Difference between revisions of "Performance Tweaks"

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=Introduction=
 
=Introduction=
This page is intended to be a collection of various performance tips/tweaks to help you get the most from your KVM virtual servers.
+
This page is intended to be a collection of various performance tips/tweaks to help you get the most from your KVM virtual machines.
  
 
= General =
 
= General =
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{{Note|The information below is based on using raw volumes, other volume formats may behave differently.}}
 
{{Note|The information below is based on using raw volumes, other volume formats may behave differently.}}
  
cache=none seems to be the best performance and is the default since Proxmox 2.X.
+
====Small Overview====
 +
 
 +
Note: The overview below is dependent of the specific hardware used, for example a HW Raid with a BBU backed disk cache works just fine with 'writeback' mode, so take it just as an general overview.
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable sortable"
 +
|-
 +
! Mode !! Host Page Cache !! Disk Write Cache !! Notes
 +
|-
 +
| none || disabled || enabled || balances performance and safety (better writes)
 +
|-
 +
| writethrough || enabled || disabled || balances performance and safety (better reads)
 +
|-
 +
| writeback || enabled || enabled || fast, can loose data on power outage depending on hardware used
 +
|-
 +
| directsync || disabled || disabled || safest but slowest (relative to the others)
 +
|-
 +
| unsafe || enabled || enabled || doesn't flush data, fastest and unsafest
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
'''cache=none''' seems to be the best performance and is the default since Proxmox 2.X.
 +
 
 
       host don't do cache.  
 
       host don't do cache.  
 
       guest disk cache is writeback
 
       guest disk cache is writeback
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cache=writethrough
+
'''cache=writethrough'''
 
       host do read cache
 
       host do read cache
 
       guest disk cache mode is writethrough
 
       guest disk cache mode is writethrough
 
       Writethrough make a fsync for each write. So it's the more secure cache mode, you can't loose data. It's also the slower.
 
       Writethrough make a fsync for each write. So it's the more secure cache mode, you can't loose data. It's also the slower.
 +
 
       This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with O_DSYNC semantics,  
 
       This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with O_DSYNC semantics,  
 
       where writes are reported as completed only when the data has been committed to the storage device.  
 
       where writes are reported as completed only when the data has been committed to the storage device.  
 
       The host page cache is used in what can be termed a writethrough caching mode.  
 
       The host page cache is used in what can be termed a writethrough caching mode.  
       The guest's virtual storage adapter is informed that there is no writeback cache, so the guest would not need to send down  
+
       Guest virtual storage adapter is informed that there is no writeback cache, so the guest would not need to send down  
 
       flush commands to manage data integrity. The storage behaves as if there is a writethrough cache.
 
       flush commands to manage data integrity. The storage behaves as if there is a writethrough cache.
  
 
      
 
      
  
cache=directsync.
+
'''cache=directsync'''
 
       host don't do cache.
 
       host don't do cache.
 
       guest disk cache mode is writethrough
 
       guest disk cache mode is writethrough
 
       similar to writethrough, a fsync is made for each write.
 
       similar to writethrough, a fsync is made for each write.
  
    This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with both O_DSYNC and O_DIRECT semantics,  
+
      This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with both O_DSYNC and O_DIRECT semantics,  
 
       where writes are reported as completed only when the data has been committed to the storage device, and when it is also desirable to bypass the host page cache.
 
       where writes are reported as completed only when the data has been committed to the storage device, and when it is also desirable to bypass the host page cache.
 
       Like cache=writethrough, it is helpful to guests that do not send flushes when needed.
 
       Like cache=writethrough, it is helpful to guests that do not send flushes when needed.
 
       It was the last cache mode added, completing the possible combinations of caching and direct access semantics.
 
       It was the last cache mode added, completing the possible combinations of caching and direct access semantics.
 +
   
  
   
 
  
cache=writeback  
+
'''cache=writeback'''
 
       host do read/write cache
 
       host do read/write cache
 
       guest disk cache mode is writeback
 
       guest disk cache mode is writeback
       Warn : you can loose datas in case of a powerfailure
+
       Warning: you can looe data in case of a power failure
       you need to use barrier option in your linux guest fstab if kernel < 2.6.37 to avoid fs corruption in case of powerfailure.
+
       you need to use barrier option in your linux guest fstab if kernel < 2.6.37 to avoid fs corruption in case of power failure.
  
 
       This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with neither O_DSYNC nor O_DIRECT semantics,
 
       This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with neither O_DSYNC nor O_DIRECT semantics,
Line 62: Line 83:
 
       so the guest would be expected to send down flush commands as needed to manage data integrity.  
 
       so the guest would be expected to send down flush commands as needed to manage data integrity.  
 
       Analogous to a raid controller with RAM cache.
 
       Analogous to a raid controller with RAM cache.
     
 
 
caching adds additional data copies and bus traffic causing it to perform worse.
 
  
 
For read cache memory: try to add more memory in your guest, they already do the job with their buffer cache
 
For read cache memory: try to add more memory in your guest, they already do the job with their buffer cache
  
cache=directsync and writethrough can be fast, if you have a san or raid controller with cache with battery by exemple
+
cache=writethrough or directsync can be also quite fast if you have a SAN or HW raid controller with battery backed cache.
  
Avoid to use cache=directsync and writethrough with qcow2 files.
+
Using qcow2 backed disks and either cache=directsync or writethrough can make things slower.
  
  
 
some interestings articles :
 
some interestings articles :
 
barriers : http://monolight.cc/2011/06/barriers-caches-filesystems/
 
  
 
cache mode and fsync : http://www.ilsistemista.net/index.php/virtualization/23-kvm-storage-performance-and-cache-settings-on-red-hat-enterprise-linux-62.html?start=2
 
cache mode and fsync : http://www.ilsistemista.net/index.php/virtualization/23-kvm-storage-performance-and-cache-settings-on-red-hat-enterprise-linux-62.html?start=2
 
  
 
=OS Specific =
 
=OS Specific =
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For additional references see: [http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/5770-Windows-guest-high-context-switch-rate-when-idle Proxmox forum]
 
For additional references see: [http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/5770-Windows-guest-high-context-switch-rate-when-idle Proxmox forum]
  
=== Do not use the Balloon Driver ===
+
=== Do not use the Virtio Balloon Driver ===
The Virtio Ballon driver has been a source of performance problems on Windows, you should avoid it
+
The Balloon driver has been a source of performance problems on Windows, you should avoid it.
 
(see http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/20265-SOLVED-Hyper-Threading-vs-No-Hyper-Threading-Fixed-vs-Variable-Memory for the discussion thread)
 
(see http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/20265-SOLVED-Hyper-Threading-vs-No-Hyper-Threading-Fixed-vs-Variable-Memory for the discussion thread)
 
=VZdump=
 
By default vzdump limited to 10000 Kbps (10 Mbps). That's why some users confuse with the slower data transfer on Proxmox even they claim 1 Gbps NIC installed. To increase the VZdump speed you need to edit:
 
# nano /etc/vzdump.conf
 
Find out:
 
#bwlimit: KBPS
 
bwlimit: 10000
 
 
Change to any value you like, to change bandwidth limit to 50 Mbps:
 
bwlimit: 50000
 
 
[[Category: HOWTO]]
 

Latest revision as of 14:32, 19 January 2022

Introduction

This page is intended to be a collection of various performance tips/tweaks to help you get the most from your KVM virtual machines.

General

VirtIO

Use virtIO for disk and network for best performance.

  • Linux has the drivers built in since Linux 2.6.24 as experimental, and since Linux 3.8 as stable
  • FreeBSD has the drivers built in since 9.0
  • Windows requires the Windows VirtIO Drivers to be downloaded and installed manually

Disk Cache

Yellowpin.svg Note: The information below is based on using raw volumes, other volume formats may behave differently.

Small Overview

Note: The overview below is dependent of the specific hardware used, for example a HW Raid with a BBU backed disk cache works just fine with 'writeback' mode, so take it just as an general overview.

Mode Host Page Cache Disk Write Cache Notes
none disabled enabled balances performance and safety (better writes)
writethrough enabled disabled balances performance and safety (better reads)
writeback enabled enabled fast, can loose data on power outage depending on hardware used
directsync disabled disabled safest but slowest (relative to the others)
unsafe enabled enabled doesn't flush data, fastest and unsafest

cache=none seems to be the best performance and is the default since Proxmox 2.X.

     host don't do cache. 
     guest disk cache is writeback
     Warn : like writeback, you can loose datas in case of a powerfailure
     you need to use barrier option in your linux guest fstab if kernel < 2.6.37 to avoid fs corruption in case of powerfailure.  
     This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with O_DIRECT semantics, so the host page cache is bypassed 
     and I/O happens directly between the qemu-kvm userspace buffers and the          storage device. Because the actual storage device may report 
     a write as completed when placed in its write queue only, the guest's virtual storage adapter is informed that there is a writeback cache, 
     so the guest would be expected to send down flush commands as needed to manage data integrity.
     Equivalent to direct access to your hosts' disk, performance wise.
    
     

cache=writethrough

     host do read cache
     guest disk cache mode is writethrough
     Writethrough make a fsync for each write. So it's the more secure cache mode, you can't loose data. It's also the slower.
     This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with O_DSYNC semantics, 
     where writes are reported as completed only when the data has been committed to the storage device. 
     The host page cache is used in what can be termed a writethrough caching mode. 
     Guest virtual storage adapter is informed that there is no writeback cache, so the guest would not need to send down 
     flush commands to manage data integrity. The storage behaves as if there is a writethrough cache.


cache=directsync

     host don't do cache.
     guest disk cache mode is writethrough
     similar to writethrough, a fsync is made for each write.
     This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with both O_DSYNC and O_DIRECT semantics, 
     where writes are reported as completed only when the data has been committed to the storage device, and when it is also desirable to bypass the host page cache.
     Like cache=writethrough, it is helpful to guests that do not send flushes when needed.
     It was the last cache mode added, completing the possible combinations of caching and direct access semantics.
    


cache=writeback

     host do read/write cache
     guest disk cache mode is writeback
     Warning: you can looe data in case of a power failure
     you need to use barrier option in your linux guest fstab if kernel < 2.6.37 to avoid fs corruption in case of power failure.
     This mode causes qemu-kvm to interact with the disk image file or block device with neither O_DSYNC nor O_DIRECT semantics,
     so the host page cache is used and writes are reported to the guest as completed when placed in the host page cache, 
     and the normal page cache management will handle commitment to the storage device. 
     Additionally, the guest's virtual storage adapter is informed of the writeback cache,
     so the guest would be expected to send down flush commands as needed to manage data integrity. 
     Analogous to a raid controller with RAM cache.

For read cache memory: try to add more memory in your guest, they already do the job with their buffer cache

cache=writethrough or directsync can be also quite fast if you have a SAN or HW raid controller with battery backed cache.

Using qcow2 backed disks and either cache=directsync or writethrough can make things slower.


some interestings articles :

cache mode and fsync : http://www.ilsistemista.net/index.php/virtualization/23-kvm-storage-performance-and-cache-settings-on-red-hat-enterprise-linux-62.html?start=2

OS Specific

Windows

USB Tablet Device

Disabling the USB tablet device in windows VMs can reduce idle CPU usage and reduce context switches. This can be done on the GUI. You can use vmmouse to get the pointer in sync (load drivers inside your VM). [1]

Use raw disk image and not qcow2

Consider using raw image or partition for a partition, especially with Microsoft SQL database files because qcow2 can be very slow under such type of load.

Trace Flag T8038 with Microsoft SQL Server

Setting the trace flag -T8038 will drastically reduce the number of context switches when running SQL 2005 or 2008.

To change the trace flag:

  1. Open the SQL server Configuration Manager
  2. Open the properties for the SQL service typically named MSSQLSERVER
  3. Go to the advanced tab
  4. Append ;-T8038 to the end of the startup parameters option

For additional references see: Proxmox forum

Do not use the Virtio Balloon Driver

The Balloon driver has been a source of performance problems on Windows, you should avoid it. (see http://forum.proxmox.com/threads/20265-SOLVED-Hyper-Threading-vs-No-Hyper-Threading-Fixed-vs-Variable-Memory for the discussion thread)