So you're designing a new Virtual Infrastructure on VMware right? Ok, one of the first decisions that your client will have to make is whether to virtualise on VI3 or vSphere. At this stage I'd say it would be a rather silly move to go with VI3.5 as VMware vSphere 4 GA has been available for quite some time now. However, I still see new designs based on VI3.5 being signed off. So why would I rather go for vSphere 4 and not VI3.5? Here are some my reasons:
We all know that vSphere is stable for production, if not more stable than VI3.5
Although vSphere 4 has more bells and whistles than VI3.5, it can still do what VI3.5 does. It just does it, well, better that VI3.5 in my opinion.
As people have learnt with ESX 2.5 when VI3 was released, you'll have to upgrade eventually. Sooner or later, you'll have to upgrade from VI3.5, so why do all the work twice? Why build a VI3.5 solution only to upgrade to vSphere 4 eventually anyway?
I'm not saying that you should go with the latest release, in fact, my policy is to always hold off one or two months before upgrading to the latest release of anything.
Well, ok, so now you have decided to go with vSphere right? Here's the next question... Do I run a 32-bit or 64-bit OS for my vCenter server? Do I install Windows 2003 32-bit or Windows 2003 64-Bit? Or, do I install Windows 2008 R2, which is 64-bit anyway? Now, I may be able to point you in the right direction here. As I'm bound by non-disclosure agreements for most of the information I have from VMware, I won't be able to say too much about anything I've been working with in the past few weeks. However, the purpose of this post is not to help you design a virtual infrastructure that will work for you today, but to help you design an infrastructure that will work for you today, tomorrow, and that will work for and with you when the time comes to upgrade to the next generation of VMware's Datacentre Virtualisation product. So, here's a tip, and probably the whole idea of this post: WHEN DESIGNING A NEW VIRTUAL INFRASTRUCTURE, BE SURE THAT YOU CHOOSE A 64-BIT WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM FOR YOUR VCENTER SERVER DEPLOYMENTS AS IT WILL SAVE YOU A LOT OF TIME AND HASSLE IN THE NEXT YEAR!