VMware

VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V

Server environment virtualisation systems – VMWARE
Solutions for optimising and managing data centres (server virtualisation)
Make use of virtualisation in your data centre A dedicated and comprehensive solution enabling effective management and efficient utilisation of large resources is VMware Infrastructure 3.

VMware ESX Server

Software for partitioning and consolidating x86 based servers. Creates independent and mutually isolated virtual computers on a single physical server, enabling control over their efficiency and computing power.jeden
Tested in operation and efficient virtualisation software installed directly on the physical server, so called “bare metal”. In order to make sure that ESX Server can be installed on a specific physical machine of the selected manufacturer, verify that the given server is on the compatibility list. The ESX Server software comprises the VMkernel, which is the base for virtualising the hardware layer, and a console based on a modified Linux Red Hat Enterprise 3 operating system, used e.g. for communication with the user. On a platform created this way, you can directly or using additional tools (VirtualCenter for VI3) create and subsequently use multiple fully independent virtual machines running concurrently. The list of operating systems that can be installed on the virtual machines and which are fully supported by ESX Server contains all the most commonly used versions of systems such as Windows, Linux or Solaris.

Basic features and advantages of ESX Server:
• it is installed directly on the physical server, in contrast to other products where the virtualisation layer is merely an application run on an existing operating system (Windows, Linux).
• enables simultaneous running of multiple virtual machines (operating systems and applications running within them) on shared server resources.
• Each virtual machine represents another system with its own processors, memory, disk space, network cards, BIOS, etc., and its physical representation is a set of files.
• physical resources are dynamically allocated to resources of virtual machines, and you can define priorities for virtual machine access to these resources.
• efficient sharing of disk space by using the VMware VMFS, which enables better management and improved data availability.
• even highly demanding applications are guaranteed an appropriate amount of resources. The limit of memory that can be assigned to a single virtual machine is 16 GB, and VMware Virtual SMP enables creating virtual machines with up to 4 virtual processors.
• Zoning, LUN masking and multipathing provide an easy and most importantly safe access of servers to SAN or iSCSI disk resources.
• VLAN creation and support capability (IEEE 802.1Q) and multiple physical network card aggregation feature for the purpose of increasing bandwidth and/or ensuring availability.
• utilisation of security mechanisms in the Ethernet traffic filtering layer, which improves IT infrastructure safety.

VMware VirtualCenter

Software for managing virtual infrastructure in a flexible enterprise.

What is VMware VirtualCenter?

VMware VirtualCenter is virtual infrastructure software serving as a central virtual resource control station in a data processing centre.
VirtualCenter increases the flexibility of a data processing centre, and consequently accelerates reconfiguration and application or service allocation. Enables swift reconfiguration of servers, shortens downtimes in user work and optimises the data processing centre operation. VirtualCenter provides effective adjustment of the IT system to business requirements. Thanks to it, the IT infrastructure becomes more flexible and effective, and reacts better to changes. VirtualCenter utilises virtual resources, such as computing power, mass storage and network connections in a unique way, improving data processing centre management and reducing its costs. The image above presents the VirtualCenter user interface. The left-hand panel displays hosts which run the virtual machines. The main window contains a dashboard used to control virtual machines in a data processing centre.

Ways of using VMware VirtualCenter

VirtualCenter is a solution designed for companies who want to build cost-efficient environments working in accordance with the utility computing model, and optimised data processing centres. It enables instant server configuring, managing the entire company’s resources and eliminating scheduled downtimes related to hardware maintenance.

VirtualCenter reduces the time-intensiveness, work-intensiveness and complexity of data processing centres by:

• optimising the data processing centre and enabling provision of IT resource sharing services;
• using standard x86 hardware;
• streamlining management of different environments, including Microsoft Windows, Linux and Novell operating systems.
• IT departments use the VirtualCenter solution to improve the data processing centre’s infrastructure. In the case of large IT undertakings, VirtualCenter increases flexibility, ease of implementing changes and improves integration.

VirtualCenter enables radical improvement in such areas as:
• server consolidation: bringing the chaotic variety of servers, combined with consolidation of heterogeneous server applications, such as Exchange, Notes, SQL Server, Oracle, WebSphere, BEA, SAP, Siebel, Citrix and Active Directory, as well as older applications;
• resource management: allocating resources in accordance with business needs and dynamic projection of resources to software for the purpose of increasing flexibility and effectiveness;
• failure recovery: streamlined deployment of crucial systems and applications in reserve centres.

How does VMware VirtualCenter work?
VirtualCenter provides central control of ESX Server VINs (Virtual Infrastructure Nodes) and GSX Server VINs as a uniform logical pool of resources. VMware GSX Server VINs comprise the GSX Server and VirtualCenter Agent components. VMware ESX Server VINs comprise the ESX Server, VMware Virtual SMP, VMotion™ and VirtualCenter Agent components. VirtualCenter provides the following built-in key management functions:

VirtualCenter reduces the time-intensiveness, work-intensiveness and complexity of data processing centres thanks to the following advantages:
• dashboard-based uniform view of all virtual machines;
• system availability and efficiency monitoring capability;
• automatic messaging (alerting) by e-mail;
• robust access control functions integrated with the Windows authentication system.

VirtualCenter works as a service in Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional and Windows 2003 operating systems. The solution works with existing hardware and software, including rack-mounted blade and 1U servers (2-16 CPUs per server). VirtualCenter enables managing any x86 based computer platform.

Major features and functions

ESX Server VINs and GSX Server VINs managed by VirtualCenter enable centralised, safe management of VMware virtual infrastructure. The most important features and functions of this solution are:

• Central virtual infrastructure management console: Enables managing hundreds of virtual machines from a single location using efficient access control mechanisms, as well as monitoring system availability and efficiency and configuring automatic e-mail messages and alerts.
• Deployment creator enabling rapid configuration: Using templates, enables deploying a new server in minutes. VirtualCenter enables lightning-fast configuration thanks to the uniformity of virtual hardware.
• Virtual Infrastructure SDK: Enables full integration of third party management software with VirtualCenter solutions, and therefore integration of existing solutions with VMware virtual infrastructure without problems.

Deployment scenarios Benefits
Dynamic load shifting between distributed physical servers
·        Virtual machine migration within the entire environment for the purpose of load optimisation

·        Hardware maintenance and modernisation without downtimes

·        Virtual machine migration to new physical servers in the event of hardware failure

·        Reduction of hardware costs thanks to better utilisation

·        Reduction of operating costs thanks to reduced downtimes

·        Ensuring application availability and user work continuity in the event of hardware failure

Streamlined server configuration and management
·        Central management of all virtual machine images

·        Deploying new virtual machines using standard templates

·        Enforcing configuration standards thanks to pre-defined virtual machines

·        Reduction of operating costs.

·        Instant configuration of new virtual machines

·        Satisfying the demand for new servers while keeping costs under control

Monitoring system availability and efficiency
·        Monitoring system component utilisation by individual virtual machines

·        Defining triggered procedures and alerts concerning key efficiency and availability indicators

·        Preventive identification – using pre-defined reports – of problems with resource access bottlenecks

·        Increased availability and reduced hardware costs

·        Defining rules of automatic efficiency and availability management

·        Reduction of operating costs.

·        Early identification of resource problems and hardware damage

Managing distributed servers as a unified resource pool
·        Entire system and virtual machine set view from the central console

·        Global management of access to servers and virtual machines

·        Elimination of dependence on specific hardware from operating system management

·        Software management independent from hardware

·        Effective and trouble-free application load management

·        Ensuring continued availability of hardware for all applications

VMotion technology and ESX Server VIN:

VMware ESX Server VINs provide VMotion technology which enables smart load management. Additionally, it enables implementing changes during system operation without disturbing user work. Thus, resources in the entire virtual infrastructure can be quickly reconfigured and optimised without downtimes. ESX Server VINs managed by VirtualCenter enable flexible reactions to the data processing centre’s needs thanks to the following capabilities:

  • migration of a running virtual machine without interrupting the service to another physical server connected to the same storage area network (SAN);
  • hardware maintenance without downtimes by moving virtual machines to other equipment (computers, mass storage devices), which enables maintaining the originally utilised hardware without interrupting the users’ sessions;
  • constant load balancing in the entire data processing centre to maximise the resource utilisation efficiency in accordance with changing business needs.

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The VMotion technology enables moving servers from one virtual machine host to another without interrupting work. This enables IT departments to provide maintenance without downtimes, and continued load consolidation without interrupting the services provided to users.

Application development and testing applications

Take advantage of solutions that markedly reduce both the time required to develop and test applications, and the size of hardware infrastructure necessary for such tasks.

What is VMware Workstation?

VMware Workstation is efficient virtual machine software for programmers and system administrators who wish to revolutionise the development, testing and deployment of applications in the company. VMware Workstation has been present on the market for more than 5 years and has won several important awards. It enables programmers to develop and test the most complex network server applications running on Microsoft Windows, Linux or NetWare, using a single desktop computer. Thanks to supporting important functions, such as VPNs, live snapshot copies, object dragging and dropping, and shared folders, as well as PXE compatibility, VMware Workstation is the most efficient tool, essential for programmers and administrators of the company’s IT systems.
How is the VMware Workstation product utilised?

VMware Workstation has accrued five years of documented successes and is utilised by millions of users. It enables increasing effectiveness, reducing costs, increasing flexibility and improving reaction to changes. Installing VMware Workstation on a desktop computer is the first step in the process of transforming the company’s IT infrastructure into virtual infrastructure.

The VMware Workstation product can be used in the company to:
streamline software development and testing;
accelerate application deployment;
ensure application compatibility and conduct migrations to other operating systems.

How does VMware Workstation work?

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VMware Workstation enables concurrent running of several operating systems and their applications on a single physical machine. Such operating systems and applications are isolated in secured virtual machines that coexist on the same hardware. The VMware virtualisation layer projects physical hardware resources to virtual machine resources, and as a result each virtual machine has its own CPU, RAM, disk memory, I/O devices, etc. Each virtual machine is fully equivalent to a standard x86 machine. VMware Workstation business software developers to create and test the most complex network server applications running on Microsoft Windows, Linux or NetWare, using a single desktop computer.

 

VMware Workstation enables:

  • creating complex networks and developing, testing and deploying new applications using a single physical computer;
  • utilising virtual machine mobility for easy and risk-less sharing of programming environments and pre-made configurations for operating system and application testing;
  • adding or changing operating systems without the need to change disk partitions and restarting the system;
  • running new operating systems and existing applications on a single computer.

Why would a given company need the VMware Workstation product?

Ever since it was introduced in 1999, VMware Workstation has revolutionised software and IT infrastructure development, and has become the de facto standard for IT specialists and programmers around the world. VMware Workstation is an indispensable tool for enterprises who want to streamline and accelerate the development, testing and deployment of software and IT infrastructure.

Deploying the VMware Workstation product in the company’s environment enables:

  • shortening the software development cycle;
  • accelerating troubleshooting;
  • increasing productivity;
  • shortening the product’s time to enter the market;
  • improving product quality.

Recommendations for VMware Workstation use

Deployment scenarios Benefits
Streamlined software development and testing
·        Creating multiple software programming and testing on a single system

·        Creating critical applications for Windows and Linux operating systems

·        Archiving test environments on file servers and their fast restoration if needed

·        Testing new application updates, patches and service packs for operating systems on a single PC

·        Shortened software development cycle and the time necessary to introduce products to the market

·        Reduction of hardware costs by 50-60%

·        Shortening of the precious application configuration and installation time by 25-55%, and consequently extending the time for important programming tasks and testing

·        Improved project quality thanks to stricter testing

·        Elimination of costly problems with deployment and maintenance

Accelerated application deployment
·        Testing, configuration and supply of corporate-class servers as VMware Workstation virtual machines, and subsequently deploying them on a physical server or a VMware GSX or VMware ESX server

·        Creation of entire application networks comprising multiple computers and multiple switches on a set of virtual machines, and testing without disturbing the main network’s operation

·        Testing physical machine migration into virtual ones as part of server consolidation and migration of existing applications

·        Reduction of hardware costs by 50-60%

·        Improved deployment quality

·        increased productivity

·        Risk reduction for the company’s network thanks to creating more complex, safer and isolated virtual networks representing the company’s actual networks

Ensured application compatibility and operating system migration
·        Maintained application compatibility during safe migration to a new operating system

·        Testing new operating system in safe, clean virtual machines before deployment

·        Eliminated need to move existing applications

·        Conducting complex migrations of operating systems in accordance with the schedule and budget

·        Operation effectiveness improved by up to 50%

·        Reduced capital expenditure on desktop computers by 50-60%

·        Minimised user inconveniences during the interim phase

Recommendations

VMware Workstation is an excellent product, utilised by a number of groups in our company. For example, in my group it lets us save a lot of time and effort when testing service packs. We can use all corrective programs and approve changes only when we’re sure that all is working correctly. VMware Workstation allowed us to reduce number of PCs used by the construction department and the production department, and also by sales department specialists. In short, it’s a solution that really increases productivity, and at the same time is easy to install, configure and use – said Tom Hurst, senior systems administrator, Applied Innovation.