Virtualization is becoming an increasingly common strategy for businesses looking to swiftly develop and modernize their infrastructure while also cutting hardware costs. Subsequently, VMware is a popular choice for virtualization software and its vSphere platform can be easily deployed to accelerate your digital transformation.
But what exactly is vSphere? And why is it a good choice for you?
VMware offers vSphere as a cloud virtualization platform that can run full-scale virtual machines and Kubernetes instances for scalable cloud-hosted applications. Adopting a high-performance and cost-effective platform like vSphere can provide a fast and secure implementation that can be adapted to your specific business needs.
But there also are some advanced features within VMware and vSphere that we frequently configure to increase the desirability of a virtual infrastructure over a traditional physical server environment.
For example, a hardware failure might cost you hours of downtime, expensive replacements, and lost productivity if your environment relies heavily on a physical infrastructure. But two features within vSpehere, High Availability (HA) and Fault Tolerance (FT), can reduce negative impacts of downtime and lost productivity by creating an environment where the cost of hardware failure is minimized. Additionally, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), vMotion, and Storage vMotion can optimize runtime environments by dynamically deploying resources in a more efficient manner.
These features work within a VMware environment to boots performance, streamline efficiency, and improve consistency that few non-virtual environments can manage without taking on massive resources. Let’s take a closer look at these five powerful features and highlight how they can help your business continuity plan.
1. REDUCE ISSUES RELATED TO DOWNTIME WITH HIGH AVAILABILITY
High Availability (HA) improves the reliability of the environment. The purpose of HA servers is to reduce downtime in case of a hardware failure. VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi hosts that are arranged in clusters share resources of the machines held within them. If a host experiences unexpected downtime, the virtual machines on that host automatically begin running on an alternate ESXi host within that cluster.
When HA comes into play, a machine is migrated to (and restarted on) an alternate host. HA provides a method to keep virtual machines functioning even in the case of a hardware failure. This is an incredibly important failover feature for environments that cannot live with downtime on their machines.
2. GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA PROTECTION WITH FAULT TOLERANCE
Like HA, Fault Tolerance (FT) allows a virtual machine (VM) to persist through a hardware failure. FT accomplishes this by creating copies of selected workloads on different servers in an effort to ensure that workloads are continuously available. Here’s the difference:
- High Availability Fault Tolerance: Utilizes resources so in case of a hardware failure VMs can be powered on from a new host.
- Fault Tolerance: A live shadow instance of a VM running on a secondary host.
FT also allows the VM to continue to run, even if a host fails suddenly, without losing data or connectivity to either the end user or the VM.
Related Article: What Is Virtual Memory (vRAM): An Introduction
3. USE VMOTION TO MOVE YOUR VIRTUAL MACHINES IN REAL TIME
The vMotion feature within VMware allows the live migration of a virtual machine from one ESXi host to another without interrupting the services the VM provides. There is little to no interruption in service while using vMotion to migrate a VM. Sometimes a few packets might be lost, but the end user should not even notice the transition.
This feature gives administrators an opportunity to remove VMs from a host that may be failing or not performing quite as well as they could be.
4. CONFIDENTLY CONDUCT MAINTENANCE WITH STORAGE VMOTION
Storage vMotion is similar to vMotion, however, it is used for migrating data to another datastore on a connected disk. This feature performs a similar role to vMotion, but Storage vMotion provides administrators with the ability to manage storage issues, such as high latency, before they become an issue within an environment.
This has the added benefit of allowing you to redistribute VMs to help balance capacity or improve your performance. Storage vMotion also can move VMs off a storage device so you can perform maintenance or reconfiguration without downtime.
5. ACHIEVE BALANCE WITH DISTRIBUTED RESOURCE SCHEDULER
Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) is a load-balancing feature. DRS utilizes vMotion to automatically allow a cluster of VMware ESXi hosts to distribute the compute workload across the environment.
DRS gauges the combined vCPU and vRAM usage amongst virtual machines running in the environment and spreads them across the hosts in an efficient manner. This makes sure that the resources of an individual host are not being overburdened, while another host is performing under a light load.
VIRTUAL SYSTEMS: YOUR TRUSTED VMWARE PARTNER
Understanding vSphere and how its virtualization features and capabilities can benefit your business may seem complicated. Our team of experienced tech professionals love to talk shop with small business owners and other IT professionals. If you have questions about vSphere or VMware products, or just want to know more, then please reach out to our team.
Virtual Systems is a VMware premium solution provider, and we offer service on top of the entire VMware Cloud infrastructure. This is an achievement that only 3 percent of all VMware partners accomplish. We can put our expertise to work for you.
To learn more, call 844-2-VIRTUAL, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete this short online form.
What is vSphere? An Introduction to VMware’s Virtualization Platform. (2019, March 28). Retrieved from https://www.newhorizons.com/article/what-is-vsphere-an-introduction-to-vmware-virtualization-platform
VMware vSphere: A Cheat Sheet. (2020, September 30). Retrieved from https://www.techrepublic.com/article/vmware-vsphere-the-smart-persons-guide/