VMware – Best Practice KB Articles for Installing vSphere 4.1 and vCenter 4.1

Here’s a great post over at www.vladan.fr (who’s a well known VMware blogger and vExpert) on some of the KB articles he’s found regarding best practices on installing vSphere 4.1 and vCenter 4.1.

Preparing the vCenter Server Installation Worksheet – Download and fill out the vCenter Server Installation Worksheet.
MicrosoftSQL Server 2005 Express is intended for use with small deployments of up to 5 hosts and/or 50 virtual machines.

    Memory – 3GB RAM. RAM requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine. VMware VirtualCenter Management WebServices requires 128Mb to 1.5GB of memory which is allocated at startup.Disk storage – 2GB. Disk requirements may be higher if your database runs on the same machine.

  • vCenter Server 4.1 requires a 64 bit DSN and MUST NOT be a Domain controller. vSphere Compatibility Matrix.
  • The computer name – no more than 15 characters.
  • have reliable DNS and Time services.

Recommended, but not mandatory:

  • separate database for vCenter Server and vCenter Update Manager

vCenter server needs all this (will be installed as part of vCenter Installation):

  • Apache Tomcat (64 bit)
  • Java Runtime Environment JRE (64 bit)
  • Active Directory Application Management (ADAM)
  • Visual C++ 2005 Runtime Redistributable
  • .NET 3.0 SP1 or above (optional based on DB selection)

If the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server has a previous version of vCenter installed (if it’s on 64 bit hardware), you might want to upgrade instead of performing a fresh installation of vCenter Server.

Best practices for the ESX installations:

Check on the HCL (hardware compatibility list) page…. – I blogged about that earlier too ….

  • System compatibility
  • I/O compatibility (Network and HBA cards)
  • Storage compatibility
  • Backup software compatibility

32bits installation are no longer supported. VMware ESX 4.1 only installs and runs on servers with 64 bit x86 CPUs.

  • Check the Enable Intel VT in the BIOS.
  • If you are installing to the local disks and you have a  SAN with Fiber Channel connected  to the ESX host, make sure and detach the fiber before continuing with the installation. (Do not disable HBA cards in the BIOS)
  • minimum size of the vmdk where the  /swap, and all the optional partitions are stored should be set for 8GB.
  • Make a separate partition for  /var/log.

Source: Installing ESX 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1 best practices

This entry was posted in vSphere and tagged , , , by virtualdennis. Bookmark the permalink.

About virtualdennis

I have over 18 years helping small to large enterprise businesses nationwide with their enterprise storage, backup and recovery, disaster recovery and system virtualization solutions. He holds numerous storage and virtualization certifications and has personally delivered over 300 complex enterprise solution implementations. He has been privileged to speak at various national events on the topics of datacenter virtualization, end-user virtualization, hyper-converged infrastructure and disaster recovery.

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