Best Practices and URL’s

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Here’s a great check list that I came across today…  Enjoy!

Component Check (per Best Practice)

Host Verify equipment was burned in with memory test for at least 72 hours

Host Verify all host hardware is on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

Host Verify all host hardware meets minimum supported configuration

Host Check CPU compatibility for vMotion and FT

Host Check ESX/ESXi host physical CPU utilization to make sure that it is not saturated or running in a sustained high utilization

Host Verify all hosts in the cluster are compatible versions of ESX/ESXi

Host Check ESX/ESXi host active Swap In/Out rate to make sure that it is not consistently greater than 0

Host Check to make sure that there is sufficient service console memory (max is 800MB)

Host Verify that ESX service console root file system is not getting full

Host Check if any 3rd party agents are running in the ESX service console

Host Verify that NTP is used for time synchronization

Network Verify that networking in configured consistently across all hosts in a cluster

Network Check to make sure there is redundancy in networking paths and components to avoid single points of failure (e.g. at least 2 paths to each network)

Network If HA is being used, check that physical switches that support PortFast (or equivalent) have PortFast enabled

Network Check that NICs for the same uplink have same speeds and duplex settings

Network Check that Management/Service Console, Vmkernel, and VM traffic is separated (physical or logical using VLANs)

Network Verify that portgroup security settings for ForgedTransmits and MACAddressChanges are set to Reject

Network Check the virtual switch portgroup failover policy for appropriate active and standby NICs for failover

Network Verify that VMotion and FT traffic is on at least a 1 Gb network

Network Check that IP storage traffic is physically separate to prevent sharing network bandwidth

Storage Verify that VMs are on a shared datastore

Storage Check that datastores are masked/zoned to the appropriate hosts in a cluster

Storage Check that datastores are consistently accessible from all hosts in a cluster

Storage Check that the appropriate storage policy is used for the storage array (MRU, Fixed, RR)

Storage Check to make sure there is redundancy in storage paths and components to avoid single point of failure (e.g. at least 2 paths to each datastore)

Storage Check that datastores are not getting full

Virtual Datacenter Check that all datacenter objects use a consistent naming convention

Virtual Datacenter Verify that hosts within a cluster maintain a compatible and homogeneous (CPU/mem) to support the required functionality for DRS, DPM, HA, and VMotion

Virtual Datacenter Check that FT primaries are distributed on multiple hosts since FT logging is asymmetric

Virtual Datacenter Verify that hosts for FT are FT compatible

Virtual Datacenter Check that reservations/limits are used selectively on VMs that need it and are not set to extreme values

Virtual Datacenter Check that vCenter Server is not running other applications and vCenter add-ons (for large environments and heavily loaded vCenter systems) and is sized appropriately

Virtual Datacenter Check that the DB log setting is Normal unless there is a specific reason to set it to High

Virtual Datacenter Check that the vCenter statistics level is set to an appropriate level (1 or 2 recommended)

Virtual Datacenter Check that appropriate vCenter roles, groups, and permissions are being used

VM Check any VMs with CPU READY over 2000 ms

VM Check any VMs with sustained high CPU utilization

VM Check any VMs with incorrect OS type in the VM configuration compared to the guest OS

VM Check any VMs with multiple vCPUs to make sure the applications are not single threaded

VM Check the active Swap In/Out rate of VMs to make sure it is not consistently greater than 0

VM Check that NTP, windows time service, or another timekeeping utility suitable for the OS is used (and not VMware Tools)

VM Check that VMware Tools are installed, running, and not out of date for running VMs

VM Check VMs that are configured and enabled with unnecessary virtual hardware devices (floppy, serial, parallel, CDROM) and any devices that prevent VMotion

VM Check VMs that are not yet on virtual hardware v7

VM Check VM configuration (memory reservation) for VMs running JVM to consider setting reservation to the size of OS+ java heap

Item URL

Documentation http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs

VMTN Technology information http://www.vmware.com/vcommunity/technology

VMTN Knowledge Base http://kb.vmware.com

Discussion forums http://www.vmware.com/community

User groups http://www.vmware.com/vcommunity/usergroups.html

Online support http://www.vmware.com/support

Telephone support http://www.vmware.com/support/phone_support.html

Education Services http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/index.cfm

Certification http://mylearn.vmware.com/portals/certification/

Technical Papers http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources

Network throughput between virtual machines http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1428

Detailed explanation of VMotion considerations http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1022

Time keeping in virtual machines http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/238

http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006427

VMFS partitions http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/608

VI3 802.1Q VLAN Solutions http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx3_vlan_wp.pdf

VMware Virtual Networking Concepts http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/997

Using EMC Celerra IP Storage (VI3 http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1036

VMware vCenter Update Manager documentation http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vum_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Update Manager Best Practices http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10022

Performance Best Practices for VMware vSphere 4.0 http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10041

Recommendations for aligning VMFS partitions http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/608

Performance Troubleshooting for VMware vSphere http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-10352

Large Page Performance http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1039

VMware vSphere PowerCLI http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/windowstoolkit/

VI3 security hardening http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/resources/726

VMware HA: Concepts and Best Practices http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/402

Java in Virtual Machine on ESX http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/Java_in_Virtual_Machines_on_ESX-FINAL-Jan-15-2009.pdf

CPU scheduler in ESX 4.0 http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10059

Dynamic Storage Provisioning (Thin Provisioning) http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10073

Understanding memory resource management on ESX http://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/10062

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