Configuring vSphere DRS for VMware

 
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Former Community Manager
978
 
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style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>
style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt'>Configuring vSphere DRS for
VMware<o:p></o:p>




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>
style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt'><o:p> </o:p>




style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>
style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt'><o:p> </o:p>



<o:p> </o:p>



What and Why<o:p></o:p>





<o:p> </o:p>



Since ESX/ESXi servers share
resources with many virtual machines (VMs), if you have several ESX/
class=SpellE>ESXi
severs as part of a cluster, there’s a general challenge
to ensure resources are kept at optimal levels as each ESX server takes on new
VMs.  To make sure resource
management happens automatically and efficiently, it’s important to configure a
cluster with the VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
DRS will not only automatically place a
new VM to an ESX server that has available resources, ensuring other servers
don’t become overloaded, but it will also move existing VMs to less utilized
servers.  The configuration is
straightforward and can have a huge impact on the performance and ease of management
on the cluster.



<o:p> </o:p>





Requirements<o:p></o:p>





<o:p> </o:p>



Before diving into the procedure for turning on DRS, we
first need to outline some requirements:



<o:p> </o:p>



Make sure your version of vSphere
supports DRS (it would be Enterprise or Enterprise+).



It’s important to have shared storage
and that all ESX/ESXi servers can access it.



DRS uses vMotion
to move VMs from one ESX host to another, so this will need to be enabled as
part of your cluster.



<o:p> </o:p>





The Steps<o:p></o:p>





<o:p> </o:p>



From the vSphere Web Client, click on ‘vCenter
and then click on ‘Clusters’ to see the clusters available in your
environment.  At this point I’m
assuming you have an existing cluster to enable DRS, but if you need to create
a cluster first, there is an option labeled ‘Turn ON vSphere DRS’ during the
set-up process.



<o:p> </o:p>



Click on an existing cluster and then click on the ‘Manage’
tab.  You’ll notice that you’re
already viewing the ‘vSphere DRS’ settings under the ‘Services’ section.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
If not, click on ‘vSphere
class=GramE>DRS.’  You
should
be able to see that DRS is turned off (as shown by the red rectangle in the
next screenshot).  On the same
screen, click on ‘Edit’ to modify the cluster’s settings.



<o:p> </o:p>



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<o:p> </o:p>



While you’re at the edit screen, click the checkbox titled
‘Turn ON vSphere DRS.’  Before clicking
on ‘OK,’ take a look at the ‘DRS Automation’ options as shown in the screenshot
below.



 
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src="enable_dr_on_vmware_files/image004.png" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_2"><![endif]>



<o:p> </o:p>



The ‘DRS Automation’ option has three values that will
adjust how DRS will act when deciding which VMs are migrated from one server to
another.  The options are:



<o:p> </o:p>



Manual
– DRS will display recommendations to move VMs, but will not actually
move them to another server without manual action from the administrator.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
This is useful for determining what
impact placement or migration may have on the environment.



<o:p> </o:p>



Partially
Automated
– DRS will automatically place new VMs that are first
powered-on, but will only make recommendations for existing VMs.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
This is a good option to ensure that
balancing occurs as more VMs are added to the cluster, but without moving any
existing VMs, which could cause performance issues.



<o:p> </o:p>



Fully
Automated
– DRS will automatically place new VMs, as well as
automatically migrating existing VMs to balance resources.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
This is common for very large
enterprises in which migrating an existing VM will have little impact, and the
environment is too large for an administrator to manually move VMs.



<o:p> </o:p>



If you’re testing the impact of DRS on a non-production
environment (which I hope you are), select Fully
Automated
to see how DRS will respond in your environment.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
If you’re still determining the full
impact, I recommend starting with Manual
or Partially Automated to get a feel
for the recommendations that DRS will make.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Once the automation level is set, click
on ‘OK’ to be taken back to the Manage screen.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Believe it or not, that’s it!
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
DRS has now been enabled.



<o:p> </o:p>





Checking DRS<o:p></o:p>





<o:p> </o:p>



Now that you’ve enabled DRS, let’s take a look at its
status.  Click on the ‘Summary’ tab
to see the chart titled ‘vSphere DRS Balance level. ‘ In the screenshot, I drew
a red rectangle around the Summary chart. 
If you selected Fully Automated,
as new VMs come online and start to use resources, this chart will adjust to
indicate at what level the ESX servers are being utilized and how they’re
managing the load.



<o:p> </o:p>



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<o:p> </o:p>



<o:p> </o:p>





Final Thoughts<o:p></o:p>





<o:p> </o:p>



With DRS now enabled on your cluster, you can sit back and
enjoy life as vSphere takes care of resource management.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
To continue down your DRS journey, I
recommend reading
href="https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2011/01/tuning-the-drs-migration-threshold.html">
style='mso-bidi-font-style:normal'>Tuning the DRS Migration Threshold

on the VMware blogs.  Keeping the
DRS migration threshold as conservative will prevent VM migration from
occurring unless there’s a major resource conflict, while setting the threshold
to aggressive will allow VMs to migrate to keep resources optimal.
style="mso-spacerun:yes"> 
Most administrators choose a level
somewhere in between, so it’s up to you to test this out (and please don’t test
changes on production servers) to choose the best settings for your environment.





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