Thursday, September 15, 2011

Microsoft Hyper-V

This week, InMon Corp. demonstrated sFlow monitoring in Microsoft Hyper-V during the Microsoft BUILD conference in Anaheim, California. InMon and Microsoft are working together to integrate sFlow support in Hyper-V 3.0, the hypervisor that will be included in the upcoming Windows Server 8 and Windows 8 releases.

The video above describes the integration of sFlow monitoring in Hyper-V.  The extensible virtual switch is a key component of the Hyper-V 3.0 release. The following diagram from the video shows how sFlow is implemented as virtual switch extension.
The sFlow extension is inserted into the packet forwarding path, randomly sampling packets that flow through the virtual switch. sFlow's packet sampling mechanism is extremely lightweight, delivering detailed visibility while ensuring minimal impact on forwarding performance. Sampled packets are sent to a userspace sFlow agent that exports the sampled packet headers along with physical and virtual NIC interface counters, server and virtual machine cpu, memory and I/O performance to an sFlow collector.

The photo above is of a live demonstration of the Hyper-V sFlow extension. The screen shows a real-time chart of network traffic flowing between virtual machines generated using the free sFlowTrend collector.

The sFlow standard is widely supported by switch vendors. Including sFlow monitoring in the Hyper-V virtual switch simplifies network management by allowing a common set of tools to monitor physical and virtual network performance. sFlow in Hyper-V further simplifies management by exporting server and virtual machine statistics. Unifying network and system monitoring provides the integrated view of performance needed for the coordinated management that is essential in virtualized environments. In addition to monitoring data center resources, sFlow can also be used to monitor performance within public clouds (see Rackspace cloudservers and Amazon EC2), providing the integrated visibility needed to optimize workload placement and minimise operating costs in hybrid cloud environments.

For public or private cloud operators, support for sFlow in the Hyper-V extensible switch and the Open vSwitch embeds visibility in leading commercial hypervisors (Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer), open source hypervisors (Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), Xen, KVM, Proxmox VE and VirtualBox) and cloud management systems (OpenStack, OpenQRM and OpenNebula), providing the scalable visibility needed for accounting and billing, operational control and cost management.

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