7 Responses

  1. Karl Kovacs
    Karl Kovacs at |

    While I do agree that best practices can and do fall out of favor, there are always those golden nuggets you practice time and time again. Call them your “secret sauce”.
    Sure, when a new OS or hardware platform is released, you will have to revisit and adjust your “best practices”. In a sense, you’ve just updated and revised the standard way you do things.
    Best practices are a way to form a standard way of installing, configuring or troubleshooting. Sometimes they don’t work but they are always a good place to start.

  2. Mike Brown
    Mike Brown at |

    Hey Chris!

    What a fantastic way to start my morning! Thanks for sharing. If I may, let me share my recent experience with your example of the PVSCSI controller.

    It just so happens that I tweeted a recent recipient of the coveted VCDX about this very issue. I wanted his highly respected opinion about whether or not the PVSCSI controller should be used by default for all VMs since I saw we happened to be using it in our templates. If I may, let me recap with the tweet convo:

    ME: @chriswahl @MikeasaService PVSCSI adapter is used in the standard, everyday template with 2008 R2 on ESXi 5.0U1 for all disks. Opinions?

    VCDX: @VirtuallyMikeB @MikeasaService Sounds normal

    ME: @chriswahl @MikeasaService Hmm. Docs say only for high I/O VMs. I would’t think it needed it. What am I missing?

    VCDX: @VirtuallyMikeB @MikeasaService Used to be a bug where “low” I/O could cause problems. Fixed in 4.1 bit.ly/d1XSqp /cc @mattliebowitz

    Any finally, to add a bit more wisdom to the convo

    ME: @chriswahl @MikeasaService @mattliebowitz I remember that; this config won’t hurt, not necessarily *needed* though for everyday VMs?

    VCDX: @VirtuallyMikeB @MikeasaService @mattliebowitz Need is defined by the functional requirements, examine those to find the answer.

    And the closing:

    ME: @chriswahl @MikeasaService @mattliebowitz That is quite a quote, my friend. Quite a quote, indeed! You sound like a real Ninja Master 🙂

    If I had stayed current on the subject, or googled it that day, I would have found the updated “best practice.” I guess being able to reach out to the pros is much cooler, though.

    All the best,


  3. Andrey
    Andrey at |

    Good post Chris. I agree with you, I’ve seen many IT pros get burnt by strictly following best practices and not making the changes needed to complement their infrastructure. For me, best practices is something that I always read and it can be informal, but it does not mean that it would work in my environment. Like you said, technology changes so much at such a fast rate that today’s best practices can be tomorrows outdated practices that no longer should be considered as a best practice.

  4. Angelo
    Angelo at |

    I like to call best practices, good ideas that you should take a moment to think about. As you said some are just “common sense” but as I like to say common sense isn’t so common.

  5. alpacapowered
    alpacapowered at |

    Exactly my thoughts on this. Too often I’ve seen folks blindly riding the “best practice” bandwagon without having done any analysis of the requirements or without understanding the real implications of a recommendation.
    They go especially bad when someone wields the term as a killer phrase to forcibly shove their views down everyone’s throat without having to explain why.

    “Good ideas that you should take a moment to think about” indeed sounds like a better description.

  6. Richard Powers
    Richard Powers at |

    I met with my Networking Team yesterday and then I spent part of the evening looking @ my networking design and came to the conclusion it was wrong for Enterprise + lic and needed to be redesigned. I don’t have 10Gb and I was still designing around multiple vDS switches. I decided that 1 vDS switch and trunking all vlans to all vmnics and using NIOC was a better design and made a lot of things easier. What change my mind was thinking about what it would look like with 10Gb. My design is still correct for Enterprise or Foundation or standard or whatever the different tiers are called now and yes it does work in Enterprise + but it was overly complicate. When I built my new templates with the PVSCSI I did get challenged by other admins who thought it was only for high IO.

    How many of us still think they HAVE TO upgrade all the VMware tools and virtual hardware as a best practice without considering if they really need to ?


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