Dave's VCDX journey

dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
As many of you know I'm going to attempt a VCDX defense at this year's VMworld. The interesting problem I'm running into is that the environments I've help build never had any defined requirements. Usually the equipment were pre-purchased and my task was to build the best virtual environment possible with them.

I decided to design a virtual environment to support 700 servers which are mixture of P2V & new servers, must support SQL 2008R2 failover cluster, DR capable & try to re-use older equipment.

It feels like I'm cheating if I come up with all the requirements & constraints. I'd like to ask the TE community to shoot me some design requirements/constraints. They can be requirements you've worked with or something you'd like to see someone design around.

Thanks in advance,

Dave
2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
"Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
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Comments

  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I wish you well on the journey Dave!

    I'll throw in a few requirements:

    - The design must cater for a projected increase in the number of both physical and virtual servers (let's say 100 VM's) over the next couple of years
    - There are 3 prod sites all of which must have atleast 2 hosts each and an estimated total of 200 VM's all up
    - All prod servers must be backed to a central location
    - Use HP switches

    This is from my previous job. I'll think of anything else and post it here.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    Building on one of Essendon’s points (three datacenters) here are a couple other possible ones:
    • vSphere license constraints - they have X and need X now to support the design.
    • MS Data Center license concerns - they are on the verge of signing an EA agreement and need a count of Data Center licenses they'll need to support your design quickly and accurately.
    • They want to have all three sites actively servicing applications at all times.
    • They want to employ SRM to failover to their DR site from any of the three sites
    I’ll post a few more as I come up with them.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member
    I am in the same situation. A lot of times certain design decisions were made for me and couldn't be changed. By the way, I am sure you know that anyway but you have to defend certain aspects not just why X, but why not Y either :)
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Thanks guys.

    @Essendon,
    What are the VM sizes and percentage of each size or do I use educated guess? Departmental breakdown i.e. Engineering need X amount of resources, HR need Y, etc.

    @QHalo,
    What percentage of VMs require SRM protection? What's the RPO/RTO?

    @Jibba,
    Yes, being able to explain why I didn't choose an alternate design should be just as important.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    My RPO/RTO here at the law firm is 2 hours/4 hours with 40% covered by SRM. Now I only have 190 servers.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    A buddy of mine needed some help with a large deployment design, so ended up going with that. Interestingly it's also a multi-site design. I'm also working on small pilot deployment design at work, so I'll be in documentation hell for a while.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Do you mind elaborating on the design Dave?
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Posts: 661Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    A couple fun ones I can think of are.

    1. Must use NFS, no single switch or I/O card failure can cause a HA event. This should steer you towards a particular line of switch.

    2. SRM must be implemented using array based replication, VM's will not tolerate IP changes in the case of DR failover

    3. There is no layer two connectivity between data rooms, the design should allow the entire Vmware environment to be failed over between SRM sites while leaving physical servers running in the primary data room. (The need to fail-over only the Vmware environment is significant in the event of total storage failure)

    4. Though there is no layer 2 connectivity between data rooms, the bandwidth all the way through is 1 gigabit full.

    All these requirements are achieveable as I have implemented all these scenarios in the field.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Essendon wrote: »
    Do you mind elaborating on the design Dave?

    It's a primary site plus 5 remote sites being protected by a central DR site.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    dave I'm sure you probably already know but in case you didn't, and for anyone else as well obviously, the VCDX Boot Camp book dropped yesterday. Looks like you can get an e-copy now.

    VCDX Boot Camp: Preparing for the VCDX Panel Defense | Pearson IT Certification
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    QHalo wrote: »
    dave I'm sure you probably already know but in case you didn't, and for anyone else as well obviously, the VCDX Boot Camp book dropped yesterday. Looks like you can get an e-copy now.

    VCDX Boot Camp: Preparing for the VCDX Panel Defense | Pearson IT Certification

    Thanks for the info. I've read the rough cut of it. Curious to see how much more stuff's in it. Time to check out Safari.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Found some free time to read the finished VCDX bootcamp book. The troubleshooting section really scares me.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • meadITmeadIT Posts: 580Member
    The best advice I can give on the troubleshooting section is to have a methodology in your head well before your defense. Use the information they give you to document confirmed issues. Don't get stuck on any one symptom, because the scenario could have multiple issues that may or may not be related. Systematically go through the scenario and ask any questions. Don't assume every piece of information is 100% correct. If something sounds off, ask questions that will help you clarify. You are scored on your process and understanding of the different domains, not on finding the answer.

    I felt I did pretty well during the defense part, other than running short on time, but thought I bombed the design and troubleshooting scenarios.
    CERTS: VCDX #110 / VCAP-DCA #500 (v5 & 4) / VCAP-DCD #10(v5 & 4) / VCP 5 & 4 / EMCISA / MCSE 2003 / MCTS: Vista / CCNA / CCENT / Security+ / Network+ / Project+ / CIW Database Design Specialist, Professional, Associate
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Almost done with the architecture design doc. About half way through last section, storage. Should be done in the next few days. If anyone's interested in looking through 100+ pages, shoot me a PM.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm interested. Take me awhile to get through it all, but I'm sure it'll be worth it and maybe I can suggest something!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • TheProfTheProf Posts: 331Users Awaiting Email Confirmation ■■■■□□□□□□
    Same here... I'd be interested, I'll try and review it as well while my DCD knowledge is still fresh ;)
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    Would love to.
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    I'm keen to have a look through for you.
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Managed to complete the design doc over the weekend. Only 110 pages. Every time I look at it I see small mistakes or stuff I want to change. Install doc is pretty much done. Started working on SOP.

    Can't figure out how to attach stuff to PM. I thought I saw an attachment button while back, but can't find it now. Managed to rope in enough people at work to review it, so not hurting on that front.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • EssendonEssendon Posts: 4,548Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Can you drop-box it Dave?
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    All good now.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Install plan's done. SoP is almost done. Looks like I'll be done by end of the week.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • kj0kj0 Posts: 767Member
    Awesome. Looking forward to seeing the end result!
    2017 Goals: VCP6-DCV | VCIX
    Blog: [URL]https://readysetvirtual.wordpress.com [/URL]
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Had an interesting idea about VM template. Need to revisit design doc.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Finished the VM template design. Had to push the submission a week back. Something interesting came up. Timing sucks, but need to take care of it first.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Completed project plan. Just need to finish up application form. Work experience and biography sections are gonna be painfully short. icon_sad.gif
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Ugh.... Found a design flaw. Remote sites are designed as 4 host with ~100 VMs each. For maintenance, you'd want full auto DRS. DRS requires Enterprise license. Price difference between enterprise & ent plus isn't very big. If I switch licensing, I'd have to redesign networking at remote sites. icon_sad.gif
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Woohoo... Ready to submit the design. :D

    Problem: Can't figure out where to submit the design. Checked the blueprint, application & web page, but none of them list where to submit the design. icon_sad.gif
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • meadITmeadIT Posts: 580Member
    Did you pre-register for the defense? Here's the one for VMworld: http://mylearn.vmware.com/feedback.cfm?survey=41494

    If so, you should have been receiving some emails from Mark detailing the steps. To submit, you email it to vcdx....at.....vmware.com and CC Mark Brunstad (first initial last name at vmware.com)
    CERTS: VCDX #110 / VCAP-DCA #500 (v5 & 4) / VCAP-DCD #10(v5 & 4) / VCP 5 & 4 / EMCISA / MCSE 2003 / MCTS: Vista / CCNA / CCENT / Security+ / Network+ / Project+ / CIW Database Design Specialist, Professional, Associate
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,087Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    meadIT wrote: »
    Did you pre-register for the defense? Here's the one for VMworld: http://mylearn.vmware.com/feedback.cfm?survey=41494

    If so, you should have been receiving some emails from Mark detailing the steps. To submit, you email it to vcdx....at.....vmware.com and CC Mark Brunstad (first initial last name at vmware.com)

    I had to e-mail Mark. He sent out a mass e-mail detailing where to submit for VMWorld VCDX defense.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
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