VMware is one of those products that many of us, including this book’s authors, have been reading about for years. Ryan has had the opportunity over the years to become involved with and architect many virtualized environments, ranging from small- to large-scale cloud deployments using VMware technology. As time passes, Ryan has grown fond of the VMware product suite and continues to discuss it daily.
Matthew and Ryan have worked together on several projects in the past. In the summer of 2008, the two of us decided we would like to write a book together. We tossed around ideas and decided to write on VMware’s ESX platform, because it impressed us so. Since Matthew was already an established writer and also technologically proficient, although new to this specific software, we decided that Ryan would do the technical writing and Matthew would concentrate his efforts on making sure it all came across clearly and accurately.
We are genuinely delighted by VMware as a company, and have found its employees very kind and helpful. We have also become sold on its products. Using VMware’s platform in a production environment has been everything it is advertised to be: it has made system administration easier, made the use of resources more efficient and cost-effective, and quite frankly, been a lot of fun. If this weren’t the case, like all true geeks (in the best sense of the word), we would find something else to play with. So far, we haven’t.
This book encompasses many of the most useful and interesting recipes we have discovered while using the platform in production, as well as some cool tricks we encountered while testing and playing. We believe that anyone who’s using the VMware platform will find this book useful, and we hope it helps you enjoy VMware as much as we do.
This book is intended for system administrators who have some experience with VMware ESX, ESXi, vCloud Director, or vSphere. Throughout the book we have not only tried to appeal to beginners, but we also include a generous amount of complex recipes for advanced users. We believe this book will be a solid reference guide for any system administrator, regardless of his or her level of knowledge. We hope you enjoy it!
This book is made up of nine chapters:
Chapter 1, VMware Infrastructure Installation, covers installation details for ESXi 5 and vCloud Director.
Chapter 2, Storage, covers partitions, iSCSI and NFS configuration, and other choices reflecting local or external data storage.
Chapter 3, Networking, covers communications at multiple levels, including configuration of virtual switches, software and hardware adapters, Ethernet frame sizes, and more.
Chapter 4, Resource and vCenter Management, shows you how best to apportion memory and CPU resources through clustering, shares, hot add/hotplug support, and other options.
Chapter 5, Useful Tools and References, presents miscellaneous commands that can rescue you in a pinch and help you keep apprised of your servers’ functioning.
Chapter 6, General Security, covers a range of access issues, such as how to control which users have access to each level of the system and how to set up firewalls, networking, and remote access to your desired level of security.
Chapter 7, Automating ESXi Installations, introduces the configuration files used to control basic networking options, startup activities, and other aspects of the system you’ll want to automate in order to make it easier to replicate virtual machines.
Chapter 8, vCloud Director Overview, introduces features for moving into the cloud and allowing configuration by end users.
Chapter 9, vSphere Storage Appliance, shows how to create virtual storage and reclaim unused disk space through vSphere Storage Appliance.
Along the way, you’ll also find plenty of pointers and advice on good programming practices and tips that may help you find and solve hard-to-detect programming errors. There are also plenty of links to websites containing further details on the topics covered.
This book uses the following typographical conventions:
Used for email addresses, URLs, filenames, pathnames, and emphasizing new terms when they are first introduced
Used for the contents of files and for commands and their output
Constant width bold
Used in code sections to show commands or text that would be typed by the user, and, occasionally, to highlight portions of code
Constant width italic
Used for replaceable items and some comments in code sections
Indicates a tip, suggestion, or general note relating to the nearby text.
Indicates a warning or caution relating to the nearby text.
This book is here to help you get your job done. In general, you may use the code in this book in your programs and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re reproducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a question by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incorporating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s documentation does require permission.
We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title, author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “VMware Cookbook, by Ryan Troy and Matthew Helmke. Copyright 2012 Ryan Troy and Matthew Helmke, 978-1-449-31447-7.”
If you feel your use of code examples falls outside fair use or the permission given above, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Every recipe in this book has been tested on various platforms, but occasionally you may encounter problems. The information in this book has also been verified at each step of the production process. However, mistakes and oversights can occur and we will gratefully receive details of any you find, as well as any suggestions you would like to make for future editions. You can contact the author and editors at:
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Ryan: I would like to thank my wife, Holly, for her continued support and always-sound advice while I work on projects, which require me to be engulfed in concentration. Without her dedication and interest in my projects, they probably wouldn’t become realities. I want to thank my son, Hayden, for helping me realize just how precious life is. I want to thank my coauthor, Matthew Helmke, for his words of wisdom, great ideas, and neverending copyediting; you are a true rock star. I’d also like to say thanks to my family, friends, and coworkers for supporting me during the writing of this book—your consistent interest helped keep me motivated.
Matthew: I would like to thank my wonderful wife, Heather, for her consistently supportive attitude and encouragement. I want to thank my wonderful kids—I love you, Saralyn, Sedona, and Philip! I want to thank Ryan Troy for the opportunity to collaborate on this and other projects and also for the hospitality he and Holly have shown me. I freely and gratefully acknowledge that there is no way this book could/would have been written without Ryan. Finally, I would like to thank all my computer geek friends around the world who were genuinely excited with me when they discovered I was involved in a book project with O’Reilly—I’m so glad to have people like you in my life with whom I can share my joy as well as my enjoyment of this topic.
Together, we would like to thank all those who helped us make this a better book than it would have been without their assistance: our editor, Andy Oram, and all of the staff at O’Reilly, who have been kind and attentive from the moment we first submitted our book proposal; additionally we would like to thank our tech editors for their hard work and efforts during the review process.