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ShoreTel Certifies VMware 5.0

ShoreTel is pleased to announce that ShoreTel server deployments (HQ and/or DVS) are now supported under VMware 5.0. For ECC virtualization options, please refer to ECC documentation.

Support is valid for ShoreTel 11.2 only at this time. Once ShoreTel 12.3 and ShoreTel 13 become available, these releases will also be supported under VMware 5.0.

For more information on this update, please review App Note 10391 that deals specifically with VMware 5.0. For VMware 4.x deployments, please continue to refer to App Note 10259.

Supported Configurations and VMware Features

In ShoreTel 11.2, ShoreTel 12.3 and later we support the following configurations and
VMware features:

  • Microsoft Windows 2008
  • - SP2, Standard and Enterprise Editions, 32-bit
    - R2, Standard and Enterprise Editions, 64-bit

  • Intel and AMD CPUs that are certified for ESXi 5.0
  • Normal and High Availability (HA) VMware configurations
  • vMotion (live migration of virtual machines from one ESXi host to another)
  • VMware snapshots during maintenance operations such as backup and upgrade (see the discussion of snapshots in the VMware Terminology Appendix).
  • Shoretel also supports ECC deployments under VMware (please refer to ECC  documentation for Details)

Non-supported Configurations and VMware Features

In ShoreTel 11.2, ShoreTel 12.3 and later we do not support the following configurations
and VMware features:

  • VMware Player, VMware Workstation, or VMware Server
  • ShoreTel software other than HQ and DVS servers running in virtual machines, such as PCM and CSTA
  • Disaster Recovery (DoubleTake); instead, we will leverage VMware failover via HA
  • VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) configuration
  • VMware ESX 3.5
  • VMware snapshots during production operation (see the discussion of snapshots in the VMware Terminology Appendix).

Planning a Deployment of ShoreTel Servers on VMware

In this section, we describe the kinds of information that are required when planning a deployment of ShoreTel servers on VMware, and various constraints that must be taken into consideration.

When planning a deployment of ShoreTel servers on VMware, the following kinds of
decisions need to be made:

  • How many ShoreTel servers (HQ and DVS) will be installed, and what is the required capacity (users, call load, and so forth) for each server?
  • Is VMware High Availability (HA) required, or is it sufficient to have the ShoreTel server running non-redundantly in a single VM? (Note: The VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) mode is not currently supported.)
  • Is live migration (vMotion) required, or is it sufficient to keep the ShoreTel servers always on the same host, or to migrate them only when they are powered down?
  • Will network storage (NAS or SAN) be used, or will the VM and its files be stored on the ESXi host’s local disks?
  • Will the ESX hosts be used only for running ShoreTel VMs, or will other (non-ShoreTel) VMs also run on the same ESXi hosts? What is the relative resourcepriority of the different VMs?
  • Does the ShoreTel server require access to a physical serial port (for example, if interfacing with a third-party voicemail system)?

If VMware HA or live migration via vMotion is needed:

  • At least two ESXi hosts, with compatible CPU architectures, are required; three ESXi hosts are preferred (to provide a backup after one ESXi host fails).
  • Shared network storage (NAS or SAN) is required.
  • The ESXi hosts must be made part of the same ESXi cluster, and high availability must be enabled for the cluster.
  • The ESXi hosts must be in the same subnet or VLAN, to allow the IP address of a VM to remain the same when it fails over from one ESXi host to another.
  • A dedicated NIC is required to support the HA and vMotion traffic.

If VMware HA is not needed:

  • A single ESXi host is sufficient.
  • Local storage is sufficient, but network storage (NAS or SAN) is recommended.

If multiple ESXi hosts are used (whether for high availability or not):

  • It is useful to have shared storage. Using shared storage simplifies the management of VMs (for example, allowing them to be moved or cloned from one ESXi host to another).
  • The ESXi hosts must be interconnected via one or more Gigabit Ethernet connections.

If shared storage (NAS or SAN) is used:

  • The storage system must be certified for use with VMware ESXi (see the VMware Systems Compatibility Guide).
  • The ESXi hosts must be connected to NAS shared storage via one or more Ethernet connections; you should not share a 1 Gigabit NIC. 10 and 40 Gigabit NICs can be shared with careful resource allocation.
  • The ESXi hosts must be connected to SAN shared storage via one or more 1 Gigabit or faster Ethernet or FibreChannel connections.
  • The NAS or SAN must have a RAID-5 configuration, for performance and reliability.
  • The total disk capacity must be at least 3 times the capacity required for the VMs themselves, to allow storing VM templates and other kinds of information.
  • A NAS must have an exported NFS or iSCSI file system (note: iSCSI has not been tested at ShoreTel).
  • A SAN must have an exported VMFS file system.

If access to a serial port is required:

  • The serial port on an ESXi host will have to be assigned to the VM, limiting the ability of the VM to fail over to another ESXi host (therefore, a serial port cannot be used in the HA mode).
  • Alternatively, special hardware devices can be provisioned on the network and provide access to “virtual” serial ports.

If other VMs are running on the same ESXi host:

  • If you have a 1 Gigabit NIC, the ShoreTel VM should have a dedicated NIC. You can share 10 and 40 Gigabit NICs.

The sizing requirements for each ESXi host (type and number of CPUs, amount of memory,
and so forth) depend on the usage scenarios, and are given in the next section of this
document.

The sizing requirements for each NAS or SAN (capacity, network throughput, and disk I/O
throughput) depend on the usage scenarios, and are given in the next section of this
document.

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