vSphere Design Best Practices

vSphere Design Best Practices
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Learn how to utilize the robust features of VMware to design, architect, and operate a virtual infrastructure using the VMware vSphere platform
  • Customize your vSphere Infrastructure to fit your business needs with specific use-cases for live production environments
  • Explore the vast opportunities available to fully leverage your virtualization infrastructure

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 126 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : May 2014
ISBN : 1782176268
ISBN 13 : 9781782176268
Author(s) : Brian Bolander, Christopher Kusek
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Enterprise

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Virtual Data Center Design
Chapter 2: Hypervisor Design
Chapter 3: Storage Design
Chapter 4: Network Design
Chapter 5: Virtual Machine Design
Chapter 6: Business Critical Applications
Chapter 7: Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Appendix A: vSphere Automation Tools
Appendix B: Certification Resources
  • Chapter 1: Virtual Data Center Design
    • Virtual Data Center design principles
    • Best practices
    • Designing Virtual Data Center
    • VMware vCenter components
      • Choosing a platform for your vCenter server
      • Using the vCenter server appliance
      • Sizing your vCenter server
      • Choosing your vCenter database
    • vSphere clustering – HA and DRS
      • Host considerations
      • Network considerations
      • Storage considerations
      • Cluster considerations
      • Admission control
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Hypervisor Design
    • ESXi hardware design
      • CPU considerations
      • Memory and NUMA considerations
      • Virtual NUMA (vNUMA) considerations
    • Considerations for Java virtual machines (JVMs)
      • Network interface card considerations
      • Hypervisor storage components
    • Stateless host design
    • Scale-Up and Scale-Out designs
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Storage Design
    • Storage protocols
      • Fibre Channel (FC)
      • iSCSI
      • Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
      • NFS
    • Virtual machine filesystems
      • VMFS
      • RDM
      • NFS
    • Designing storage
    • Local storage considerations
    • Datastore and cluster design
    • VMware storage features
    • Configurable storage features
      • SIOC
      • Configuring the multipathing path selection policy
      • Provisioning
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Network Design
    • Introducing vSphere switching
      • vNetwork Standard Switches (vSS)
      • vNetwork Distributed Switches (vDS)
    • Common networking design considerations
    • Best practices to implement in your design
    • Implementing Network I/O Control (NIOC)
    • Providing network redundancy, resiliency, and throughput
      • Physical switches and adapters
      • ESXi host hardware
    • Considerations when using IP storage
      • Separating your traffic
      • Validating your storage configurations
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Virtual Machine Design
    • Virtual machine resources and templates
      • Best practices for virtual machines and templates
        • Over-allocation can be a painful proposition
    • Physical to virtual migrations
    • Multi-vCPU considerations
    • Shares, limits, and reservations
      • Configuring shares
      • Limits
      • Reservations
    • Causes of virtual machine performance problems
      • CPU performance issues
      • Memory performance issues
      • Storage performance issues
      • Network performance issues
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Business Critical Applications
    • Special considerations for tier 1 applications
      • Starting simple
    • Workload profiles
      • Designing for Microsoft Exchange
      • Considering Microsoft SQL server
    • HA, DRS, and vMotion considerations
    • Resource considerations
    • Ensuring high availability and application resiliency
      • Enabling CPU Hot Add in vSphere client
      • The vCenter operations manager dashboard
    • Other business critical application resources
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
    • The benefits of disaster avoidance
    • Designing backup strategies
    • Designing for RPO and RTO requirements
    • Choosing replication technologies
      • VMware vSphere Replication
      • Storage-based replication
      • Mixing replication solutions
    • Planning and testing the DR strategy
    • Summary
  • Appendix A: vSphere Automation Tools
    • Introducing VMware vCenter Orchestrator
    • Introducing VMware vCloud Automation Center
      • Unified IT service catalog
      • Advanced Service Designer
      • Multivendor interoperability
    • Designing for automation and XaaS
    • Summary
  • Appendix B: Certification Resources
    • VMware Certification Roadmap
      • Associate exams
      • Professional exams
      • Advanced professional exams
      • Expert-level defense
    • VMware vExpert program
      • Evangelist path
      • Customer path
      • VMware Partner Network (VPN) path
    • Recommended reading, blogs, and podcasts
    • Exam and study tips
    • Summary

Brian Bolander

Brian Bolander spent 13 years on active duty in the United States Air Force. A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he was honorably discharged in 2005. He immediately returned to Afghanistan and worked on datacenter operations for the US Department of Defense (DoD) at various locations in southwest Asia. Invited to join a select team of internal consultants and troubleshooters responsible for operations in five countries, he was also the project manager for what was then the largest datacenter built in Afghanistan.

After leaving Afghanistan in 2011, he managed IT operations in a DoD datacenter in the San Francisco Bay Area. His team was responsible for dozens of multimillion dollar programs running on VMware and supporting users across the globe.

He scratched his adrenaline itch in 2011 when he went back "downrange", this time directing the premier engineering and installation team for the DoD in Afghanistan. It was his privilege to lead this talented group of engineers who were responsible for architecting virtual datacenter installations, IT project management, infrastructure upgrades, and technology deployments on VMware for the entire country from 2011 to 2013.

Selected as a vExpert in 2014, he is currently supporting Operation Enduring Freedom as a senior virtualization and storage engineer.

He loves his family, friends, and rescue mutts. He digs science, technology, and geek gear. He's an audiophile, a horologist, an avid collector, a woodworker, an amateur photographer, and a virtualization nerd.

Christopher Kusek

Christopher Kusek had a unique opportunity presented to him in 2013, to take the leadership position responsible for theater-wide infrastructure operations for the war effort in Afghanistan. Leveraging his leadership skills and expertise in virtualization, storage, applications, and security, he's been able to provide enterprise-quality service while operating in an environment that includes the real and regular challenges of heat, dust, rockets, and earthquakes.

He has over 20 years' experience in the industry, with virtualization experience running back to the pre-1.0 days of VMware. He has shared his expertise with many far and wide through conferences, presentations, #CXIParty, and sponsoring or presenting at community events and outings whether it is focused on storage, VMworld, or cloud.

He is the author of VMware vSphere 5 Administration Instant Reference, Sybex, 2012, and VMware vSphere Performance: Designing CPU, Memory, Storage, and Networking for Performance-Intensive Workloads, Sybex, 2014. He is a frequent contributor to VMware Communities' Podcasts and vBrownbag, and has been an active blogger for over a decade.

A proud VMware vExpert and huge supporter of the program and growth of the virtualization community, Christopher continues to find new ways to outreach and spread the joys of virtualization and the transformative properties it has on individuals and businesses alike. He was named an EMC Elect in 2013, 2014, and continues to contribute to the storage community, whether directly or indirectly, with analysis and regular review.

He continues to update his blog with useful stories of virtualization and storage and his adventures throughout the world, which currently include stories of his times in Afghanistan. You can read his blog at http://pkguild.com or more likely catch him on Twitter; his twitter handle is @cxi.

When he is not busy changing the world, one virtual machine at a time or Facetiming with his family on the other side of the world, he's trying to fi nd awesome vegan food in the world at large or somewhat edible food for a vegan in a war zone.

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Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Examine virtual datacenter design scenarios and understand the basics of vSphere clustering, HA, and DRS
  • Compare and contrast scale-out versus scale-up designs
  • Learn to map the storage Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to business requirements
  • Get to know how to design flexible and reliable networks for virtual datacenters
  • Inspect existing VMs and design principles to correctly resource and configure virtual machines
  • Design different RPO and RTO requirements to plan and test the DR strategy

In Detail

vSphere allows you to transform your IT infrastructure into a private cloud, then bridge it to public clouds on-demand, delivering an IT infrastructure as an easily accessible service. vSphere delivers uncompromised control over all IT resources with the highest efficiency and choice in the industry.

The book begins with a definition of the core technologies in a virtual datacenter, vCenter, and ESXi. It then covers the architecture of specific virtual datacenter components. Readers will learn design principles related to storage and storage protocols. Moving on to networking, readers will learn to design flexible and reliable networks for their virtual datacenters. After this, Virtual Machine design considerations are reviewed in depth and readers are guided through inspecting existing VMs and design principles for correctly resourced and configured virtual machines.


An easy-to-follow guide full of hands-on examples of real-world design best practices. Each topic is explained and placed in context, and for the more inquisitive, there are more details on the concepts used.

Who this book is for

If you wish to learn about vSphere best practices and how to apply them when designing virtual, high performance, and reliable datacenters that support business critical applications to work more efficiently and to prepare for official certifications, then this is the book for you. Readers should possess a good working knowledge of vSphere as well as servers, storage, and networking.

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