With advances in virtualization technology, both at the hardware and software layer, more and more virtual machines and hence applications are being run on a single server. While this improves consolidation ratios, it also presents new challenges, especially the risk of losing multiple critical applications in case of a fault at any layer of the infrastructure. Where availability is a concern, one should consider architecting a solution that provides availability at different layers: the virtual machine, hypervisor, server, network fabrics, and storage layer. This white paper presents a sample Dell solution that is designed to tolerate faults at multiple infrastructure layers to provide maximum level of availability for the virtual infrastructure. We start with an example solution configuration and then discuss how the configuration helps in maximizing uptime.
The intended audience for this white paper includes IT administrators, IT managers, and channel partners who are planning to implement server virtualization to run applications for which availability is a top concern. It is expected that the reader is well versed with fundamentals of server, storage, and networking technologies and VMware vSphere 4 server virtualization software.
This white paper presents an example configuration and best practices for deploying and configuring a highly available architecture using Dell’s 11th generation servers, Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI array, Dell PowerConnect switches, and VMware vSphere 4 software. Within the constraints of infrastructure components, the solution discussed is designed in order to maximize availability of software and hardware infrastructure components.