Solution: Dynamic Workload Management

ConVirt Dynamic Workload Management provides an automated method for balancing compute capacity and reducing energy consumption in highly virtualized KVM or Xen datacenters.

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Balance Compute Capacity and Reduce Energy Consumption

In today’s virtualized datacenters, operations teams are struggling to manage virtualization host capacity in a way that delivers performance benefits and operating cost savings. For commercial virtualization platforms like VMware and Hyper-V, automated approaches for balancing compute capacity and reducing energy consumption have been developed. But what about the open source world of KVM and Xen?

That’s why we developed ConVirt Dynamic Workload Management for KVM and Xen –It automates workload placement and live migration based on policies, intelligently placing and dynamically re-allocating compute resources across your server pools to help you meet your performance SLAs and power consumption cost objectives.

The ConVirt Solution

By enabling Dynamic Workload Management (DWM), you can ask ConVirt to automatically place and load balance virtual machines across the server pool. Running VMs are moved between hosts using ConVirt’s live VM migration capabilities. DWM is implemented by addressing four key areas:

Intelligent Workload Placement
When you provision a virtual machine in ConVirt, DWM selects a recommended virtualization host in the server pool based on available CPU. The admin can configure how frequently this load calculation is re-evaluated to ensure ongoing optimal workload placement.

Automated VM Load Balancing
The Even Distribution Policy ensures that no server in the server pool is over-utilized. This is done by setting a threshold for server CPU utilization – when the server reaches this threshold, it is considered "loaded". ConVirt will move one or more virtual machines from that server to another suitable server in the pool to reduce CPU utilization below the threshold. This policy can be set up to run during certain schedule times. This capability, combined with intelligent workload placement, results in an even spread of virtual machines across all the servers within a server pool.

Power Management
The Power Save Policy consolidates virtual machines to a smaller number of physical virtualization hosts during non-peak periods of utilization. This is done by kicking off a consolidation process when server CPU utilization falls below a threshold (for example, if the server CPU is less than 10 % for 5 minutes). After consolidation is successful, hosts not currently needed are safely powered down and then powered up at a later point-in-time if needed for additional host capacity, or when the Power Save Policy ends according to the schedule.

Maintenance Mode
During the course of operations, servers need to be brought down for hardware or software maintenance, such as applying security updates or replacing physical hardware components. During this time, the admin can place the server in maintenance mode. While in maintenance mode, ConVirt does not consider server for automated operations like Intelligent Placement, High Availability, or Dynamic Workload Management. Maintenance mode can automatically shut down or migrate running workloads to other servers in the server pool during the maintenance period, and migrate them back when the server leaves maintenance mode.

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