Book Image

Learning VMware vSphere

By : Rebecca Fitzhugh, Abhilash G B
Book Image

Learning VMware vSphere

By: Rebecca Fitzhugh, Abhilash G B

Overview of this book

Computer virtualization is a method to enable the running of multiple application workloads on a machine to achieve efficient utilization and reduce the number of physical machines in a data center. This has now become the foundation of many modern day data centers. What began as a technology to virtualize x86 architecture has now grown beyond the limits of a server’s hardware and into the realm of storage and network virtualization. VMware is currently the market leader in developing data center virtualization solutions. This book goes into the details of designing and implementing VMware solutions that form the foundation of a VMware infrastructure. The book begins by introducing you to the concepts of server virtualization followed by the architecture of VMware’s hypervisor – ESXi and then by its installation and configuration. You then learn what is required to manage a vSphere environment and configure advanced management capabilities of vCenter. Next you are taken through topics on vSphere Networking, Storage, ESXi Clustering, Resource Management and Virtual Machine Management. You will then be introduced to SSL Certificate Management and its use in a vSphere environment. Finally, you will learn about the lifecycle management of a vSphere environment by effectively monitoring, patching and upgrading vSphere components using Update Manager. By the end of the book, you will know how to use VMware’s vSphere suite of components to lay the foundation of a modern day virtual infrastructure.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Learning VMware vSphere
About the Authors
About the Reviewers


What began as an attempt to virtualize x86 architecture has now grown beyond the limits of a server’s hardware and has gone into the realm of storage and network virtualization. Today, most modern data centers aim to achieve a hundred percent virtualization. Although there are multiple players offering virtualization solutions, with its extensive portfolio of products and solutions, VMware is still the market leader in data center virtualization.

Learning VMware vSphere is written with an aim to help you understand the concepts behind server virtualization and act as a handy guide to creating a scalable and responsive virtualization platform for hosting the virtual machine workloads of any business. VMware vSphere is the platform with its core suite of products that helps you lay the foundation of a fully functional virtualized data center for your application workloads, cloud, and the business.

We begin by introducing you to the concepts of CPU, memory, and IO virtualization and delve deeper into the architecture of a hypervisor—more specifically, VMware’s ESXi. You will be introduced to the concepts of a virtual machine and learn how to create and manage them. You will learn how to create a management layer for your vSphere environment by deploying VMware vCenter Server. The book further covers vSphere Storage and Networking concepts and configuration, monitoring the performance of a vSphere environment, securing a vSphere environment, and the life cycle management of a vSphere environment.

You will walk away with enough knowledge to plan, implement, manage, and monitor a VMware vSphere environment.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, An Introduction to Server Virtualization Using VMware, introduces you to the concepts of server virtualization. You will learn how the processor, memory, and storage resources are virtualized with the help of the Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM). You will also be introduced to the components of VMware vSphere. This sets the foundation for what you are about to learn in the subsequent chapters.

Chapter 2, The Hypervisor - ESXi, discusses the architecture of ESXi hypervisor. You will learn to install or deploy ESXi hosts and perform the initial configuration. You will also learn different methods of deploying ESXi onto bare metal servers.

Chapter 3, The Management Layer – vCenter, teaches you how to install and configure VMware vCenter Server. You will learn how to deploy both Windows and Linux versions of vCenter Server and also how to perform the post-installation configuration on them. You will learn how to configure identity sources on the SSO server and configure licenses for vSphere environment. Then, you will learn how to configure Enhanced Linked Mode for vCenters.

Chapter 4, vSphere Networking Concepts and Management, explores the networking concepts associated with a VMware infrastructure. You will learn how to create and manage virtual switches (standard or distributed). From there, you will learn more about virtual switch security settings, traffic shaping, load balancing, and failover. You will explore the network monitoring methods and bandwidth management using Network I/O Control.

Chapter 5, vSphere Storage Concepts and Management, explains how to plan, implement, and manage storage access to a vSphere infrastructure. You will explore the Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA), a modular API framework that lets storage vendors build their own SATP or PSP plugins. You will learn how to configure access to Fiber Channel, iSCSI, and NFS storage. You will learn how to create and manage VMFS Datastores.

Chapter 6, Advanced Infrastructure Management, explores vSphere vMotion in detail. You will learn how to enable DRS on a cluster. Then, you will learn how to enable and configure vSphere HA. You will also learn about the VM Component Protection feature of vSphere HA, which enables recovery of virtual machines affected by storage connectivity issues.

Chapter 7, Understanding Host Profiles, Image Profile and Auto Deploy, discusses how to use and manage Host Profiles. You will learn how to customize and manage image profiles using Image Builder. You will also explore how Auto Deploy allows you to provision hundreds of ESXi hosts at a time.

Chapter 8, Virtual Machine Concepts and Management, explains the Virtual Machine components and introduces the new vSphere 6 Virtual Machine Features. You will learn to modify Virtual Machine settings. You will explore all about Fault Tolerance and configure it on a Virtual Machine.

Chapter 9, Monitoring Performance of a vSphere Environment, shows how to monitor the performance of a vSphere environment. You will explore the tools that are available within vSphere that assist VMware administrators to monitor resources and detect any potential bottlenecks. You will learn how to configure and use Alarms to alert administrators when specific events occur or when thresholds are exceeded.

Chapter 10, Certificate Management for a vSphere Environment, introduces vSphere 6’s new VMware Certificate Authority (VMCA) and discusses how it could be used to alleviate some of the headaches surrounding certificate management. You will then explore certificate management in detail. You will look at multiple configurations, including using VMCA signed certificates, using VMCA as an intermediate certificate authority, using external certificate authority signed certificates,  or a hybrid configuration.

Chapter 11, Securing a vSphere Environment, guides you through the importance of securing a vSphere environment. You will learn how to secure ESXi, vCenter Server, and virtual machines. You will also learn how to configure Single Sign-On and grant privileges to users in vSphere.

Chapter 12, Life Cycle Management of a vSphere Environment, discusses vSphere life cycle management. You will learn how to upgrade vSphere components from vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.

What you need for this book

You will learn about the software requirements for every vSphere component covered in this book in their respective chapters, but to start with a basic lab setup, you will need at least two ESXi hosts, a vCenter Server instance, a Domain Controller, a DHCP server, a DNS server, and a TFTP Server. For learning purposes, you don't really need to run ESXi on physical machines.

You can use VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion to set up a hosted lab on your PC or Mac, provided the machine has adequate compute and storage capacity.

For shared storage, you can use any of the following free virtual storage applications:

  • Celerra UBER 3.2:

  • OpenFiler:

  • HP StoreVirtual Storage:

Who this book is for

This book is intended for experienced technologists who want to design and implement VMware solutions. This book will help the reader get a head start in learning how to design, implement, and manage a modern day Data Center. Infrastructure architects and system administrators will also find this book useful to aid them in their day-to-day activities. You can use this book as reference material for VCP and VCAP certification exams. Keep in mind, however, that the book is not written to follow the blueprint for either of the exams.


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.encoding = "UTF-8"
config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "11"
nvram = "ExampleVM.nvram"
pciBridge0.present = "TRUE"


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