. Similar to Dynamic Optimization, you need to define the thresholds for CPU, Memory, Disk I/O and Network I/O as shown in the screenshot above. However, before using Power Optimization feature for virtualization hosts take a note of the points listed below:

  • Since resource utilization can fluctuate even in a quiet period and this may result in Power Optimization events, ensure that plenty of buffer resources are configured for virtualization hosts.
  • It is important to note that you may not want Power Optimization to occur during business hours. It is because the time it takes to restart virtualization hosts may be longer. So set the schedule to exclude business hours.
  • Another important thing to note is that VMM requires BMC to be configured on the property page of virtualization hosts before the virtualization hosts can be powered off. If BMC is not configured or not present, VMM will not be able to power down virtualization hosts.
  • Power Optimization is only available when virtual machines are being live migrated automatically by the Dynamic Optimization feature.

Note:
VMM migrates all virtual machines to the other nodes in the cluster before turning off the virtualization hosts as part of the Power Optimization event. If VMM needs a virtualization host, it turns on and then performs the dynamic optimization to balance the load within the host cluster.

Summary

In this article, we explained about Dynamic and Power Optimization features of VMM. Dynamic Optimization, an automatic mechanism built into VMM, helps you load balance host resources across host clusters. Power Optimization helps you conserve energy by turning virtualization hosts off when they are not needed and turning them on when they are needed.

In the part IV of this article series, we will continue to look at the remaining configuration tabs such as Network, Storage and Custom Properties before we deep dive into VMM networking.

If you would like to be notified when Nirmal Sharma releases the next part in this article series please sign up to our VirtualizationAdmin.com Real-Time Article Update newsletter.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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