You are previewing Learning VMware vSphere.
O'Reilly logo
Learning VMware vSphere

Book Description

Lay the foundations for data center virtualization using VMware vSphere 6 and strengthen your understanding of its power

About This Book

  • Learn how server virtualization is achieved and how a virtual infrastructure is built using VMware’s products and solutions.

  • Design to create a scalable and responsive virtualization platform for hosting the virtual machine workloads of a business. Manage compute, network and storage resources of a virtual infrastructure.

  • Relevant conceptual diagrams, flowcharts and screen-captures enable in-depth comprehension of the concepts. Also, the concise writing style makes this book a very easy read.

  • Who This Book Is For

    This is a book for any experienced technologist who is new to the realm of Data Center virtualization wanting to find a way to get a head start in learning how to design, implement and manage a modern day datacenter virtualized using VMware’s core infrastructure solutions. It could also act a comprehensive reference guide for Infrastructure Architects and System Administrators to aid them in their day to day activities. This book could easily find its place in reference materials used by professionals for VCP and VCAP certification exams. Keep in mind however that the book is not written to follow as a blueprint for either of the exams.

    What You Will Learn

  • Understand the architecture of the hypervisor and learn how to install deploy and configure ESXi hosts

  • Find out what forms a VMware Virtual Machine can take and also learn how to create and manage them

  • Familiarize yourself with the concepts of vSphere Storage and learn how to present and manage storage in a vSphere environment

  • Create and manage software switching constructs such as the vNetwork Standard Switch and vNetwork Distributed Switches

  • Monitor the performance of a vSphere environment using tools such as the vCenter Performance Graphs and ’esxtop’

  • Manage SSL certificates in a vSphere environment

  • Upgrade and patch a vSphere environment using vSphere Update Manager

  • In Detail

    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.

    Style and approach

    This is an easy-to-follow guide that will give you everything you need to fully understand the concepts involved in data center virtualization. The screenshots, concept diagrams, and flowcharts included will help you understand the subjects discussed better.

    Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the code file.

    Table of Contents

    1. Learning VMware vSphere
      1. Learning VMware vSphere
      2. Credits
      3. About the Authors
      4. About the Reviewers
        1. Why subscribe?
      6. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
        6. Customer support
          1. Downloading the color images of this book
          2. Errata
          3. Piracy
          4. Questions
      7. 1. An Introduction to Server Virtualization Using VMware
        1. The magic of server virtualization
          1. The benefits of server virtualization
        2. What is a hypervisor?
          1. VMware ESX hypervisor
            1. VMware hypervisor models
        3. What is a virtual machine?
          1. What makes up a virtual machine?
            1. Virtual Machine Monitor
              1. Processor virtualization
              2. Memory virtualization
              3. I/O virtualization
        4. An introduction to VMware vSphere
          1. vSphere ESXi
          2. VMware vCenter Server
          3. vSphere desktop and web clients
          4. vRealize Orchestrator
          5. vSphere Update Manager
          6. VMware Power CLI
          7. VMware VROPS
          8. vSphere Data Protection
          9. vShield Endpoint
          10. VMware vMotion and Storage vMotion
          11. vSphere High Availability
          12. vSphere Fault Tolerance
          13. vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler and Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler
          14. vSphere Storage I/O Control and Network I/O Control
          15. vSphere Standard Switch and Distributed Virtual Switches
          16. vSphere Virtual Symmetric Multiprocessing
          17. VMware Virtual Machine File System
          18. VMware Virtual Volumes
          19. vSphere Storage APIs
          20. VMware Virtual SAN
          21. Storage Thin Provisioning
          22. vSphere Flash Read Cache
          23. vSphere Content Library
          24. vSphere Auto Deploy
          25. vSphere Host Profiles
          26. vSphere Replication
        5. Summary
      8. 2. The Hypervisor – ESXi
        1. The architecture of ESXi
          1. The VMkernel layer
          2. User World APIs
          3. VMM worlds
          4. ESXi's in-memory filesystem
        2. Laying the groundwork for ESXi deployment
          1. Licensing
          2. Configuring the server BIOS
          3. Planning the locale for the hypervisor
          4. Meeting the hypervisor requirements
          5. Downloading ESXi image from VMware
          6. Reserving IP and creating DNS records
        3. Installing ESXi – the interactive method
          1. Configuring the management network
        4. Using the vSphere Client
        5. Creating additional local users on an ESXi host
        6. Using the ESXi Managed Object Browser
        7. Understanding other ESXi deployment methods
          1. Scripted-unattended ESXi installation
        8. Summary
      9. 3. The Management Layer – VMware vCenter
        1. VMware vCenter Server concepts
          1. VMware Platform Services Controller
            1. VMCA
            2. VMware SSO
            3. VMware Licensing Service
        2. Laying the foundation for a vCenter deployment
          1. vCenter Appliance versus vCenter on Windows
            1. Ease of deployment
            2. Server management
            3. Backup and recovery
            4. The choice of database
            5. Cost of licensing
          2. Deploying vCenter and its components
          3. Understanding the hardware and software requirements
        3. Installing vCenter on a Windows platform
          1. Installing PSC on a Windows machine
          2. Installing vCenter on a Windows machine
        4. Deploying the appliance-based vCenter and its components
          1. Deploying a PSC appliance
          2. Deploying VCSA vCenter
        5. Configuring the identity sources on the SSO server
        6. Configuring licenses for the vSphere environment
        7. Adding an ESXi host to the vCenter
        8. Enhanced Linked Mode
        9. Summary
      10. 4. vSphere Networking Concepts and Management
        1. The need for a software virtual switch
        2. The difference between a physical and virtual switch
        3. Physical NIC enumeration
        4. A virtual machine network interface (vNIC)
        5. The VMkernel network interface (vmk)
        6. The VMware OUI MAC addresses
          1. How are MAC addresses generated?
        7. The standard virtual switch (vSwitch)
          1. Port groups
          2. Support for VLANs
            1. External switch tagging
            2. Virtual switch tagging
            3. Virtual guest tagging
          3. Creating a standard vSwitch
        8. vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (VDS)
          1. Uplinks on a VDS
          2. Port groups on a VDS
          3. Creating a VDS
          4. Creating dvPortGroups
            1. Port binding and port allocation
              1. Port binding
              2. Port allocation
          5. Connecting ESXi hosts to a VDS
          6. Migrating from vSwitch to VDS
          7. Private VLAN support on a VDS
            1. Implementing private VLANs using a VDS
        9. Advanced network configuration
          1. Getting to the settings of a vSwitch, port group, dvPortGroup, and a dvPort
            1. Standard vSwitch and port group settings
            2. dvPortGroup and dvPort settings
          2. Virtual switch security settings
            1. Promiscuous mode
            2. MAC address changes and forged transmits
          3. Traffic shaping
            1. Configuring traffic shaping
          4. Load balancing and failover
            1. Route based on virtual port ID
            2. Route based on source MAC hash
            3. Route based on IP hash
            4. Load-based teaming (LBT)
            5. Use explicit failover order
          5. Maximum transmission unit (MTU)
          6. Notify switches
          7. Failover order
          8. Link aggregation protocol support and configuration
          9. Creating, configuring, and using LAGs on a VDS
        10. Networking monitoring methods on a VDS
          1. Port mirroring
            1. Distributed port mirroring configuration options
              1. Edit properties
              2. Select sources and destination
          2. NetFlow
        11. Bandwidth management using Network I/O Control (NetIOC)
          1. Creating network resource pools
          2. Understanding the use of shares
        12. Summary
      11. 5. vSphere Storage Concepts and Management
        1. Local versus remote storage
        2. Storage Protocols
        3. Understanding RAID groups
        4. Logical Unit Number (LUN)
        5. Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA)
        6. Storage Array types
        7. Configuring access to Fiber channel storage
          1. Designing for redundancy
            1. Avoiding single points of failure at the ESXi host
            2. Avoiding single points of failure at the Fabric
            3. Avoiding single points of failure at the storage array
          2. Zoning and masking
          3. World Wide Names (WWN)
        8. Configuring access to iSCSI storage
          1. How does iSCSI work?
          2. Types of iSCSI initiator
          3. Types of iSCSI array
          4. Using Software iSCSI on an ESXi host
            1. Configuring an iSCSI initiator to access storage
          5. Configuring multipathing for iSCSI
            1. What is required to configure port binding?
            2. How do we go about configuring port binding?
              1. NIC teaming
              2. Binding vmkernel interfaces to the iSCSI adapter
        9. Configuring access to NFS storage
          1. What do we need?
          2. How do you mount NFS shares?
            1. Mounting NFS onto multiple hosts
        10. Datastore management
          1. The Virtual Machine File System
          2. Creating VMFS datastores
          3. Multipathing information of a LUN device
          4. Managing storage capacity of a datastore
            1. Expanding/growing a VMFS datastore
            2. Extending/spanning a VMFS datastore
            3. Removing access to a LUN
        11. Managing VMFS snapshots
        12. Storage I/O Control (SIOC)
          1. Enabling SIOC
        13. Storage DRS
          1. Initial placement
          2. Balancing space utilization
          3. Balancing I/O load
        14. Summary
      12. 6. Advanced vSphere Infrastructure Management
        1. Introducing vSphere vMotion
          1. Using the provisioning interface
          2. Enabling vMotion
          3. Enabling Multi-NIC vMotion
          4. Performing a vMotion
          5. Enhanced vMotion Capability
            1. Enabling EVC
        2. Clustering ESXi hosts for compute aggregation and power management
          1. Distributed resource scheduler - DRS
            1. DRS resource pools
            2. Enabling DRS on a cluster
            3. DRS automation levels
              1. Setting virtual machine automation
            4. DRS migration thresholds
            5. DRS affinity rules
              1. Virtual machines to host rules
              2. Virtual machine to virtual machine rules
          2. vSphere Distributed Power Management (DPM)
            1. Configuring DPM host options
        3. Clustering ESXi hosts for high availability
          1. Enabling HA on a cluster
          2. vSphere HA - behind the scenes
            1. Datastore heartbeating
            2. Host isolation response
            3. Virtual machine restart priority
            4. vCenter admission control
              1. Failover capacity by a static number of hosts
              2. Failover capacity by reserving a percentage of the cluster resources
              3. Use dedicated failover hosts
            5. Virtual machine monitoring
            6. VM Component Protection(VMCP)
              1. Enabling VCMP
        4. Summary
      13. 7. Understanding Host Profiles, Image Profiles, and Auto Deploy
        1. Host profiles
          1. Overview of host profile workflow
          2. Using host profiles
            1. Creating a host profile
            2. Attaching a host profile
            3. Checking for compliance and remediation
            4. Detaching a host profile
          3. Managing host profiles
            1. Editing a host profile
            2. Exporting a host profile
            3. Importing a host profile
        2. Image profiles
          1. Creating an image profile
          2. Cloning and customizing an image profile
          3. Exporting an image profile
        3. Auto Deploy
          1. Auto Deploy architecture
          2. Auto Deploy rules
          3. Auto Deploy boot overview
          4. Auto Deploy configuration
            1. Configuring prerequisites
            2. Creating and assigning a rule
            3. Stateless caching and stateful installs
        4. Summary
      14. 8. Virtual Machines Concepts and Management
        1. Virtual machine components
          1. Virtual hardware
          2. Core 4 resources
            1. CPU
            2. Memory
            3. Network
            4. Disk
          3. Virtual machine files
            1. Configuration files
            2. Swap files
            3. Virtual disks
            4. Snapshot files
            5. Other files
        2. New vSphere 6 virtual machine features
        3. Creating a virtual machine
        4. Virtual machine settings
          1. Enabling CPU Hot-Plug/Memory Hot-Add
          2. CPUID masks
          3. CPU affinity setting
          4. Setting the .vswp location
          5. Viewing other advanced options
            1. General Options
            2. VMware Remote Console Options
            3. VMware Tools
            4. Boot options
        5. Fault Tolerance
          1. vSphere 6.0 Fault Tolerance features
          2. Configuring Fault Tolerance on a VM
        6. Summary
      15. 9. Monitoring Performance of a vSphere Environment
        1. Understanding CPU performance
        2. Understanding memory performance
          1. Transparent Page Sharing
          2. Ballooning
          3. Compression
          4. Swapping to host cache
          5. Hypervisor swapping
        3. Understanding network performance
        4. Understanding storage performance
        5. Understanding resource controls
          2. Limits
          3. Reservations
        6. Monitoring performance
          1. Performance charts
            1. Overview performance charts
            2. Advanced performance charts
          2. Using esxtop
            1. Monitoring CPU
            2. Monitoring memory
            3. Monitoring network
            4. Monitoring storage
            5. The esxtop options
          3. Using alarms
            1. Creating condition-based alarms
            2. Creating event-based alarms
          4. Other places to find information
        7. Summary
      16. 10. Certificate Management for a vSphere Environment
        1. SSL certificate concepts
        2. How VMware products use SSL certificates
          1. VMware Certificate Authority
          2. Certificate deployment options
            1. VMCA root CA
            2. Subordinate VMCA
            3. External CA
            4. Hybrid
          3. VMware Endpoint Certificate Store
          4. Types and locations of certificates
          5. Certificate revocation
        3. Using the vSphere Certificate Manager Utility
          1. Regenerating a new VMCA root certificate and replacing all certificates
          2. Configuring VMCA as a subordinate CA
          3. Replacing all certificates with custom certificates
        4. Installing the default root certificate
        5. Managing ESXi SSL certificates
          1. Renewing VMCA certificates
          2. Custom CA certificates
        6. Viewing certificates using the vSphere Web Client
        7. Summary
      17. 11. Securing a vSphere Environment
        1. Securing ESXi
          1. Joining ESXi to an Active Directory domain
          2. Using lockdown mode
          3. ESXi firewall
        2. Securing vCenter Server
          1. Joining vCenter Server Appliance to an Active Directory domain
        3. Securing virtual machines
        4. vSphere authentication
          1. vCenter Single Sign-On overview
          2. Configuring Single Sign-On
            1. Identity sources
              1. Setting the default domain
            2. Single Sign-On policies
              1. Password policies
              2. Lockout policy
              3. Token policy
            3. Users and groups
              1. Reviewing and creating Single Sign-On users
              2. Single Sign-On user management
              3. Managing group membership
        5. vSphere permissions
          1. Defining a custom role
          2. Appling permissions
          3. Reviewing permissions
          4. Global permissions
        6. Syslog
        7. Summary
      18. 12. Life Cycle Management of a vSphere Environment
        1. Planning an upgrade
        2. Upgrading vCenter Server
          1. Upgrade Paths
          2. Upgrading vCenter Server
          3. Prerequisites
          4. Upgrading Windows vCenter Server
          5. Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance
            1. Client Integration Plug-in
            2. Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance
        3. Upgrading vSphere Update Manager (VUM)
          1. Installing the Update Manager Plug-in
        4. Upgrading ESXi
          1. Importing a Host Image
          2. Create an ESXi Upgrade Baseline
          3. Attach an ESXi Upgrade Baseline
          4. Remediate an ESXi Host to Upgrade
        5. Upgrading Distributed Switch
        6. Upgrading Virtual Machines
          1. VMware Tools
          2. Virtual Hardware
        7. Summary