VMware vSphere best practises

Below are some high level best practises for your vSphere environment:

  • Remove your ISO images from your VM’s as soon as you are done with them – Don’t leave them connected.
  • Remove all devices that you are not using on your VM’s (This prevents unnecessary Kernel processing).
  • Isolate your iSCSI traffic, don’ use CHAP.
  • Unmount datastores before you delete them.
  • Set alarms on your critical datastores – Alerts you before it runs out of space (It will freeze the VM’s on the datastore should the datastore run out of space).
  • Create VM templates.
  • Enable CPU and Memory hot add on each VM (Not enable by default). Remember that the hot add is limited to the OS limitations – eg: Server 2003 does not support CPU hot add.
  • Dedicate cores to VM’s – Don’t over commit.
  • Change your block sizes according to application recommendations – eg: MS SQL uses 64k block sizes (So set this on SAN and guest OS level).
  • Configure VM startup and shutdown – eg: DC start up first, DB servers second, Web/front end servers third and test/non-critical VM’s last. Remember to configure this on each host, if it vMotions the VM’s to another host the startup/shutdown settings will change according to what has been configured on that host.
  • Configure IP hash as load balancing option – Need Link Aggregation support on switches (Switches needs to be stacked).
  • Run HA and DRS together.
  • Join vCenter and host to domain and let the ESXi administrators use their domain accounts to administer.


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