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Thursday, June 14, 2007

ESX Best Practises and tips

Vi3 Ports
Virtual center to ESX host - 902
Esx to iScsi - 3260
Esx to license server - 27000-27010

ESX host services/Daemons
VMkernel is like a service.Service console boot the vmkernal.

IVT-Intel vertualization technology means you can create 64 bit Vms on 32 bit machines as long as if its BIOS supports.

Virtual Center 2.0 does not support VMware server (Formerly known as GSX)
VI3 does not support USB.Use usb over ip solutions.
With iSCSI and NFS clustering is not supported.
You can not boot ESX from a shared SAN.
You cannot boot ESX from NFS.
You cannot create VMFS on NFS.
You cannot RDM on NFS.
VCB not used on iSCSI and NFS.

GSX/VMware Server
GSX is now knows as vmware server.
You can install GSX/vmware server on windows XP.But you have to stop the default web site.
You can run Vmware server (GSX) on win2k,win2k3 and linux.

Every 20 mllisecond vmkernal looks for better cpu resource allocation.
Esx consider a Isolated Host as a failed host after receving no heart beat from it for 14 seconds.

To change number of CPUs you have to shut down the VM.
Partition Information
Default size boot partition 100meg

Default size root partition 5gig

Default size vmkore partition 100meg

Root partition minimun size 2.5 gig.

Service console gets 272 meg.So swap is 544 MB
Maximum service console memory can be 800meg.That means max swap can be 1600 meg.

The ESX Server swap partition is not to be confused with virtual machine swap space.

virtual machine swap space/file maximum 16Gig

For better patch management/log files reasons its good to have /var rather than /var/log.

If esx crashes Purple screen of death (psod) happens.The stuffs on the memory will be dumbed on vmkcore partition.

Its better to run ESX on raid 1 and keep the vms on san.

Instead of upgrading esx 2.x to vi3,go for migration.Its easy and is recommended.

esxcfg command can be used to bind virtual swith to physical nic.
What can be done to increase the size of a VMDK file? vmkfstools -X

Build a VM with always 1 processor.If you give more it tend to use it more unnessesarily.

Built VM with 2 vmdks one for just os and other for applications.

VMs with volumekey license doest require activation.But others require activation when you do P2V.

VMWare converter is a new to which is the mixure of earlier vmware tools p2v assistant and vmware importer.

One of a diffrence between vmware converter starter edition and enterprise edition is:
1.To p2v 10 machine you got to install starter edition in all machines.But enterprise edition will help you to do it from a single machine.
2.Another diffrence is starter edition is a windows installer where as enterprise edition is a winpe based bootable CD.

ESX server is a frame work where Virtual Center is the brain.

ESX virtualization layer vmkernel (Hypervisor) and linux like service console are depends each other.

ESX VMware licensing is based on CPU slots. Not per core but by slot.
Quad core cpu require single processor license.Not 4.

Virtual center is not mandatory for VI3 infrasturture but recommended for good management practises if you got more the one ESX hostd.

VCP exams $175 and 80 questions. all objective. no simulations. no command line.Provides by vue.

DRS dynamic resource sheduler does auto vmotion based on resources availability.

File systems for windows ntfs-linux ext3-esx vmfs

VCB can not be installed on a VM.
VCB can not have advantage of having two HBAs.Powerpath/multipath wont work.
With VCB you can not do diffrential backup.
It can not take back up on tapes.You need 3rd party back up softwares.But not mandatory.

To implement Windows cluster shared storage should be RDM.Raw device mapping.

HA-If one ESX host is down other host takes care of all those VMs.
Not for individual VMs.If so go for windows cluster.
HA to work you should have DNS.

If virtual center is down DRS will not work.But HA will work.

AAM Heartbeat happen in service console.
Isolation response is after the heartbeat is gone(15 secs).Verify if esx host is there.

.vmdk Contains os/apps like a harddisk
.vmx configuration file information about virtual hardwares.
.lic license file
.vmtx(only on template)

Host based licensing does not support HA/DRS/Vmotion

VCP is are getting free workstation 6 license.

vpxuser is created by virtual center to access esx server.

Esx based tools
esxReplicator not visioncore
Platespin Power converter -to do V2P,P2P,V2V,P2V and all
Veeam FastSCP 2.0 for VMware ESX Server
Veeam Reporter 2.0 for VMware Infrastructure 3
Symantec Ghost
Microsoft data protection manager server.
microsoft setupcl.exe
sysprep exe.
Acronis Disk Director Suite
datacore, microsoft string bean virtual iscsi san.
NAP network access protection
Hardware keylogger
win sep

Remote access tools are
Dell Remote Access Control
Terminal server
Remote desktop

Resource management
limit-is the maximun resources allowed
reservation-default 0-is the guatenteed minimum amount of resource.If its not met Vm wont start.
Share-when there is a fight for resiurces between vms-is to control fight or to assign priority.

Per VM Swap file size is=limit-reservation size
for example if limit is 4gig and reservation is 0 then swap size is 4 gig

resource pools are only for CPU and memory.

expandable reservation onresource pool means it could get resources from its parent.

for vms shares can be chaged on the fly.reservations can not be changed on the fly.

vmotion conditions
both esx has access to storage
both connected to vmotion/production network
both on same subnet

service console is connected to a vswitch called vswif0

vms mac address start with 00:50:56:-----------

Windows licensing
if you got datacenter edition-unlimited per host
if you got enterprise editiob-4vms per license
if you got standard edition-every vm needs a license

vmkernal takes care of vmotion,nfs and iscsi traffics.

Its is good to follow dns nmaing scheme whenyo create a vms display name.(no space etc)

2 physical processor smp is better than dual core.and its is beter than hyperthreading.

VCB would help to take vm snapshots.
persistent is like hardisk writable
non persistant readonly drive.

Virtual center
There is a virtual center agent on esx host.
ads is not mandatory.
license server can be installed in the same machine where virtual center is installed.
Virtual center will have apache tom cat installed.
database server should be diffrent.
If it is sql 2000 user should be member of dbo.
if it is sql 2005 change owner ship from dbo to the virtual center user.
sql 2005 sp1 is required.
Go for sql authenticvation.

If Virtual center and sql is on the same box go for windows authentication.but this scenario is not recommended.

After the license is expired you cannot start the Vms.Currently running will remain run.

Esx used ports
Virtual center to Esx management communication - 902 tcp
Esx to license server - 27000-27010
virtual center diag - 8083
http - 80
https - 443
heart beat -902 udp
apache tomcat - 8086
iscsi - 3260

A resource for a vm comes from a single host.

Two Vms cannot access the same raw harddisks until windows clustering is configured.

Services on virtual center box
vmware license server
vmware tools service
vmware vi we access
vmware virtual mount manager extended
vmware virtual center server

with iscsi and nas you cannot have vcb and windows clustering.
storage network should be dedicated and non routable.
hardware qlogic 4050 4052
port 3260
static manual
send target is auto

to refarmat in to vmfs remove lun.that will delete files.
vmdk max file size 2tb

how to increase the size of vmdk?
vmkfstools -X 90G where 90G is the total new size.
then you have to extend the c drive on vm.
can not shrink vmdk.

mru-does fail over-but does not fail back-you have to manually fix it.
fixed-auto fail back-but you have to manually configure per lun-difficult.

service console can see smb
vmkernal cannot see smb

Nas is file level
fiber channel and iscsi is vlock level

If no vlan in vmkernal create one vswitch per ipsubnet.or one vlan for for every ip subnet.

Traffic shaping is to controll outbound traffic.
Average bandwidth kbbs
Peak bandwidth kbbs
Burst size kb

nicteaming is good for network intensive servers like terminal server,ftp,sharepont etc.

service consloe - needs ipaddress - for management
vmkernal - need ipaddress - for vmotion.nfs,iscsi
vmportgroup - no need of ip - physical infra to accesss virtual infra

do not partition the lun-use as it is.
to add hba you have to shutdown.
to add lun no need to shutdown.
internal only vswitches- cannot do vmotion.

Starter edition
standard edition
enterprise editin

Good to have 4 nics - one nic is must
nic1 for service console
nic2 for vmotion
nic3 for vms
nic4 for vms

500 meg that is guranteed or comitted
1 gig max that is over committed

service console only use cpu0 needs guranteed 8%

boot lun should be seen by only its coresponding esx server.Can be done by san masking.other luns can be seen,its good for vmotion.

mui management user interface

vi client is for host/vm management
mui w2eb client is for vm management


root password mustbe atleast 6 charecters

host based license wont float between esx servers

There is no licensing server requirement for host-based licensing.

two types of hostbased licensing

three types of serverbased licensing (needs licenseserver)

How should the amount of RAM for the VMkernel be determined?
Sum the RAM maxima for all VMs, or sum the RAM minima for a VMs if
overcommitment is desired

What must be done in order to configure an ESX server to boot from a SAN-
based disk?
a. Server BIOS must designate an HBA as the boot device
b. Fibre Channel card must initiate a “primitive” connection to target boot
c. Fibre Channel card must be accessible to Service Console and VMkernel

Maximum scsi controllers per VM 4 - 15 devices/controller
Maximum scsi controllers per host 16 - 16 devices/controller

Virtual Center server Min req

Vi Client Min req

ESX server Min req

Max VMFS3 volume size 64TB

LUN Masking - is configured on Storage processor or Host

Zoning - which servers can access which LUNs - on SAN-switch level
Soft zoning-wwn,storage processor
Hard zoning-swithport,FCfabric

Esx server roles
No Access
Read Only

Virtual Switch
56 Ports by default
Max 1016 Ports

If there is no SAN , VMKCORE and VMFS volume has to be created on local drive.

/var and /swap is on local drive

iScsi maximum LUNs 256

Max vmfs3 volumes 256

Max vmfs3 file size 64TB

Min VMFS3 Volume size 600MB

You can create a maximum of 248 vSwitches on a single host.

sharemem 50
sharememtotal 200
tax 75
ctl 65
sample 60
balance 15

ESX Server Requirements
ESX Server requires a computer with the following specifications:
• At least two processors of one of the following types:
• 1500MHz Intel Xeon and later, or AMD Opteron (32-bit mode)
• 1500MHz Intel Viiv or AMD A64 x2 dual-core processors
• 1GB RAM minimum
• One or more Ethernet controllers
• A SCSI disk, Fibre Channel LUN, or RAID LUN with unpartitioned space

Virtual SCSI Devices
• Up to 4 virtual SCSI adapters per virtual machine, with up to 15 devices per adapter
• 9TB per virtual disk

110 previleges
13 objects
8 standard roles

service console memory 272 to max 800 mb

max nfs mounts per host 8

ESX server
16 CPUs
64 GB
16 SCSI adapter/15 devices

4 CPUs
16 GB
4 SCSI adapter/15 devices


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How to Configure NTP Time Synchronization for your ESX Server

Enable the NTP client in the service console’s firewall. To do this, type the following command at the command line:

esxcfg-firewall –e ntpClient

Set the service console’s date and time using an NTP server. To do this, type the following command at the command line:

ntpdate IP_address_of_NTP_Server

The ntpdate output should look similar to this:

4 May 20:56:13 ntpdate[29453]: step time server 192.168.xx.yy offset 2462.594 sec

Force the hardware clock to match the current ESX Server time. To do this, type the following command at the command line:

hwclock --systohc --utc

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Friday, June 01, 2007

SAN vs NAS Difference

Direct Attached Storage Sample Diagram

Storage Attached Storage Sample Diagram

Network Attached Storage Sample Diagram

Diffrence between NAS and SAN

SAN Basics Made Easy

HBA - Host bus adapter. Every host server should have HBA (It is like NIC) to get connect to SAN storage. It basically converts digital signals in to optical signals.

HBA driver - It’s like NIC Device driver. Should be installed on the host server.

Fabric- It’s a fiber optic cable connects sever to a SAN switch and SAN switch to SAN Storage array.
Cable Connectors are
If its Optical :SC,LC and MJ-RJ (Small Form Factor Pluggable)
If its Copper:DB-9,HSSDC

SAN Switch- This is the middle man between host servers and SAN Storage array.
There are 16, 24, 32 port switches know as Modular switches.
There are 64,128 port switches known as director-class switches.

SAN Storage array - This equipment has got Arrays of disks/Tapes/Raid in it.
There is a Storage Processor on the SAN Storage array.

Storage Processor - It connects SAN Storage array to the SAN switch through fabric.

FC protocol – It is a communication protocol used between SAN Storage array, Switches and Host server.

Disk arrays – These are groups of multiple disk devices.

RAID -Using specialized algorithms several disk drives are grouped to provide common pooled storage on SAN Storage Array.

LUN – It is a single unit of storage on Array. It could be a single RAID group/Volume or logical Drive. A RAID can have multiple LUN.

Snapshot - It is a point in time copy of a LUN.

Internal copies – It allows data movement from one LUN to another for an additional copy for testing.

Remote mirroring - It provides constant synchronization between LUNs on one
Storage array and another remote storage array.