vSphere Design and Planning
vSphere Configuration Maximums – Each version of vSphere will have an upper limit for most components. It might be datastores or NICs per host. It could be hosts per vCenter.
End of Availability for vSphere Enterprise / vSOM Standard & Enterprise – On February 9th 2016, VMware announced that vSphere Enterprise, vSphere with Operations Management (or vSOM) in the Standard and Enterprise Editions would not be available for purchase after June 30, 2016. These products are still supported through the Product Lifecycle support period
ESXTOP– This is the linux “top” command in ESXi. For those not familiar with Linux, ESXTOP provides a way to dive deep into processes and performance of an ESXi host.
- ESXTOP Bible – a bit dated; but good explanation of the various statistics
- ESXTOP page at Yellow-Bricks – Duncan Epping’s explanation of is a good read
Testing VMkernel network connectivity – When setting up or troubleshooting a typical VMware environment, there would be multiple hosts that each have more than 1 NIC for a given purpose, which in turn connect to different switches. For example vMotion – the IP Addresses used by these NICs are generally isolated on their own VLAN. Problems may not manifest until you try to use the feature.
In such an environment, how do you verify that everything is working or find that one NIC-Switchport combination that isn’t configured correctly. As in most cases- you go back to basics. Ping or in this case “vmkping” can help verify that basic IP connectivity exists between those various combinations and identify components that have issues.
Automate the Hardening of the settings in your Virtual Machines using PowerCLI using a script from the VMware Blog. This script will disable many settings that exist for running VMs on other platforms (i.e.: Fusion & Workstation). While these settings may not exist on vSphere, it is recommended to disable them to remove any possibility of an unintended issue.
VMware Tools – These are a bundle of utilities and drivers that are installed into the guest operating system of a VMware virtual machine. These are not technically required for a VM to operate; but do provide features for performance and manageability. You can read the full overview about VMware Tools in KB 340.
Typically VMware tools are installed after a VM has been built based on files located on the vSphere host that match the version of that host. Depending on your situation, you can choose to install other versions manually. Starting with version 10.3 of VMware Tools, there is now a central repository for downloading versions – https://www.vmware.com/go/tools.