Architectural Decisions

Over the many years I have been working with VMware products,  I have been involved with countless Virtualization projects where I have made numerous Architectural Decisions in order to ensure the solution met (and hopefully exceeded) the customers Requirements while working within their Constraints.

The goal of this section is to share a variety of Architectural Decisions I have made to assist the Virtualization community making  decisions relating to your current and future Virtualization solutions.

I will be aiming to show examples of decisions which align with best practices, and more importantly, ones that don’t.

For those aspiring to achieve the  VCDX certification, the information in this section should help you fully understand & justify your decisions. Being able to justify your decisions is a critical component of creating solid architecture, and an important thing to remember for your VCDX preparation, and especially your defense!

I will be aiming to regularly update this section with new decisions with the goal of creating a database of example decisions to help streamline the process of making your architectural decisions.

I am hoping this section also sparks discussion and I welcome any feedback and will update the section where appropriate to ensure all example Architectural Decisions are as accurate and complete as possible.


VMware Architectural Decision Register

The below register is a teaser of things to come. If you are having problems making a decision OR just interested in a specific architectural decision please leave a comment and I can prioritize the order in which I add the decisions.

VMware vCenter

  1. vSphere 5.1 Single Sign On (SSO) deployment mode across Active/Active Datacenters – Example 1 (Added: march 16th 2013)
  2. Single Sign On Configuration for Single Site w/ Multiple vCenter Servers (Added: June 24th 2013)
  3. Default Virtual Machine Configuration Configuration (Added: 30th March 2014)

VMware High Availability (HA)

  1. Admission Control Setting and Policy (Added: December 9th 2012)
  2. Number of Hosts per cluster (Coming Soon)
  3. Host Isolation Response for IP Storage (Added: December 11th 2012)
  4. HA Admission Control Policy with Software licensing constraints (Added: February 7th 2013)
  5. VMware HA – Percentage of Cluster Resources Reserved for HA (Added: March 9th 2013)
  6. vSphere configuration for handling APD/PDL scenarios (Added: 13th March 2013)
  7. Host isolation response for FC based Storage (Added: 13th March 2013)
  8. Host Isolation Response for a Nutanix Environment (Added: 7th August 2013)

VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)

  1. DRS automation and configuration (Added: December 10th 2012)
  2. DRS automation level for a Nutanix environment (Added: July 1st 2013)

VMware EVC

  1. Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (Added: December 15th 2012)

VMware Power Management (DPM & Advanced Power Management)

  1. Distributed Power Management usage (Coming Soon)
  2. Advanced Power Management for vSphere Clusters with Business Critical Applications (Added: May 27th 2013)

Site Recovery Manager (SRM)

  1. Site Recovery Manager Deployment Location (Added: April 1st 2013)
  2. VMware Site Recovery Manager, Physical or Virtual machine? (Added: April 1st 2013)
  3. Swap file location for SRM protected VMs (Added: April 1st 2013)
  4. Storage I/O Control for SRM protected Clusters (Example 1 – Don’t Use SIOC)  (Added: April 3rd 2013)
  5. Storage I/O Control for SRM protected Clusters (Example 2 – Use SIOC) (Added: April 3rd 2013)
  6. Using Datastore Heartbeats for SRM protected Clusters (Added: April 4th 2013)

VMware vNetworking

  1. vNetworking for IP Storage (Coming Soon)
  2. Network I/O Control for ESXi Host using IP Storage (4x10Gb NICs) (Added: December 15th 2012)
  3. vSwitch/dvSwitch Load Balancing Policy (Added: December 15th 2012)
  4. Network Failover Detection Policy (Added: December 12th 2012)
  5. Securing vMotion & Fault Tolerant Traffic in IaaS/Cloud Environments (Added: December 18th 2012)
  6. Port Binding Setting for a dvPortGroup (Added: 23rd November 2014)
  7. Network I/O Control Shares/Limits for ESXi Host using IP Storage (Added: January 19th 2013)
  8. Jumbo Frames for IP Storage (Do not use Jumbo Frames) (Added: May 24th 2013)
  9. Jumbo Frames for IP Storage (Use Jumbo Frames) (Added: May 24th 2013)
  10. vMotion configuration for Cisco UCS Environments (Added: September 11th 2013)

VMware Storage

  1. Virtual Machine vSwap Location (Added: December 11th 2012)
  2. Datastore Sizing (Coming Soon)
  3. Storage Protocol Choice (Coming Soon)
  4. Guest OS Page File Storage in vSphere  (Added March 2nd 2013)
  5. Storage I/O control for IaaS solutions (Added: December 17th 2012)
  6. Datastore (LUN) and Virtual Disk Provisioning (Thin on Thick) (Added March 4th 2013)
  7. Storage DRS configuration for NFS datastores (Added February 21st 2013)
  8. Storage DRS configuration for VMFS datastores in vCloud Environment (Added March 1st 2013)
  9. vSphere Path Selection Plugin (PSP) for IBM SVC Storage (Added March 4th 2013)
  10. Number of paths per LUN for VMFS datastores (Added March 5th 2013)
  11. Datastore (LUN) and Virtual Disk Provisioning (Thin on Thin) (Added June 25th 2013)
  12. Datastore (LUN) Sizing with Block Based Storage (Added June 26th 2013)

ESXi Host Hardware

  1. Management Cluster ESXi Host Hardware (Coming Soon)
  2. IaaS Cluster ESXi Host Hardware (Coming Soon)
  3. ESXi Host Hardware Sizing – Example 1 (Added 29th June 2013)

vCloud Director (vCD)

  1. Provider Virtual Datacenters (Coming Soon)
  2. vCloud Management Servers Cluster (Coming Soon)
  3. BC/DR Solution for vCloud Director (Added: March 6th 2013)
  4. Allocation Models for Single Tenant Environment (Coming soon)

VMware Horizon View (VDI)

  1. Supporting VMware View Infrastructure Servers (Added: December 18th 2012)
  2. Storage Protocol Choice for a VMware View Environment using Linked Clones (Added: January 19th 2013)
  3. Virtual Desktops Memory Reservations  (Added: December 17th 2012)
  4. Distributed Power Management for Virtual Desktop Clusters (Added: December 17th 2012)
  5. Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) Configuration for VDI (1 of 2)
  6. Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) Configuration for VDI (2 of 2)

Virtual Machine (VM)

  1. Time Synchronization for Virtual Machines (Added: December 12th 2012)
  2. Running Defrag utilities in Guest Operation Systems (Coming Soon)

Business Critical Applications (BCAs)

  1. Hyperthreading and Business Critical Applications – Exchange 2013 (Added: August 14th 2013)
  2. More Coming Soon

Architectural Decision Flowcharts

This is a new series I have decided to kick off to compliment my example architectural decisions series and assist virtualization architects in making the most suitable architectural decisions for their solutions.

1. Storage DRS (SDRS)

2. vSphere 5.1 Single Sign On (SSO)

3. More to come!

21 thoughts on “Architectural Decisions

  1. I appreciate your contribution Josh, really helpful for the folks who are not in to the business of designing but still working with VMware technology one or the other way. These examples are really useful understanding the basic/in depth concept of design methodologies while working with VMware solutions. If every VCDX on earth started sharing their experiences/knowledge in such a way, then that contribution will help others who are striving to achieve the knowledge in the field of Designing VMware solutions and of course in their journey for VCDX. This is just my wish but they have to make their own decisions about the same. Hats off to your efforts in helping the community. Hope to see more posts soon as this will be soon become my cloud storage member in the form of a PDF document :-)

  2. Are naming conventions part of a design? Are you able to let us know some common naming conventions for hosts, clusters, datacentre, portgroups, datastores etc. It’s something i haven’t seen in any book. It would be great for those of us that don’t see many environments.

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  4. Hi Josh, your posts are very helpful for me too !
    I’m actually preparing my VCAP-DCD, after passed my DCA this month.
    I’m gone from technical side (10 years ago),today as a consultant, but it’s still good to practice my expression and the use of “explain everything” even if seems to be common sense.

    Awaiting your future posts !

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