I have been involved in a few vSphere designs and there always seems to be the question of what should the design actually cover. The first step in the design is to find out the Functional Requirements. This is derived from questions to uncover three different types of customer’s requirements: Organizational, Operational, and Technical requirements.
In a nutshell, a good design will address what it is supposed to do, who is supposed to do it, and how it is supposed to be done. Of course this sound simpler than it is. So I’ll explain each requirement.
Organisational requirement. This is the part that answers the questions about Who does what in the organisation. Questions that need answering: Who manages the data centre? Who patches the VMs? Who oversees the SAN? Who handles the networking piece? Who is responsible for security? And so on.You might be wondering why do we care who is doing what? This should be left to client. Answer is yes if you are an average designer. But to stand out, you have to be client focused and by asking these question the client will understand how virtualisation will impact the different parts of the network and how the new infrastructure impact their responsibilities (since many will be virtualised).
Operational requirement This is the part where you ask how will things be done. For example you would want to know: How will hosts and VMs be managed? How will backups be made? How vLANS be implemented? How will be network be secured? How will storage be handled? The answers to these questions could have a big impact on the design. You might not want to use Fault Tolerance if they have some heavy load servers.
Technical requirement These are the questions mostly asked because they are technical and we as IT professional, love technical! Questions such: What type brand of server do you have? What type of storage? What network configuration? What power supply do you have? What applications do you have running? The answers to these questions will influence not just the vriualisation design but also the physical side as well.
There is more to the design than these questions but the above should be the foundation for any design.
Thanks for reading.