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The Impact of Logical and Physical Fragmentation in a Virtual Environment. Presented by Raxco Software, Inc. February, 2010. What The Experts Say. “.

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the impact of logical and physical fragmentation in a virtual environment

The Impact of Logical and Physical Fragmentation in a Virtual Environment

Presented by

Raxco Software, Inc.

February, 2010

what the experts say
What The Experts Say

Like physical disk drives, virtual disks can become fragmented. Defragmenting disks rearranges files, programs and unused space on the virtual disk so that programs run faster and files open more quickly.”

VMware Defragmenting Virtual Disks

http://www.vmware.com/support/ws55/doc/ws_performance_defrag.html

experts
Experts…

Performance in Windows guest operating systems may also be affected by disk fragmentation”

VMware ACE

https://www.vmware.com/support/ace/doc/disks_ntperf_ace.html

experts5
Experts…

  • The two biggest reasons I see virtual machines get slower over time is due to:
  • incorrect virtual machine additions
  • installed and (2) disk fragmentation.”
  • Andrew Connell
  • Former MS Share Point Developer
  • Microsoft MVP-Content Management Server
what is fragmentation
What is Fragmentation?

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sample fragmentation problems
Sample Fragmentation Problems
  • 10-15 minutes to launch Notes
  • Users locked out of servers
  • Servers won’t boot
  • Application hangs and crashes
  • System errors due to metadata fragmentation
  • Video/audio “flickers”
  • Prolonged backup
cost of fragmentation
Cost of Fragmentation
  • Productivity
  • Support
  • Unnecessary hardware
  • Longer backups
  • Opportunity
the fragmentation issue
The Fragmentation Issue
  • Logical fragmentation
  • Physical fragmentation
  • File fragmentation
  • Free space fragmentation
the logical level
The Logical Level
  • To format a partition Windows needs to know if it is NTFS/FAT, cluster size and disk size
  • Bitmap file is how NTFS “sees” the disk
  • Cannot distinguish between physical disk types
  • MFT is created along with metadata files

NTFS

file allocation
File Allocation
  • Create MFT record (one or more)
  • Bitmap accessed to locate free space
  • MFT record is updated with content
  • NTFS passes LCN’s to disk driver

LCN’s to

Disk Driver

Bitmap

Access

MFT

Update

Create

anatomy of the mft
Anatomy of the MFT

(vcn, lcn, run length): (8a85, 9189a, 7)

file access
File Access
  • Load portion of MFT with correct record via directory
  • Locate file in the MFT
  • Pass starting LCN and run length to disk controller
  • Number of physical disk seeks determined by the number of logical fragments

# Physical

Seeks

Locate

File

# LCN’s

Load

ntfs expert concludes
NTFS Expert Concludes…
  • Free space fragmentation slows down writes
  • Free space fragmentation blocks on write
  • File and free space fragmentation causes needless seeks
  • Slower the disk the greater the bottleneck
the physical level
The Physical Level
  • NTFS reports starting LCN and length to the disk controller
  • Disk controller maps LCN to PCN based on its software/firmware
  • Data written to disk
file fragmentation and free space
File Fragmentation and Free Space
  • Data files — most numerous
  • System files — Page file and hibernate file
  • Metadata files — $logfile, $bitmap, $badclus
  • Free space — the real enemy!
fragmentation and vm s
Fragmentation and VM’s
  • Windows guests have all the same NTFS behavior
  • Resource contention between Windows guests
  • Resource contention between guests and the host (Hyper-V and vSphere)
  • Free space fragmentation not good for dynamic vmdk, vhd
possible solutions
Possible Solutions
  • More hardware
  • Windows Defragmenter – not enterprise solution
  • Perfect Disk vSphere Bundle
  • Perfect Disk Hyper-V Bundle
how does defragmentation help
How Does Defragmentation Help?
  • File defragmentation speeds up disk reads
  • Free space defragmentation speeds up disk writes
  • Reduces unnecessary physical disk seeks
  • Reduces resource contention for VM’s
  • Fastest possible logical and physical I/O
no virtual awareness
No Virtual Awareness

Virtual Machine and Status

VM1 Idle

VM1 Idle

VM1 Busy

VM1 Busy

Basic Automatic Defragmentation

Defrag

Status

0

Remaining Resources (CPU & I/O) For Busy Machines

100

virtualization awareness
Virtualization Awareness

Virtual Machine and Status

VM1 Idle

VM1 Idle

VM1 Busy

VM1 Busy

Automatic Defragmentation with Virtualization Awareness

Dynamic

Monitor

Defrag

Status

0

Remaining Resources (CPU & I/O) For Busy Machines

100

perfectdisk virtual solutions
PerfectDisk Virtual Solutions
  • Virtually Aware for vSphere and Hyper-V
  • vSphereconsole snap-in
  • Enterprise console for Hyper-V
  • Host & Guest solutions for Hyper-V
  • Support for vMotion and Live Migration
  • Fully automated compaction for Hyper-V
  • Automated shrink & re-indexing for VMware Workstation
slide24

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