With the release of vSphere 4.1 there have been some great enhancements that have been added with this release. In one of my earlier post I took a look at the vSphere 4.1 release of ESXi. This post I am going to take a look at vSphere 4.1 availability options and enhancements. So what has changed with this release? A maximum of 320 virtual machines per host has been firmly set. In vSphere 4.0 there were different VM/Host limitations for DRS as well as different rules for VMware HA. VMware has also raised the number of virtual machines that can be run in a single cluster from 1280 in 4.0 to 3000 in the vSphere 4.1 release. How do these improvements affect your upgrade planning?
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I just finished writing all the content for my next book entitled VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment of Virtualization Servers (2nd Edition) which continues the discussion on Dynamic Resource Load Balancing (DRLB). DRLB is the balancing of virtualized workloads across all hosts within a cluster of virtualization hosts without human intervention. This is the ultimate goal of automation with respect to virtualization and therefore the cloud. In effect, with DRLB the virtualization administrators job has been simplified to configuration and trouble shooting leaving the virtual environment to load balance work loads on its own.
This is a lofty goal, and we are not quite there yet, but we are further along than when I wrote VMware ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers when ESX 3.0 first shipped. But what has really changed, as I talk to people, much of the automation is still done by hand coding specifics to all environments. I think we are close, and take some of the real innovations as writ and move on from there.
I have been preparing my virtual environment for a VMware vSphere upgrade. Specifically I have been going over my existing hardware with an eye towards running all aspects of vSphere including VMware Fault Tolerance (FT), NPIV, Cisco Nexus 1000V, and well everything.
But first a little about my environment. It is not all that big. Currently it has 2 DL380 G5s with dual quad port E5345 CPUs, 16GBs of memory, 2 146GB SAS drives, dual port Intel GigE dual port adapters, Emulex Dual Port FC-HBAs. In addition, there are 2 DL380 G3s both with 6GBs of memory and 6 146GB drives. One of the DL380 G3s is my VMware vCenter Server and Backup Server attached to a USB DISC BluSafe of which I blogged about previously. The other DL380 G3 is a test box for the virtual environment.
So what will going to vSphere entail?