In my last blog, I discussed about the basics of Virtualization. In this blog, I will discuss the components, features and benefits of vSphere.
Today’s IT leaders have to balance the often-competing demands of delivering greater flexibility, availability and responsiveness to change, with the need to manage costs. To that end, trends in the datacenter point towards the growth in the use of virtualized servers exceeding that of physical servers. Here VMWare’s vSphere plays an important role. VMware vSphere is the brand name for VMware's suite of virtualization products. Before 2009, VMware vSphere was known as VMware Infrastructure.
VMware® vSphere® is an infrastructure virtualization suite that provides virtualization, management, resource optimization, application availability, and operational automation capabilities in an integrated package. vSphere virtualizes and aggregates the underlying physical hardware resources across multiple systems and provides pools of virtual resources to the datacenter. In addition, vSphere provides a set of distributed services that enable detailed, policy-driven resource allocation, high availability, and scalability of the entire virtual datacenter.
VMware vSphere, which is a necessary component of the vCloud Suite for cloud computing, includes
- VMware ESXi - abstracts processor, memory, storage, and other resources into multiple virtual machines (VMs).
- VMware vCenter Server - central control point for data center services such as access control, performance monitoring and alarm management.
- VMware vSphere Client - allows users to remotely connect to ESXi or vCenter Server from any Windows PC.
- VMware vSphere Web Client - allows users to remotely connect to vCenter Server from a variety of Web browsers and operating systems (OSes).
- VMware vSphere SDKs - provides interfaces for accessing vSphere components.
- vSphere Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) - provides a high performance cluster file system for ESXi VMs.
- vSphere Virtual SMP - allows a single virtual machine to use multiple physical processors at the same time.
- vSphere vMotion - allows live migration for powered-on virtual machines in the same data center.
- vSphere Storage vMotion - allows virtual disks or configuration files to be moved to a new data store while a VM is running.
- vSphere High Availability (HA) - allows virtual machines to be restarted on other available servers.
- vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) - divides and balances computing capacity for VMs dynamically across collections of hardware resources.
- vSphere Storage DRS - divides and balances storage capacity and I/O across collections of data stores dynamically.
- vSphere Fault Tolerance - provides continuous availability.
- vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) - allows VMs to maintain network configurations as the VMs migrate across multiple hosts.
- Host Profiles - provides a way to create user-defined configuration policies.
VMWare vSphere undergoes periodic revisions and updates to add features, modifications to the application program interface (API) and changes to the ESXi Shell. VMware offers vSphere in several kits (Essentials and Essentials Plus) and editions (Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus.)
Some Salient Features of VMWARE vSphere
Below are some features of the vSphere which takes the product apart in the virtualization domain.
- vSphere as a Software Define Data Center
The software defined datacenter is considered to be the foundation of cloud computing. The software defined datacenter deploys virtual datacenters with isolated computing, storage, networking and security resources faster than the traditional hardware based datacenter. vSphere is critical to the success of the software defined datacenter because it provides the hardware and networking abstraction and resource pooling necessary for the datacenter to deploy. Below diagram provides us some illustration:
- vSphere fits into Cloud Computing
The consolidation and rapid virtual machine provisioning results in a high-level of server use and reuse that enables an effective use of capital equipment. When coupled with technologies such as virtual machine migration, high availability, integrated data protection and centralized management it is easy to see how vSphere 5 is the clear choice for a cloud computing platform.
- Offers protection at every level with the allied tools of VMWare
At every level of the datacenter, from individual components all the way up to the entire site, VMware® vSphere® 5.x provides protection against both planned and unplanned downtime. All these features combine to provide greater availability to all supported operating systems and applications.Many methods ensure highly availability in a virtualized environment. vSphere 5.x uses technologies like the following to ensure that virtual machines running in the environment remain available:
- Virtual machine migration
- Multiple I/O adapter paths
- Virtual machine load balancing
- Fault tolerance
- Disaster recovery tools
There are myriads of other great features which require greater attention and worth mentioning. I will try to address all those in my future blogs.