Virtualizing Microsoft Business Critical Applications on VMware vSphere


Best practices, guidance, and tips for virtualizing Microsoft® business critical applications on the VMware vSphere® platform

By virtualizing Microsoft’s enterprise applications on vSphere, you can drive down costs while migrating toward flexible, low-cost private cloud architectures. This unique guidebook bridges the gap between the Microsoft and VMware worlds, bringing together the deep knowledge, cutting-edge best practices, and practical ...

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Virtualizing Microsoft Business Critical Applications on VMware vSphere

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Best practices, guidance, and tips for virtualizing Microsoft® business critical applications on the VMware vSphere® platform

By virtualizing Microsoft’s enterprise applications on vSphere, you can drive down costs while migrating toward flexible, low-cost private cloud architectures. This unique guidebook bridges the gap between the Microsoft and VMware worlds, bringing together the deep knowledge, cutting-edge best practices, and practical techniques you need to succeed.

Leading experts Matt Liebowitz and Alex Fontana present end-to-end coverage of virtualizing Windows Server 2012 AD domain controllers and failover clusters, Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server 2012, and SharePoint Server 2013. They offer indispensable advice on sizing, architecture, performance, availability, monitoring, and metrics.

Throughout, the authors share valuable tips, tricks, and insights from their own experiences. For each Microsoft application, they provide "proof of concept" sample configurations and clearly explain how new features impact virtualization. You’ll also find authoritative, up-to-date guidance on licensing and other issues related to ensuring full support from both Microsoft and VMware.

Coverage includes

• Evaluating the benefits, risks, and challenges of virtualizing Microsoft business critical applications

• Identifying strategies for success associated with people, processes, and technology

• Reviewing VMware vSphere features most important to virtualizing business-critical applications

• Taking advantage of new virtualization-aware features built in to Windows Server 2012 domain controllers

• Designing and configuring vSphere High Availability (vSphere HA) clusters to run Windows enterprise applications

• Reflecting Exchange Server 2013’s new architecture to maximize its performance in virtualized environments

• Leveraging new SQL Server 2012 features to simplify the delivery of high availability on virtual servers

• Reducing SQL Server 2012 licensing costs through virtualization

• Planning, designing, and deploying virtualized SharePoint Server 2013 environments

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321912039
  • Publisher: VMware Press
  • Publication date: 8/23/2013
  • Series: VMware Press Technology Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Liebowitz is currently an advisory solution architect at EMC Consulting with a focus on virtualizing business critical applications. He has been working as a consultant and architect for more than 12 years and has been working with VMware’s virtualization technology since 2002. Matt has written virtualization articles in several industry publications, has presented on virtualization at conferences and at his local VMware user group, and has been a blogger on the topic since 2009. Matt also worked with VMware to create content for their Virtualizing Business Critical Applications competency for VMware’s partners and customers.

Matt is very honored to have been named a VMware vExpert each year since 2010, as well as an EMC Elect in 2013. He also holds numerous industry certifications from VMware and Microsoft. Matt maintains a VMware virtualization-focused blog at, is a frequent contributor to the VMware Technology Network (VMTN), and is active on Twitter at @mattliebowitz.

When Matt is not out trying to save the world through virtualization, he’s happily playing with his two young kids, Tyler (3) and Kaitlyn (1), and spending time with his wife, Joann.

Alex Fontana is currently a solutions architect in VMware’s Global Center of Excellence. During his eight years at VMware, Alex has focused on the virtualization of business critical Microsoft applications for both VMware IT and external customers. In his current role, Alex helps VMware customers to be successful in virtualizing Microsoft applications by conducting technical workshops and authoring technical documentation and blogs. Alex has been a recurring speaker at VMworld since 2008 and VMware Partner Exchange since 2010, and is a frequent contributor to the VMware Technology Network (VMTN).

When Alex is not busy writing, working with a customer, or trying to break something in the lab, he can be found at the nearest golf course, on a snow-covered mountain, at a San Francisco Giants game, or in the backyard smoking various cuts of meat. Alex lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Laura, and three kids, Joseph, Sissy, and Sergio.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Chapter 1 Introduction to Virtualizing Business Critical Applications 1

What Are Business Critical Applications? 2

Why Virtualize Business Critical Applications? 3

Benefits 3

Risks, Challenges, and Common Objections of Virtualizing Business Critical Applications 11

Performance 11

Supportability 14

Management 15

Reliability 16

Security Risks 17

Complacency 19

Chapter 2 Strategies for Success 23

Understanding People, Process, and Technology 24

People 24

Process 25

Technology 27

Capacity Planning Assessments 30

VMware Capacity Planner 30

Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 44

Strategies for Success 60

Capacity Planning 60

Develop a Virtualization-First Policy 61

Understand Licensing Requirements 61

Application Silos 62

Virtualizing “Like for Like” 64

Timing Is Key 65

Enterprise Management and Monitoring 66

vCenter Operations Management Suite 66

Chapter 3 Overview of VMware vSphere 73

Why vSphere for Business Critical Applications 74

Proven Performance 74

Efficiency and Scalability 75

Availability 76

vSphere Considerations for Business Critical Applications 77

Processor Virtualization 78

Memory 84

Storage 87

Networking 93

Chapter 4 Virtualizing Windows Server 2012 Domain Controllers 99

Introduction to Active Directory 100

What’s New in Windows Server 2012 Active Directory Domain Services 101

Benefits of Virtualizing Domain Controllers 104

Why Virtualize Domain Controllers? 104

Virtualizing Windows Server 2012 Domain Controllers 108

Virtualized Domain Controller Sizing 108

Time Synchronization 116

Verifying Functionality 124

vSphere Configuration 128

Virtualizing All Domain Controllers 131

Windows Server 2012 Virtualization-Aware Safeguards 132

A Brief History of Virtualized Domain Controller Risks 132

VM-GenerationID 134

Domain Controller Cloning 137

Virtualized Domain Controller Backup 143

Virtualized Domain Controller Deployment 144

Prepare the Virtual Machine 144

Install AD DS 146

Promote to a Domain Controller 148

Chapter 5 Virtualizing Windows Failover Clusters 155

Background 155

Defining High-Availability Requirements 157

What Does High Availability Mean to You? 157

Determining Availability Requirements 159

High-Availability Capabilities 161

VMware vSphere High Availability 162

vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduling 163

vSphere Fault Tolerance 164

Going All-In with vSphere High Availability 165

Windows Failover Clustering on vSphere 167

Cluster Configuration Overview 167

Requirements for Windows Failover Clustering 170

Deploying a Windows Failover Cluster on a vSphere Cluster 172

Setting Up a Windows Failover Cluster on vSphere 172

Building the Cluster Nodes 172

Configuring the Virtual Machines 174

Chapter 6 Virtualizing Exchange Server 2013 193

What’s New in Exchange 2013 194

Consolidated Server Roles 194

Additional Features of Exchange 2013 200

Support for Virtualizing Exchange 2013 205

Understanding Support Requirements 206

Exchange 2013 Sizing on vSphere 208

Exchange Design Elements 209

Virtual Machine Design 211

Application of the Compute Requirements to the Virtual Platform 219

Virtualizing Database Availability Groups 222

The Evolution of Exchange Clustering 222

Exchange DAG Versus Traditional Clustering on vSphere 222

Considerations for Virtualizing Exchange DAG 223

Backup and Recovery of Virtualized Exchange Servers 232

Exchange 2013 Deployment 234

Configure vSphere Network 235

Build the Virtual Machines 248

Create DRS Groups and Rules 260

Configure DAG Heartbeat Threshold 267

Chapter 7 Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 273

What’s New in SQL Server 2012? 274

Availability 274

Editions 275

Scalability 276

Performance 277

Why Virtualize SQL Server 2012? 278

Consolidation 279

High Availability with Less Complexity 281

Scalability on Demand 282

Faster Provisioning 282

Preparing for Virtualizing SQL Server 2012 283

SQL Server Capacity Planning 283

SQL Licensing 290

SQL Upgrade Advisor 298

Virtualize Microsoft SQL Server 2012 301

High Availability 302

Allocating CPU to SQL Server Workloads 309

Allocating Memory to SQL Server Workloads 311

Allocating Storage to SQL Server Workloads 317

Allocating Network to SQL Server Workloads 322

Balancing SQL Server Workloads 323

SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer 324

Enforcing SQL Server Licensing with vSphere DRS Rules 325

Performance Testing 328

Backing Up SQL Server Virtual Machines 329

Adjusting Cluster Heartbeat Settings 330

SQL as a Service 332

Deploying SQL Server 2012 337

Deploy Virtual Machines 338

Configure Failover Clustering 340

Install SQL Server 2012 342

Create AlwaysOn Availability Group 344

AlwaysOn Availability Group Dashboard 349

Monitoring SQL Server Virtual Machines 351

Chapter 8 Virtualizing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 355

What’s New in SharePoint 2013 356

Deployment Flexibility 357

Distributed Cache 357

Disk I/O Improvements 358

SharePoint Database Improvements 359

Improved Reliability 359

Why Virtualize SharePoint 2013 360

Increased Efficiency 360

Rapid Provisioning 361

Fast and Dynamic Scaling 361

Increased Availability 362

Co-Location of Test and Development Environments 363

Simplified Disaster Recovery 364

Preparing for Virtualizing SharePoint Server 2013 365

Server Roles 366

High Availability for SharePoint Server 370

SharePoint Server Load Testing 372

Virtualizing SharePoint Server 2013 375

Allocating CPU to SharePoint Server Workloads 376

Allocating Memory to SharePoint Server Workloads 377

Allocating Storage to SharePoint Server Workloads 379

Allocating Network to SharePoint Server Workloads 380

Ongoing Performance Monitoring 381

Deploying SharePoint Server 2013 384

SharePoint Server Prerequisites 386

Installing SharePoint Server 2013 389

Configuring SharePoint Server 2013 390

Protecting SharePoint Server Databases with AlwaysOn Availability Groups 393

9780321912039 TOC 7/2/2013

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