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What are the common problems seen when using CaliberRM on a virtual server (VMWare)?

What are the common problems seen when using CaliberRM on a virtual server (VMWare)?

Problem:

What are the common problems seen when using CaliberRM on a virtual server (VMWare)?

Resolution:

Background:

VMWare was very convenient as a workstation environment tool and later on adapted to servers wherein smaller applications could be hosted on their own images while running several images on one piece of hardware. This configuration allows for each application to sit on its own image without much clutter and less risk of conflict between applications. However for applications that have high utilization and would have a dedicated server, a VMWare image running on top of an OS will just consume more resources that then can’t be used by the application itself. Also virtual devices, take up more memory than physical devices…There have been increased performance with VMWare images able to start as their own OS without running on top of an existing OS and some tuning adjustments along the way and more decisions made regarding a defined scope of support for customers on VMWare by the product management team. These factors have contributed to the upcoming support of VMWare on our next release

Borland has decided to support VMWare with the demand that customers have to support these environments, though there are a couple of points we stress.

Common Problems:

Convenience of Virtual Server vs. Performance:
In cases where there is at least moderate use, customers often quickly notice a decline in performance. Also troubleshooting performance is a little different as though the virtual server may say it is using physical memory, under the mask, data could really be swapping the page file. Hard drive access is measured in hundreths of a second whereas physical memory access is measured in nano seconds and mathematically, thousands of times faster. From a product support perspective we end up in a hard situation here, wherein customers look to us to increase product performance, however virtual machine configurations are beyond our scope of support.

Proper Backup Procedure must still be followed:
Often when customers move to virtual servers, the convenience of a *snapshot is too tempting to go unused and some adapt this as a backup process. This is very handy feature before and after making configuration changes, however it is not good for a DBMS integrity as partial writes or deletes may be occurring at the time of the snapshot and this may affect the database structure itself or the application that is looking for data that is referenced in one place but not another. That being said, scheduled backups should still be performed using the “dbmgr –backup” command.

Time Syncronization issues:Certain VMWare configurations update in realtime, though others may have a syncronization schedule or at image startup, or perhaps even run independently and not syncronize time with the physical machine at all. Sometimes, the VMWare Image may become far enough out of sync with the user network that errors are given when attempting to access the server based on defined network thresholds. Often in this situation, a server/network admin updates the time on the image to be back within threshholds for time latency on the network. Depending on the significance of the time change a tamper control my be triggered by CaliberRM. If this occurs, please contact Borland Support to discuss details and determine if changing the clock or waiting to "catch up" will be plausible or if the database will need to be *unlocked by a Borland Support Engineer.

Old KB# 16362

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