Virutalizing vCenter Server: Yes or No?

March 13, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 1

“Should I virtualize vCenter Server or not?!”.. This question is asked a lot, specially during preparing for new vSphere deployments. IMO, and in 99.9% of all cases I meet, I answer with “Yes!! Why not?”. vCenter Server is a central part of your Management Layer of your infrastructure that requires high level of availability and performance. vSphere 5.x is capable of providing the required level of performance for vCenter Server itself or for any one of its components (SSO, Inventory Service or Web Client) as well as its required back-end Database. In the same time, virtualizing vCenter Server provides higher level of availability, using vSphere HA and the new SMP Fault Tolerance in vSphere 6.0. Despite many advantages of virtualizing vCenter Server, […]

Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010/2013 on vSphere 5 Best Practices

February 12, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 1

We’ll talk today about virtualizing Microsoft Exchange on vSphere 5.x platform. Microsoft Exchange is considered the most common messaging system in any business all over the world. From SMB to huge Enterprises and Corporations, they all may use Microsoft Exchange as their messaging and communication system. For most of them, Exchange is considered Tier 0/1 that should be served with highest level of performance and availability. vSphere 5.x is capable of providing such level of performance and availability while reducing Microsoft Exchange footprint with 5x to 10x by consolidating many Exchange roles and nodes on the same physical hardware while providing 100% or more of the required performance. Best practices mentioned here are collected from different sources that are mentioned in […]

Virtualizing Java Enterprise Applications on vSphere 5 Best Practices

February 6, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Enterprise Software are known to be business-critical and business-oriented software that each company develops its own one to serve their business needs. Today, we gonna talk about Java Enterprise Applications. Java Enterprise Apps are multi-tier Enterprise Software that consists of -generally- from 3 tiers: Web Interface, Application Processing Tier and a Back-end DB. Each tier isn’t a single instance -either physical or virtual-, but each tier consists of a cluster of instances to serve the purpose of the tier. This makes Java Enterprise Applications excellent Virtualization candidates. vSphere 5.x with its enormous features, can deliver the required performance, scalability and availability level for Java Enterprise Applications clusters. With HA, DRS, vMotion and other many features, vSphere Platform can extremely decrease the physical hardware […]

Virtualizing SAP HANA on vSphere 5 Best Practices

February 5, 2015 Shady ElMalatawey 0

Today, we will explore an application that requires high levels of hardware specs to host and highest level of performance, It’s SAP HANA. SAP HANA is one of the most powerful Data Processing software in the world. It’s an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system developed and marketed by SAP SE. SAP HANA was supported on vSphere 5.1 for non-production environment and became supported for production in Q2 2014 on vSphere 5.5. Best practices here are gathered from few sources found that are mentioned in References section below. I’ll follow the same schema of my previous posts and relate these best practices to our five Design Qualifiers (AMPRS – Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability and Security) in addition to Scalability. Availability: 1-) Leverage […]

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 Wikipedia.com, 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 […]

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