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VMware Installation

The Delphix Engine is a virtual appliance that runs in a hypervisor. In this section, you’ll find requirements to run Delphix on VMware including supported versions and instance configurations as well as recommended configuration parameters for optimal performance.

The Delphix Engine is intensive both from a network and a storage perspective. If the Delphix Engine competes with other virtual machines on the same host for resources it will result in increased latency for all operations. As such, it is crucial that your ESXi host is not over-subscribed, as this eliminates the possibility of a lack of resources for the Delphix Engine. This includes allowing a percentage of CPU resources for the hypervisor itself as it can de-schedule an entire VM if the hypervisor is needed for managing IO or compute resources.

Supported ESX Versions

VMware Hardware Version 10 is only supported on ESXi 5.5 and above.

Requirements Notes
VMware ESX/ESXi 6.7 U3
VMware ESX/ESXi 6.5 U1, 6.5 U3
VMware ESX/ESXi 6.0
VMware ESX/ESXi 5.5
More recent versions of VMware are preferred, such as ESX/ESXi 6.0 - 6.7

Virtual CPUs

Requirements Notes
8 vCPUs - CPU resource shortfalls can occur both on an over-committed host as well as competition for host resources during high IO utilization.
- CPU reservations are strongly recommended for the Delphix VM so that Delphix is guaranteed the full complement of vCPUs even when resources are overcommitted.
- It is suggested to use a single core per socket unless there are specific requirements for other VMs on the same ESXi host. 
Never allocate all available physical CPUs to virtual machines - CPU for the ESXi Server to perform hypervisor activities must be set aside before assigning vCPUs to Delphix and other VMs. 
- We recommend that a minimum of 8-10% of the CPUs available are reserved for hypervisor operation. (e.g. 12 vCPUs on a 128 vCore system).

Memory

Requirements Notes
32 or higher GB vRAM (recommended)
16GB vRAM (minimum)
- The masking service on the Delphix Engine uses its memory to process database and file blocks.
- More memory can sometimes improve performance. Memory reservation is a requirement for the Delphix VM.
- Overcommitting memory resources in the ESX server will significantly impact the performance of the Delphix Engine.
- Reservation ensures that the Delphix Engine will not stall while waiting for the ESX server to page in the engine’s memory.

TIP - Do not allocate all memory to the Delphix VM

Never allocate all available physical memory to the Delphix VM. You must set aside memory for the ESX Server to perform hypervisor activities before you assign memory to Delphix and other VMs. The default ESX minimum free memory requirement is 6% of the total RAM. When free memory falls below 6%, ESX starts swapping out the Delphix guest OS. We recommend leaving about 8-10% free to avoid swapping

For example, when running on an ESX Host with 512GB of physical memory, allocate no more than 470GB (92%) to the Delphix VM (and all other VMs on that host).

Network

Requirements Notes
The ova is pre-configured to use one virtual ethernet adapter of type VMXNET 3. - Jumbo frames are highly recommended to reduce CPU utilization, decrease latency, and increase network throughput. (typically 10-20% throughput improvement)
- If additional virtual network adapters are desired, they should also be of type VMXNET 3.
A 10GbE NIC in the ESX Server is recommended. For VMs having only gigabit networks, it is possible to aggregate several physical 1GbE NICs together to increase network bandwidth (but not necessarily to reduce latency). Refer to the VMware Knowledge Base article NIC Teaming in ESXi and ESX. However, it is not recommended to aggregate NICs in the Delphix Engine VM.

Storage

Overview

There are three types of data that Delphix stores on disk, which are:

  1. Delphix VM Configuration Storage: stores data related to the configuration of the Delphix VM. VM Configuration Storage includes the VMware ESX configuration data as well as log files.
  2. Delphix Engine System Disk Storage: stores data related to the Delphix Engine system data, such as the Delphix .ova settings.
  3. Metadata Storage: stores metadata used by the Masking service.

General Requirements

Requirements Notes
Storage used for Delphix must be provisioned from storage that provides data protection. For example, using RAID levels with data protection features, or equivalent technology. 
The Delphix engine product does not protect against data loss originating at the hypervisor or SAN layers.

Delphix VM Configuration Storage

The Delphix VM configuration should be stored in a VMFS volume (often called a "datastore").

Requirements Notes
The VMFS volume should have enough available space to hold all ESX configuration and log files associated with the Delphix Engine. If a memory reservation is not enabled for the Delphix Engine (in violation of memory requirements stated above), then space for a paging area equal to the Delphix Engine's VM memory must be added to the VMFS volume containing the Delphix VM configuration data.

Delphix Engine System Disk Storage

The VMFS volume must be located on shared storage in order to use vMotion and HA features.

Requirements Notes
The Delphix Engine system disk should be stored in a VMDK. The VMDK for the Delphix Engine System Disk Storage is often created in the same VMFS volume as the Delphix VM definition. In that case, the datastore must have sufficient space to hold the Delphix VM Configuration, the VDMK for the system disk, and a paging area if a memory reservation was not enabled for the Delphix Engine.
The Delphix .ova file is configured for a 300GB system drive. The VMFS volume where the .ova is deployed should, therefore, have at least 300GB of free space prior to deploying the .ova.

Delphix Engine Metadata Storage

Shared storage is required in order to use vMotion and HA features. In addition to making sure the latest VMware patches have been applied, check with your hardware vendor for updates specific to your hardware configuration. VMDKs (Virtual Machine Disks) or RDMs (Raw Device Mappings) operating in virtual compatibility mode can be used for data storage.

Requirements Notes
The minimum recommended storage size is 50 GB.

In addition to making sure the latest VMware patches have been applied, check with your hardware vendor for updates specific to your hardware configuration.

Additional VMware Configuration Notes

  • Running Delphix inside of vSphere is supported.
  • Using vMotion on a Delphix VM is supported.
  • Device passthrough is not supported.

Installing OVA on VMware

  1. Download the OVA file from Delphix’s Download site. Note, you will need a support login from your sales team or welcome letter. Navigate to “Virtual Appliance” and download the appropriate OVA. If unsure, use the HWv8_Standard type.

  2. Login using the vSphere client to the vSphere server (or vCenter Server) where you want to install the Delphix Engine.

  3. In the vSphere Client, click File.

  4. Select Deploy OVA Template and then browse to the OVA file. Click Next.

  5. Select a hostname for the Delphix Engine. This hostname will be used in configuring the Delphix Engine network.

  6. Select the data center where the Delphix Engine will be located.

  7. Select the cluster and the ESX host.

  8. Select one (1) data store for the Delphix OS. This datastore can be thin-provisioned and must have enough free space to accommodate the 300GB comprising the Delphix operating system.

  9. The Delphix VM Configuration Storage requires a minimum of 10GB. The VMFS volume should have enough available space to hold all ESX configuration and log files associated with the Delphix Engine.

    The Delphix Engine system disk should be stored in a VMDK system drive. The VMFS volume where the .ova is deployed should therefore have at least 300GB of free space prior to deploying the .ova. The VMFS volume must be located on shared storage in order to use vMotion and HA features.

  10. Select the virtual network you want to use. If using multiple physical NICs for link aggregation, you must use vSphere NIC teaming. Do not add multiple virtual NICs to the Delphix Engine itself. The Delphix Engine should use a single virtual network.

  11. Click Finish. The installation will begin and the Delphix Engine will be created in the location you specified.

  12. Once the Delphix Engien has been created proceed to Setting up the Delphix Engine to configure the system.