Eco4Cloud Wokload Consolidation rightsizing your VMware clusters
Michele "Mike" Lorusso | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated February 10, 2016

Eco4Cloud Wokload Consolidation rightsizing your VMware clusters

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Eco4Cloud Workload Consolidation

Eco4Cloud is being used by our VMware Competence Center in all our VMware farms. The clusters in these farms are generally based on a number of servers that is usually higher than the number of hosts actually needed to run the hosted workloads. Eco4Cloud evaluates the total workload of each cluster and determines if there's a chance of emptying one or more hosts. It then instructs vCenter to vMotion the VMs on the least number of hosts and then tells vCenter to put the empty hosts in stand-by mode. When first installed, Eco4Cloud turned off as much as 20% of our hosts, obtaining an interesting reduction in power consumption. It also caused a delay in our hardware investments because we then directed our new workloads to the clusters that had more that one host in stand-by. When we finally needed to buy new servers and created new clusters, Eco4Cloud kept only two hosts running in each new cluster until we added workloads that caused a third host to start and so on with the following servers.
  • It consolidates workloads in VMware clusters using an algorithm that seems to work better than VMware DRS. It keeps headroom for workload peaks and to withstand the number of host failures set for the cluster in vCenter.
  • If the workload is very variable, Eco4Cloud will not continuously turn a host on and off but it will settle to keep the host running. It sort of "rightsizes" the cluster keeping only the right number of hosts running. This is another main difference when comparing Eco4Cloud with VMware DRS/DPM which strictly follows the workload and sometimes isn't fast enough in turning on the hosts when the workload is ramping-up.
  • To do a good job Eco4Cloud needs to analyze the hosts and the VMs. Therefore, the troubleshooting component of Eco4Cloud can figure out if there are problems in the configuration of the hosts (e.g. vMotion settings). It can also determine if a VM is stuck and can't vMotion (e.g. using the physical CD-ROM) or if it's oversized or undersized.
  • Something Eco4Cloud has and others don't is a technology named Smart Ballooning. With Smart Ballooning Eco4Cloud recovers unused RAM from the VMs and gives it back to the host way before the host goes over the 94% RAM threshold. This allows us to reach higher levels of overbooking.
  • It would be useful to have a version that works with OpenStack.
  • It should be made compatible with VMware VSAN.
  • It would be useful to have a version that works with hybrid clouds using the new "vMotion anywhere" or share nothing vMotion feature.
  • Eco4Cloud causes a reduction in power consumption both on old VMware clusters and especially on new ones.
  • It also causes a delay in CapEx investments because you buy more hosts only when really needed.
We compared the consolidation feature and we obtained exactly the same amount of servers in stand-by. The main difference was that Eco4Cloud turned off the unneeded hosts in 2 days while VMTurbo Operations Manager required one day per host. This behavior is caused by the different algorithms implemented by these two products.
Compared to Eco4Cloud, VMware DRS/DPM was very aggressive (we tried it in vSphere 5.0). We haven't tested it with vSphere 6 yet.
Eco4Cloud is well suited in VMware farms that have standard VM deployments, especially with small VMs, with nothing blocking vMotion and hardware fully compatible with IPMI 2.0 (minimum). It doesn't work well if many VMs are nodes in a Microsoft cluster because they would be unmovable and therefore their host would never be put in stand-by mode. If every host in the cluster has at least one guest VM that is a node of a Microsoft cluster, no host in the cluster will ever be put in stand-by mode.