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Overview of Logical Datacenter Designer

In Visual Studio Team System Architecture Edition, you can use Logical Datacenter Designer to create a logical representation of your datacenter, saved in a logical datacenter diagram. This diagram communicates important information to developers about the target environment into which their application systems will be deployed. The physical infrastructure of a datacenter is not normally significant to a developer who needs to understand what application hosting environments are present, and how they are configured, constrained and connected. Logical Datacenter Designer is used to create a logical datacenter diagram, which does not depict physical machines or even machine types in a datacenter. Rather, Logical Datacenter Designer is used to define or document specific configurations of application server software, such as Internet Information Server, SQL Server or BizTalk Server, and to show how these configured logical (application) servers are interconnected.

Because the logical datacenter diagram provides a logical, rather than physical representation of the datacenter, one physical server might have Windows Server 2003, Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, and SQL Server installed on it, but the logical datacenter diagram would represent that one physical server as three logical servers. Logical servers can also be grouped within zones which define logical communication boundaries. Zones can be configured to constrain the kinds of logical servers they can contain and the direction and kinds of communication that can flow into and out of the zone.

The following sections contain more information about logical datacenters and Logical Datacenter Designer:

The following statements describe what a logical datacenter is and is not:

  • Describes the types of application servers and what application types they can host, not how many physical servers are present.

  • Describes the application server configuration settings of the hosting environment, not the RAID configuration.

  • Describes the dependent service configuration, not physical characteristics.

  • Describes what protocols are available, not what IP routing table is used.

  • Describes communication boundaries, not firewalls, VLANs, switches and routers.

  • Describes application authentication requirements, not wire-level encryption.

  • Describes constraints on application configuration, without having to page the developer.

Using Logical Datacenter Designer, you can accomplish the following tasks:

Like the other Distributed System Designers, Logical Datacenter Designer is fully integrated with Visual Studio. However, logical datacenter diagrams are created independent of the application development process. Architects and developers will use these diagrams in Deployment Designer, where they can define and validate deployment of their application systems into the represented datacenter. When validating deployment, they can discover configuration conflicts between applications and the datacenter early in the design process. From Deployment Designer, they can also generate deployment reports and synchronize deployment diagrams with changes in the logical datacenter diagram. For more information, see Overview of Deployment Designer.

Logical datacenter diagrams do not have to represent the entire datacenter. Rather, you can use the diagrams to create simpler versions of the large, complex datacenter diagrams in use today. Individual logical datacenter diagrams can represent a small portion of the complete datacenter. For example, one might represent the eCommerce portion of a datacenter, while another represents the business-to-business portion. Logical datacenter diagrams have an .ldd file extension. A distributed system solution can contain multiple .ldd files.

The following illustrations show Logical Datacenter Designer and a logical datacenter diagram.

Logical Datacenter Designer

Logical Datacenter Designer

Logical datacenter diagram

Logical datacenter diagram

For more information, see Logical Datacenter Designer Terminology.

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