VMware recently released an updated version of “Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 4.1”. This version covers VMware ESX 4.1, ESXi 4.1 and vCenter 4.1.
In the introduction it is stated that this book is not intended as a Quick start Guide for planning and configuring new projects. In my opinion it is very useful as a checklist for new deployments and for reviewing existing environments.
So what is in it? The book contains 4 chapters and a glossary.
- “Hardware for Use with VMware vSphere”.
If your project includes buying new hardware, read the considerations about CPU, Storage and Network hardware. Finally some general tips for BIOS settings. From my own experience, new servers always need adjusting BIOS parameters.
To compare Intel Xeon processors, try this link, and for AMD, this one.
- “ESX and Virtual machines”, best reading, the subsections on ESX CPU and Memory considerations. Rule of thumb, provide your Virtual Machines with no more and no less vCPUs and memory! For me, this sentence needs some extra research, “When possible, configure 32-bit Linux virtual machines to have no more than 896 MB of memory.”
- “Guest Operating Systems”, the subsection on “Guest Operating System Networking Considerations” is a must read. With ESX(i)4, the number of virtual network adapters has grown, and choosing the adapter that suit your needs has not become an easy job.
- “Virtual Infrastructure management” contains considerations on vCenter and the database vCenter relies on. Also subsections on vMotion, Storage vMotion, a lot about Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), Distributed Power Management (DPM), High Availability and Fault Tolerance.
P.S. Older versions of this document are also available on the Internet, so make sure you choose the correct version J.