Virtual Machine Optimization Software for a Global Virtualization Vendor

  • Custom VM optimization tools compatible with different virtualization platforms
  • Storage reclamation solution to reduce the footprint size of desktop virtual systems
  • Improved visibility of VM storage and increased VM performance
Expertise
Business Intelligence
Verticals
ISV

Iflexion delivered optimization tools for Windows and Linux virtual machines (VM) and storage reclamation software.

  • C++
  • C#
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Microsfot .NET Framework
  • VMWare
Calendar
6
Duration
Months
Gears
224
Efforts
Person-months

Customer

One of the pioneers in the virtualization area, our Customer delivers virtual machine software and virtualization services. Previously, the company had already collaborated with Iflexion on designing and developing the first version of the virtualization software.

This time the Customer turned to Iflexion to develop a set of new solutions, including VM optimization tools compatible with various virtualization platforms and storage reclamation software that would reduce the footprint size of desktop virtual systems.

Challenge

Prior to the project start, the Customer had been successfully running a desktop hypervisor solution, VMware Workstation. This virtual machine software enabled users to backup and share their virtual machines, as well as optimize their operation. It also allowed for decreasing the size of a virtual machine by 40-50% and enhancing its performance by removing temporary or unused system files and optimizing the disk image structure.

Thus, the project’s key goal was to apply similar optimization principles to VMware ESX Server and enable partition resizing of the low-level disk data structures. This would provide system administrators with the opportunity to dynamically change the footprint size of each virtual machine.

Besides, as the hardware for ESX servers is quite expensive, the solution also had to reduce operating costs by empowering users to reclaim necessary space from already allocated VMs.

Solution

Provided with the necessary experience of developing custom virtual machine software, Iflexion delivered a solution that combined optimization tools for Windows and Linux virtual machines and storage reclamation software.

The delivered solutions allow VM administrators to achieve several important goals:

  • Improving the visibility of the total amount and value of over-allocated VM storage.
  • Reclaiming wasted VM storage (shrink VMDKs) and re-using it for storage-demanding applications and business units.
  • Automating the up and down resizing of VMs to minimize storage administration time.
  • Preventing VM outages caused by storage unavailability.

Increasing VM Input/Output performance by 9% - 13% through carrying out partition alignments of 64K storage blocks.

VM Optimization

The designed solutions have the following capabilities:

  • Enabling users to optimize tasks scheduling and tracking, enabling multithreading, as well as leveraging reporting tools and setting up email notifications. The system allows for using built-in and adding custom VM optimization rules, for example, removing temporary files or cleaning up Windows Installer cache. Either a single or several ESX servers attached to VMware Virtual Center can be subject to optimization.
  • Performing all-round system optimization. For example, Partition Resize Tool runs in the Server Console environment of ESX servers and resizes NTFS, FAT, EXT file systems and MBR/GPT partitions. At the same time, VM Optimizer Tool cleans up a VM by removing temporary data.
  • Getting read-write access to disk image files (like regular file system volumes), which is required for Windows guest OS optimizations.

Results

Today a great number of companies successfully use the virtual machine software that helps them eliminate work redundancies and improve their virtual infrastructure performance. The product proved its efficiency and importance to the market and was nominated for “the pioneer technology solution” at VMworld.

Iflexion’s developers achieved positive outcomes owing to a number of factors, such as:

  • Domain expertise. Iflexion’s team applied their previous experience in custom software development and virtual machine optimization software, which enabled the specialists to design required tools in a short timeframe.
  • Mature and pro-active management processes allowed Iflexion to complete the project in line with time and budget limits. Flexible development processes allowed us to easily adjust them to the Customer’s needs.
  • Proven solutions. To decrease development costs, we turned to technically proven solutions using already existing stable software components.
  • Scalable architecture. The component-based product architecture is highly scalable and open for future enhancements, which enables the Customer to further extend their tools functionality if needed.
  • Unit testing. The core system components had a set of built-in tests that can run automatically once new features are deployed. This enables system administrators to check up the system operability and detect inconsistencies quickly.
  • Usability focus. Clear and convenient interface ensures that the ready tools are easy to use and manage.

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