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Hardware Thread, Architecture of this server in Technical; yeah is simple, download and install the microsoft IScsi Initiatior which once set up makes it think that the NAS ...
  1. #31

    glennda's Avatar
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    yeah is simple, download and install the microsoft IScsi Initiatior which once set up makes it think that the NAS box is an internal hard disk dirve, rather then a mapped drive. so you would then create folders etc just as if it was a normal server with the hard disks built in. Migrating the data can be simple, check this out EduMove its an easy way to migrate files across servers will keeping permissions folder names etc the same.

    Just make sure if you buy a NAS that it supports IScsi

    Toby

  2. #32
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    Nice diagram by the way.

    I am looking at the NAS boxes seems that LG N2B1D NAS Enclosure with Integrated Blu-ray - Misco.co.uk
    this only has 2 bays

    this QNAP TS-419U 1U NAS Server Enclosure with iSCSI - Misco.co.uk looks better, but would it be cheaper to have another ML115 and maybe I could get this to be a decent NAS.

    And then there is this type QNAP TS-410 4 Bay NAS Enclosure with iSCSI - Misco.co.uk

    wondered why its suggested to use the ML115 as the esxi server over the DL380?

    Thanks.

  3. #33

    glennda's Avatar
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    you could buy another ML115 an stick the disks in then run freenas, its up to you and depends entirely on budget and how you would like to play it, obviously setting up a prebuilt nas box would be simplier then creating your own as the software will guide you through it all by pressing next.
    i would suggest running ESXI on the New Server for the few fact that its newer and less likely to fall over

  4. #34
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    Cheers

    Old server prob needs more RAM too.

    Whats the best method of moving users folders and data from one DC to another or from DC to NAS

    Ta

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    Unless you're going to add more servers in the future i dont see the point in you having shared storage (ie a NAS/SAN). Direct access to the HDs in your new HP server will be much easier to impliment and will be faster (assuming you dont go for a sun box with a nice san switch etc etc).

    Id then use the NAS you are looking at for backups. Grab a script off the citrix/vmware site which will snapshot and export your VMs to the backup box via NFS. Personally i think the shared storage will mean you're jumping in at the deep end with no real benifits of doing so (at this point in time). Better to start small with a couple of VMs on a baremetal host, and thats it. Believe me, thats plenty to learn (properly).

    If you do go the NAS/SAN route, i wouldnt be looking at that LG nas. Its only got 2 HDs so will have to be run in mirror raid. So effectively you are running # VMs off of 1 consumer grade SATA HD. It will be slooowwww!
    Last edited by j17sparky; 25th February 2010 at 11:58 AM.

  6. #36
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    I was thinking really about NAS so that i wouldnt have to migrate data if i needed to demote a server for an upgrade or any other reason. Not sure how all that works with a NAS anyway, but i thought it would be simpler if the DC didnt have the data on it, hence it wouldnt need moving about

  7. #37
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    Just so the post on edumove gonna have a look now.

    What do we think of this model:

    QNAP TS-419U 1U NAS Server Enclosure with iSCSI - Misco.co.uk

  8. #38
    Duke's Avatar
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    Never tried Edumove personally, but most people are happy with RoboCopy, or you can even just use xcopy with a lot of switches. I don't know about other products, but Sun have a feature where you can select a location to migrate from when you create a new share on the box and it moves the data for you.

    No personal experience with QNAP so I'll let someone better informed reply.

  9. #39
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    The OS directly on the server is VMware ESXi (bare metal install). The OS's of the virtual machines running on it are a mixture of Linux and Windows. That server with 8GB RAM is happily handling 5 VMs currently and will take a lot more as they're fairly low-usage.

    Booting from USB because it was just a bit easier. I bought the bundle deal from ServersPlus which was that server with 4GB RAM (bought an extra 4GB) and a USB stick with ESXi already installed. I did a fresh install of ESXi anyway, but as ESXi does so few read/writes the USB stick will probably work out more reliable and easier to replace than the internal HDD. I can swap out a cloned replacement USB stick with no issues, whereas if I was using HDDs I'd probably want them mirrored in RAID1.

    I said I'm using a SAN for storage, but as it's NFS it is more accurately NAS.

    SAN = block-level (iSCSI)
    NAS = file-level (CIFS, NFS)

    I've got a Sun 7410 Unified Storage system which does iSCSI, CIFS, NFS, HTTP, FTP, etc. NFS is the most flexible and gives best performance with VMware in my experience using this hardware.

    Having shared storage (be it iSCSI SAN or NFS NAS) isn't so much of an issue with ESXi as it runs as a standalone host (I'm talking about the free version of ESXi here), but eventually I'll have a pool of ESX servers using shared storage. In this way, if an ESX host fails another ESX host which has access to the same shared storage can automatically take over. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, Google 'VI3 Demo' and watch the old VMware video. It basically takes your downtime in the case of a server failure from a few days to about two minutes. With VMware Fault Tolerance you can get that down to less than a second of downtime (there's a couple of limitations).

    As far as your 'expensive' comment goes, it depends. I was looking at £100k+ for a NetApp solution. My Sun box is the top-end model and came in at less than a third of the NetApp quote and is still bigger and more powerful. Sun, EMC, Dell, etc. all do cheaper solutions, and you could even build your own SAN/NAS using OpenFiler or FreeNAS for the same price as a decent PC.

    Hope this helps,
    Chris
    Hiya Chris,

    Could you just clarify about this esix thing for me plz?

    I get the impression that you dont have anything on this server its all (VMs etc) residing on shared storage?

    Is that right?

    If so could i install the esxi on the HDD and have the VMs etc on shared storage, i have run VMs like this before i think, but wondered if things would be slower.

    Would it be tricky to have exsi see the external storage for the initial setup?

    Thanks

  10. #40
    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxbuz View Post
    Could you just clarify about this esix thing for me plz?

    I get the impression that you dont have anything on this server its all (VMs etc) residing on shared storage?

    Is that right?

    If so could i install the esxi on the HDD and have the VMs etc on shared storage, i have run VMs like this before i think, but wondered if things would be slower.

    Would it be tricky to have exsi see the external storage for the initial setup?
    Sorry, been in a meeting all day (talking about Sun storage and VMware oddly enough).

    If you use shared storage then the only data you'll have on your server is the ESX/ESXi install. This is the hypervisor 'operating system' that manages the virtual machines and actually does the processing. When the VMs are running, they will be doing their processing on the server and using it's RAM, but their disk files will stay on the SAN.

    All the VMs virtual hard disk and configuration files will be stored on the SAN/NAS box, which is particularly important if you use ESX and have things like failover so one server can take over from another if one dies. This way, all your ESX servers can see the VM disk files.

    You could install ESXi on the server's hard drive, or run it from a USB stick. Support for local storage on cheaper servers with vSphere4.0 is very good, but if you do have issues then running from a USB stick will often work. There aren't a huge amount of read/writes so performance isn't an issue.

    No, things shouldn't run slower if your SAN/NAS and network bandwidth are both good. What we're talking about doing here is a common, standard way of doing virtualisation and it works very well as long as you use appropriate hardware. Access to remote storage can be incredibly fast if done right.

    You configure access to the external storage once ESXi is up and running, you don't need to worry about making it available while installing ESXi. As long as you use a supported protocol (NFS or iSCSI) and your SAN/NAS works as it should then connecting the ESXi server to the shared storage is very simple.

    Watch this and you'll find a lot of the virtualisation/shared storage stuff makes more sense: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWf_WiaFedc"]YouTube- VMware Infrastructure 3 demo[/ame]

    Note that this video is now two generations of VMware old, and things are now even more impressive.

    Hope this helps,
    Chris

  11. #41
    duxbuz's Avatar
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    Thanks for info and video Chris,

    I was just put off about using central storage on a QNAP 439 after reading that post :

    Originally Posted by adent
    Depends what you want to do with them. Be VERY careful if planning to use SATA in a virtualisation project for example. We've seen a number of schools where the NAS or SAN unit collapse after about 8-12 months because the drives fail.

    SATA is very good for file storage and archiving. Very bad for vitual server images due to the high random io.
    If that is the case, i would be looking at keeping the VMs on local HDD or the other servers HDD

    Thanks

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxbuz View Post
    I was just put off about using central storage on a QNAP 439 after reading that post : [...] If that is the case, i would be looking at keeping the VMs on local HDD or the other servers HDD
    Take a look at my reply to that post too and bear in mind SATA can work as a virtualisation solution if it's done right, although obviously the Sun S7000 uses SSDs to really accelerate the performance.

    If you're running the VMs from the ML115 server then remember it uses SATA disks anyway (don't think it takes SAS?) so there won't be a huge performance difference between your local HDD SATA disk and your networked centralised storage disks. With SATA alone you'd probably be looking at RAID 1+0 to get the performance you need anyway, regardless of whether it's local or centralised.

    Not sure about adent's comments about units dying due to disk failures - enterprise SATA MTBFs and enterprise SAS MTBFs aren't too far apart these days and there's no reason a SATA-based device should be more likely to fail as long as it's designed properly. Bear in mind that NetApp, EMC, HP, etc. all use SATA disks in some of their SAN/NAS products where capacity is more of a requirement than speed. I think it's more a case of excessively cheap or poorly designed products rather than ones that use SATA disks.

    Chris

  13. #43
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    Hello, Thanks for the video, i liked it.

    I was a bit that my 2 servers are different architectures so i cant move my VMs to different hardware. tut.

    Nevermind though. I can still move the vm images to different storage areas.


    My QNAP 439 will not support raid 1+0, so wahts best option for tht if i use this to store images.

    My new server could be RAID 1+0 like that. Great

    As for my current server DL380 g5, SHOULD this be raided like this if its virtulised, and should it be raided like this anyway or would you only do that if its going to be a virtual host?

    Thankyou

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    4 HDs? Its got to be RAID 5 then.

    What you generally do is;

    NAS/SAN - the most important thing here is HDs. SAS > SATA. More spindles (HDs) the better. Give it a nice bit of RAM for caching and away you go. You dont need mega processing power.

    VM Hosts - Put the HDs in a RAID1 array so that you have redundancy. Nothing, other than the host OS, sits on these so no need for then to be big or fast. Pack your hosts out with as much RAM and CPU power as possible.



    You really need to be aiming at having atleast 2 similar hosts. If you have a motherboard/PSU/whatever failure your whole network is going to be down. Same goes for your SAN really. A way around this may be to have a linux box as your backup box with NFS already configured so that if your SAN does go tits up you can just add the backup box as the SR.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    NAS/SAN - the most important thing here is HDs. SAS > SATA. More spindles (HDs) the better. Give it a nice bit of RAM for caching and away you go. You dont need mega processing power.

    VM Hosts - Put the HDs in a RAID1 array so that you have redundancy. Nothing, other than the host OS, sits on these so no need for then to be big or fast. Pack your hosts out with as much RAM and CPU power as possible.
    +1 on that. If you are going SATA alone for the SAN then you need to look at RAID 1+0 to get the required performance. If that's not possible then you should really be looking at a 15k SAS disk solution. You can run one or two low-disk-usage (e.g. webservers) VMs off a SATA RAID5 array, but not much more than that without noticing the disk bottleneck.

    As j17sparky said, RAID1 for the VM hosts just so things keep running if a disk dies. Failing that, you can run it off a USB stick and keep a backup copied stick ready to swap out.

    Chris

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