We are about to install esx/vc for production. We had them installed when we were doing testing but I feel like we didn't follow best practices when we preformed the installs. At the time we just installed all the vc componets on one vmware server guest. I haven't fully researched it yet but I'm under the impression you can move the DB, licensing and application to different locations. What I want to know is, does anyone have any advice and/or documentation of best practices. Additionally we are going to install 2 hosts to start with put them in a cluster and have them attach to a nfs datastore. Any advice would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
Check out the Quickstart Guides. The guide for ESX 3.01 and VC 2.0.1 can be found here: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_301_201_quickstart.pdf - These docs will provide the answers to many of your questions and give you some of the best practices.
You can have everything on one box, or distributed across 3 different boxes - it all depends on your environment and the flexibility you ultimately need.
I typically use a separate existing db server for the database, and then put VirtualCenter and the license server on the same server together.
Can you elaborate more on your environment? Do you have an existing db server you could use? How important is it for VirtualCenter to always be available, etc?
What we did was place the VC+license server on 1 VM, then our VC DB (Oracle 10gR2 on Linux) on another VM. We then created an affinity rule to force them on the same host (1 isn't useful without the other).
Thanks for the document link. I'm sure that will be very helpful.
As for our enviroment we will want to run the db on an external sql database server. We are also very big on 0 downtime and with that said if the licensing server and or vc have a failure does that bring down the entire enviroment? What I'm trying to figure out is can we combine the license server and vc on the same vmware server guest? Maybe then we can do some sort of snapshot routine to back it up in case of a failure?
I forgot to mention that we will be using sql clustering for the db.
This link has the best collection of information in it. We used it to plan our upgrade. http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-2562 Essential ESX 3.5 & VC 2.5 links.
The license server and vcenter server can live on the same server without any trouble. If they go down, all your virtual machines will stay running. You will just have to manage the hosts and vms directly by connecting to the host with the virtual infrastructure client.
If license server goes down, nothing happens for 14 days, except you cant power on new VMs until its resolved. After that, all bets are off.
If VC goes down, nothing happens (all guests continue to run). HA continues to work, however DRS and VMotion will not.
If both goes down, nothing happens. Heck, i brought down my vcenter/license VM yesterday for a few hours for some maintinence - no issues, nothing bad happened.
That was a great post! That's what I wanted to hear if you lose this, this will happen.
Correct me if I'm wrong but if you lose your db you lose your vms, right? What information is stored in the db and how big will it get with 10 guests?
The DB is just a repository for Virtual Center, it hold resource pools, clusters, folders, vm's, templates, etc., but just the entity names and relationships. Your VM's will still be attached to the ESX host itself, and you can either recover from a backup or just add your hosts to VC again and the VM's will be registered in VC and added to the DB repository again.
DB also holds performance/rollup data, that's where the real size comes from, we have around 450 VM's in our VC and our database is only about 20GB, must most of that is historical performance data.