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Maximum vSphere: Tips, How-Tos, and Best Practices for Working with VMware vSphere 4, Safari

By Eric Siebert, Simon Seagrave

Published by Prentice Hall

Published Date: Aug 17, 2010

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Best Practices, How-Tos, and Technical Deep Dives for Working VMware VI4/VI3 Pros


Maximum vSphere is the comprehensive, up-to-the-minute, working reference for everyone who plans, implements, or administers VMware virtual infrastructure. Authored by top VMware consultants, it brings together proven best practices, tips, and solutions for achieving outstanding performance and reliability in your production environment.


This book brings together crucial knowledge you won’t find anywhere else, including powerful new vSphere 4 techniques drawn from the experiences of dozens of advanced practitioners. You’ll find sophisticated, expert coverage of virtual machines, vCenter Server, networking, storage, backups, vMotion, fault tolerance, vSphere management, installation, upgrades, security, and much more.


Author Eric Siebert takes the same hands-on approach that made his VMware® VI3 Implementation and Administration so popular with working professionals. Whether you’re implementing or managing vSphere 4, upgrading from older virtualization technologies, or taking new responsibilities in any VMware environment, you’ll find this bookindispensable.


Coverage includes


  • Understanding how key vSphere 4 changes affect production environments
  • Working with ESX and ESXi hosts and host profiles
  • Getting “under the hood” with vSphere 4 virtual machines
  • Making the most of vCenter Server and plug-ins
  • Choosing and configuring storage for maximum efficiency
  • vSphere Networking: physical/virtual NICs, standard/distributed vSwitches, Cisco Nexus 1000V, and more
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting vSphere performance: CPU, memory, disk/storage, and other issues
  • Backing up and recovering VMware environments
  • Using advanced features, including High Availability (HA), Distributed Resource, Distributed Power Management (DPM) and Vmotion
  • Managing vSphere through the client, Web access, command line, Management Assistant, Powershell, ESX Service Console, and third-party tools
  • Building your own vSphere 4 lab
  • Performing more efficient installations and upgrades

Table of Contents

Foreword xv

Acknowledgments xix

About the Authors xxiii


Chapter 1: Introduction to vSphere 1

What’s New in This Release 1

Configuration Maximum Differences from VI3 15

Understanding the Licensing Changes 16

Summary 19


Chapter 2: ESX and ESXi Hosts 21

What’s New with ESX and ESXi Hosts in vSphere 21

Selecting Physical Host Hardware to Use with vSphere 28

Differences between ESX and ESXi 31

Using Host Profiles 37

Summary 40


Chapter 3: Virtual Machines 41

What’s New with Virtual Machines in vSphere 41

Anatomy of a Virtual Machine 52

Summary 66


Chapter 4: vCenter Server 67

What’s New with vCenter Server in vSphere 67

Plug-ins 84

Summary 90


Chapter 5: Storage in vSphere 91

What’s New with Storage in vSphere 91

Choosing a Storage Type 100

Additional Storage Considerations 107

Storage Configuration 120

Summary 124


Chapter 6: Networking in vSphere 127

What’s New with Networking in vSphere 127

Physical NICs 130

Virtual NICs 132

Standard vSwitches 137

Distributed vSwitches 138

Cisco Nexus 1000V 143

Choosing a vSwitch Type 147

vShield Zones 149

Additional Resources 153

Summary 154


Chapter 7: Performance in vSphere 155

What’s New with Performance in vSphere 156

Monitoring vSphere Performance 158

Understanding Host Server Performance Metrics 167

Performance Alarms 171

Troubleshooting vSphere Performance Issues 172

CPU Performance Troubleshooting 178

Memory Performance Troubleshooting 185

Disk/Storage Troubleshooting 195

Network Troubleshooting 200

Additional Troubleshooting Tips 202

Summary 203


Chapter 8: Backups in vSphere 205

Backup Methods 205

VMware Data Recovery 209

Summary 216


Chapter 9: Advanced Features 217

High Availability (HA) 217

Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) 224

Distributed Power Management (DPM) 227

VMotion 231

Storage VMotion 235

Fault Tolerance (FT) 237

Summary 245


Chapter 10: Management of vSphere 247

vSphere Client 247

Web Access 249

vSphere CLI 249

vSphere Management Assistant 251

PowerShell and PowerCLI 252

ESX Service Console 254

ESXi Management Console 255

Free Third-Party Tools 257

Summary 258


Chapter 11: Installing vSphere 259

Installing vCenter Server 260

Installing ESX and ESXi 267

Summary 284


Chapter 12: Upgrading to vSphere 285

Compatibility Considerations 285

Planning an Upgrade 287

Upgrade Techniques 293

Phase 1: Upgrading vCenter Server 297

Phase 2: Upgrading ESX and ESXi 301

Phase 3: Upgrading Virtual Machines 306

Summary 309


Chapter 13: Creating and Configuring Virtual Machines 311

Creating a Virtual Machine in vSphere 311

Installing VMware Tools 316

VM Hardware, Options, and Resource Controls 318

Summary 329


Chapter 14: Building Your Own vSphere Lab 331

Why Build a vSphere Lab? 331

What Do You Want from a vSphere Lab? 333

What You Need to Build Your Own vSphere Lab 334

Support: The “Official” Line 335

Hardware 336

Software Components 356

Environmental and Other Lab Considerations 357

Running Nested VMs 358

Summary 363


Index 365