Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quick iperf test on FreeBSD 10.1 running as a VM in ESXi 5.5

Take this with a grain of salt, as I really haven't done enough testing to state anything conclusive.

However, under ESXi 5.1u3, I was only able to get my iperf scores up to 2/3Gb/s, with the occasional 5Gb/s bust on my 10Gb/s network.

With ESXi 5.5u2 (patches as of today's date) I am able to get scores like this fairly consistently:

[  3]  0.0- 5.0 sec  5.70 GBytes  9.79 Gbits/sec
[  3]  5.0-10.0 sec  5.69 GBytes  9.77 Gbits/sec
[  3] 10.0-15.0 sec  5.69 GBytes  9.77 Gbits/sec
[  3] 15.0-20.0 sec  5.70 GBytes  9.80 Gbits/sec
[  3]  0.0-20.0 sec  22.8 GBytes  9.78 Gbits/sec

Not bad, not bad.

Even if the scores are not accurate, it's at least showing a dramatic improvement over my 5.1 configuration.

This is from a FreeBSD 10.1 VM under ESXi 5.5 to a bare-metal FreeBSD 10.1. VM-to-VM performance is a bit lower, but still quite good:

[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0- 5.0 sec  4.89 GBytes  8.41 Gbits/sec
[  3]  5.0-10.0 sec  5.46 GBytes  9.37 Gbits/sec
[  3] 10.0-15.0 sec  4.32 GBytes  7.42 Gbits/sec
[  3] 15.0-20.0 sec  4.87 GBytes  8.37 Gbits/sec
[  3]  0.0-20.0 sec  19.5 GBytes  8.39 Gbits/sec

The FreeBSD VM's are still vmx-08, and I'm using the built-in vmx driver in FreeBSD 10.1

This is also with the default configuration for sysctl values - I was planning on building a small script to check different tcp settings, but with speed like this, there are more pressing things to worry about.

ESXI 5.5u2 Hangs during upgrade from 5.1

Quick post:

 If you're upgrading from ESXi 5.1 to 5.5 Update 2, and you don't have all of the network ports hooked up on your host, you may hang the upgrade process in an infinite loop.

 After upgrading two other hosts from 5.1 to 5.5U2 within ~30 minutes, I was concerned that the third server was still at it after 2 hours.

 Watching the console carefully from KVM showed it complain for about 5 seconds about a missing MAC address.  Looking at the server's physical connections, it did indeed have one network port not connected.  Most of my servers are Dell Blades, so all network ports are always hooked up, however, I don't completely trust putting all of my computing in one box, so I still retain a fairly beefy external server in case my blade enclosure ever bites it.

 This particular server had been running for years with that port unplugged, but it only now posed a problem.

 Connecting the port solved the issue.

 Now if the vCenter Web Client didn't suck so badly, I'd be having a good night. :-)