VCSA 6.0 under the covers

The home lab is pretty small (32GB ram between two hosts) so being able to reduce the overhead of software/virtual machines allows me to get the most use out of the limited resources. The upgrade to vSphere 6 recently brought with it the updated vCenter virtual appliance that has new requirements for it’s use cases (tiny/medium/large). Also in the changes was the use of dynamic memory allocation detailed by William Lam here, introducing more gotchas whilst trying to tailor the VCSA deployment.

I decided to see what I could do to get my VCSA 6 to use a more conservative 4GB of ram, which had always been OK for VCSA 5.5. After enabling shell access and having a poke around I could see that the second largest utiliser of memory inside the VCSA was the vmware-vdcs process, which was the VMware Content Library process.

chkconfig vmware-vdcs off

This immediately shaved off around 1GB of ram utilisation, so a quick test had my vCenter running happily at around 4.5GB allocated (minimal swapping during the VMware services starting.

 

 

Examining what remains..

 

VCSA memory

 

I’ve taken the output from my modified VCSA 6.0 (reduced to 4.5GB) through the top command and then graphed it so that it’s easy to examine what is left. Note: The other processes mainly consisted of postgres handlers and vmware-vws processes, and the appliance had been up for 12 hours at which point memory utilisation had settled down and was actually around 3.8Gb.

As shown below:

 

vc:~ # free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem:         4465  4245 220  56     21      406
-/+ buffers/cache: 3817 648
Swap:         26619 434 26185

 Remaining processes (Identified as VMware processes)

vmware-cis-license

VMware CIS License Service

vmware-cm

VMware Component Manager

vmware-eam

 VMware ESX Agent Manager

vmware-invsvc

 VMware Inventory Service

vmware-mbcs

 VMware Message Bus Config Service

vmware-netdumper

 VMware network core dump server

vmware-perfcharts

 VMware Performance Charts Service

vmware-rbd-watchdog

vmware-rhttpproxy

 VMware Reverse Proxy

vmware-sca

VMware Service Control Agent

vmware-sps

VMware vSphere Profile-Driven Storage Service

vmware-sts-idmd

vmware-stsd

VMWare Security Token Service (jsvc process)

vmware-syslog

VMware Syslog Service

vmware-syslog-health

VMware Common Logging Service

vmware-vapi-endpoint

VMware vAPI Endpoint

vmware-vdcs

VMware Content Library Service

vmware-vpx-workflow

VMware vCenter workflow engine

vmware-vpxd

VMware vCenter server

vmware-vsm

VMware vService Manager

vmware-vws

VMware Server Health Service

vsphere-client

VMware vSphere Web Client

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