WSV329: Architecting Cloud Infrastructure Using Windows Server 2012

Yigel Edery, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft
Joshua Adams, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft

This was a high level overview of various Hyper-V enhancements that make Windows Server 2012, cloud ready, according to Microsoft. It walked the audience through some architectural considerations when deciding on what technologies you should look at.

  • Windows Server 2012 is Cloud Optimized: Multi-tenant clouds, high scale and low cost datacenters, manageable and extensible
  • Summary
    • Dynamic and multi-tenant: Network virtualization, QoS, performance metrics, Live and Storage migrations
    • High scale and low cost compute: Larger hosts, large VMs, large clusters
    • High scale and low cost network: DCB, SR-IOV, RDMA, NIC teaming
    • High scale and low cost storage: Hyper-V over SMB, ODX, storage spaces, thin provisioning, synthetic fibre channel
    • Manageable and extensible: PowerShell, Hyper-V extensible switch
  • Datacenter Reference Architecture
  • Primary considerations: Workloads, Networking, Storage, Resiliency
  • Understanding Workloads
    • Cloud-aware stateless apps or legacy/stateful apps?
    • Workload performance requirements – 2 socket servers usually offer best ROI, apps networking patterns and the need for SR-IOV, mixing different servers to serve different workloads
    • Are workloads trusted? Level of isolation between workloads, QoS policies
  • Networking
    • Primary considerations: Isolation of traffic flows at physical and virtual level, type of infrastructure, NIC offloads
    • Typical Hyper-V server traffic flows
      • VM traffic
      • Cluster traffic
      • Storage traffic/CSV
      • Live Migrations
      • Management
    • How many NICs do I really need on each server?
      • WS2012: Run everything through the virtual switch, one physical network
      • Use Port ACLs, QoS, DCB and VM QoS to enforce isolation and performance guarantees
    • Infiniband vs. 10 GbE cs 1GbE
      • 1Gb Ethernet: Adequate performance for many workloads
      • InfiniBand (32Gb and 56 Gb): Very high performance, low latency, RDMA included (SMB 3.0). Needed only when you want extreme bandwidth
      • 10Gb Ethernet: Great performance, RDMA optional, QoS (DCB), new offloads
    • Hardware Offloads for Scalability & Performance
      • HW QoS via DCB
      • RDMA – For SMB storage stack only and optimized for performance
      • Receive Segment Coalescing (RSC)
      • Receive side scaling (RSS)
      • Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ)
      • Guest IPsec Task Offload (IPsecTO)
      • SR-IOV – For raw performance
  • Storage
    • Considerations: Cost/performance, block vs. file, Manageability, vendor preference, existing investments, approach to scaling
    • Storage scaling approaches: Compute and storage scale together (local SAS with storage spaces); Compute & Storage scale independently (iSCSI, FC, RDMA)
  • Resiliency
    • Infrastructure resiliency – VM is not designed to handle failures, so double up all infrastructure. Most common for the enterprise.
    • App-Level Resiliency – VMs designed to handle failures (e.g. guest clustering), or downtime acceptable. Lower end industry standard server, single infrastructure. Most common in cloud providers like Azure and Amazon.
  • Configuration 1: Non-converged Configuration (Traditional Enterprise)
    • Dedicated HBA, Fibre Channel block storage, separate NICs for VM traffic
  • Configuration 2: Converged Datacenter network + File Server Storage
    • 10GbE networks, file server for VM storage,
  • Configuration 3: Converged Network and Storage
    • Local SAS storage, but use extenisble network switch over 10GbE
    • Define multiple VLANs
    • Weighted vNIC option is only through PowerShell, not GUI
  • Configuration 4: DAS, Non-clustered Configuration
    • Relies on application for HA
    • Still able to live migrate to another node
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