Microsoft guide helps with the design of dynamic data centers

The new Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide offers recommendations for virtualization, servers, storage, and network considerations

It's been a few weeks since the first public draft of Microsoft's new Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for the Dynamic Data Center was made available. The beta for this guide has now closed and the final release has been made available to the public.

This 46-page dynamic data center blueprint focuses on design recommendations for several aspects of the infrastructure, including the hosts, storage, and network considerations, as well as the management software.

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Microsoft defines the dynamic data center as "a combination of automation, control, and resource management software with a well-defined topology of virtualization, servers, storage, and networking hardware. The flexibility that this model provides is changing the business landscape by presenting new ways to develop, deliver, deploy, and manage applications and IT infrastructures. The resulting benefits are many, such as the ability to scale as needed, be more responsive to changing market conditions, and provide an opportunity for IT to align deliverables with the organization's business requirements."

The guide defines and details the five steps that are most critical to the design elements of a well-planned dynamic data center:

  • Step 1: Determine the dynamic data center scope -- this consists of determining the proposed initial workloads for the dynamic data center, selecting the workload fault-tolerance approach, and then determining the initial size of the dynamic data center.
  • Step 2: Design the virtualization hosts -- the goal here is to design hosts that meet the capacity, performance, placement and fault-tolerance requirements of the organization.
  • Step 3: Design the software infrastructure -- infrastructure and management software will be required to provide directory and authentication services; virtual machine management; configuration management; software distribution, inventory, and patch management; operating system deployment; event monitoring and collection; remote desktop services; and hardware management.
  • Step 4: Design the dynamic data center storage infrastructure -- the infrastructure includes the storage system, host storage connections, and switches and will need to be designed to meet the requirements of capacity, performance delivery, fault tolerance, and manageability.
  • Step 5: Design the network infrastructure -- the physical network infrastructure needs to be designed in a way that it can provide the required number of network ports, support the required throughput, provide the desired level of protection against hardware failure, and provide a high degree of platform self-management.

Prior to deploying a dynamic data center, it is important to ensure that the organization's infrastructure (the hardware, operating systems, and management applications that comprise the data center) is deployed, operated, and secured in accordance with other commonly accepted best practices. To help in these areas, Microsoft provides other Microsoft Solution Accelerator documents with the necessary guidance, including:

  • Microsoft Operations Framework 4.0, which provides best practices for service management from planning through operations.
  • Reliability workbooks, which provide best practices for operations management guidance for Microsoft products.
  • Security guides, which provide best practices for securing Microsoft products.

You can now download the IPD Guide for Dynamic Data Centers to get started. The guide provides a number of easy-to-follow steps, visual aids, and diagrams to get you operational.

This article, "Microsoft guide helps with the design of dynamic data centers," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at