Test Lab – Day 6 Xsigo Redundancy testing with ESXi under load (Final Post)

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Today I plan to setup the environment to simulate high disk I/O and re-run most the Xsigo tests from Day 4. My thoughts behind these tests are the Xisgo ran well under a minimal load but how would it perform when stressed.

Note: This blog post only covers how I setup testing but doesn’t have the final results. See A change of plans below for more information.

The environment layout will stay the same (4 x ESXi 4.1 hosts, each host with 10 VM’s, 2 Xsigo VP780’s and one IOMega IX12 with a 4 spindle NFS Datastore)

I’ll auto create about ~40 Windows 2003 VM’s and use PassMarks Burin Test to simulate a NFS load.

I plan to drive the IOMega to ~1Gbs of sustained NFS I/O by driving each VM’s hard disk.

While the load simulation is happening I’ll re-run the testing from Day 4, and record the results.

I do wish we could simulate a larger load however our NFS datastores are only across 4 Spindles. If we simulate a heavier load I believe it will “tank” the datastore making our testing pretty much worthless.


Preparing for the load Test.. In this step I setup my default template

I spun up a Windows 2003 server and installed the Burn in Test program.

I launched the BurnIn Test, clicked on Preferences, uncheck all, checked Disks, and entered a duty cycle of 25

Tip: BurnIn Test can be used for a wide range of load testing including CPU & Network (See below)

I saved the configuration file in the default folder.

I repeated this process and created 4 more config files driving the Disk to duty cycles of 5, 10, 50 and 100.

Writing the batch file to launch the BurnIn Test config file was simple (see below) and I created one for each duty cycle.

Tip: Before changing this VM into a template I tested my batch files to ensure all was working well.

Next I wrote a simple vSphere PowerCLI script to create the VM’s, it nothing complex but it did the trick..

I simply opened the vSphere PowerCLI prompt and pasted in the following lines…

$server_address = “vCenter Server IP”

$username = “Administrator”

$password = “your password here”

$template_name = “w2003Template”

$datastore_name = “NFS”

$customization = “W23K”

$location = “LoadTest”

$destination_host = “ESX Host 1 IP Address”

New-VM -Name 2003VMT21 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT22 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT23 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT24 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT25 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT26 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT27 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT28 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT29 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT30 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

$destination_host = “ESX Host 2 IP Address”

New-VM -Name 2003VMT31 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT32 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT33 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT34 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT35 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT36 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT37 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT38 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT39 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization

New-VM -Name 2003VMT40 -Location $location -Template $template_name -Host $destination_host -Datastore $datastore_name -OSCustomizationSpec $customization


This pattern was repeated on the other ESX hosts until ~40 VM’s were created…


Test Procedure…

Using the Burn In test program I will drive the utilization on the ~40 VM’s until 1Gbs of sustained NFS I/O is achieved.

I’ll use vCenter Server to ensure NFS traffic is passing through XSA and then start the tests below.

All of the ESX Hosts are attached to the IOMega via NFS, this means all traffic has to pass through the Xsigo and our network to get to the IOMega.

I used a Laptop, the ESXi console in tech support, vCenter Server mode to capture and validate the results.

Keep in mind this deployment is a SINGLE site scenario and for accuracy we allowed the environment to settle between tests.

A Change in plans.…

At this point the testing had to stop. Reason why – I put in my two weeks’ notice and had to focus on a transition plan and less on testing.

My hopes are if you’re reading this post it will give you a baseline for testing.



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