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VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise

VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise

Planning Deployment of Virtualization Servers
2nd Edition

Edward Haletky

Mar 2011, Paperback, 600 pages
ISBN13: 9780137058976
ISBN10: 0137058977
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Edward L. Haletky’s Complete, Solutions-Focused Guide to Running ESX Server 3.5, vSphere, and VMware 4.x

Extensively updated and revised, this is the definitive real-world guide to planning, deploying, and managing VMware ESX Server 3.5, VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), or VMware vSphere 4.x cloud computing in mission-critical environments.

Drawing on his extensive experience consulting on enterprise VMware implementations, renowned expert Edward L.
Haletky offers a “soup-to-nuts” collection of field-tested best practices and solutions. He illuminates the real benefits, issues, tradeoffs, and pitfalls associated with VMware’s newest platforms, using real-world examples that draw upon both VMware and third-party products.

This edition features detailed coverage of new vSphere features such as Storage IO Control, Network IO Control, Load-Based Teaming, Distributed Virtual Switches, ESXi, hardware and processors, and a significantly expanded discussion of auditing and monitoring. Haletky offers new or enhanced coverage of VM Hardware, virtual networking, VMsafe, and more.

All new coverage is thoroughly integrated into Haletky’s insightful discussion of the entire lifecycle: planning, installation, templates, monitoring, tuning, clustering, security, disaster recovery, and more. Haletky consistently presents the most efficient procedures, whether they use graphical tools or the command line.

You’ll learn how to:

• Assess VMware datacenter and infrastructure hardware requirements

• Understand technical, licensing, and management differences between ESX/ESXi 3.5 and 4.x

• Plan installation for your environment and identify potential “gotchas”

• Select, configure, utilize, and support storage cost-effectively

• Manage key operational issues associated with virtual infrastructure

• Adapt existing network and security infrastructure to virtualization

• Configure ESX from host connections

• Configure ESX Server from Virtual Centers or hosts

• Create, modify, and manage VMs (with detailed Windows, Linux, and NetWare examples)

• Troubleshoot VM issues with eDirectory, private labs, firewalls, and clusters

• Utilize vSphere 4.1’s improved Dynamic Resource Load Balancing (DRLB)

• Implement disaster recovery, business continuity, and backup

• Plan for vApps and the future of virtualization

VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise has long been the definitive single-source guide to VMware planning, deployment, and management. For today’s VMware architects, administrators, and managers, this edition will be even more valuable.


Basic Hardware Considerations 2

Feature Considerations 3

Processor Considerations 6

Cache Considerations 8

Memory Considerations 11

I/O Card Considerations 13

10Gb Ethernet 16

Converged Network Adapters 16

Disk Drive Space Considerations 16

Basic Hardware Considerations Summary 17

Specific Hardware Considerations 19

Blade Server Systems 19

1U Server Systems 20

2U Server Systems 21

Large Server-Class Systems 22

The Effects of External Storage 23

Examples 27

Example 1: Using Motherboard X and ESXi Will Not Install 27

Example 2: Installing ESX and Expecting a Graphical Console 27

Example 3: Existing Datacenter 28

Example 4: Office in a Box 29

Example 5: The Latest and Greatest 30

Example 6: The SAN 31

Example 7: Secure Environment 32

Example 8: Disaster Recovery 33

Hardware Checklist 34

Conclusion 35


VMware ESX/ESXi Architecture Overview 38

vmkernel Differences 40

ESX Boot Differences 44

Tool Differences 51

Virtual Networking 52

vNetwork Distributed Switch 53

Third-Party Virtual Switches 53

Fault Tolerance (FT) Logging 54

iSCSI Participation 54

IPv6 Support 54

VMsafe-Net 54

Summary 54

Storage 56

Grow a VMFS Volume 57

Storage IO Control (SIOC) 57

Multipath Plug-in (MPP) 57

iSCSI and NFS Improvements 57

FCoE 58

Storage Summary 58

Availability 60

Host Profiles 60

Fault Tolerance 60

Dynamic Power Management 62

High Availability (HA) Improvements 62

vMotion 62

Storage vMotion 62

Availability Summary 63

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Differences 64

Virtual Hardware 66

Virtual Machine and Server Management 68

Security Differences 69

Installation Differences 70

Licensing Differences 71

VMware Certification 74

Conclusion 75


Preinstallation Checklist 77

Preinstallation/Upgrade Steps 80

Step 1: Back Up ESX 81

Step 2: Read the Release Notes 82

Step 3: Perform a Pre-Upgrade Test 82

Step 4: Prepare Your ESX Host 84

Installation/Upgrade Steps 85

Step 1: Read the Release Notes 85

Step 2: Read All Relevant Documentation 85

Step 3: Is Support Available for the Hardware Configuration? 85

Step 4: Verify the Hardware 85

Step 5: Are the Firmware Levels at Least Minimally Supported? 86

Step 6: Is the System and Peripheral BIOS Correctly Set? 87

Step 7: Where Do You Want the Boot Disk Located? 88

Step 8: VMware ESX Host License 89

Step 9: Guest OS License and Installation Materials 89

Step 10: Service Console Network Information 89

Step 11: Memory Allocated to the Service Console 89

Step 12: vmkernel Network Information 90

Step 13: Number of Virtual Network Switches 90

Step 14: Virtual Network Switch Label Name(s) 91

Step 15: File System Layouts 91

Step 16: Configure the Server and the FC HBA to Boot from SAN or Boot from iSCSI 93

Step 17: Start ESX/ESXi Host Installations 102

Step 18: Connecting to the Management User Interface for the First Time 112

Step 19: Third-Party Tools to Install 116

Step 20: Additional Software Packages to Install 117

Step 21: Patch ESX or ESXi 117

Step 22: Guest Operating System Software 117

Step 23: Guest Operating System Licenses 117

Step 24: Network Information for Each Guest Operating System 118

Step 25: Guest Upgrades 118

Automating Installation 118

EXi 4.1 118

ESX 4 118

Kickstart Directives 119

Conclusion 121


Auditing Recipe 124

ESX and ESXi 124

ESX 128

ESXi 134

Auditing Conclusion 134

Monitoring Recipe 135

Host Hardware Monitoring 135

Virtual Machine State Monitoring 136

Network Monitoring 136

Performance Monitoring 137

Application Monitoring 137

Security Monitoring 137

ESX-Specific Auditing and Monitoring Concerns 138

vmkernel Considerations 139

vMotion and Fault Tolerance Considerations 139

Other ESX Considerations 139

What to Do If There Is a Break-In 141

Conclusion 142


Overview of Storage Technology with ESX 144

FC Versus SCSI Versus SAS Versus ATA Versus SATA, and So On 145

FCoE and Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) 147

iSCSI (SCSI over IP) 147

NAS (Network-Attached Storage) 149

SANs (Storage Area Networks) 149

Storage Best Practices for ESX 160

SAN/iSCSI Best Practices 160

iSCSI/NFS Best Practices 161

Virtual Machine File System 161

VMDK and VMFS Manipulation 163

VMFS Types 164

Structure of VMFS 164

Storage Checklist 169

Assessing Storage and Space Requirements 171

LUN Sizes 172

Example of LUN Sizing 175

Storage-Specific Issues 176

Increasing the Size of a VMDK 177

Increasing the Size of a VMFS 178

Searching for New LUNs 178

VMFS Created on One ESX Host Not Appearing on Another 179

How to Unlock a LUN 179

Boot from SAN or iSCSI 180

Conclusion 180


SCSI-2 Reservation Issues 182

Performance-Gathering and Hardware Agents Within a VM 189

Network Utilization 191

Virtual Machine Mobility 192

Data Store Performance or Bandwidth Issues 193

Other Operational Issues 194

Life-Cycle Management 195

Conclusion 197


Basic Building Blocks 199

Details of the Building Blocks 202

vNetwork Functionality 215

Network Definitions 237

Virtual Environment Management Network 240

Out-of-Band Management Network 242

vMotion Network 242

Fault Tolerance Logging Network 243

NFS Network 243

iSCSI Network 244

VM Network 244

Checklist 246

pSwitch Settings Checklist 250

vNetworking 252

vNetworks: The Great VLAN Debate 252

vNetworks: Network Splits 253

vNetworks: Simple Network 256

vNetworks: Adding More to the Virtualization Network 257

vNetwork: DMZ 260

pNIC Determination 262

Conclusion 263


Configuration Tasks 266

Server-Specific Tasks 266

ESXi Root Password 268

ESXi Management Network 269

Create Administrative Users 270

Security Configuration 278

Network Time Protocol (NTP) 280

Service Console Memory 284

Command Line (ESX v3) 286

vSC (ESX v3) 287

Patching ESX and ESXi 287

Patching VIA vSphere Host Update Utility 287

Patching VIA VMware Update Manager 289

Conclusion 292


Configuration Tasks 296

Join Host to vCenter 296

Licensing 297

ESX v4 298

Virtual Swap 305

VMFS Manipulation 306

Rename Local VMFS via Command Line 307

Connect to Storage Device 307

VMFS Manipulation with the vSphere Client 319

Growing a VMFS 333

Upgrading from VMFS v3.xx to v3.33 or v3.34 334

Masking and Max LUN Manipulations 335

Virtual Networking 337

Configuring the Service Console or ESXi Management Appliance 337

Creating a VM Network vSwitch 340

Creating a vNetwork Distributed Virtual Switch 344

vSC 344

Setting Up PVLANs Within a Distributed Virtual Switch 347

Creating a vMotion vSwitch 348

Creating a FT Network 352

Command Line 353

Adding an iSCSI Network 356

Adding a NAS vSwitch for Use by NFS 357

Adding a Private vSwitch 358

Adding Additional pNICs to a vSwitch 359

Adding vSwitch Portgroups 360

Removing vSwitch Portgroups 360

Distributed vSwitch Portgroup 361

vSwitch Removal 361

Distributed vSwitch Removal 362

vSwitch Security 362

vSwitch Properties 364

Changing vmkernel Gateways 367

Changing pNIC Settings 369

Changing Traffic-Shaping Settings 370


Command Line 372

vSC 373

Network-Attached Storage 375

Command Line 375

vSC 376

Mapping Information 378

Secure Access to Management Interfaces 379

Advanced Settings 380

Conclusion 380


Overview of Virtual Hardware 383

Creating VMs 389

VM Creation from vSC 393

VM Creation from Command Line 435

Installing Guest Operating Systems 442

Using Local to the ESX Host CD-ROMs 443

Using a Local or Shared ESX Host ISO Image 444

Using Client Device or ISO 445

Importance of DVD/CD-ROM Devices 447

Other Installation Options 447

Special Situations 447

Using CD/RW and DVD/RW/R+/R- Devices 447

Virtual Guest Tagging Driver 448

Virtual Hardware for Non-Disk SCSI Devices 448

Virtual Hardware for Raw Disk Map Access to Remote SCSI 450

Virtual Hardware for RDM-Like Access to Local SCSI 450

VM Disk Modes and Snapshots 452

OS Installation Peculiarities 456

Cloning, Templates, and Deploying VMs 457

VM Solutions 458

Private Lab 458

Firewalled Private Lab 458

Firewalled Lab Bench 460

Cluster in a Box 462

Cluster Between ESX Hosts 462

Cluster Between Virtual and Physical Servers 463

vCenter as a VM 463

Virtual Appliances 464

VMware Tools 465

VMX Changes 466

Conclusion 467


Defining DRLB 469

The Basics 470

The Advanced Features 473

Shares 486

Resource Pool Addendum 488

Network Resources 489

Disk Resources 490

CPU Resources 491

Memory Resources 491

vApps 492

Monitoring 494

Alarms 495

Performance Analysis 504

Putting It All Together 511

Conclusion 512


Disaster Types 514

Recovery Methods 517

Best Practices 521

Backup and Business Continuity 522

Backup 523

Business Continuity 529

The Tools 531

Local Tape Devices 534

VMware Data Recovery 534

Third-Party Tools 538

Conclusion 538




Edward L. Haletky

is the author of VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment as well as the first edition of this book, VMware ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers . Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting, and development, and The Virtualization Practice, where he is also an analyst. Edward is the moderator and host of the Virtualization Security Podcast, as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on virtualization.