Friday, December 20, 2013

Chargeback Design 2/2

I know I own you guys the second part of my Chargeback Design series.
I don’t want this year to come to an end with this pending … let’s wrap it up.

As you might remember from the first post, you can install Chargeback Manager apart from Data Collectors!!

But wait, there’s no VMware Chargeback sizing or architecture guideline out there to help us decide how to build this solution.
I will share with you how architect  your solution with just a few simples questions:

First question: Does it require external access ?
With external I mean something outside of your control and governance, could be the internet, a partner’s network, etc.

If yes, then install the Chargeback Load balancer component only and place the server on your DMZ.

When you install a fresh new instance of Chargeback, the load balancer is installed by default, also it’s the only load balancer solution certified to work with Chargeback.
The load balancer will ensure that each instance of Chargeback Manager will serve an equal number of users.

You might be wondering, what if my load balancer goes down ?!?! 
Well, you lose access to Chargeback Portal. You can mitigate this risk, enabling VMware’s High Availability (HA). In case of any outage, HA will bring the Load Balancer server back in minutes. But, what if I cannot afford an outage of minutes ?!?! You could still use VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) to protect the Load Balancer server, as long as the VM is a single vCPU.

Second question: Does the Chargeback Portal need to be highly available ?
Some companies don’t need it to be running 99,99999% of the time. They are just concerned about monthly billing reports or showback reports that can wait until you fix the server ; )

But if your answer is yes, then you need to install at least 2 instances of Chargeback Manager, and point then to the same database and Chargeback Load Balancer.

 Obs: make sure you install the same version of Chargeback on all components of the solution).
Check the Chargeback Installation Guide about how to install those components and what ports need to be opened to the Load Balancer communicates with the Manager.

 Some Guidelines:
External Access: Place Load Balancer on DMZ
Need for High Availability: N+1 Chargeback Manager
Amount of Chargeback Manager: 1 for each 50 concurrent users

yeah, yeah, what about Data Collectors sizing ?!?! 
We will cover Data Collectors on a third post (that one became to large).



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Demystifying vSphere Replication 5.5

******                 Updated information - Jun 02, 2015                                 ******
******                   Check new Maximum for VR 6.0                                      ****** *************************************************************************

That’s an updated post of Demystifying vSphere Replication, which was focused on VR 5.1.

While most of the concepts and information’s still true, the release of  vSphere Replication 5.5 brought a few new things!!!
For a total comprehension of the topic I advise you to read the original post as well.

The maximums still the same, but now there’s no difference between the VR that comes with Site Recovery Manager (SRM) or the Stand Alone version, that means you can replicate a maximum of 500 VMs, to load balance the replication you can deploy multiple VR servers up to 10 (that’s the bigger change at 5.5), remembering each one will be limited to a 100VMs.

Operations Limits (KB2034768), has just been updated to reflect this new concept.

A new welcome feature is that now Storage vMotion and Storage DRS are supported on the source VM, not affecting the replication of recoverability at all.

Another new feature is the Multiple Point in Time Recovery, while configuring the replication you can configure how many Point in time you want to keep. After recovering a VM, those Multiple Points will be available as snapshots, which you could revert as your will.

The utilization of additional Multiple Point would cause a need for extra storage on the 
 destination. Plan it carefully.

Who am I

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I’m an IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infrastructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Consulting Architect, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them successfully on their journey. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opinion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinions. Reach me at @dumeirell

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