This post is for those who are using vSphere vApps in their environment today. I’ve been talking with various Product Managers about the vApp and how it is used and we have made certain assumptions which we would like to validate. So far it seems to us that most of you are using the vApp to define startup order and perform administrative operations as a group, like power-off / power-on.
Personally I have seen’t (m)any customers using the resource management capabilities of a vApp so far, most seem to treat the vApp as a way to group VMs. Now I do assume that there are customers out there using the resource management capabilities of the vApp. If so, I would be interested in knowing how you use it, why / when / what. Please leave a comment and please do so using a valid email address as there may be a desire for us to follow up on it.
Sol Birnbaum says
We use it as a way to gain both administrative group operation functionality and resources control in our cloud. Once example would be Citrix XenApp deployments, where we need to control power on/off sequences of the components (AD, SQL, License, Controllers, StoreFront, NS VPXs, Presentation) as well as to set resource reservations so we can guarantee a level of performance.
Being that resources pools offer that functionality, vApps really just add admin capabilities on top on that..
I always wanted to know what percentage uses vApp at all. I rarely if ever have a client using it.
On a virtual edition product we use reservations on cpu memory and disk shares at individual vm levels – if there is a way to do this on the vapp that’d be great
Tom Vernon says
I use vApp’s quite frequently for multi-tier applications and solutions. In our environment its purely used to logically group VM’s and to define startup orders. The resource management isn’t overly useful to us.
I have found vApps to be incredibly useful and enforce vApps utilization for multiple purposes.
1) Resource management/segmentation/reservations for both singular applications (ex: vCenter) and multi-tiered solutions (ex: Hosted applications/software suites for remote departments) ==> CPU/Memory reservations and limits
2) Boot & shutdown process for applications & solutions ==> Start order
3) Organization of VMs based upon purpose, function, group, segment, or department instead of attempting to corral VMs within overly complex folder structures within the “VMs and Templates” tab ==> vApp inside vApp inside vApp (parent/child nesting topology)
4) Application of access control, permissions, and security roles ==> Permissions & Roles
May at times appear to some as going overboard or overly involved, but from my perspective it helps keep daily O&M simple should Uncle Murphy come to visit….just my 2 cents.
Currently I use vApp resource management on essential services (tier 1) cpu/mem. The names of the vApps change, but there are four tiers. Tier 1 = Essential/Priority, Tier 2 = Non-Essential systems, Tier 3 = Workstations Tier 3/4 = Development. UPS monitoring will shutdown vApp Tiers, based on Xmin of remaining % of battery left. In the past I have used vApps resource management for iSCSI Windows File Services clusters. Its also nice to have an extra object layer to delegate permissions to.
The only value for us using vApps would be the power on/off priority features. (We currently only use them in a lab environment) In regards to anyone using them only for folder structure or the power on/off priority be aware vApps do not adhere to this order in an HA event unless something has changed. You also could very well run into resource issues if your not careful and get into an issue where you have contention in your environment. Just my 2 cents…
Come to think of it, it might be nice to be able to apply Storage Policies at the vApp level, migrating all of its children…
We’re looking at spinning up a large number of environments totalling approx 140 servers – spread throughout Dev, Test, Perf, UAT, Training and Live – Would vApps not be a consideration here given that from Dev we could create OVFs to deploy quicker to some of the other environments where the VM specs were to be the same?
What are the main negatives of vApps that they are not used as much, is it just familiarity of the features?