VMware vSphere Distributed Switch Best Practices

VMware vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) is a key virtual network platform that is scalable and extensible. It also provides advanced networking features and operational simplicity that helps build a flexible network for the cloud. The advanced networking features such as NIOC, LBT, NetFlow, and Port mirror are available on VDS and not on a virtual standard switch (VSS). This paper walks through the design process of incorporating VDS and its advanced features in different customer deployments. Customers typically have various types of server hardware and network adapter configurations in their environment. Following standard server hardware configurations are considered during the VDS design discussions.

1) Rack Server with Eight 1 Gigabit network adapters
2) Rack Server with two 10 Gigabit network adapters
3) Blade Server with two 10 Gigabit network adapters
4) Blade Server with Hardware assisted multiple Logical network adapters

For all these above hardware configurations different VDS design approaches will be presented along with their pros and cons. Along the way some best practices and important parameters of virtual and physical switches will be highlighted. Finally, some operational aspects of the VDS will also be discussed.

The whitepaper can be downloaded here.

Best practices for XenApp on VMware

VMware released a best practices guide for XenApp on VMware. I have been looking forward to a best practices guide by VMware for a while, since more and more companies are deploying their XenApp infrastructure on VMware vSphere.

This guide describes the best practices for implementing an XenApp infrastructure on VMware vSphere by focussing on the following topics :

 Citrix XenApp Architecture on vSphere – Provides background on Citrix XenApp architecture and the
rationale for deploying on VMware vSphere.

 VMware ESX™ Host Best Practices for Citrix XenApp –Provides proven VMware best practices for
vSphere hosts running XenApp workloads. Includes guidance in the areas of CPU, memory, storage,
and networking.

 Citrix XenApp on vSphere Best Practices – Deploying Citrix XenApp on vSphere requires that proven
best practices for the XenApp application continue to be followed. The focus in this section is on
configuring virtual machines for XenApp.

 Monitoring Performance – When migrating XenApp to a vSphere infrastructure, maintaining
performance levels that are equal or better than those achieved in physical deployments is essential.
Monitoring before and after a migration helps validate whether the migration was a success, and can
also help establish a baseline understanding of the performance characteristics. This section takes a
look at the vSphere tools available to help monitor the vSphere environment.

 vSphere Enhancements for Deployment and Operations – Provides a brief look at vSphere features
and add-ons that can enhance the deployment and management of XenApp.

You can download the guide over here.