ESXi for arm

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mad_ady
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ESXi for arm

Post by mad_ady »

Well, apparently Vmware may be releasing on arm in the future as well: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2020/1 ... fling.html
Seems like a certain fruity board with 8G or ram is supported...
Not sure how big.Little architectures play with vmware...

crashoverride
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by crashoverride »

FTFA:
Once up and running, the ESXi-Arm Fling can be managed by vCenter Server 7.0 or newer.
It has always been my dream to purchase a $7,472.00 USD product to manage a fruity board. Now I can!
[^ sarcasm]

:P

superpowter77
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by superpowter77 »

Good to know that. Downloading now...
It also works on the HoneyComb LX2K, too bad it costs $750 for a 16-core 2.0Ghz ARM SBC.
https://flings.vmware.com/esxi-arm-edition#requirements
https://shop.solid-run.com/product-cate ... honeycomb/

igorpec
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by igorpec »

There is small problem: "All we need is SystemReady ES firmware aka UEFI + ACPI"
https://twitter.com/WhatAintInside/stat ... 2848323584

Since UEFI on RPi is already highly questionable / experimental, also on Honeycomb ... all this is nothing more then a POC and a free viral promotion for expensive propriatery software. And making Rpi video player looking like a god ...
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brad
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by brad »

UEFI should be working with uboot and armv8 "should" support ACPI but if it works I have no idea (EFI certainly does to load grub2).

As for licensing it's an experimental fling at the moment so no payment required just accepting the terms and conditions and not likely to become production ready any time soon. At this stage they are really looking for feedback and seeing what use cases might be out there (as per the fling)

I use vSphere and vCentre extensively at work and already licensed so I am keen to give this a try but I'm sure I will encounter a few problems along the way.

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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by mad_ady »

The main issue seems to be ESXi was designed for big servers with lots of memory. It seems it needs 4GB of RAM just to boot. But in the future it might be viable for businesses to run some workloads on arm.

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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by igorpec »

mad_ady wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:55 pm
The main issue seems to be ESXi was designed for big servers with lots of memory. It seems it needs 4GB of RAM just to boot. But in the future it might be viable for businesses to run some workloads on arm.
Exactly. This is enterprise grade software for exterprise grade hardware with hundreds of GB of memory, many PCI lines, many storage options, fast networking. This topic is related to Ampere https://amperecomputing.com Marvell ThunderX2 Amazon ARM chips and you-name-it ARM server stuff ... while Rpi is jsut a toy and Honnycomb just a desktop class hardware.
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mad_ady
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by mad_ady »

But having "toys" to play with exposes the technology to more people, who can then recommend it in the datacenter.

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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by brad »

That's it it may not be too long before I might be able to recommend it for our datacentre, there are quiet a few arm chips out there now that allow more processing power per KW of electricity in a more dense form. I don't think it will be that far away before SOC vendors start releasing 8+ cores with 8+ GB RAM suitable for low cost SBC's and arm software support is on the improve with Linux and enterprise grade OS's. This thing is a beast https://www.anandtech.com/show/15575/am ... e-and-xeon

igorpec
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by igorpec »

mad_ady wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 5:22 pm
But having "toys" to play with exposes the technology to more people, who can then recommend it in the datacenter.
Your x86 desktop is much better to toy with this.
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by brad »

igorpec wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:33 pm
Your x86 desktop is much better to toy with this.
I think the point here is toying with aarch64 hosts and guests to see how the technology works on the new platform.

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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by mad_ady »

Yeah - I'd like to see how VMotion works between an x86 and an arm64 :P (kidding)

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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by igorpec »

brad wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:56 pm
igorpec wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:33 pm
Your x86 desktop is much better to toy with this.
I think the point here is toying with aarch64 hosts and guests to see how the technology works on the new platform.
Yes, but from the application point of view, arhitecture plays no role.
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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by crashoverride »

I recently switched from using a x86 system to ODROID N2+ to build (compile) software for GO-Advance. The time savings was more than substantial. Someone should really publish the data on how dramatic the time saving is (and energy savings as the x86 system effectively became a space heater). The key is that I am not able to cross-compile so the x86 required a VM environment that emulated an AArch64 processor with qemu.

Based on my personal experience, there is certainly cause for data-centers to adopt AArch64. I just don't see a 'fruity board' providing any justification. They are too slow, over heat, and have laughably slow DRAM. The N2+ has none of these issues.

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Re: ESXi for arm

Post by brad »

igorpec wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:28 am
Yes, but from the application point of view, arhitecture plays no role.
The applications are the test really be they compiled for arm or x86 they need to be passed through using virtualization on both architectures. I'm interested to see how well aarch can cope with with live vmotion's or RAM or storage, how well the snapshotting works and how well ha failover to another cluster would work. Sure the SBC's have limited network capacity for network / storage but testing these functions is the starting point.

In the datacentres I administer we have many different types of guests and many of the workloads would be suited to arm cores but definitely not all. The dramatic reduction in power consumption alone is a good reason to consider such a move for these workloads in the future. some armv8x server SOC's also already support huge number of pci 4.0 lanes and high frequency DRAM so bandwidth in and out of the SOC is already ahead of current Intel technology in that regard which would seem to make these suitable for demanding IO, network, or high end GPU interfaces.
crashoverride wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:27 am
I recently switched from using a x86 system to ODROID N2+ to build (compile) software for GO-Advance. The time savings was more than substantial. Someone should really publish the data on how dramatic the time saving is (and energy savings as the x86 system effectively became a space heater). The key is that I am not able to cross-compile so the x86 required a VM environment that emulated an AArch64 processor with qemu.

Based on my personal experience, there is certainly cause for data-centers to adopt AArch64. I just don't see a 'fruity board' providing any justification. They are too slow, over heat, and have laughably slow DRAM. The N2+ has none of these issues.
Interesting you mention this, cross compiling Chromium for arm64 on amd64 has caused me nothing but problems (although i'm not using qemu for most of it). I've moved to doing this on arm64 Odroid N2. My Intel produces significant heat during the compile where as the N2 remains relatively cool in comparison. Also it does not tie up my expensive Intel's (or part of them) or force me to pay for cloud compute. Even the Odroid H2 (x64) gets much hotter doing a cross compile. RAM is my restriction for arm SBC at the moment so I need to consider if I actually want to go out and purchase Rpi 4's with only 4 cores which would then be the limitation. In the meantime swap suffices when the compile actually needs the additional RAM (usually at the end of compilation when everything is merged into the one binary)

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