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VMware Resource Limit Best Practices

Created: 18 Oct 2012 | 2 comments

I was wondering what the suggested best practice limits are for VMware resources in Currently I have set the resources very conservatively and am concerned that I may impact the feasibility of the backup windows with them. These are my settings:

vCenter: No Limit

Snapshot: 50

Cluster: 15

ESXserver: 2

VMXDatastore: No Limit

Datastore: 2

As far as our VM environment are hosts typically run between 15-40% CPU and 60-80% memory. We also keep the recommended %20 in datastore reserves.

Are there any changes you could recommend or a sizing document would be best. I haven't been able to find one yet and if our environment changes I'd rather not keep having to ask.


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RLeon's picture

In addition to the Nbu VMware admin guide, there is also this document that gives you additional information regarding VM backups:
  Support for NetBackup 7.x in virtual environments

The closest thing to a Nbu sizing guide (They just don't call it that).
Excellent read btw. Most of the things still apply to 7.5.x:
  NetBackup 7.0 - 7.1 Backup Planning and Performance Tuning Guide

The two documents don't seem to address your specific VMware query directly.
Hopefully you'd still find them helpful in narrowing your search.

Though you may know this already, the following points from the vm guide regarding the use of Resource Limit are very important:

Note: The Resource Limit screen applies only to policies that use automatic
selection of virtual machines (Query Builder). If virtual machines are selected
manually on the Browse for Virtual Machines screen, the Resource Limit settings
have no effect.
Note: To limit the number of simultaneous backups per policy, use the Limit jobs
per policy setting on the policy Attributes tab.

I think this whole vStorage backup method resource limit/sizing topic depends heavily on the actual environment; some could afford to handle a more demanding and vigorous backup architecture and some couldn't.
It may sound redundant, but I typically use the "limit jobs per policy" setting to prevent individual policies from stressing out the VM environment (especially if there are many VMs in a policy), and use the Snapshot limit to control - more or less - the same thing on the global scope. (If I'm using the Query Builder).

MilesVScott's picture

I actually did not know about he QueryBulder limitation. However this information is going to be used in a redesign of our current enviornment where I do plan to use Query Builder.

I have read through the sizing guide but i was looking for more straight forward info on the VMware resources limit guidlines.

If my answer was helpful, please mark as a solution so others can benefit as well.

NBU,Win 2k3 Enterprise x64 SP2

Miles Scott | Holland & Knight
IT Infrastructure Specialist