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  1. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Dave's VCDX journey

    As many of you know I'm going to attempt a VCDX defense at this year's VMworld. The interesting problem I'm running into is that the environments I've help build never had any defined requirements. Usually the equipment were pre-purchased and my task was to build the best virtual environment possible with them.

    I decided to design a virtual environment to support 700 servers which are mixture of P2V & new servers, must support SQL 2008R2 failover cluster, DR capable & try to re-use older equipment.

    It feels like I'm cheating if I come up with all the requirements & constraints. I'd like to ask the TE community to shoot me some design requirements/constraints. They can be requirements you've worked with or something you'd like to see someone design around.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dave
    2017 Certification Goals: Fun filled world of AWS
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  3. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #2
    I wish you well on the journey Dave!

    I'll throw in a few requirements:

    - The design must cater for a projected increase in the number of both physical and virtual servers (let's say 100 VM's) over the next couple of years
    - There are 3 prod sites all of which must have atleast 2 hosts each and an estimated total of 200 VM's all up
    - All prod servers must be backed to a central location
    - Use HP switches

    This is from my previous job. I'll think of anything else and post it here.
    VCDX: DCV - Round 2 rescheduled (by VMware) for December 2017.

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  4. DoWork
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    #3
    Building on one of Essendon’s points (three datacenters) here are a couple other possible ones:
    • vSphere license constraints - they have X and need X now to support the design.
    • MS Data Center license concerns - they are on the verge of signing an EA agreement and need a count of Data Center licenses they'll need to support your design quickly and accurately.
    • They want to have all three sites actively servicing applications at all times.
    • They want to employ SRM to failover to their DR site from any of the three sites
    I’ll post a few more as I come up with them.
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  5. Google Ninja jibbajabba's Avatar
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    #4
    I am in the same situation. A lot of times certain design decisions were made for me and couldn't be changed. By the way, I am sure you know that anyway but you have to defend certain aspects not just why X, but why not Y either
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  6. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #5
    Thanks guys.

    @Essendon,
    What are the VM sizes and percentage of each size or do I use educated guess? Departmental breakdown i.e. Engineering need X amount of resources, HR need Y, etc.

    @QHalo,
    What percentage of VMs require SRM protection? What's the RPO/RTO?

    @Jibba,
    Yes, being able to explain why I didn't choose an alternate design should be just as important.
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  7. DoWork
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    #6
    My RPO/RTO here at the law firm is 2 hours/4 hours with 40% covered by SRM. Now I only have 190 servers.
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  8. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #7
    A buddy of mine needed some help with a large deployment design, so ended up going with that. Interestingly it's also a multi-site design. I'm also working on small pilot deployment design at work, so I'll be in documentation hell for a while.
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  9. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #8
    Do you mind elaborating on the design Dave?
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  10. Cyber Donkey slinuxuzer's Avatar
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    #9
    A couple fun ones I can think of are.

    1. Must use NFS, no single switch or I/O card failure can cause a HA event. This should steer you towards a particular line of switch.

    2. SRM must be implemented using array based replication, VM's will not tolerate IP changes in the case of DR failover

    3. There is no layer two connectivity between data rooms, the design should allow the entire Vmware environment to be failed over between SRM sites while leaving physical servers running in the primary data room. (The need to fail-over only the Vmware environment is significant in the event of total storage failure)

    4. Though there is no layer 2 connectivity between data rooms, the bandwidth all the way through is 1 gigabit full.

    All these requirements are achieveable as I have implemented all these scenarios in the field.
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  11. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Essendon View Post
    Do you mind elaborating on the design Dave?
    It's a primary site plus 5 remote sites being protected by a central DR site.
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  12. DoWork
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    #11
    dave I'm sure you probably already know but in case you didn't, and for anyone else as well obviously, the VCDX Boot Camp book dropped yesterday. Looks like you can get an e-copy now.

    VCDX Boot Camp: Preparing for the VCDX Panel Defense | Pearson IT Certification
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  13. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by QHalo View Post
    dave I'm sure you probably already know but in case you didn't, and for anyone else as well obviously, the VCDX Boot Camp book dropped yesterday. Looks like you can get an e-copy now.

    VCDX Boot Camp: Preparing for the VCDX Panel Defense | Pearson IT Certification
    Thanks for the info. I've read the rough cut of it. Curious to see how much more stuff's in it. Time to check out Safari.
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  14. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #13
    Found some free time to read the finished VCDX bootcamp book. The troubleshooting section really scares me.
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  15. Senior Member meadIT's Avatar
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    #14
    The best advice I can give on the troubleshooting section is to have a methodology in your head well before your defense. Use the information they give you to document confirmed issues. Don't get stuck on any one symptom, because the scenario could have multiple issues that may or may not be related. Systematically go through the scenario and ask any questions. Don't assume every piece of information is 100% correct. If something sounds off, ask questions that will help you clarify. You are scored on your process and understanding of the different domains, not on finding the answer.

    I felt I did pretty well during the defense part, other than running short on time, but thought I bombed the design and troubleshooting scenarios.
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  16. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #15
    Almost done with the architecture design doc. About half way through last section, storage. Should be done in the next few days. If anyone's interested in looking through 100+ pages, shoot me a PM.
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  17. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #16
    I'm interested. Take me awhile to get through it all, but I'm sure it'll be worth it and maybe I can suggest something!
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  18. VMware Dude! TheProf's Avatar
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    #17
    Same here... I'd be interested, I'll try and review it as well while my DCD knowledge is still fresh
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  19. DoWork
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    #18
    Would love to.
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  20. kj0
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    #19
    I'm keen to have a look through for you.
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  21. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #20
    Managed to complete the design doc over the weekend. Only 110 pages. Every time I look at it I see small mistakes or stuff I want to change. Install doc is pretty much done. Started working on SOP.

    Can't figure out how to attach stuff to PM. I thought I saw an attachment button while back, but can't find it now. Managed to rope in enough people at work to review it, so not hurting on that front.
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  22. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #21
    Can you drop-box it Dave?
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  23. DoWork
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    #22
    All good now.
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  24. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #23
    Install plan's done. SoP is almost done. Looks like I'll be done by end of the week.
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  25. kj0
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    #24
    Awesome. Looking forward to seeing the end result!
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  26. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #25
    Had an interesting idea about VM template. Need to revisit design doc.
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