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Official Documented Support For Installing ITMS on VMWare or Similar

Created: 05 Mar 2013 | 3 comments
jpellet2's picture
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The time really has come to provide documentation, best practices and official support for installing any or all of the Altiris/Symantec Endpoint Products on virtual machines. All of the documentation goes into detail on what types of hardware would be needed for each component and recomended guidlines but adding virtual machine specs would be nice. I understand that you can't hit all of the details (host type, CPU type/speed per host, etc) but you can specify guidlines on number of CPUs/Cores or both, anount of RAM, limits, reservations if needed, etc. I may go so far as even suggesting a document on housing SQL off-box but in a VM as well but I can see why that might not happen.

We've been running Altiris on VMs for a long time and tuning is mostly hit or miss, having something official would be fantastic!

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TGiles's picture

Well the ServiceDesk 7.5 documentation should have contained some information on running in a virtual environment. A base rule of thumb is that we use is virtual machines require double the physical requirements. However based on the individual companies VM configurations they may need to increase or decrease these numbers.

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jpellet2's picture

I have not seen any virtual information in the latest implementation guide for SD 7.5 but I will look again. As for the hardware, I would argue that that isn't always correct. In most situations, doubling the hardware requirements from a physical machine in order to install software on a virtual machine can often cause more problems than you'd expect. I suppose this could be left with a VMware admin to deal with but putting 8 cores onto a VM can cause the VM to become less responsive and put the CPU into high ready states causing poorer performance than with half the CPUs. I would just be looking for Symantec recommendations with the caveat that you should also talk with your VM admins in case they have more information.

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Lark's picture

I couldn't agree more.  I've seen too many virtual server implementations of ITMS where the memory, processor and disk are not heavily loaded and yet the console and general performance is very sluggish.  Analysis of the underlying virtual host and off-box physical SQL server shows no bottlenecks. Various performance tweaks have been published on Connect but the general problem remains.

The ITMS 7.1 SP2 implementation guide (page 133) suggests there is a 25% performance degradation on the data loader when SMP is installed on a virtual machine.  Its doesn't however suggest what the cause is or what to do about it.  Why would we increase cpu or memory when the existing resources don't seem to be used?

I'm yet to see a SMP server (with SQL off-box) using anything close to the suggested 16GB of ram.  Throwing more resources at a virtual server isn't always the answer.   It also limits my credibility with the team managing the virtual infrastructure!

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