Everything you want and need to know about Oracle SPARC systems performance

Live Migration: SPARC T7-2 Oracle VM Server for SPARC Performance

Brian Whitney
Principal Software Engineer

One of the features that Oracle VM Server for SPARC offers is Live Migration, which is the process of securely moving an active logical domain (LDom, Virtual Machine) between different physical machines while maintaining application services to users.  Memory, storage, and network connectivity of the logical domain are transferred from the original logical domain's machine to the destination target machine with all data compressed and encrypted.

  • Oracle's Live Migration is secure by default using SSL (AES256_GCM_SHA384) to encrypt migration network traffic to protect sensitive data from exploitation and to eliminate the requirement for additional hardware and dedicated networks.  Additional authentication schemes can be set up to increase security for the source and target machines.  VMware vMotion and IBM PowerVM do not support Secure Live Migration by default (see below).

  • An enterprise Java workload with a 74 GB footprint in a 128 GB VM running on Oracle's SPARC T7-2 server migrated to another SPARC T7-2 server in just 95 seconds with 30 seconds suspension time to the user.

Performance Landscape

Results from moving an active workload as well as two different idle workloads. The LDom was allocated 128 GB of memory.

Mission-Critical LDom Live Migration
Benchmark Test Total Migration
Time (sec)
Data Moved
Network Bandwidth
Enterprise Java Workload/Active 95 74.3 835.3
After Active Workload/Idle 13 1.9 236.1
Out of the Box/Idle 13 1.1 135.4

Enterprise Java Workload Performance
Test Conditions Average Operations per Second
During Live Migration 347,370
No Migration 596,914

Configuration Summary

2 x SPARC T7-2
2 x SPARC M7 processors (4.13 GHz)
512 GB memory (32 x 16 GB DDR4-2133 DIMMs)
6 x 600 GB 10K RPM SAS-2 HDD
10 GbE (built-in network device)
Oracle Solaris 11.3 (
Oracle VM Server for SPARC ( LDoms v Integration 17 )

The configuration of the LDoms on the source machine is:

Source Machine Configuration
LDom vcpus Memory
Primary/control 128 (16-cores) 128 GB
Guest0 128 (16-cores) 110 GB
Guest1 (Migration) 128 (16-cores) 128 GB
Guest2 128 (16-cores) 110 GB

The configuration of the LDoms on the target machine is:

Target Machine Configuration
LDom vcpus Memory
Primary/control 128 (16-cores) 128 GB

Benchmark Description

By running a Java workload on a logical domain and start a Live Migration process to move this logical domain to a target machine, the values of the major performance metrics of live migration can be measured:

  • Total Migration Time (the total time it takes to migrate a logical domain).
  • Effect on Application Performance (how much an application's performance degrades because of being migrated).

The number of logical domains on the source machine is three (Guest0, Guest1, Guest3) because it could represent a more realistic environment where all the source machine resources (vcpus and memory) are in use, by running the same Java workload on each LDom.

Three different experiments are run:

  • Enterprise Java Workload/Active: starting the same Java workload at the same time on three logical domains (Guest0, Guest1, and Guest2), the Live Migration of Guest1 is executed after an arbitrary amount of time.
  • After Active Workload/Idle: after running a Java workload on three logical domains (Guest0, Guest1, and Guest2), so the memory of each has been touched, and no workload is running on any of them, the Live Migration of Guest1 is executed.
  • Out of the Box/Idle: as soon as the three logical domains are installed or rebooted (Guest0, Guest1, and Guest2) with Oracle Solaris and no workload is running on any of them, the Live Migration of Guest1 is executed.

Key Points and Best Practices

  • The network interconnection between the primaries on source and target machines is 10 GbE built-in network  device configured to use Jumbo Frames (MTU=9000) in order to get higher bandwidth during the live migration.
  • The Enterprise Java Workload Performance on the non-migrated logical domains (Guest0, Guest2) was not affected before, during, and after the live migration of Guest1.
  • IBM PowerVM does not support Secure Live Migration by default; the IBM's technology name is Live Partition Mobility and it can be found on Cloud Security Guidelines for IBM Power Systems, January 2015, pp 89 "4.10.1 Live Partition Mobility".

See Also

Disclosure Statement

Copyright 2015, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.  Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Results as of 25 October 2015.

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