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E-Guide: VMware vSphere Tips for SMBs

E-Guide: VMware vSphere Tips for SMBs

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Published by: blussiertt on Feb 14, 2013
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VMware vSphere Tips forSMBs
Page 2 of 10 Sponsored by
VMware vSphere Tips for SMBs
This searchsmbstorage.com eguide gives a
comprehensive review of vSphere as it looks at some of the features in vSphere that are most important to data storagemanagers as well as best practices for vSphere. This eguidealso offers a list of the most common and affordable shared storage options for small- to medium-sized businesses(SMBs) from different vendors.
VMware vSphere 4 best practices: A review of what's newfor storage administrators
By: Eric Siebert
vSphere 4 is VMware's latest bare-metal hypervisor that is the successor toVirtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3) and includes more than 140 new features.vSphere competes with several other hypervisors including Microsoft'sHyper-V, Citrix's XenServer and Oracle's Oracle VM. This review of vSpherelooks at some of the features in vSphere that are most important to datastorage managers as well as best practices for vSphere.
vSphere 4 and different storage types
Data storage is critical to virtualization, and vSphere supports severaldifferent data storage types including local storage using SCSI, SAS or SATAdrives; network-based storage using iSCSI or NFS; and more expensiveFibre Channel (FC) data storage. To take advantage of many of vSphere'sadvanced features like VMotion and high-availability (HA), you should use ashared storage device. Fortunately iSCSI and NFS are both supported andprovide affordable solutions that perform well enough as alternatives to FibreChannel for all but the most intensive disk I/O workloads. vSphere has asoftware iSCSI initiator and NFS client built right into it so connecting toiSCSI or NFS storage targets is simple to set up. Also, vSphere supportsusing hardware iSCSI initiators with TCP/IP offload engines to reduce theCPU overhead on the host.
Page 3 of 10 Sponsored by
VMware vSphere Tips for SMBs
In addition, vSphere uses a special high-performance cluster file systemcalled Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) that allows concurrent access bymultiple host servers. VMFS volumes take away the backend storagecomplexities from the virtual machines (VMs) by presenting a single unifiedstorage volume to them. One of vSphere's best storage features is thinprovisioning, which makes more efficient use of disk space by growing avirtual disk and blocks are written to it instead of allocating it all at once whenit is created. This allows you to overcommit your storage and take advantageof the often un-used disk space inside a guest VM's operating system. Someadditional storage-related features of vSphere include the following:
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support
Jumbo frame support for iSCSI and NFS
Ability to hot extend virtual disks
Ability to grow VMFS volumes
Storage paravirtualization
VMDirectPath for VM direct I/O access
vStorage APIs
vSphere 4 and networkingThe vSwitch is the heat of a virtual nework, and vSphere has several optionsyou can use based on your requirements. The simple standard vSwitch iseasy to use, and provides fault tolerance and load-balancing across NICs.For larger environments that have many hosts and vSwitches, the vNetworkDistributed Switch lets you create global vSwitches to configure multiplehosts instead of configuring each host sepearately. vSphere can also supportthird-party vSwitches. Cisco's Nexus 1000v is the first virtual switch withvSphere support. This allows for tighter integration between the physical andvirtual networks. All vSwitches in vSphere support advanced features suchas VLAN tagging, NIC teaming and layer two security policies. Someadditional network-related features of vSphere include:Virtualization is all about putting all your eggs in one basket, so maintaininghigh-availability is critical. If a single host fails, then all the VMs running on it

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