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Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance #5447768 06/06/20 03:30 PM
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brueggma1 Offline OP
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Greetings,

Are there any VMWare or VirtualBox gurus on this board? I'm looking to increase I/O performance on an old Dell referb. I was thinking about purchasing a PCie to NVMe adapter and a NVMe card to speed things up. My question is how should I use the space? Can I use it as some kind of cache that sits infront of the spinning HHD? I think I need to pay $$ VMWare for this, no?

Is RH/Debian + Virtualbox a better option? Maybe using lvmcache?



Computer: Dell Optiplex 9010 - 16Gb Mem - i7-3770 - 2Tb Spinning HD
Hypervisor: ESXi 7.0 (free version)

Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447780 06/06/20 03:41 PM
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Skippy722 Offline
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I’d ditch the spinning HDD entirely and replace it with a SSD personally.

Intel’s Optane acts as a cache and stores your more used data on that case the HDD.


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Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447788 06/06/20 03:58 PM
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terry274 Offline
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I don't really understand what you are trying to do, but Debian supports kernel based virtual machines natively. The link below may help:
System virtualization
And I agree, change to an SSD drive instead of the spinning platter.

Last edited by terry274; 06/06/20 03:59 PM.

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Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447829 06/06/20 04:51 PM
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Jethro_Bob Offline
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Do you actually need a Hypervisor? More specify are you running two or more operating systems at the same time?

If not, it will severely slow down your computer even when it's not in use. (For example, on bootup an os has to check all hardware even the virtual stuff, so it's always running and changing how you computer "sees" stuff.

Anyways, the Dell Optiplex 9010 actually has bios updates that actually supports NVMe and in some cases (depending on the drive) it's even bootable. You are the rare exception to the rule "never update your bios" because NVMe wasn't even a thing that existed when your pc was built.

Also, there are fake adaptors like this one: youtube

There is a lot more info here by people have accomplished this: Dell

Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447830 06/06/20 04:51 PM
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JustinH Offline
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Is ESXI running encapsulated in windows or is it running raw metal on the 9010?

Either way the drive is too slow, and there isn't enough cores or memory for running a hypervisor.

Also there is no RAID array in place.

May I suggest a used dell rackmount server.


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Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447890 06/06/20 06:59 PM
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brueggma1 Offline OP
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Thank you everyone for your perspective. I don't hear any feedback about using SSD/NVMe as a caching store of any kind, so I think I'll stay with ESXi and get a 1Tb NVMe drive to use as a typical datastore for the VMs that are important to me, and use the spinning disk for the O/S collection in the home LAB.

I was hoping that there was a solution to use NVMe device as a disk cache backed by a legacy spinning disks, so that all reads/writes went through the NVMe device to speed up for any subsequent disk I/O. Almost like a home made Hybrid SSD/HDD drive. This way I can have lots of cheap spinning storage, and a small amount of really fast/expensive NVMe cache.

Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447893 06/06/20 07:02 PM
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wwillson Online Content
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With virtualization, nomatter which hypervisor, the way to speed is RAM. You should have enough RAM so that your hypervisor rarely or never has to swap to give the virtual machine more memory. If that happens, the quest for performance is pretty much over. If you're going to run a single instance of Win10 and give it 8GB RAM, then make sure your hypervisor has 16GB. Another huge performance gain is the hardware virtualization extensions in the CPU. If a CPU doesn't do hardware virtualization, then forget it, find a box that does.

Don't spend $$ chasing performance with HDD IO, as it's a waste of money. Buy RAM

Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5447932 06/06/20 07:57 PM
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Jethro_Bob Offline
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Originally Posted by brueggma1

I was hoping that there was a solution to use NVMe device as a disk cache backed by a legacy spinning disks, so that all reads/writes went through the NVMe device to speed up for any subsequent disk I/O. Almost like a home made Hybrid SSD/HDD drive. This way I can have lots of cheap spinning storage, and a small amount of really fast/expensive NVMe cache.


Ok, it sounds like you're looking for something like 'Intel Optane.' Unfortunately it's only available on Intel's 7th generation or newer. As wwillson said ram is the best option even with newer machines. You also notice a difference if you switch to ssd for storage, it's possible to get a 2tb ssd around the $200 range.

Re: Computer - Hypervisor - Increase I/O Performance [Re: brueggma1] #5448211 06/07/20 09:20 AM
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brueggma1 Offline OP
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Thank you everyone,

Sounds like I'm in the market from some memory and some new storage devices..

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