Plan how to set up your virtual inventory and consider how the virtual machines that it will support are going to be used and administered. A large vSphere implementation might contain several virtual data centers with a complex arrangement of hosts, clusters, resource pools, and networks. It might involve multiple vCenter Server systems connected using Enhanced Linked Mode. Smaller implementations might require a single virtual data center with a much less complex topology.

Here are the questions to answer as you create and organize an inventory of virtual objects:

  • Will some virtual machines require dedicated resources?
  • Will some virtual machines experience periodic spikes in workload?
  • Will some virtual machines need to be administered as a group?
  • Will some virtual objects require one set of system permissions, while other objects will require a different set of permissions?
  • Do you want to use multiple vSphere Standard Switches, or you want to have a single vSphere Distributed Switch per data center?
  • Do you want to use vMotion and Distributed Resource Management with certain virtual machines but not others?

The left pane of the vSphere Client displays your vSphere inventory. You can add and arrange objects in any way with the following considerations:

  • The name of an inventory object must be unique with its parent.
  • vApp names must be unique within the Virtual Machines and Templates view.
  • System permissions are inherited and cascade. When you assign a system permission to an object in the inventory, the same permission propagates down the object hierarchy.

Tasks for Organizing Your Inventory

Populating and organizing your inventory involves the following activities:

  • Creating data centers.
  • Adding hosts to the data centers.
  • Organizing inventory objects in folders.
  • Setting up networking by using vSphere Standard Switches or vSphere Distributed Switches. To use services such as vMotion, TCP/IP storage, VMware vSAN™, and Fault Tolerance, set up VMkernel networking for these services. For more information, see vSphere Networking.
  • Configuring storage systems and creating datastore inventory objects to provide logical containers for storage devices in your inventory. See vSphere Storage.
  • Creating clusters to consolidate the resources of multiple hosts and virtual machines. You can enable vSphere HA and vSphere DRS for increased availability and more flexible resource management. See vSphere Availability for information about configuring vSphere HA, and vSphere Resource Management for information about configuring vSphere DRS.
  • Creating resource pools to provide logical abstraction and flexible management of the resources in vSphere. Resource pools can be grouped into hierarchies and used to hierarchically partition available CPU and memory resources. See vSphere Resource Management for details.