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IT Architect Series: Foundation In the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for IT Architects

IT Architect Series: Foundation In the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for IT Architects

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IT Architect Series: Foundation In the Art of Infrastructure Design: A Practical Guide for IT Architects

729 pagine
5 ore
Jun 26, 2017


The first book in the IT Architect series helps aspiring & experienced IT infrastructure architects/administrators, and those pursuing infrastructure design certifications, establish a solid foundation in the art of infrastructure design. The three authors hold multiple certifications, including VCDX, and they call upon their combined decades of experience in administration, design, and education in technology to help you plan, design, deploy, and test a full infrastructure design solution. Starting with the methodology behind infrastructure design, they explore the design process through a case study that highlights a company that wants to support datacenter and desktop solutions using virtualization technologies. They provide examples of architecture design, installation, validation, & operations using VMware vSphere and VMware Horizon View and an analysis of the design choices along with alternative options. The book teaches how to develop the design documents and the presentation.
Jun 26, 2017

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Anteprima del libro

IT Architect Series - John Yani Arrasjid, VCDX-001


Foundation in the Art of

Infrastructure Design

A Practical Guide for

IT Architects

John Yani Arrasjid, VCDX-001

Mark Gabryjelski, VCDX-023

Chris McCain, VCDX-079


Upper Saddle River, NJ • Boston • Indianapolis • San Francisco

New York • Toronto • Montreal • London • Munich • Paris • Madrid

Cape Town • Sydney • Tokyo • Singapore • Mexico City

IT Architect: Foundation in the Art of Infrastructure Design, A practical guide for IT architects

Copyright © 2014, 2016 John Yani Arrasjid, Mark Gabryjelski, Chris McCain.

Published by IT Architect Resource, LLC

14 Ansel Street, Salem, New Hampshire 03079

All rights reserved. This publication is protected by copyright, and permission must be obtained from the authors and publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise.

All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. The publisher cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

VMware terms are trademarks or registered trademarks of VMware in the United States, other countries, or both.

EMC terms are trademarks or registered trademarks of EMC in the United States, other countries, or both.

HP, Dell, and other vendor terms are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies in the Unites States, other countries, or both.

The opinions expressed in this book belong to the authors and are not necessarily those of the companies they work for.

Warning and Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied. The information provided is on an as is basis. The authors and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book or from the use of the CD or programs accompanying it.

ISBN: 978-0-9966-4773-1 (e)

Rev. date: 6/7/2017

This book is based on years of experience and hard work with many architects and administrators. To my family, friends, and team, thank you for your support over the years and in the years to come. Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback, especially the cadre of reviewers who read every chapter! Thank you to all who have given me projects to learn and develop my career, and for trusting in my follow-through. This book is dedicated to all those furthering the art of infrastructure design and mentoring others. A very special dedication goes to my family Amy, Catherine, Sofi, Lila, Dorine, Harun, George, Judy, whose love and support was there throughout my many projects and startup adventures! Thank you for being there for me. I love you. – John Yani Arrasjid

* * *

To my family and friends for enabling and encouraging me to grow personally and professionally over the years, and for all the help they will provide in the future. My special thanks to Bridget, who gave up many nights and weekends with me so I could work on this project. Thank you to everyone who I have worked with for the past 20 years in the IT field. You have all provided me encouragement, challenges, and inspirations to continue to give back to you all these years. – Mark Gabryjelski

* * *

Every day I get to engage with folks who are elite minds in the world of information technology in the enterprise. These people can be found in my colleagues at work, former students, and counterparts at partner, parent, and competing companies. To all of these folks I say thank you for helping me become a better architect with every interaction. Most importantly to my wife, Stacy, and our kids, Hayden and Hudson. The three of you deserve significant recognition for the amount of technical neediness you endure by living with me. Though it’s hard for me to travel and be away from you, know that I do it for you. You are my motivation and my inspiration to continue to get better and expand my horizons in my professional life as much as in my personal life. Thank you. I love you. – Chris H. McCain






Who Should Read This Book

Goals and Methods

How to Use This Book

About the Authors


Please share your feedback!

Reader Services

Chapter 1: Introduction


Architecture vs. Design

Phases of Designing a Solution (D4)

Phase 1: Discover the Inputs

Phase 2: Develop the Solution

Phase 3: Design the Architecture and Operations

Phase 4: Determine Success


Perspectives on IT Infrastructure Design

Exercises Included in Chapters

Chapter 2: Design Methodology and Documentation

Architecture vs. Design

Enterprise Architecture

Methodology and Framework

Assessment Criteria and Use Cases

Virtualization Assessment

Health Check

Phases for Developing an Architecture Design

Conceptual Architecture (The Owner Perspective)

Logical Architecture (The Architect Perspective)

Physical Architecture (The Builder Perspective)


Design Considerations

Assessment Methodology

Current State Analysis Assessment


Data Points




Health Check

Design Characteristics






Considerations for Design





Guidelines to Develop a Document Set

Design Input

Design Output

Design Decisions




Decision-Making Skills

Software Defined Data Center considerations

Converged Infrastructure Considerations

Example Table of Contents for Design Documents

Architecture Design Document – Tables of Content

Installation Guide – Table of Contents

Implementation Plan – Table of Contents

Validation Plan – Table of Contents

Operational Procedures – Table of Contents

Risk Management – Table of Contents

Extra: Availability and Recoverability (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) Design – Table of Contents


Key Concepts

Self-paced exercises

Chapter 3: Case Study

Company Overview

Project Specification

Existing Networking Infrastructure

Existing Storage Area Network

Existing Desktop Environment

BC / HA / FT / DR and Recovery Initiatives

Virtualized Datacenter

Virtualized Desktops

Case Study Review

Chapter 4: Server Virtualization: Architecture Design Example

IT Architect Resource Virtual Data Center Design Guide

ITAR VDC Documentation List

1. Project Overview

1.1 Project Description

1.2 Requirements

1.3 Constraints

1.4 Assumptions

1.5 Risks

1.6 Design Philosophy

1.7 VDC Conceptual Design

1.7.1 VDC Design Justification

1.8 VDC Conceptual Access Strategy

1.8.1 Access Strategy Design Justification

2. VDC Cluster Design

2.1 Overview

2.2 Logical Cluster Design

2.4 Design Justification

3. VDC Host Hardware Design

3.1 Overview

3.2 Physical Hardware Configuration

3.2.1 Solar01 Management Cluster

3.2.2 Solar02 Management Cluster

3.2.3 Solar03 Management Cluster

3.4 Design Justification

4. VDC Network Design

4.1 Overview

4.2 Logical Network Design

4.3 Physical Network Design

4.3.1 Solar01 Management Cluster

4.3.2 Solar02 Management Cluster

4.3.3 Solar03 Management Cluster

4.4 Design Justification

5. VDC Storage Design

5.1 Overview

5.2 Logical Storage Design

5.3 Physical Storage Design

5.3.1 Solar01 Management Cluster

5.3.2 Solar02 Management Cluster

5.3.3 Solar03 Management Cluster

5.4 VMFS Design

5.5 Design Justification

6. Virtual Machine Design

6.1 Overview

6.2 Solar01 Management Cluster VMs

6.3 Solar02 and Solar03 Management Cluster VMs

6.4 Solar 03 VDI Design

6.4.1 Logical VDI Design

6.4.2 Physical VDI Design

6.4.3 Virtual Desktop Design

6.5 VM Design Justification

7. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Design

7.1 Overview

7.2 Host Protection

7.3 Network Protection

7.4 Storage Protection

7.5 vCenter Protection

7.6 Infrastructure Services Protection

7.7 Design Justification

Chapter 5: Server Virtualization: Installation, Validation, and Operational Examples

ESXi Installation Guide

Information Required For Installing ESXi

ESXi Installation & Configuration

ESXi Final Configurations

vCenter for Windows Installation Guide

Information Required For Installation

vCenter Installation & Configuration

VMware Cluster Configuration Guide

vSphere Cluster Validation Plan

Windows 2012 R2 VM Template Build Process

Information Required For Creating Template

Windows 2012 R2 Template VM Build Process

Deploy a VM from Template Process

Chapter 6: Desktop Virtualization Architecture Design Example

Project Overview

Project Description










Conceptual Design

VMware Horizon View Pod

VMware Horizon View Block

Design Justification

Conceptual Access Strategy

Client Access to Desktop, Internal

Client Access to Desktops, External

Access Strategy Design Justification

Cluster Design


Cluster Design

Cluster Settings


Host Compatibility (CPU)

Resource Pools

Design Justification

Host Hardware Design


Physical Hardware Configuration

HP c7000 Chassis

HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric

HP BL460 G9 Blades

vSphere Infrastructure for Servers

vSphere Infrastructure for VDI

Design Justification

Network Design


DNS and Naming Conventions

DHCP and Naming Conventions

Time Synchronization

vSphere ESXi Servers

VMware Horizon View Servers

Virtual Desktops

Logical Network Design

Physical Network Design

iLO IPMI Networks

VMkernel Networks

Virtual Machine Networks

VLANs and Subnets

Distributed vSwitch Configuration

Storage Design


Logical Storage Design

Physical Storage Design


Reducing Storage Requirements with View Composer

Hypervisor Boot

Storage Presentation to Virtual Machines

VMFS Design

Templates Volumes

Desktop Pool Volumes

LUN Size Recommendations

Design Justification

Virtual Machine Design


Virtual Machine Naming Conventions

Master Virtual Machines

Linked-Clone (Non-persistent) Virtual Machines

Persistent Disk and Redirection to Disposable Disks

Up Front and On Demand Provisioning

Computer Management via Active Directory

User Profile Management

vSphere VMs & Templates Hierarchical Design

Management Servers

vCenter Server – Per Block

vCenter Operations Manager – Per Horizon View Pod

vShield Manager – Per vCenter

VMware Horizon Composer – Per vCenter

VMware Horizon View Servers

Trend Micro Deep Security Virtual Appliance – Per ESXi Host

F5 Big IP Load Balancer

Template Virtual Machines

Master Virtual Machines

Desktop Pools

Using 3D Graphics Applications

Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA)

Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA)

Multimedia Redirection

Base Application Set

Custom Applications for Classes

Desktop Pools Overview

IT Team Pool

Standard Student Pool

Power Student Pool

Desktop Pool Refresh/Delete Policies

Desktop Recompose Operations

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Design


Host Failure Protection

Network Failure Protection

Storage Protection

vCenter / vSphere / Management Server Protection

Infrastructure Services Protection

Future – Site Protection

Appendix A: References

Appendix B: TCP/IP Port Specifications

TCP/IP Communication Ports

Front End Firewall Configuration

Back End Firewall Configuration

Appendix C: SSL Certificates

Appendix D: Security Configuration

Active Directory Groups




Active Directory Service Accounts






SQL Server Named Accounts


Appendix E: Monitoring Configuration

Appendix F: Group Policy Objects

Computer Applied Group Policy Objects

User Applied Group Policy Objects


Chapter 7: Analysis

Server Virtualization Analysis

Storage Design


Network Design

Compute Design


Resource Design


Management Layer Design


Virtual Machine Design


Monitoring Design


Security Design


Availability and Recoverability Design


Desktop Virtualization Analysis

Storage Design


Network Design


Compute Design


Management Layer Design


Virtual Machine Design


Analysis Conclusion

Chapter 8: Presenting and Defending the Design

Design Presentation

Goal of Presentation

Utilize Tools for Storyboarding

Design Presentation Workflow

Design Presentation Slides

Validating Your Presentation

Example Design Presentation


Chapter 9: Design In Practice – Summary, Recommendations, and Next Steps

Design in Practice

Summary and Recommendations

Design Phases

Design Characteristics

Considerations for Design

Documentation Set

Design Decisions



Next Steps

Appendix A: Discovery Phase Survey


Existing Infrastructure





Identify Staffing Skills & Gaps


Appendix B: Design Decision Workbook

Project Overview




Risks and Risk Mitigation





Allocation Models



vApps (Virtual Appliances)

Service Catalog

Workflow Considerations

Desktop Considerations

Roles and Responsibilities

Validation Testing

Appendix C: Customer Presentation Preparations

Application Checklist

Documentation Checklist

VCAP-DCD Blueprint Checklist

VCAP-CID Blueprint Checklist

VCAP-DTD Blueprint Checklist

Design Review Preparedness Checklist

Appendix D: Building a Design Lab

Building A Home Lab

Home Lab Explained


The Lab Ethernet Storage

KVM at Home on a Budget

The Lab Hypervisor Host

The Virtual (Nested) Hypervisor

Self-paced exercises

Build The Hardware For Your Lab

Build Network Services & Active Directory

Build a vCenter Server

Build Nested ESXi servers

Use Update Manager to Upgrade ESXi servers

Add vShield Manager (vCloud Networking & Security)

Add vCenter Operations Manager

Configure VMware Clusters

Build Virtual Machines Templates

Working with Virtual Machines

Use VMware Converter

Migrate vSwitch to Virtual Distributed vSwitch

Work with Host Profiles

Add vCenter Auto Deploy to existing vCenter

Build a vCenter Authentication Proxy


vSphere Data Protection

vSphere Replication

Management Tools

VMware Horizon View

Create Active Directory OU Structures & Group Policy Objects

Create Virtual Machine(s) for View Consumption

Initial Work with Desktop Pools

Updating Desktop Pools

Create / Configure Security Servers

Work with ThinApps






Table 1 - Terms used in example tables of contents

Table 2 - ITAR Design Quality Ranking

Table 3 - Hardware provisioned by ITAR for use in the design of the management infrastructure.

Table 4 - Resource summaries for the SolarXX clusters as totals and with HA considered.

Table 5 - Solar01 Virtual Machine Resource Calculations Summary.

Table 6 - Solar01 resource usage vs. resource availability vs. remaining resources, with HA considered.

Table 7 - Solar01 can handle 3 more VMware VDC kits (the lesser of 3 and 5).

Table 8 - Solar02 Virtual Machine Resource Calculations Summary.

Table 9 - Resource usage vs. resource availability vs. remaining resources, with HA considered.

Table 10 - Solar03 Virtual Machine Resource Calculations Summary

Table 11 - Resource usage vs. resource availability vs. remaining resources, with HA considered.

Table 12 - Explicit Failover configuration for vSwitch0 ports and port groups.

Table 13 - Solar01 host NIC identification and assignments.

Table 14 - Solar02 host NIC identification and assignments.

Table 15 - Solar03 host NIC identification and assignments

Table 16 - ITAR provisioned hardware for support of the FC and iSCSI storage area networks.

Table 17 - VMs hosted on Solar01

Table 18 - VMs hosted on Solar02

Table 19 - Information Required for Installation

Table 20 - ESXi Installation & Configuration

Table 21 - ESXi Final Configuration

Table 22 - Information Required for Installing vCenter

Table 23 - Preparations for vCenter Server & Components

Table 24 - Installing vCenter Single Sign On

Table 25 - Installing vSphere Web Client

Table 26 - Active Directory / LDAP Authentication

Table 27 - Installing vCenter Inventory Service

Table 28 - Installing vCenter Server

Table 29 - Installing VMware vSphere Client

Table 30 - Installing vSphere Update Manager

Table 31 - Installing vSphere ESXi Dump Collector

Table 32 - Installing vSphere Syslog Collector

Table 33 - Post install vCenter Configurations

Table 34 - Configuration of VMware Cluster

Table 35 - Host(s) Checks

Table 36 - Cluster Check

Table 37 - Information Required for Windows 2012 R2 VM Template Build

Table 38 - Windows 2012 R2 Template Build Process

Table 39 - Information Required to Deploy VM from Template

Table 40 - Deploy VM Template Process

Table 41 - Design Quality Rankings

Table 42 - ITAR’s Requirements

Table 43 - ITAR’s Constraints

Table 44 - ITAR’s Assumptions

Table 45 - ITAR’s Identified Risks

Table 46 - ESXi Cluster Resources

Table 47 - VMkernel Port Configuration

Table 48 - VLANs, Subnets, & VM Port Groups

Table 49 - LUN Naming Convention, Purpose, & Sizing

Table 50 - VMs & Templates Hierarchy

Table 51 - Power Student Desktop Pool

Table 52 - Standard Student Desktop Pool

Table 53 - Power Student Desktop Pool

Table 54 - Front End TCP/IP Ports

Table 55 - Backend TCP/IP Ports

Table 56 - Design Decision Information

Table 57 - Design Decision Information simplified

Table 58 - Cluster Design Decision

Table 59 - Network Design Decision Template

Table 60 - Storage Design Decision Template

Table 61 - Allocation Models Design Decision Template

Table 62 - Monitoring Design Decision Template

Table 63 - Governance Design Decision Template

Table 64 - vApps Design Decision Template

Table 65 - Service Catalog Design Decision Template

Table 66 - Workflow Design Decision Template

Table 67 - Desktop Design Decision Template

Table 68 - Roles & Responsibilities Design Decision Template

Table 69 - Validation Design Decision Template


Figure 1 - Phases of Designing a Solution (©2014 John Yani Arrasjid)

Figure 2 - Relationship from Conceptual to Logical to Physical design models

Figure 3 - Sample Logical Architecture Component

Figure 4 - Physical Architecture - Example Server

Figure 5 - Guidelines to develop a document set

Figure 6 - Design Input Activities

Figure 7 - Design Outputs

Figure 8 - The ITAR Virtual Datacenter (VDC) Conceptual Design.

Figure 9 - ITAR VDC Conceptual Access Strategy

Figure 10 - VDC access with Terminal Services or virtual desktops through VMware View.

Figure 11 - ITAR VDC Logical Cluster Design

Figure 12 - Logical Networking Design of the ITAR VDC Clusters.

Figure 13 - The ITAR VDC is made up of 24 logical IP networks to support the management and student networks.

Figure 14 - The Physical Switching infrastructure of the ITAR VDC includes 24 IP networks across 15 physical switches.

Figure 15 - Solar01 host physical network detail mapping virtual networking components to physical networking components.

Figure 16 - Solar02 host physical network detail mapping virtual networking components to physical networking components

Figure 17 - Solar03 host physical network detail mapping virtual networking components to physical networking components

Figure 18 - The logical storage design for Solar01 includes 2 HBAs, 2 FC switches, and 2 SPs with 2 front-end ports each

Figure 19 - The logical design of Solar02 includes 2 FC HBAs, 2 FC Switches, 2 SPs with 2 front-end ports, 4 NICS for iSCSI, 2 iSCSI Ethernet switches, and 2 controllers on each of the arrays

Figure 20 - The logical storage design for Solar03 includes 2 HBAs, 2 FC switches, and 2 SPs with 2 front-end ports each

Figure 21 - ITAR VDC Fibre Channel switching design.

Figure 22 - Solar01 Fibre Channel connectivity

Figure 23 - Solar02 Fibre Channel connectivity

Figure 24 - Solar02 iSCSI connectivity

Figure 25 - Solar03 Fibre Channel connectivity

Figure 26 - RAID groups, LUNs, and VMFS for storage available to the hosts of Solar01

Figure 27 - Fibre Channel storage design for Solar02 and Solar03 and iSCSI storage design solely for Solar02

Figure 28 - VMware vCenter Server 4.1 configuration

Figure 29 - VM placement on Fibre Channel storage for Solar01

Figure 30 - VM placement for VMs hosted on Solar02 and Solar03

Figure 31 - VMware View logical design for the ITAR VDC

Figure 32 - External customer connections are protected using an SSL-encrypted tunnel to the Security Server

Figure 33 - Technical design details on accessing the ITAR VDC using VMware View virtual desktops

Figure 34 - ITAR EqualLogic class VMs (virtual desktop provisioned by VMware View, Windows Server, Exchange Server 2007, and SQL Server 2005

Figure 35 - Logical ESXi Server

Figure 36 - Logical ESXi Server vSwitch Mapping

Figure 37 - vSphere Infrastructures

Figure 38 - VMware Horizon View Pod

Figure 39 - VMware Horizon View Block

Figure 40 - Authorization, Access, & Accounting

Figure 41 - Internal Access

Figure 42 - External Access

Figure 43 - c7000 Configuration

Figure 44 - HP BL460 G9 Blade Servers

Figure 45 - c7000 Network Connections

Figure 46 - Distributed vSwitch Configurations

Figure 47 - Storage Presentation per Cluster

Figure 48 - 3Par to c7000 Connections

Figure 49 - VMs & Templates Hierarchy

Figure 50 - Slide Preparation

Figure 51 - Presentation Title

Figure 52 - Table of Contents

Figure 53 - Executive Summary

Figure 54 - Conceptual Design

Figure 55 - Logical Cluster Design

Figure 56 - Logical Network Design

Figure 57 - Physical Networking Design

Figure 58 - Solar0X Logical Storage Design

Figure 59 - Fibre Channel Switch Design

Figure 60 - Solar01 VMFS Design

Figure 61 - Solar03 Logical VDI Design

Figure 62 - Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity

Figure 63 - Appendix header slide with links to individual reference slides

Figure 64 - Hardware Provided

Figure 65 - Hardware Design

Figure 66 - Solar01 Capacity Planning

Figure 67 - Virtual Datacenter - Section Title Slide

Figure 68 - Solar01 Cluster Configuration

Figure 69 - VMware vCenter Design

Figure 70 - Network - Section Title Slide

Figure 71 - Solar01 Physical Network Design

Figure 72 - Solar01 vSwitch0 Configuration

Figure 73 - VDS Configuration

Figure 74 - dvPortGroups Configuration

Figure 75 - Logical IP Networking

Figure 76 - Storage - Section Title Slide

Figure 77 - Storage Area Network Hardware

Figure 78 - Solar02 Physical FC Storage Design

Figure 79 - Solar02 Physical iSCSI Storage Design

Figure 80 - Solar01 FC Storage Configuration

Figure 81 - Solar01 VM Storage Placement

Figure 82 - VDC Access – Section Title Slide

Figure 83 - Conceptual Access Strategy

Figure 84 - Logical Access Strategy

Figure 85 - Student Kits – Section Title Slide

Figure 86 - Earth / Mars VMware Kit Design

Figure 87 - VMware Student Kit FC/VMFS Design

Figure 88 - Design Drivers – Section Title Slide

Figure 89 - Introduction

Figure 90 - Design Philosophy

Figure 91 - Requirements (1 of 3)

Figure 92 - Requirements (2 of 3)

Figure 93 - Requirements (3 of 3)

Figure 94 - Design Quality Prioritization

Figure 95 - Constraints

Figure 96 - Assumptions

Figure 97 - Risks

Figure 98 - Rack and Stack – Section Title Slide

Figure 99 - Solar01/02/03 Rack and Stack

Figure 100 - Earth / Mars Rack and Stack

Figure 101 - SolarXX SAN Connectivity Detail

Figure 102 - Example Topology Diagram 1

Figure 103 - VLAN Example

Figure 104 - Home Lab Layout

Figure 105 - Physical ESXi Networking

Figure 106 - Nested ESXi Networking

Figure 107 - Lab Environment Fully Deployed


Knowing the behavior of a system and its intrinsic architectural structure is far more valuable than just having deep expertise in a specific component.

I have been fortunate to spend my career involved in the radical transformation of numerous technology industries. I began my career as the networking industry recreated itself into the IP and Internet era. I then participated in the transformation of the real time communications industry from circuit to packet/IP switching and software, then helped accelerate the cellular industry to become broadband in the air (4G) and now am fortunate to be in the center of the transformation of the data center IT stack from segmented and hardware based to software defined. In all of these transformations, the difference between success and failure was based on understanding the goals and desired behavior of the system and architecture and using that vision as the litmus test for the numerous technical decisions that would be made.

Today, the IT industry is in a period of unprecedented transformation at every layer. We are adopting cloud automation models, hybridizing our topologies, leveraging external services in new ways, changing the way we develop original applications, creating technology via community development, virtualizing everything in many ways, and even rethinking the definition of what a user is. Each of these changes is challenging but the fact that they are all happening simultaneously can be overwhelming.

In order to deal with this rapid acceleration of technical change, the best tool at our disposal is a greater investment in system and architectural level thinking. The purpose of your IT environment is still clear even with all of these technical changes. Your goals of speed, agility, efficiency, security, reliability and most critically business relevance are still valid. However the scale of technical changes has distracted us from keeping our system level thinking fresh. For this reason, I am personally excited with this work, The Art of Infrastructure Design, A Practical Guide for IT Architects. It’s focus on IT system design and the holistic approach as the most important skill we can cultivate as the technical churn continues is critical.

The emphasis on simplicity of the system via an architectural approach based on the real business goals of technology adoption sets a framework for the dialog. The discussion of the IT stack layering, and how they must interwork, helps decompose a complex system into something manageable. And finally the detailed dialog on how the individual layers are evolving helps build a strong modern technical foundation.

It is clear that we will live times of even more technology churn at the component level for the foreseeable future so investing in a top down system level view of the IT stack will be critical. For that reason I highly recommend this book both for those seeking to expand their industry certifications but also for the IT practitioner simply trying to make sense of the complex and changing layers of the IT stack.

John Roese

Global Chief Technology Officer, EMC

Chairman, Cloud Foundry Foundation


Over the last few years I have been travelling the world meeting with customers and partners who have come to depend on VMware technology. Many build complex infrastructures including virtualization and cloud solutions to support their business objectives and use cases. As VMware continues to play a central role in helping these companies move to a software-defined enterprise, we’ve recognized the need to provide deep technical guidance that helps our customers and partners realize success. Our comprehensive certification programs best support this objective.

During my visits, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDXs). VCDX holders are part of an elite group of architects leading virtualization and cloud implementations around the world. Being a VCDX is not just about technical expertise; many, if not all, are leaders in their respective companies. I see them as Field Generals helping their companies and customers achieve business objectives, overcome challenges, and create transformative solutions.

This new book, The Art of Infrastructure Design, A Practical Guide for IT Architects will support experienced IT infrastructure architects who want to pursue their VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) design or VCDX certification, and will help infrastructure administrators who are interested in learning more about design. This book complements the VMware Press book vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) and is an extension to the VCDX Boot Camp, Preparing for the VCDX Boot Camp book.

VCDX Certification is achieved through the Design Defense where all candidates must submit and successfully defend a production-ready VMware Solution before a panel of veteran VCDX-holders. This unique testing process ensures that those who achieve VCDX are peer-vetted and ready to join an elite group of world-class consulting architects. Included in this book is an in-depth look into the full methodology and design process and includes a case study to help both new and experienced architects develop a solution that can be submitted for the VCDX defense. Examples of infrastructure design documents that benefit both experienced and aspiring architects are provided as a reference. The methodology can be applied for use in other training for infrastructure architects, and has proven success in the field.

I highly recommend this book for anyone pursuing design level certifications such as the VCAP and VCDX certifications. I believe this book will be an indispensable reference in their day-to-day activities as an architect. Certified VCDX holders are role models for their peers and inspire those who seek to achieve a higher degree of technical excellence. Once you have joined the elite community of VCDXs, I hope you will continue to grow your leadership skills and to give back to the community that supported you in achieving your goal.

Pat Gelsinger

VCDX Alpha

VMware CEO


Infrastructure Design, at its core, is about the seamless reflection of the business upon the canvas of the company cloud. When done right, the information technology team is seen as a powerful enabler of strategy and vision. When dysfunctional, IT is deadweight that inhibits growth and innovation. How does your business view your design?

― Andrew Hald, VCDX-004

This is the first in a series of books for IT architects.

There are several outcomes of this book. One is to educate the reader on the design methodology for an IT infrastructure. The second is to support architecture design courses. A third is to provide a set of reference architectures and tools for an IT infrastructure covering conceptual, logical, and physical design examples.

This book complements the VMware Press Book VCDX Boot Camp, Preparing for the VCDX Panel Defense which provides details on the process for the defense of the VCDX certification, including preparation and handling the different phases of the VCDX defense. This book expands significantly on the area of architecture

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