vSphere DRS

Align your IT infrastructure with your business goals by dynamically allocating and balancing computing resources. vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) continuously monitors utilization across a resource pool and intelligently allocates available resources among virtual machines according to business needs.

  • Reduce IT costs and improve flexibility with server consolidation
  • Decrease downtime and improve reliability with business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Increase energy efficiency by running fewer servers and dynamically powering down unused servers

Align Resources to Meet Your Business Needs

VMware DRS continuously monitors utilization across resource pools and intelligently aligns resources with business needs, enabling you to:

  • Dynamically allocate IT resources to the highest priority applications. Create  rules and policies to prioritize how resources are allocated to virtual  machines.
  • Give IT autonomy to business organizations. Provide dedicated IT infrastructure to business units while still achieving higher hardware utilization through resource pooling.
  • Empower business units to build and manage virtual machines within their resource pool while giving central IT control over hardware resources.

Balance Your Computing Capacity

vSphere DRS continuously balances computing capacity in resource pools to deliver the performance, scalability and availability not possible with physical infrastructure. vSphere DRS allows you to:

  • Improve service levels for all applications. vSphere DRS continuously balance capacity will ensure that each virtual machine has access to appropriate resources at any point in time.
  • Easily deploy new capacity. vSphere DRS will seamlessly take advantage of the additional capacity of new servers added to a resource pool by redistributing virtual machines without system disruption.
  • Automate planned server maintenance. vSphere DRS can automatically migrate all virtual machines off physical servers to enable scheduled server maintenance with zero downtime.
  • Dramatically increase system administrator productivity. Enable system administrators to monitor and effectively manage more IT infrastructure.

Watch a technical video on VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler.

Reduce Energy Consumption in the Datacenter

vSphere Distributed Power Management (DPM) continuously optimizes power consumption in the datacenter. When virtual machines in a DRS cluster need fewer resources, such as during nights and weekends, DPM consolidates workloads onto fewer servers and powers off the rest to reduce power consumption. When virtual machine resource requirements increase (such as when users log into applications in the morning), DPM brings powered-down hosts back online to ensure service levels are met.

Watch a technical video on vSphere Distributed Power Management

vSphere Distributed Power Management allows IT organizations to:

  • Cut ongoing power and cooling costs by up to 20% in the datacenter during low utilization time periods.
  • Automate management of energy efficiency in the datacenter.

vSphere DRS (with DPM) is included in the vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus edition. DRS and DPM leverage vSphere vMotion (live migration) will balance load and optimize power consumption with no downtime.

vCenter Server is required for the use of this feature.


The following is a list of the key features of vSphere DRS

  • Aggregation of physical server resources. Manage CPU and memory across a group of physical servers as a uniform shared pool of resources.
  • Flexible hierarchical organization. Organize resource pools hierarchically to match available IT resources to the business organization. vSphere DRS ensures that resource utilization is maximized while business units retain control and autonomy of their infrastructure. Resource pools can be flexibly added, removed, or reorganized as business needs or organization change.
  • Priority Settings. Assign priorities in the form of shares or reservations to virtual machines within resource pools and to sub resource pools to reflect business priorities. For example, the production sub resource pool can have higher shares of the total resources in a cluster and business critical applications within the production resource pool can have fixed guarantees (reservations) of CPU bandwidth and memory,
  • Management of sets of virtual machines running a distributed application. Optimize the service level of distributed applications by controlling the aggregate allocation of resources for the entire set of virtual machines running the distributed application.
  • Affinity Rules. Create rules that govern placement of virtual machines on physical servers. For example, a group of virtual machines can be set to always run on the same server for performance reasons. Alternatively, certain virtual machines can be set to always run on different servers to increase availability. This feature is also useful for controlling the mobility of virtual machines that run software licensed for a specific group of physical servers.
  • Power Management. Reduce energy consumption in the datacenter by using the Distributed Power Management (DPM) feature of DRS to consolidate workloads and power off servers when they are not needed by the virtual machines in the cluster. When resource requirements of virtual machines increase, DPM brings hosts back online so service levels can be met.
  • Manual and Automatic Mode.vSphere DRS collects resource usage information from servers and virtual machines, and then generates recommendations to optimize virtual machine allocation. These recommendations can be executed automatically or manually.
    • Initial placement. When a virtual machine is first powered on, vSphere DRS either automatically places the virtual machine on the most appropriate physical server or makes a recommendation.
    • Continuous optimization. vSphere DRS continuously optimizes resource allocations based on defined resource allocation rules and resource utilization. The resource allocation changes can be automatically executed by performing live migration of virtual machines through vMotion. Alternatively, in manual mode, vSphere DRS provides execution recommendations for system administrators.
  • Maintenance mode for servers. Perform maintenance on physical servers without disruption to virtual machines and end users. When a physical server is placed in maintenance mode, vSphere DRS identifies alternative servers where the virtual machines can run. Based on automation mode settings, the virtual machines are either automatically moved to use the alternative servers, or the system administrator performs the move manually using the vSphere DRS recommendations as a guideline.
  • Large-scale management. Manage CPU and memory across up to 32 servers and 1280 virtual machines per DRS cluster.

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