What You Need to Make the Right Design Decisions

vSphere is the most robust and sophisticated hypervisor product available today. It is the de facto standard for businesses, both large and small. This book—written for engineers and architects who plan, install, maintain, and optimize vSphere solutions—is the only one of its kind to concisely explain how to execute a successful vSphere architecture that's tailored to meet your company's needs. ...

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VMware vSphere Design

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What You Need to Make the Right Design Decisions

vSphere is the most robust and sophisticated hypervisor product available today. It is the de facto standard for businesses, both large and small. This book—written for engineers and architects who plan, install, maintain, and optimize vSphere solutions—is the only one of its kind to concisely explain how to execute a successful vSphere architecture that's tailored to meet your company's needs. Expert authors share with you the factors that shape the design of a vSphere implementation.

Which storage protocol is best for you? Should you build your vCenter as a virtual machine? Design your storage for capacity or for performance? This new updated edition reveals the design decisions that most companies face, explores the available options, discusses solutions—then helps you make the right choices. In addition to Datacenter Virtualization, this book also examines vCloud Director deployments.

Packed with real-world proven strategies, it's the perfect guide for deploying a new design or transforming an existing one. Inside, you'll explore:

  • The fundamentals of designing VMware environments
  • The overall design process
  • Key things to consider, such as server hardware selection and sizing, security, virtual machine templates, and more
  • How networking and storage landscapes impact vSphere design
  • Design decisions that a typical company encounters, taking into consideration availability, manageability, performance, recoverability, and security
  • Designing VMware vCloud Director environments
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118493946
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/6/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 626,121
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Forbes Guthrie, VCAP-DCD, (tweet @forbesguthrie) is a technical architect who specializes in virtualization and storage technologies. He is also a VMware vExpert and the creator of several popular virtualization reference cards. Forbes blogs at www.vReference.com. Scott Lowe, VCDX 39, (tweet @scott_lowe) is a technical architect at VMware. Scott is a VMware vExpert and the author of Mastering VMware vSphere 5. Scott also writes at blog.scottlowe.org, which attracts thousands of visitors daily.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xxi

Chapter 1 • An Introduction to Designing VMware Environments 1

What Is Design? 1

The Facets of vSphere Design 5

The Technical Facet 6

The Organizational Facet 7

The Operational Facet 8

The Principles of Design 9

Availability 9

Manageability 10

Performance 10

Recoverability 10

Security 11

The Process of Design 11

Gathering and Defining Functional Requirements 11

Assessing the Environment 13

Performing a Gap Analysis 14

Assembling the Design 15

Documenting the Design 16

Performing the Implementation 17

Summary 17

Chapter 2 • The ESXi Hypervisor 19

Evolution of the vSphere Hypervisor 19

The ESXi Concept 21

ESXi Design 22

ESXi Components 22

ESXi Agents 23

ESXi System Image 24

ESXi Customized Images 25

ESXi Disk Layout 27

Tardisks and Ramdisks 29

ESXi Deployment 29

Hardware Requirements 29

ESXi Flavors: Installable, Embedded, and Stateless 29

Auto Deploy Infrastructure 36

Comparing Deployments Options 38

Upgrading ESXi 41

Migrating from ESX 42

Testing 42

Deployment 43

Management 44

Postinstallation Design Options 45

Management Tools Overview 51

Host-Management Tools 51

Centralized Management Tools 54

Hardware Monitoring 56

Logging 57

Summary 58

Chapter 3 • The Management Layer 59

Reviewing the Components of the Management Layer 59

VMware vCenter Server 59

vSphere Client and vSphere Web Client 62

vSphere Update Manager 63

Management Applications 64

Examining Key Management Layer Design Decisions 69

Virtual or Physical vCenter Server? 70

vCenter Server on Windows or vCenter Server Appliance? 72

Local or Remote Database Server? 73

Which Operating System for vCenter Server? 75

Creating the Management Layer Design 76

Availability 76

Manageability 82

Performance 86

Recoverability 92

Security 92

Summary 94

Chapter 4 • Server Hardware 95

Hardware Considerations 95

Factors in Selecting Hardware 96

Computing Needs 99

Server Constraints 101

Differentiating among Vendors 104

Server Components 106

CPU 107

RAM 110

NUMA 117

Motherboard 118

Storage 118

Network 119

PCI 119

Preparing the Server 121

Configuring the BIOS 122

Other Hardware Settings 122

Burn-in 123

Preproduction Checks 123

Scale-Up vs Scale-Out 123

Advantages of Scaling Up 125

Advantages of Scaling Out 126

Scaling Is a Matter of Perspective 127

Risk Assessment 127

Choosing the Right Size 128

CPU to Memory Design Ratio 129

Sizing the Hosts 130

Blade Servers vs Rack Servers 131

Blade Servers 132

Rack Servers 135

Form-Factor Conclusions 136

Alternative Hardware Approaches 136

Cloud Computing 136

Converged Hardware 138

Summary 139

Chapter 5 • Designing Your Network 141

Examining Key Network Components 141

Physical Connectivity 142

Network Traffic Types 142

Software Components 144

Exploring Factors Influencing the Network Design 144

Physical Switch Support 145

vSwitches and Distributed vSwitches 152

IP-Based Storage 154

10Gb Ethernet 156

I/O Virtualization 158

SR-IOV and DirectPath I/O 159

Server Architecture 160

Crafting the Network Design 161

Availability 161

Manageability 168

Performance 171

Recoverability 173

Security 174

Design Scenarios 177

Two NICs 177

Four NICs 178

Six NICs 178

Eight NICs 179

Looking to the Future 180

Summary 180

Chapter 6 • Storage  181

Dimensions of Storage Design 181

Storage Design Factors 182

Storage Efficiency 183

vSphere Storage Features 186

Designing for Capacity 186

RAID Options 187

Estimating Capacity Requirements 189

VMFS Capacity Limits 190

Large or Small Datastores? 191

Thin Provisioning 193

Data Deduplication 195

Array Compression 196

Downside of Saving Space 197

Designing for Performance 197

Measuring Storage Performance 197

How to Calculate a Disk’s IOPS 197

What Can Affect a Storage Array’s IOPS? 198

Measuring Your Existing IOPS Usage 206

Local Storage vs Shared Storage 207

Local Storage 207

What about Local Shared Storage? 209

Shared Storage 212

Choosing a Protocol 212

Fibre Channel 215

iSCSI 218

NFS 221

Protocol Choice 224

Multipathing 225

SAN Multipathing 225

NAS Multipathing 229

vSphere Storage Features 229

vSphere Storage APIs 230

Performance and Capacity 233

Storage Management 242

Summary 247

Chapter 7 • Virtual Machines 249

Components of a Virtual Machine 249

Base Virtual Machine Hardware 251

Hardware Versions 251

Virtual Machine Maximums 253

Hardware Choices 253

Removing or Disabling Unused Hardware 259

Virtual Machine Options 259

SDRS Rules 263

vApp Options 263

vServices 263

Naming Virtual Machines 263

VMware Tools 264

Notes, Custom Attributes, and Tagging 264

Sizing Virtual Machines 265

Virtual Machine CPU Design 265

Cores per Socket 267

CPU Hot Plug 267

Resources 268

Additional CPU Settings 269

Virtual Machine Memory Design 270

Resources 271

Additional Memory Settings 272

Virtual Machine Storage Design 272

Disks 273

Disk Types 274

Disk Shares and IOPS Limits 275

Disk Modes 275

SCSI Controllers 276

RDMs 277

Storage vMotion 279

Cross-Host vMotion 279

VM Storage Profile 280

Virtual Machine Network Design 280

vNIC Drivers 281

MAC Addresses 284

VLAN Tagging 284

Guest Software 285

Selecting an OS 285

Guest OS and Application Licensing 286

Disk Alignment 287

Defragmentation 288

Optimizing the Guest for the Hypervisor 289

Clones, Templates, and vApps 291

Clones 291

Templates 292

Preparing a Template 293

Virtual Appliances 294

OVF Standard 295

vApps 295

Virtual Machine Availability 295

vSphere VM Availability 296

Third-Party VM Clustering 298

vCenter Infrastructure Navigator 302

Summary 303

Chapter 8 • Datacenter Design 305

vSphere Inventory Structure 305

Inventory Root 306

Folders 307

Datacenters 307

Clusters 309

Resource Pools 309

Hosts 309

Virtual Machines 309

Templates 309

Storage 309

Networks 310

Why and How to Structure 310

Clusters 311

EVC 313

Swapfile Policy 313

Cluster Sizing 314

Resource Pools 315

Resource Pool Settings 317

Admission Control 319

Distributed Resource Scheduling 319

Load Balancing 319

Affinity Rules 324

Distributed Power Management 327

High Availability and Clustering 331

High Availability 331

Fault Tolerance 347

Summary 355

Chapter 9 • Designing with Security in Mind 357

Why Is Security Important? 357

Separation of Duties 358

Risk Scenario 358

Risk Mitigation 359

vCenter Server Permissions 360

Risk Scenario 360

Risk Mitigation 360

Security in vCenter Linked Mode 363

Risk Scenario 363

Risk Mitigation 363

Command-Line Access to ESXi Hosts 365

Risk Scenario 365

Risk Mitigation 366

Managing Network Access 368

Risk Scenario 368

Risk Mitigation 369

The DMZ 371

Risk Scenario 371

Risk Mitigation 372

Firewalls in the Virtual Infrastructure 375

The Problem 375

The Solution 376

Change Management 378

Risk Scenario 378

Risk Mitigation 378

Protecting the VMs 379

Risk Scenario 379

Risk Mitigation 380

Protecting the Data 381

Risk Scenario 382

Risk Mitigation 382

Cloud Computing 383

Risk Scenario 383

Risk Mitigation 384

Auditing and Compliance 385

The Problem 385

The Solution 385

Summary 387

Chapter 10 • Monitoring and Capacity Planning  389

Nothing Is Static 389

Building Monitoring into the Design 390

Determining the Tools to Use 390

Selecting the Items to Monitor 396

Selecting Thresholds 398

Taking Action on Thresholds 399

Alerting the Operators 400

Incorporating Capacity Planning in the Design 400

Planning before Virtualization 401

Planning during Virtualization 405

Summary 408

Chapter 11 • Bringing a vSphere Design Together 411

Sample Design 411

Business Overview for XYZ Widgets 411

Hypervisor Design 413

vSphere Management Layer 413

Server Hardware 413

Networking Configuration 414

Shared Storage Configuration 414

VM Design 415

VMware Datacenter Design 415

Security Architecture 415

Monitoring and Capacity Planning 416

Examining the Design 416

Hypervisor Design 416

vSphere Management Layer 417

Server Hardware 418

Networking Configuration 419

Shared Storage Configuration 421

VM Design 423

VMware Datacenter Design 423

Security Architecture 424

Monitoring and Capacity Planning 424

Summary 425

Chapter 12 • vCloud Design 427

Differences between Cloud and Server Virtualization 428

Role of vCloud Director in Cloud Architecture 429

vCloud Director Use Cases 430

Use Case #1 432

Use Case #2 432

Use Case #3 432

Use Case #4 433

Components of the vCloud Management Stack 433

vCloud Cell and NFS Design Considerations 435

Management vs Consumable Resources 437

Database Concepts 438

vCenter Design 439

vCloud Management: Physical Design 442

The Physical Side of Provider Virtual Datacenters 444

The Logical Side of Provider Virtual Datacenters 449

Network Pool Decisions 455

External Networks 456

Designing Organizations, Catalogs, and Policies 461

Correlating Organizational Networks to Design 464

End Users and vApp Networking 466

Designing Organization Virtual Datacenters 470

Multiple Sites 476

Backup and Disaster Recovery 477

Summary 478

Index 479

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