Resource pools allow you to delegate control over resources of a host (or a cluster), but the benefits are evident when you use resource pools to compartmentalize all resources in a cluster. Create multiple resource pools as direct children of the host or cluster and configure them. You can then delegate control over the resource pools to other individuals or organizations.

Using resource pools can result in the following benefits.

  • Flexible hierarchical organization—Add, remove, or reorganize resource pools or change resource allocations as needed.
  • Isolation between pools, sharing within pools—Top-level administrators can make a pool of resources available to a department-level administrator. Allocation changes that are internal to one departmental resource pool do not unfairly affect other unrelated resource pools.
  • Access control and delegation—When a top-level administrator makes a resource pool available to a department-level administrator, that administrator can then perform all virtual machine creation and management within the boundaries of the resources to which the resource pool is entitled by the current shares, reservation, and limit settings. Delegation is usually done in conjunction with permissions settings.
  • Separation of resources from hardware—If you are using clusters enabled for DRS, the resources of all hosts are always assigned to the cluster. That means administrators can perform resource management independently of the actual hosts that contribute to the resources. If you replace three 2GB hosts with two 3GB hosts, you do not need to make changes to your resource allocations.

    This separation allows administrators to think more about aggregate computing capacity and less about individual hosts.

  • Management of sets of virtual machines running a multitier service— Group virtual machines for a multitier service in a resource pool. You do not need to set resources on each virtual machine. Instead, you can control the aggregate allocation of resources to the set of virtual machines by changing settings on their enclosing resource pool.

For example, assume a host has a number of virtual machines. The marketing department uses three of the virtual machines and the QA department uses two virtual machines. Because the QA department needs larger amounts of CPU and memory, the administrator creates one resource pool for each group. The administrator sets CPU Shares to High for the QA department pool and to Normal for the Marketing department pool so that the QA department users can run automated tests. The second resource pool with fewer CPU and memory resources is sufficient for the lighter load of the marketing staff. Whenever the QA department is not fully using its allocation, the marketing department can use the available resources.

The numbers in the following figure show the effective allocations to the resource pools.

Figure 1. Allocating Resources to Resource Pools

The figure displays a scenario where resources are allocated to resource pools.