vmware

Log-dedicated loop device throughput and time overhead on btrfs 4.x


This is again about real world numbers (which I like so much for being authentic ;-). The context being the throughput and time overhead of a loop device, as a poor or late man’s replacement for a real disk partition, jep I know, on copy-on-write filesystem btrfs, exclusively dedicated for logging, that is appending over and over. Why? The loop device may overflow with data without affecting the underlying filesystem, see Btrfs subvolume quota still in its infancy with btrfs version 4.2.2 for more why’s and what I tried to get btrfs subvolume with quota to work. By the way, about that though, see debian org Btrfs for a down-to-earth assessment of btrfs to date, even uttering a recommendation from what version number (4.4) to start off at the earliest near production. Anyway, what follows, adapts a test setup as in Performance of loopback filesystems, prime credits go there, and expands the layout somewhat for the btrfs C or nodatacow flag. Here we go.

Have this baseline, if you like, test on the raw iron. Well, its not raw iron really, its vmware and tons of storage below, and the shown performance is terrible I know and I only take one testset of bs / count but that won’t matter. There’s something to start off.

mkdir /tmp/loop0
dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M of=/tmp/loop0/file oflag=sync count=1000
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 8.9605 s, 117 MB/s
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 6.52867 s, 161 MB/s
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 5.35716 s, 196 MB/s
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 5.48745 s, 191 MB/s
1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 5.14736 s, 204 MB/s

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Extending lvm mounts in oracle linux on vmware, part 2: a larger disk partition


This is part #2 of a two part series about scenarios of extending lvm (logical volume manager 2) mounts in an oel (red hat 7) guest running on vmare. Part #1 (Extending lvm mounts in oracle linux on vmware, part 1: a new disk device) discussed a scenario of a new disk being added to the guest by behalf of the guest settings in the vsphere client. This part, however, follows up with the case that an existing disk has been resized, that is extended, touching the underlying disk file in vsphere client. I already mentioned that the disk file extension case will be much more costly both in tackling and downtime, so try to avoid it, go and ask your admins to always consent to adding new disks (or even have a smarter storage approach).

However, whatever comes around… Though, the point or question finally is: what downtime, aside from a lot more typing, will this scenario take. The (relatively) good news is that only the depicted lvm mount (see part #1 for an explanation) will need a short offline such as any apps, accessing the lvm mount, will need to be shortly offlined too. No guest bounce or any 3rd apps downtime necessary.

Again, a sum up of required step looks like this.

  • introduce the new disk geometry to the guest os
  • extend the partition on the existing disk
  • offline affected apps / the lvm mount
  • notify the kernel abount the partition change
  • online affected apps / the lvm mount again
  • integrate the new disk into the lvm mount
  • extend the filesystem managed by lvm mount

Yet, again, this post will also attempt to gain as much understanding as possible about what’s going on under the covers and therefore supplies a lot of information for verfication purposes. These code boxes will (shall) be closed on page load and will feature an explicit title, indicating an optional step. In this example, an existing disk /dev/sdc will be extended by just 10gb for testing.

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Extending lvm mounts in oracle linux on vmware, part 1: a new disk device


This is part #1 of a two part series about scenarios of extending lvm (logical volume manager 2) mounts in an oel (red hat 7) guest running on vmare. Starting up, the scenario in question is a new disk being added to the guest by behalf of the guest settings in the vsphere client. Following up then, in part #2 (Extending lvm mounts in oracle linux on vmware, part 2: a larger disk partition), an existing disk has been resized, that is extended, touching the underlying disk file in vsphere client. Both scenarios are quite common, where the first one is at all means to be preferred over the second one, because it will not trigger any downtime for the guest os or the guest apps (by a lvm deactivate) running io on the lvm mount and is by far easier to handle. Btw, saying lvm mount does actually mean a dedicated logical volume (on volume groups and physical volumes, you know) mounted to some spot in the directory tree.

Ok then, in short, the first scenario requires the following steps:

  • introduce the new disk to the guest os
  • create a partition on the new disk
  • integrate the new disk into the lvm mount
  • extend the filesystem managed by lvm mount

I’ll give the necessary commands below but will also provide information for verfication purposes. These code boxes will (shall) be closed on page load and will feature an explicit title, indicating an optional step. In this example, I add a second disk to an existing lvm mount of one disk /dev/sdc around 120gb. The new disk is the fourth disk attached to the guest, /dev/sdd perspectively, and has only 16gb for testing.

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Locating kernel headers for vmware tools on an uekr3 oracle linux 6.7


Continuing, if you like, on an admin topic concerning UEKR3 Oracle Linux 6.5, see: Missing kernel-firmware 3.8.13-16.2.1.el6uek on Oracle Linux 6.5, I’ going to give a recipe and some explanations for getting vmtools modules successfully built in a VMware guest after complains about an invalid kernel header path.
Immediately after installing vmtools in a VMware guest, usually using /vmware-tools-distrib/vmware-install.pl, another script, usually /vmware-tools-distrib/bin/vmware-config-tools.pl comes up, asking whether you want to configure vmtools just now. Configuration essentially comprises the opt-in/out of functionality as well as building and integration of kernel modules into the running kernel. Iff you furthermore run a recent UEKR3 kernel without the according development packages, the console output may read like this:

...
Before you can compile modules, you need to have the following installed... 
make
gcc
kernel headers of the running kernel

Search in repoquery --list kernel-uek-devel-3.8.13-68.3.5.el6uek.x86_64 for GCC...
Detected GCC binary at "/usr/bin/gcc".
The path "/usr/bin/gcc" appears to be a valid path to the gcc binary.
Would you like to change it? [no] 

Searching for a valid kernel header path...
The path "" is not a valid path to the 3.8.13-68.3.5.el6uek.x86_64 kernel headers.
Would you like to change it? [yes] y

Enter the path to the kernel header files for the 3.8.13-68.3.5.el6uek.x86_64 kernel
/usr/include/linux

The path "/usr/include/linux" is not a valid path to the 3.8.13-68.3.5.el6uek.x86_64 kernel headers.
Would you like to change it? [yes] n

WARNING: This program cannot compile any modules for the following reason(s)...

- This program could not find a valid path to the kernel headers of the running
kernel.  Please ensure that the header files for the running kernel are 
installed on this sytem.

[ Press Enter key to continue ] 

What actually happens here is quite simple but however also expressed in a misleading way such that she/he may just suppose, installing the kernel headers will fix the problem (I even tried this /usr/include/linux thing, as of the old days, won’t work you see, is none of uekr3 anyway).

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(raw) Oracle Linux 6 memory foorprint with/out X11


Running quite a couple of (Linux) guests on a virtual host sooner or later raises the question of the (guests / host resources) ratio. That is, commonly for cpu, ram and i/o, how many guests will fit on that specific host for an average load.

Having this question nagging in my head, I was particularly curious to find out how much memory an OL6 will consume for a pure operating system installation with and without the convenience of running X11 (which is animated by Gnome 3.x in OL6, having most of the autostart apps removed – xfce will be much leaner but that’s another story).

The top Mem: used snapshots were taken immediately after a bounce of the guest to have as less application code inference as possible since Linux never frees memory iff not necessary. Here we go.

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