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Single Points of Failure of VMware hosts

Posted on 2012-12-24
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Last Modified: 2013-01-08
1) What would be some example single points of failures to look out for in environments using VMWare ESXi hosts to host up to 10 Guest Servers. And example fixes to remediate the SPOF's.

2) Just as a general rule, if you take on new networks is it common to find SPOF's in virtal environments? And any specific reasons why, i.e. cost of the high availability solution to mitigate the SPOF?

3) Are SPOF limited only to technology, or can people processes essentially be SPOF? if so what do you do to eliminate human/process SPOF?
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Question by:pma111
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Neil Russell earned 1000 total points
ID: 38718385
Obviously the first and most obvious SPOF would be in a non clustered VM setup. If you only have stand alone hosts, they are SPOF.

Clustered Vmware hosts with A SAN become more resilliant but again you can have SPOF's. Make sure you SAN has multipath connections, if via a fibre switch then make it via 2 fibre switches.

Your network connections to the cluster should again be via Multiple switches of course.

Yes it is quite common to find LOTS of VM setups with multiple SPOF! Cost being the usual reason.

Are people a SPOF? Yes!  ensure that the business has no reliance on a single person. As with any technology, train multiple people. If you can, Train a trainer and have them pass on the knowledge in a controlled and doccumented manner.

TEST, TEST and RETEST your systems/processes.
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 38718387
See a great paper by Dell on the very subject.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/power/ps4q05-20050285-Stanford.pdf
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 38718598
Single SAN
Single network switches
Single Servers
Single PSUs
No RAID in servers
No RAID in SAN
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Author Comment

by:pma111
ID: 38718657
5) Can you define 'single servers' in laymans terms?

6) Would lack of backup also count as spof?
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 38718669
If you have a SINGLE VMWare HOST machine with ESKi installed on it, NOT clustered.
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 38718670
No backups? its not a SPOF but an idiots mistake.
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LVL 123
ID: 38718675
Single server fails, no VMs can run!
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