VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook

This recipe-driven tutorial is the easy way to master VMware vSphere to design a virtual datacenter. You’ll learn in simple steps that cover everything from initial groundwork to creating professional design documentation.

  • Innovative recipes, offering numerous practical solutions when designing virtualized datacenters

  • Identify the design factors—requirements, assumptions, constraints, and risks—by conducting stakeholder interviews and performing technical assessments

  • Increase and guarantee performance, availability, and workload efficiency with practical steps and design considerations

In Detail

VMware vSphere 5.x provides a robust and resilient platform for virtualizing server and application workloads in datacenters. The features available in VMware’s vSphere 5.x suite of products simplify the management of resources, increase the availability of applications, and guarantee the performance of workloads deployed in the virtualized datacenters. "VMware vSphere 5.x Design Cookbook" covers the design process from creating the conceptual design, to determining the resource requirements for the logical design, and then on to creating the physical design.

"VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook" begins with the process of identifying the design factors and applying them to the logical and physical design process in order to create a successful vSphere 5.x design. The key to a successful VMware vSphere 5.x design is the design’s ability to satisfy the design factors. This Cookbook walks you through the process of identifying the design factors which include the requirements the design must satisfy and the assumptions the architect makes to form the conceptual design.

From the conceptual design, the logical design is created. The logical design process includes determining the architecture of and the resources required for the management, storage, network, and compute resources. This Cookbook includes recipes for calculating the resources required and determining the architecture and features to use while applying VMware recommended practices.

The physical design takes the logical design requirements and maps them to the physical infrastructure required to support the resources. "VMware vSphere 5.x Datacenter Design Cookbook" offers recipes to determine the physical resources and configuration required to support the logical design while satisfying the design factors. Finally, the book provides recipes for creating design documentation. Documenting the design, the implementation procedures, and the verification procedures are also covered towards the end of the book.

vSphere Design Best Practices

Apply industry-accepted best practices to design reliable high-performance datacenters for your business needs

  • 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

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.

VMware Consulting Blog: Create a One-Click Cluster Capacity Dashboard Using vCOps

Sunny DuaBy Sunny Dua, Senior Technology Consultant at VMware

It’s easy to set up a cluster capacity dashboard in just one click and I’ll show you how to do it with vCenter Operations Manager Custom Dashboards. In this two-part blog series, I’ll guide you through steps to get this dashboard installed in your environment and explain how to create the interaction XML.

Let’s take a look at the final dashboard in the screenshot below, the problems it will solve, and its features. Then we’ll take a closer look at the process of designing this dashboard and the related customizations you can do. DuaOCCCD1
Here is a quick summary and the features of this dashboard:

  • The list of clusters in the environment being monitored in your Virtual Infrastructure (left pane).
  • Once you select a given cluster, you will see the Capacity Overview of the cluster (right scoreboard widget).
  • The scoreboard gives you the summary of the cluster, consolidation ratios, capacity remaining, waste, and stress data.
  • Each score’s color designates VMware configuration maximums. (For example, if the number of hosts comes out to 33, the box will turn red as vSphere 5.x currently supports a 32-node ESXi Cluster. You have the option to define these thresholds while creating the XML—I’ll share this in a moment.)
  • This dashboard can help CXOs get details about the capacity of each cluster with just a click of a button. It can also easily help them make procurement decisions.
  • Using this dashboard helps IT teams quickly decide which clusters can be used for any new Virtual Machine demand from the business, etc.
  • Finally, large service providers can use this dashboard to keep tabs on the resource utilization and available capacity.

Download Files

The beauty behind this customization is that I can export this dashboard right from my vCOps instance and import it into any vCOps instance with a few steps–and it will work like a charm. You can successfully reuse this dashboard in your vCOps instance, if you have the vCOps advance or Enterprise edition, which includes a custom UI.

Download the Cluster-XML.xml file below to see all of the metrics to display in the scorecard on the right as soon as a cluster is selected on the left pane. In part two of this series, I will tell you how to write this file. The Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml file is just a simple export of the dashboard from the Custom UI.

You can do the same for any dashboard that does not have any dependencies for resource IDs (unique identity number given by vCOps to each of its inventory object). You would take a two-step approach to use these files to achieve the final result.

Files to download:


Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml

Step-by-Step Instructions to Place the Cluster-XML.xml in a Specific Location of UI VM

  1. Use an SCP software to login to the UI VM using the root credentials. I am using WinSCP.
    Change the directory to the following location: /usr/lib/vmware-vcops/tomcat-enterprise/webapps/vcops-custom/WEB-INF/classes/resources/reskndmetrics
  2. Drag and drop the Cluster-XML.xml file from your system where you downloaded it to this directory as shown in the screenshot below.DuaOCCCD2
  3. Right click the target file, and then click on Properties to change the permission level to 644 (for read and execute rights) as shown below.DuaOCCCD3

Now that you’ve finished the first set of steps, let’s go through the second set of instructions.

Step-by-Step Instructions: Import Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml Dashboard in vCOps Custom UI

  1. Log into vCOps Custom UI using an ID with administrative privileges.
  2. Click the Import Option under the Dashboard Tools menu.
  3. Browse to the location where you saved the Cluster-Capacity Dashboard.xml and click Import.
  4. You’ll now see a dialog box indicating that your dashboard was successfully imported. Close the window and click the Dashboards Menu to find a new dashboard named “CLUSTER-WISE CAPACITY OVERVIEW”
  5. Click this and you will now have see the dashboard I displayed at beginning of this post. It’s that simple! :-)After importing the dashboard, if you do not see the names of your cluster in the Resources Widget, you must edit the “Resources” Widget -> Select “Cluster Compute Resource” in the left pane and click OK. This will list all your clusters.

Stay tuned for part two of this article where I’ll provide steps to help create your own .XML files to build additional dashboards. This is useful for those who want a single pane to view the entire capacity of a Virtual Infrastructure.

Additional Notes and Resources

Lior Kamrat, who like myself is a part of VMware Consulting group, has a list of great list of vCOps resources available on a dedicated page of his blog called IMALLVIRTUAL.COM. I would highly recommend you bookmark the page if you are using, learning about, or want to become an expert on vCenter Operations Manager. He also has a blog series on One Click Capacity Planning Dashboards with another angle on capacity in your Virtual Datacenter. In addition, you can review other articles on vCOps on vXpress.

This post originally appeared on Sunny Dua’s vXpress blog. Sunny is a Senior Technology Consultant for VMware’s Professional Services Organization, focused on India and SAARC countries. Follow Sunny on Twitter @sunny_dua.

VMware vSphere Blog: VMware Virtual SAN: 32 Node Scale Out Capability

VSAN SizingVirtual SAN is now available and officially supports up to 32 nodes per cluster. Configuring and managing clustered solutions comprised of 32 nodes can become operationally intensive, time consuming, and overwhelming for any environment over time. One of the key differentiating benefits of Virtual SAN is how it delivers an efficient operational model suitable for today’s datacenter demands for virtualization.

It is important to point out and understand the operational benefits deliver by Virtual SAN beyond the performance and capacity values. To demonstrate the strength and value proposition of Virtual SAN, and it  is efficient operating model around configuration and management the demonstration below showcases the radically simple way to scale out a 16 node cluster to the maximum of 32 nodes.

Note: The default Virtual SAN cluster size configuration is 16-nodes. Whenever a Virtual SAN enabled cluster is to be scaled beyond 16 nodes follow the instructions listed in the VMware Knowledge Base article 2073930.

-       Enjoy

For future updates, be sure to following me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

Chrome wechselt von GTK+ zu Aura

Wie bereits in der Vergangenheit angekündigt, wechselt auch die Linux-Version des Google-Browsers Chrome zu Aura. Damit gleicht das Unternehmen das Framework zwischen den verschiedenen Plattformen an. Eine erste Testversion von Google Chrome mit Aura steht Interessenten ab sofort zum Bezug bereit.

Release: VMware vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1

A couple of days ago VMware quietly released Update 1 of its management platform for vSphere, vCenter Server 5.5.

This release, unlike 5.5.0.b released in december 2013, aside several resolved issues, introduces also some new features such vCloud Hybrid Service vSphere Client Plug-in availability in vSphere Web Client and vCenter Server support on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Among the fixed bugs is reported a NTP (Network Time Protocol) daemon issue that left vCenter Server Virtual Appliances exposed to DoS amplification attack if configured with NTP time synchronization.

Here you can find the release notes and the download.

Labels: Release, vCenter, VMware

VMware vSphere Blog: Which vSCSI controller should I choose for performance?

I wrote a blog article in Oct 2010 on this same topic that is still frequently referenced today so I figure it was due for an update.

So what should I choose as my vSCSI controller and what are the differences between them?

First, it’s important to remind everyone that when you select the Guest OS for a new virtual machine


this automatically makes a selection for which vSCSI controller to use based on what drivers are available in the OS distribution.  So be sure to select the correct Guest OS to start in the right place.


Let’s look at the options available today:

  • BusLogic – this was one of the first emulated vSCSI controllers available in the VMware platform.  The earliest versions of Windows has this driver available by default which made it easy when installing that particular OS. It wasn’t however as performant as the LSI Logic driver since Windows’ driver was limited to a queue depth of 1, so often one would manually load the LSI Logic driver instead.  While still available and used occasionally (Is anyone still running Win2K?), it should be considered legacy.
  • LSI Logic Parallel (formerly knows as just LSI Logic) – this was the other emulated vSCSI controller available originally in the VMware platform.  Most operating systems had a driver that supported a queue depth of 32 and it became a very common choice, if not the default.
  • LSI Logic SAS – This is an evolution of the parallel driver to support a new future facing standard.  It began to grown popularity when Microsoft required its use for MCSC within Windows 2008 ore newer.
  • VMware Paravirtual (aka PVSCSI) – this vSCSI controller is virtualization aware and was been designed to support very high throughput with minimal processing cost and is therefore the most efficient driver. In the past, there were issues if it was used with virtual machines that didn’t do a lot of IOPS, but that was resolved in vSphere 4.1.

Are there performance differences between them?

  • PVSCSI and LSI Logic Parallel/SAS are essentially the same when it comes to overall performance capability.  PVSCSI, however, is more efficient in the number of host compute cycles that are required to process the same number of IOPS. This means that if you have a very storage IO intensive virtual machine, this is the controller to choose to ensure you save as many cpu cycles as possible that can then be used by the application or host. Most modern operating systems that can drive high IO support one of these two controllers.
  • Here’s a detailed whitepaper that takes a closer look at PVSCSI vs LSI Logic SAS for IOPS, Latency and Cost.  While it does support that PVSCSI is more capable, keep in mind most customers are not producing 1 million IOPS so for real life the difference is negligible.

How many vSCSI adapters are supported per virtual machine?

  • It’s also worth noting that you can configure a total of 4 vSCSI adapters per virtual machine.  To provide the best performance, one should also distribute virtual disk across as many vSCSI adapters as possible.  This configuration provides the capability to process more IO simultaneously and benefit from additional queues if necessary.

What about AHCI SATA?

  • This is a new storage controller available with vSphere 5.5 and virtual hardware 10.  It allows you to connect a large amount of storage to a virtual machine but it wasn’t designed to be as efficient as the PVSCSI or LSI Logic controllers and therefore should not be used with performance sensitive applications.

Let’ summarize this in a chart:

Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 2.25.41 PM

Virtual Hardware Reference

PVSCSI KB 1010398

VMware Consulting Blog: Helpful Hints: Horizon Workspace Large Environment

Dale CarterBy Dale Carter, Consulting Architect, End User Computing

Over the past several months I have been heavily involved in testing and deploying VMware Horizon Workspace into a very large production environment. Horizon Workspace helps IT centrally deliver, manage, and secure apps and files while providing employees with fluid access from any device.

While working on this engagement, I came across a few things that could prove helpful for anyone deploying Horizon Workspace in a production environment. I’ve shared them below.

DNS Servers

During the deployment on Horizon you can only have one DNS server configured with in your IP pool. If you have more than one, Horizon will not run through the configuration wizard. Having just one DNS server can be a single point of failure, and if that DNS server was to go down, then Horizon Workspace will have issues.

Here is a work-around: Once you have deployed your Horizon Workspace vApp, power down the vApp. Edit the IP Pool and add a second DNS server, then power the vApp back on. You should now notice that Horizon see’s both DNS Servers.

Proxy Servers

Horizon Workspace Manager virtual machines access the global catalog and other Web services on the Internet. If your network configuration provides Internet access through an HTTP proxy, you must adjust your proxy settings on the Manager (service-va) virtual machine.

1. Log in as root to the Manager (service-va) virtual machine.


2. Run the YaST utility from the service-va command line.
3. Select the Network Services tab on the left, and then select the Proxy page on the right.


4. Enter the correct proxy Name or IP address in the HTTP field.
5. Under No Proxy Domains, you must include the local domain that the Horizon VM’s are a member of.


6. Select “Finish”
7. Select “Quit”
8. Type “Reboot” to reboot the service-va virtual machine
9. Exit the console

vCenter Account

During install the account that is used to connect to vCenter Server must be a full administrator of vCenter so the account can create the relevant extent within vCenter. Once Horizon is deployed, this account can be scaled back to just have administrator right to the Horizon vApp itself.

During my next blog post I will highlight a couple of tricks to help with the performance of the Horizon Workspace database when it is handling a large number of users.

Dale Carter, a VMware Consulting Architect specializing in the EUC space, has worked in IT for more than 20 years. He is also a VCP4-DT, VCP5-DT and VCAP-DTD.