vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduling (vSphere DRS) provides load balancing in a cluster by migrating workloads from heavily loaded ESXi hosts to ESXi hosts with more available resources in the cluster.

Table 1. vSphere DRS Automation Levels

Automation Mode

Description

Manual

vSphere DRS provides recommendations but an administrator must confirm the changes.

Partially Automated

  • vSphere DRS provides recommendations to migrate virtual machines to fulfill certain criteria and an administrator must confirm the changes.

  • vSphere DRS automatically places virtual machine on hosts with sufficient resources at power-on operations.

Fully Automated

vSphere DRS automatically migrates virtual machines to fulfill certain criteria and automatically places workloads onto appropriate hosts at power-on operations.

When using two availability zones, create VM-Host group affinity rules for the initial placement of virtual machines. These affinity rules ensure that virtual machines run in a single availability zone unless an outage event occurs. In this way, you avoid unnecessary vSphere vMotion migrations of virtual machines between availability zones.

Table 2. Design Decisions on vSphere DRS for a Management Domain with a Single Availability Zone

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

VCF-MGMT-VCS-CLS-013

Enable vSphere DRS on all clusters, using the default fully automated mode with medium threshold.

Provides the best trade-off between load balancing and unnecessary migrations with vSphere vMotion.

If a vCenter Server outage occurs, the mapping from virtual machines to ESXi hosts might be difficult to determine.

Table 3. Design Decisions on vSphere DRS for a Management Domain with Multiple Availability Zones

Decision ID

Design Decision

Design Justification

Design Implication

VCF-MGMT-VCS-CLS-014

Create a host group for each availability zone and add the ESXi hosts in the zone to the respective group.

Makes it easier to manage which virtual machines run in which availability zone.

You must create and maintain VM-Host DRS group rules.

VCF-MGMT-VCS-CLS-015

Create a virtual machine group for each availability zone and add the VMs in the zone to the respective group.

Ensures that virtual machines are located only in the assigned availability zone to avoid unnecessary vSphere vMotion migrations.

You must add virtual machines to the allocated group manually.

VCF-MGMT-VCS-CLS-016

Create a should-run VM-Host affinity rule to run each group of virtual machines on the respective group of hosts in the same availability zone.

Ensures that virtual machines are located only in the assigned availability zone to avoid unnecessary vSphere vMotion migrations.

You must manually create the rules.