How to start designing a vSphere environment, what is involved, whom to involve?
What is a Design?
“A streamlined process which helps the various elements in the organization to determine how to assemble and configure a
Virtual Infrastructure which is strong and Flexible. A design should contain all the important information that meets the
Functional Requirements of an Organization.”
The functional requirments unify 3 different facets of the design:
Technical – What to deploy?
Operational – How to deploy and Support?
Organizational – Who will deploy and support?
Why Vmware or any other Virtualization product for that matter?
There should be a strong reason/objective to deploy Virtualization in the organization, some of them are:
- Datacenter Consolidation which will help saving Datacenter space, power and Cooling costs etc
- New Application rollout, Exchange 2010 for ex.
- Disaster Recovery/Business continuity, Deploy new DR/BC Solution using VMware vSphere and SRM
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Facets of the design:
- What type of servers, blades or Rack Mounted?
- Type of Physical CPU’s in the server?
- Type & Quantity of Storage?
- Kind of Networking etc?
- Who will manage the whole environment?
- Who will provision what? Storage, Network etc?
- Who will support VM’s, their backup’s etc?
- Who will be responsible for Security Policies?
- How will the Hosts be managed?
- How will the VM’s be provisioned?
- How will I Failover to DR Site?
- How will compliance be verified?
How to go about desigining any Infrastructure?
- Review Infrastructure documents provided by the client, although it may not provide the complete but most of the Functional Requirements
- Interview the IT teams and IT Management teams (everyone and anyone as required) to understand the environment better
- Top 5 issues at the user level that can be resolved using VMware Platform
Assemble bits and pieces?
- It’s always acceptable to remove functional requirements, if at any point, they don’t serve any purpose what’s the point in having them?
- Set standards and Best practices, but every Best practice recommended by a vendor may not suite your environment, get a deeper look into the Best Practices and ensure they meet your functional requirements
- Start documenting every bit of the Design, so that the implementation teams find it easy
All in all, “get your basics right” before you jump into any Technical Jargons 🙂
*Most of the information is being taken from Scott Lowe’s Design book which I thought is the best information available so far 🙂