Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere 5 Best Practices

February 3, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

In our next post, we will talk about Oracle Databases as our next candidate of Virtualization. Oracle DBs are known to be heavy duty, Tier 0 or Tier 1 servers that losing it can lead to business disruption significantly. Oracle is a Strategic Partner of VMware. This provides a great support and compatibility of Oracle DBs above or below vSphere Platform. As we’ll see in following sections, Oracle DB is supported as a virtual application above vSphere Platform or as a store for vSphere data used by vCenter Server for example. As Microsoft SQL Servers, Oracle Applications and Database has its own features that are aligned with vSphere features to push Oracle Databases performance, availability and scalability to another level. […]

Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 on vSphere 5 Best Practices

January 28, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 2

Today, we will talk about Microsoft SQL Server Virtualization. SQL Databases have been in our data centers since 1990s carrying TBs of data that are stored and retrieved by many and many of applications. Nowadays, no business application can run without a SQL back-end DB. This leads to a “Spree” of databases in our data centers, pushing Microsoft SQL Server to be one of our most critical applications that spans both production and non-production regions. The latest editions now are Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and 2014. We’ll talk about how to virtualize Microsoft SQL Server using vSphere 5.x platform and how to leverage new SQL Server features, like: Always-on Availability Groups (AAG) and Data Mirorring, to provide the required level […]

Virtualizing Microsoft SharePoint 2010/2013 on vSphere 5 Best Practices

January 26, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Let’s now talk about Microsoft SharePoint 2013. MS SharePoint is one of the most complex Microsoft products. It’s a multi-tier product, that each tier can be scaled individually. Quoting the following from, as a summary about Microsoft Sharepoint: “SharePoint can provide intranet portals, document and file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence. It also has system integration, process integration, and workflow automation capabilities.” MS SharePoint consists mainly of three tiers: Web Interface, Application Server and Database. Each of these tiers needs a defined level of performance, availability and scalability. vSphere 5.x can easily provide the required level of performance, availability and scalability due to its flexibility, its ability to host different types of workloads and […]

Virtualizing Microsoft Clustering Services (MSCS) Windows 2012 on vSphere 5 Best Practices

January 22, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Microsoft Clustering Services (MSCS) is one of the first HA solutions in our IT world and one of the hardest to configure. Although, I don’t have personal experience with MS Failover Clustering, but I know the severe pain of deploying, testing and troubleshooting this solution. Microsoft’s developed this solution so much since its first version. Available versions now are: MS Clustering Service on Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 and 2012 R2. With vSphere 5.x, MSCS can now be virtualized and it’s fully supported by Microsoft. In this part, we’ll talk about MSCS in Windows 2012 and best practices to deploy it in vSphere 5.x environments.These best practices are collected from published VMware best practices guides and Microsoft best practices […]

Virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)-Windows 2012 on vSphere 5 Best Practices

January 21, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is the core of our IT Infrastructure nowadays. It’s the authentication and authorization center of any IT Infrastructure. Being here since 1990’s, AD DS has been through a great development till reached this version on Windows 2012 with many new features. Luckily, some of these are only for helping virtualizing Domain Controllers (DC’s) with min. effort and to leverage all of Virtualization advantages and features. These features are: 1-) VM Generation ID (Virtualization Safeguard): An ID that’s generated and add to any Windows 2012 VM when being deployed on a supported hypervisor (vSphere 5.0 U2 and later) .vmx file. It’s used to trace VM life-cycle. When it’s power on for first time, a new […]

ESXi Tardisks, Ramdisks & ESXi Local State

January 20, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Hi All.. During my study for my VCAP-DCD, I came to an interesting point that I’d like to share with you. During reading vSphere Design Sybex V2 by Scott Lowe and Forbies Guthrie, they came though ESXi boot disk partitions and how the boot image is loaded into memory during boot. Long story short, ESXi base image essentially is a compressed file. When booting ESXi image, that compressed file is uncompressed into the memory producing two types of files: VMkernel Executives and Archive Files. VMkernel Executives are .gz files that aren’t shown in the list of file system files and they form the main files system. Archive files, aka. VIBs or VMware Installation Bundles (Anyone experienced with Auto Deploy knows them), contain all […]

Swap to Host Cache (wrongly aka. Swap to SSD)

January 18, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 2

Hi All … vSphere 5.0 and later came with so many enhancement for Virtual Infrastructure and Swap to Host Cache is one of these. This feature allows you to use any SSD datastore -some or all of it- as Write-back Cache to swap to it ESXi memory pages in case of Hard State memory contention. Many of vExperts wrote about it and its technical how-to configuration, like Duncan Epping in his complete-guide blog post here. Now, you’re asking: “So, why do you write this blog post?? Do you wanna to copy-paste??!”  The answer is unfortunately, NO!! I write this blog post to answer a question that may come to your mind while reading about this awesome feature: “What is the […]

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