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VMware View 5 Architecture : Virtual (part 2) - VMware vSphere 5 Architecture, VMware vSphere 5, VMware ESXi, VMware vSphere 5

3/31/2015 3:28:04 AM
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VMware vSphere 5 Architecture

The architecting and deploying VMware vSphere 5 can be and are the subject of entire books, this discussion is not meant to be a comprehensive approach to the subject. It is designed to give you enough information to set up the environment properly and to consider which features of the VMware vSphere platform you should take advantage of in your VMware View design.

VMware View 5 is supported on virtual infrastructure 4 SP 2 and up. vSphere 5 has been designed to enhance the VMware View platform by adding additional capabilities tuned for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. For example, VMware vSphere 5 supports solid-state drives, which enables you to offload storage I/O as part of your VMware View design. Indeed, one of the keys to a successful and scalable virtual desktop design is to understand the benefits of caching certain components of the architecture and what technology is available to do so. Using SSD drives in ESXi is a good example of taking advantage of the capability to cache to deliver good performance.

In addition, vSphere 5 introduced support for 3D graphics provided through the CPU or a supported 3D graphics cards installed in the vSphere 5 host.

VMware vSphere 5

To deploy View, you first need to deploy your vSphere infrastructure. When you are planning the deployment, you should consider the technology that has been designed into the platform to aid in installation and configuration. As an example, say you are deploying a large VDI environment that will consist of 30–40 ESXi hosts. Your strategy may be to deploy vCenter, deploy one ESXi host as a configuration template, and then use a combination of Auto Deploy and host profiles to ensure the environment is built to proper specification.

Planning a vSphere infrastructure starts with understanding the basic building blocks and key considerations. Virtual infrastructure involves the components described in the following sections.

VMware ESXi

With vSphere 5, VMware has moved completely to ESXi. ESXi has replaced the ESX native installation and comes in two installation options: embedded or installable mode. ESXi is a stripped-down version that removes many of the components included in the Console OS to provide a more purpose-driven and secure hypervisor platform. The original Console OS has been replaced with the direct console user interface (DCUI), which reduces the configuration required at the console to eliminate much of the software that was provided with ESX native. You would think that this would reduce the number of features available on ESXi versus ESX native. ESXi and ESX native have feature parity, and as of vSphere 5, there is no longer an ESX native option.

ESXi is an operating system, and like all operating systems, it has a hardware compatibility list. Although the number of devices has increased dramatically as virtualization has become mainstream, it still is a good idea to verify that any hardware you will purchase for the environment is supported by VMware.

In deploying vSphere, you need to consider SAN, networking, and physical server requirements. It is a best practice to separate out the different layers of traffic that make up a virtual environment. At a base level, you have management, VMotion, and virtual machine traffic. In addition to these common traffic types, you also have VMware FT and storage VMotion, or sVMotion as it is sometimes called. In addition to segregation requirements, you also need to ensure that every network path is fully redundant within your vSphere platform.

You should follow some general guidelines for sizing virtual desktops on today’s enterprise servers. For a truly redundant and low-risk environment, you could load all the ESXi servers at 50% utilization of CPU and memory. This is a judgment call, however, because architecting at 50% utilization is expensive and, it could be argued, somewhat overkill. To use a simple example, if you have a two-node cluster and you expect to run 100 virtual desktops, you would run 50 desktops on each in an active–active configuration. If you lose a host, you could run with no performance impact while replacing the failed server. This capability makes the architecture both resilient and low risk.

You also need to consider the level of VMware high availability (HA) that is required in your virtual desktop environment. As you consolidate the desktops onto a virtual environment, the underlying virtual infrastructure should be more fault tolerant. This does not necessarily mean that you need to consider the desktop highly available. For example, in a physical world you often treat desktops as disposable, so you essentially redirect critical data to file servers and don’t typically back them up. In a virtual environment, you can apply the same concept using a better set of tools, such as Persona Manager. The supporting infrastructure or vSphere environment should be highly available and more fault tolerant because as the environment scales, the criticality of the service increases.

 
Others
 
- VMware View 5 Architecture : Virtual (part 1) - Infrastructure Introduction
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 10)
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 9)
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 8)
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 7)
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 6)
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 5)
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 4) - Configure vCenter Operations
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 3) - Deploy vCenter Operations
- VMware View 5 : Establishing a Performance Baseline (part 2) - Create an IP Pool
 
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