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Performance Considerations

These items warrant consideration since they have potential for a negative impact to performance.

  • Preferred Guest Support
  • 64-bit Support
  • FBA-emulated SCSI DASD CPU Usage
  • TCP/IP VM IPv6 Performance

Preferred Guest Support

Starting with z/VM 5.1.0, z/VM no longer supports V=R and V=F guests. Accordingly, if you currently run with preferred guests and will be migrating to z/VM 5.1.0, you will need to estimate and plan for a likely increase in processor requirements as those preferred guests become V=V guests as part of the migration. Refer to Preferred Guest Migration Considerations for assistance and background information.

64-bit Support

z/VM 4.4.0 and earlier releases provided both 31-bit and 64-bit versions of CP. Starting with z/VM 5.1.0, only the 64-bit build is provided. This is not expected to result in any significant adverse performance effects because performance measurements have indicated that both builds have similar performance characteristics.

It is important to bear in mind that much of the code in the 64-bit build still runs in 31-bit mode and therefore requires that the data it uses to reside below the 2G line. This is usually not a problem. However, on very large systems this can result in degraded performance due to a high rate of pages being moved below 2G. For further background information, how to tell if this is a problem, and tuning suggestions, see Understanding Use of Memory below 2 GB .

FBA-emulation SCSI DASD CPU Usage

The FBA-emulation SCSI support provided by z/VM 5.1.0 is much less efficient than either dedicated Linux SCSI I/O or traditional ECKD DASD I/O. For example: CP CPU time required to do paging I/O to FBA-emulated SCSI devices is about 19-fold higher than the CP CPU time required to do paging I/O to ECKD devices. As another example, CP CPU time to do Linux file I/O using VM's FBA-emulation SCSI support is about ten-fold higher than doing the same I/O to SCSI devices that are dedicated to the Linux guest, while total CPU time is about twice as high. These impacts can be reduced in cases (such as in the second example) where minidisk caching can be used to reduce the number of real DASD I/Os that need to be issued. These performance effects should be taken into account when deciding appropriate use of the FBA-emulation SCSI support. See Emulated FBA on SCSI for measurement results and further discussion.

TCP/IP VM IPv6 Performance

Measurement results indicate that there are some cases where performance can be degraded when communicating between TCP/IP VM stack virtual machines using Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), or using IPv4 over IPv6-capable devices, as compared to IPv4. The most unfavorable cases were observed for bulk data transfer across a Gigabit Ethernet connection using an MTU size of 1492. For those cases, throughput decreased by 10% to 25% while CPU usage increased by 10% to 40%. For VM Guest LAN (QDIO simulation), throughput and CPU usage were within 3% of IPv4 for all measured cases. See Internet Protocol Version 6 Support for measurement results.

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