I have recently been running performance tests with zones on several Sun
servers. (280's and 880's), 2 CPU and 8CPUs respectively.
On my 280 servers (2CPU machines), I installed and booted 3 zones and I get
poor performance on across the network (400Mbps). I only transfer data at 80%
of what I can in the global zone with no zones installed or booted (where I
measured 550Mbps). That is a 20% difference in performance. I tested with the
opensource tool called IPERF.
I originally thought that zones were causing my problems so I decided to move
to another type of hardware, a V880 (8 CPU) machine. When I ran my performance
tests again with 3 zones installed and booted I saw <1% overhead in the network
compared to running in the global zone with no zones installed or booted. Both
of the 880 tests ran around 860 Mbps throughput with less then 1% difference
between several scripted tests.
Can anyone explain why I see this? Both servers have gigabit NICs installed.
The only thing I can think of is that the backplane on the servers in a
bottleneck for the small 280 servers. But how could this (or something else in
the kernel space) be causing the symptoms I see above?
Any comments would be helpfull,
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