vSphere Design Workshop Day 1 Takeaway

My day started off with a nice walk from the hotel to the Microtek facility… about 1.2 miles, which is probably more than I have walked at any single stretch in about 1.2 years, but it was worth it.

First Quote: A good design is like a good marriage; it’s a series of compromises and trade-offs.

The gossip:
Next release of vSphere to be 4.1…expected release date is early Q3 2010 … rumored to have USB pass-through… also a VMware employee mentioned that vCenter server would soon only be supported on a 64-bit host OS.

Don’t know the truth to any of it, but it’s always fun to hear what the inside (or kind of inside) people say is coming.

Other Interesting things:

  • It was mentioned that Microsoft has a limit on the overcommit of vCPU’s to cores. I did a little research and found this inside of a Xenserver whitepaper.

“Microsoft supports up to an 8:1 vCPU to physical core oversubscription ratio. This means that if the host has 4 physical cores, the number of single vCPU guests should be kept to a maximum of 32. Although no architectural limits exist, the oversubscription ratio of eight virtual CPUs to a single physical core is the current supported density. Microsoft is currently reviewing this recommendation and may increase the supported oversubscription ratio in the near future.”

  • This next one seems obvious, but I hadn’t actually thought about it… create a sign off list of functionality and test each section with the customer present and have them sign off on each one.
  • When designing for HA capacity keep in mind the “slot size” and note any VM’s that have cpu or memory reservations, as these determine the HA slot size. (Article on the subject from Duncan over at Yellow-Bricks)
  • Memory should be distributed evenly between CPU’s and node interleaving should be disabled in the BIOS… this is so that memory is only written to the memory controlled by the CPU that is running the VM (More details at VMWare PDF)
  • Odbcad32.exe is used to create a 32bit DSN on a 64bit SQL server
  • Best practices are never static, they continually evolve as the product and experience does

The Meat:
6 steps to a vSphere 4 environment

  1. Thought
  2. Investigate
  3. Analysis (VMware Capacity Planner)
  4. Design
  5. Implementation
  6. Management

VMware’s Design Methodology includes

  • Architectural vision – a high level vision of the project. Includes:
    • Scope
    • Goals
    • Requirements
    • Assumptions
    • Contraints
    • Risks
    • Architectural analysis – indepth look at current environment
      • Preform a current-state analysis that includes the existing physical and virtual infrastructure
      • Define the target state that will be required to achieve the organization’s goals, while considering the requirements, assumptions, and constraints.
      • Technology architecture-create three designs
        • Conceptual
        • Logical
        • Physical
        • Migration planning- more of an implementation phase with the implementation engineer

Overall I’m learning a lot of new information, and also reaffirming some of the things I have been doing. Well time to turn in, as it will be another long 1.2 mile walk from hotel to workshop in the AM.


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