Can you install Cognos Planning on a Virtual Machine?


Can you install Cognos Planning on a Virtual Machine and what are the downsides?


You should NOT deploy Cognos Planning in a production VM environment.

The goal of hardware virtualization is to consolidate servers and leverage all the CPU cycles of idle computers in the back office. This is achieved through running multiple virtual machines on the same physical server. For the outside world, this looks like separate servers. Within Cognos Planning, there are certain data processing/management functions that require 100% of the CPU cycles of any server involved in this process.

Because of this requirement, the benefits of hardware virtualization are stripped away. The overhead involved in simply running the virtualization software can be significant, as much as 30%!! for both CPU and I/O.

Cognos Planning will run in this environment, but there is a noticeable performance degradation in every operation used by end-users and administrators.


Just so you know, I am not a huge fan of running IBM Cognos Planning (or any other IBM Cognos products) within a Virtual environment, for anything other than testing and educational purposes. However, with the latest server technologies and a correctly configured and load balanced Virtual Host setup many customers are getting satisfactory performance with this kind of setup. Even in production.

I have written a Blog entry with further detail inside, I will link this at the bottom, just be aware, VM works well for many customers, it does not mean it will work well for everybody. There are many factors to consider such as model size, number of users, number of Virtual machines in your configuration etc.

Some 50% of the installations I have completed this year have been on VMware and only a handful have required the addition of physical machines at a later date.

Here is the blog entry for further reading… I hope its of some use.