Building a Successful Virtualization Lab Environment – A Real World Approach

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BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL VIRTUALIZATION LAB ENVIRONMENT A REAL WORLD APPROACH

Simon SeagraveEMC vSpecialist& Blogger

Kiwi_Sisimon.seagrave@emc.com

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.#TitleMonth YearGoal of this sessionThis session will cover many of the considerations and aspects to designing, implementing and running your own successful VMware vSphere lab environment. Virtualization doesn't have to be expensive, Ill show you how your business can implement a vSphere lab on a budget.Ill explain how to navigate through the many different options you will face when architecting a vSphere environment to assist you in making the right decisions# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric2#TitleMonth YearWhy should your business run a VMware vSphere lab?Common ReasonsFree up valuable production resource.Reduce risk of test/dev environments affecting production systems.IT Staff product familiarisation & training.Controlled patch & application release environment.Easy first steps into virtualisation & your businesss journey to the private cloud.

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

Why Build a vSphere Lab?- Small Business Exam Study Hands-on Learning Centralized Home Infrastructure3#TitleMonth YearWhat makes up a vSphere lab?

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

There are many components that make up a vSphere lab: Server Storage (physical & virtual (VSA)) Network (switches & in some cases routers though there are VA router options) Hypervisor (vSphere ESX/ESXi) Operating System (eg: Windows, RedHat) Power & Cooling: this is a particular consideration if running your lab from home. Time: Large amounts of time can be spent building and working with your lab Be warned.

4#TitleMonth YearHardware Compatibility GuideThe VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide (HGC) lists all the various hardware components that are supported by each version of ESX & ESXiSplit up into different sub-guides which include systems (server make/models), storage devices (SAN/iSCSI/NFS) and I/O devices (NICs/Storage Controllers)Updated frequently with new hardware being added and older hardware removed

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:

5#TitleMonth YearHardware Compatibility GuideWhy this guide is important? ESX/ESXi has a limited set of hardware device drivers VMware only provides support for hardware that is listed on the HCGHardware may still work if not listed on the HCGCritical area of compatibility is often found with I/O adapters# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:6#TitleMonth YearHardware Compatibility GuideCheck guide before buying hardware!Also check un-official guides (vm-help.com)For newer hardware not yet listed on HCG contact the hardware vendor

http://www.vmware.com/resources/guides.html# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:7#TitleMonth YearFeatures that require specific server hardwareFeatureHardware requirementvSphere64-bit CPU & Intel-VT or AMD-VVMDirectPathIntel VT-d or AMD IOMMUDistributed Power ManagementNIC w/WOL, Server IPMI or HP iLODynamic Voltage & Frequency ScalingIntel Enhanced Speedstep or AMD Enhanced PowerNowFault ToleranceSpecific CPU models in Intels Core 2 & Core i7 & AMDs 3rd Gen Opteron familiesVMotionSimilar CPU families, no cross vendorEnhanced VMotion CompatibilityIntels FlexMigration or AMDs AMD-V Extended Migration # Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:8#TitleMonth YearvSphere Lab ServersvSphere lab servers come in allshapes & sizes

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

vSphere lab servers can come in a range of different sizes and form factors all varying in age, physical resource capabilities and manufacturers:

Laptop/Desktop PCWhite BoxEntry Level ServerOld Enterprise Server9#TitleMonth YearCPU Considerations 101

AMD CPU: AMD-V Intel CPU: EM64T & Intel VTSee VMware Knowledge Base article http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003945 for more details regarding the prerequisites for running x64-based VMs. Ensure AMD-V or Intel VT in enabled in BIOS Hyperthreading? Use the same processor make & model if you want to use advanced features such as VMotion incl. DRS, HA

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:10#TitleMonth Year

For CPU Details including 64 bit details use CPU ID Utility from VMwareCPU Considerations CPU IDDownload fromhttp://www.vmware.com/download/shared_utilities.html# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

11#TitleMonth Year

CPU Considerations - EVCEnhanced VMotion Compatibility (EVC)

Designed to further ensure CPU compatibilitybetween ESX hosts# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

12#TitleMonth YearList of Fault Tolerance (FT) compatible CPUs:http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1008027

Also, VMware SiteSurvey

CPU Considerations FT # Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

13#TitleMonth Year Enhanced SpeedStep by Intel Enhanced PowerNow! by AMD

These technologies enable a server to dynamically switch CPU frequencies and voltages (referred to as Dynamic Voltage & Frequency Scaling or DVFS)

CPU Considerations Power Saving

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

14#TitleMonth YearMemoryMemory is King!

DIMM Sockets the more the merrier# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

You can never have enough memory. In the average lab and production vSphere environment you will experience memory limitations before that of any of the other physical server resources which as CPU, network and often storage. *Though providing insufficient IOPS to a VM is also a common source of performance bottleneck.

Most laptops, PCs and white box solutions based on commodity mother/system boards will only have 4-6 DIMM sockets with a 8GB limit. This of course is changing with time as higher capacity DIMMs are becoming more of norm. More high end commodity mother/system boards are now starting to provide 12GB+ of maximum memory capacity as standard. Event entry level SMB servers such as the HP ML110/115 have a relatovely limited maximum memory configuration of 8GB.

The benefit of using enterprise level servers is that provide more DIMM sockets though the downside is that populating these DIMM sockets with enterprise level registered memory can be a costly affair.

15#TitleMonth YearMemory ECC & Registered More Lower Capacity DIMMs Vs Less Higher Capacity DIMMS

ECC or Non ECC? (That is the question)

Registered versus Non-Registered DIMMS

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

Error Correction Code (ECC) memory - This type of memory is often found in servers, as it is able to detect multiple- bit and correct single-bit errors during the transmission and storage of data on the DIMM. On ECC memory DIMMs, there are extra modules that store parity or ECC information. ECC memory is generally (though not always on low end DIMMs) more expensive than non-ECC.

Registered (aka buffered) and unregistered memory Often confused with ECC/Non-ECC memory. It contains a register on the DIMM that operates as a temporary holding area (buffer) for address and command signals moving between the memory module and CPU which increases the reliability of the data flow to and from the DIMM. Almost always found in enterprise level servers only.

16#TitleMonth YearNetworkingA Few Basic Questions? How many NICs? Using VLANs? What ESX/ESXi features?

NIC Expansion Options: - PCI, PCI-X, PCIe NIC Speeds Gigabit highly recommended

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:Most home lab switches will be Layer 2 (ie: non-routing) For routing within a vSphere lab environment consider using the popular Vyatta router VA there is a free version!

What to look for in a network switch:VLAN Tagging QoSJumbo Frames

Popular gigabit switches Linksys SLM series smart switches, HP ProCurve 1810G17#TitleMonth YearNetworking Popular PCIe-based network card models is the Intel Pro 1000 PT/MT range Quad port cards are good but expensive If budget is tight eBay is a good source of 2nd hand cards

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:18#TitleMonth YearNetworking - Switches

Layer 2 switch is sufficient for most lab or SMB environments. Features to look for: Gigabit ports Managed or Smart Switch VLAN tagging (IEEE 802.1Q) QoS Jumbo Frames If your budget wont stretch to a physical router, consider Vyatta Core VA for lab routingrequirements its free!# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

19#TitleMonth Year

Disks & Storage ControllerDisk/RAID Controller the most problematic component with regard to compatibilityLots of choices: RAID, SAS, SATA, SSD. IOPS versus CapacityESXi can be run from USB memory stick/SD Card & if shared storage appliance used local disk controller not important

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:20#TitleMonth YearDisks & Storage Controller

Onboard RAID controllers on entry level servers & SMB/Home level mother/system boards are often insufficient Dedicated hardware based (eg: PCIe) array controllers are preferable Do you actually need RAID in your lab? Production use = RAID essential!# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Simon S:

21#TitleMonth YearInstalling ESXi on to a USB flash driveVery convenient and easy way to use ESXiSimple requirements: 1Gb+ flash drive, ESXi Installable ISO image

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:22#TitleMonth YearInstalling ESXi on to a USB flash driveCan use any flash drive, officially only supported on hardware vendor supplied flash drivesPerformance can vary widely between brands, sizes & modelsServer must support booting from USB driveUse internally instead of externally# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:23#TitleMonth YearInstalling ESXi on to a USB flash driveInstall ESXi as normal but select USB flash drive insteadCan also use Workstation to install to a VM though only appropriate for personal useQuality flash drives can last many years and over 10,000 write cyclesUse USB image tools to clone or backup flash drives

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:24#TitleMonth YearShared Storage Physical DevicesLots of entry level physical storage devices to choose from:

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:25#TitleMonth YearShared Storage Physical DevicesPopular devices include:VendorModelsEMCNX4, NS-120Iomegaix2-200, ix4-200d, ix12SynologyDS410, DS1010DroboPro, Elite (no NFS support)NetgearReadyNAS NVX, ProHPMSA Range# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:26#TitleMonth Year

Shared Storage Physical DevicesWhen using ethernet based shared storage, 1Gb networking is a mustiSCSI/NFS are built into vSphere and work with any pNICsMost affordable shared storage devices are listed on VMware vSphere HCGMany units have lots of advanced features, are multi-functional, multi-RAID levels & multi-NICs

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:27#TitleMonth Year

Shared Storage Physical DevicesFibre storage connectivity a nice to have though there are other optionsChoosing between iSCSI & NFS often personal preferenceSome storage units support bothBudget often dictates what you getIn general, the more you spend, the better performance youll get

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:28#TitleMonth Year

Shared Storage Physical DevicesMany units offer special RAID technology, try not to mix drive speeds/sizesMore spindles better performanceMany units are expandableLow cost rack mount units available as well (EMC NX4, Iomega ix12-300r, Drobo Pro or Elite)# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:29#TitleMonth YearShared Storage Virtual Storage Appliances (VSAs)Virtual Storage Appliances can turn local storage into iSCSI/NFS shared storageAvailable to any ESX/ESXi hostOften much cheaper than buying a dedicated storage deviceCan be more complicated to setup and maintainPerformance often not as good as using a physical storage appliance# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:30#TitleMonth YearShared Storage Virtual Storage Appliances (VSAs)Many VSA products to chose fromPaid Commercial & FreeFree VSA optionsPaid VSA optionsEMC Celerra (UBER)StarWind iSCSI SANOpenFilerFalconStor NSSFreeNASHP Lefthand VSADatacore Virtual SAN MISCONCEPTION: Paid VSAs offer more features such as de-dupe, replication and snapshots. But this is not quite true.# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:31#TitleMonth YearVSA Example: Celerra UBER VSAThe Celerra UBER VSA v3.2:

Free to download & use even commercially ESX/ESXi & Workstation VSA formats also runs under Fusion Uses the same code as run in the EMC Celerra storage appliances Fully featured eg: dedupe, replication Already optimised for performance UBER VSA running latest version of DART 6.0.36.4 Unisphere management console 64 bit Simple to install & configure Not intended for production use

IDEAL FOR A LAB ENVIRONMENT!

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

VSA Example: Celerra UBER VSAThe newly released storage management interface Unisphere is included forfree in this latest version of the Celerra UBER VSA (v3.0+)# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Eric:33#TitleMonth YearDemonstration

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.#TitleMonth Year

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

VSA Example: Celerra UBER VSADownload the Celerra UBER VSA v3 from http://nickapedia.com # Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Step by Step Guide SRM in a box using EMC VSA

Free step by step guide on how to setupand configure VMware SRM with EMCCelerra VSA

Download from: http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2010/04/new-celerra-vsa-5648701-and-updated-srm4-in-a-box-guide.html# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.VMware vCenter Server EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI)

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.VMware vCenter Server EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI)

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.VMware vCenter Server EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI)

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Plenty of great EMC vCenter Plugin Information Available

# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.Other Useful Tools & Resources

Scripts: www.virtu-al.netvSphere Mini Monitor Nickapedia.com

UltimateWhiteBox.com# Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.THANK YOU!http://www.tec...

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