Dynamic Cluster Pooling

Dynamic Cluster Pooling is an idea that Kevin Miller ( @captainstorage) and I came up with one day while we were just rapping out some ideas on the whiteboard. It is an incomplete idea, but may have the beginnings of something useful. The idea is that clusters can be dynamically sized depending on expected workload. Today a VMware Cluster is sized based on capacity estimates from something like VMware Capacity Planner. The problem is this method requires you apply a workload profile across all time periods or situations. What if only a couple days of the month require the full capacity of a cluster. Could those resources be used elsewhere the rest of the month?

**Example Situation **Imagine a scenario with a Virtual Infrastructure with multiple clusters. Cluster “Gold” has 8 hosts. Cluster “Bronze” has 8 hosts. Gold is going to require additionally resources on the last day of the month to process reports from a database (or something like that). In order to provide additional resources to Gold we will take an ESX host away from the Bronze cluster. This allows us to deploy additional Virtual Machines to crunch through the process or allow less contention for the existing machines. You don’t have to be a powercli guru to figure out how to vMotion all the machines off of a ESX host and place it in maintenance mode. Once the host is in maintenance mode it can be moved to the new cluster, removed from maintenance mode and VM’s can be redistributed by DRS.

Sample Code more to prove the concept: `#Connect to the vCenter Connect-VIServer [vcenterserver] #indentify the host, you should pass the host or hosts you want to vacate into a variable Get-Cluster Cluster-Bronze | get-vmhost

#Find the least loaded host(skipping for now)

#Vmotion the machines to somewhere else in that cluster Get-VMHost lab1.domain.local | Get-VM| Move-VM -Destination [some other host in the bronze cluster]

#Move the host Set-VMHost lab1.domain.local -State Maintenance Move-VMHost lab1.domain.local -Destination Cluster-Gold Set-VMHost lab1.domain.local -State Connected

#Rebalance VM’s Get-DrsRecommendation -Cluster Cluster-Gold | Apply-DrsRecommendation`

I was able to manually make this happen in our lab. Maybe if this sparks any interest someone that is good with “the code” can make this awesome.

Written on December 20, 2010