vSphere 6.0: Introduction to Virtual Infrastructure (Part-2)

In previous post vSphere 6 Introduction, we’ve briefly discussed about vSphere 6, its editions, configuration maximums, vSphere 6 architecture, and PSC deployment methods. In this post, we’ll discuss about Virtual Infrastructure of a data center. Virtualization is a concept that consolidates the data center environment and enables us to run more workload on a single physical server. In a virtualized environment, applications run on virtual machines and multiple virtual machine run on a single server.

Virtualization technology changes the way servers are provisioned. We don’t need to wait for hardware to be purchased, or cabling to be installed. The process of VM provisioning via a GUI, in contrast, process of deploying physical server, VM can be deployed in minutes.

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

Virtual Machine (VM) is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and required applications. VM is installed on a physical server with the help of a hypervisor. Hypervisor is a software layer which segregates hardware resources such as processing, memory for each VM installed on that server. Hypervisor enables to install multiple operating systems and applications on a single server and consolidates the hardware.

Physical Resource Sharing

As I mentioned earlier that, with virtualization, we can run multiple VMs on a single physical host with each VM sharing same physical resources of a physical server. When multiple VMs run on ESXi host, each VM is allocated a portion of a physical resources. The hypervisor schedules VMs like a traditional operating system allocates CPU and memory for and schedule applications.

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

Physical and Virtualized Host Memory Usage

In a physical environment, the operating system assumes the ownership of all physical memory in the system. Memory virtualization emphasizes performance and runs directly on the available RAM. The memory space is allocated and protected from being accessed by others when VM is created.

physical-and-virtualized-host-memory-usage

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

Physical and Virtual Networking

A VM can be configured with one or more virtual Ethernet adapters. Virtual switches enable VMs on the same ESXi host to communicate with one another by using the same protocols that are used over physical switches without need for additional hardware. Virtual switches also support VLANs that compatible with standard VLAN implementations.

With virtual networking, we can link local VMs together and as well as to external network though virtual switch. Virtual Ethernet adapters and virtual switches are key components of virtual networking. Virtual switches will be discussed in details in future posts.

physical-and-virtual-networking

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

Physical File Systems and VMFS

VMware vSphere VMFS is designed, constructed, and optimized for a virtualized environment. VMFS is a high-performance cluster file system designed for VMs. VMFS increases resource utilization by providing multiple VMs with shared access to a consolidated pool of clustered storage.

VMFS provides an interface to storage resources so that several storage protocols (FC, FCoE, and iSCSI) can be used to access datastores on which VMs reside. Dynamic growth of VMFS datastores through aggregation of storage resources and dynamic expansion of a VMFS datastore enables us to increase a shared storage resource pool with no downtime.

Figure: Thanks to VMware.com

In this post, I’ve tried to explain some concepts regarding virtual infrastructure. To know more about Virtualization, ESXi, and VMs you can follow VMware vSphere 6 Part 1 – Virtualization, ESXi and VMs course.

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