Evaluating Intel Virtualization Technology FlexMigration with Multi-generation Intel® Multi-core and Intel® Dual-core Xeon® Processors.

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    In today’s data centers, live migration is a required technology for building an agile, dynamic data center based on server  virtualization.  It  has  not  been  possible,  however,  to  perform  successful  live migration  between  servers based  on  different  generations  of  processors,  each  with  different  instruction  sets.  This  limited  our  ability  to implement  large resource pools, creating  islands of servers and hindering the  implementation of advanced data center capabilities.

    Intel Virtualization Technology FlexMigration  (Intel VT FlexMigration) assist and VMware’s* Enhanced VMotion* are designed to overcome this limitation by enabling all servers to expose the same instruction set to applications, even  if  they are based on different processor generations  from a single CPU supplier.  In  this case study we will showcase how these technologies allows enterprises to re-use and scale their existing resource pools by adding higher performing power efficient servers into the pool.

    In  this  PoC, we  created  an  enterprise  reporting  application workload  representative  of  IT workloads. We  then tested a variety of manual  live migrations between host  servers based on 3 generations of  Intel® Core™ micro architecture with  different  instruction  sets  [Intel® microarchitecture,  formerly  codenamed Merom:SSE3,  Intel® microarchitecture,  formerly  codenamed  Penryn:SSE4.1,  Intel®  microarchitecture,  formerly  codenamed Nehalem:SSE4.2]. All migrations completed successfully without any failures in the workload.