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How do you do....it? Thread, Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize? in Technical; I just want an early heads up on some changes we are going to be making here. In the feb ...
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    thom's Avatar
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    Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize?

    I just want an early heads up on some changes we are going to be making here.

    In the feb half term hols we are getting a centralised comms room built to house our core switch and all our servers! Then in the summer we will be merging our admin & curriculum vLans into one domain.

    The question I am asking is - What should we do with our servers?
    At the moment we have many servers, some doing too much and some not being utilized enough. What would be the most effective use of the hardware for our network in terms of cost, stability, accesibility or performance.

    We use
    1 - Dell PowerEdge 2800 (2x Dual Xeons 3.2Ghz 1GB RAM 2003R2)
    Curriculum DC, DNS, DHCP, IIS6, IAS, CA, Files, Print, Clickview, KS3 ICT Exams, Network app host
    2 - HP Kayak XU800 (P3 753mhz 265MB RAM 2000Sever)
    Ghost images, Software distro, Curriculum AV updates, IIS5
    3 - Dell PowerEdge 2800 (2x Dual Xeons 3.2Ghz 4GB RAM 2003R2)
    Admin DC, SIMS.net, DNS, DHCP, IIS6, Files, Print,
    4 - Talmos(2x Dual Xeons 2.4Ghz 2GB RAM 2000Sever)
    Lesson Planning & electronic attendance
    5 - HP Proliant ML350 G3 (2x Dual Xeons 3.06Ghz 1GB RAM 2003R2)
    Sharepoint Services 2003, IIS6, SQL 2000, Admin AV Updates, WSUS for both networks, Virtual server (for testing)
    6 - Custom Build (Sempron3000 1GB RAM 2000Server)
    OCR ALAN Exams server
    7 - Buffallo Terastation (1TB)
    Store videos for clickview
    We also have a CCTV Server, cache and firewall running on dedicated hardware.

    All your opinions would be extremely helpful

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Re: Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize?

    I'd put some more ram in the first poweredge personally.

    Ben

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    Re: Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize?

    I'd personally seperate them by role.... for example....

    Main DC running network services DNS, DHCP etc.. (Doesn't have to be fast but reliable is good!)
    'Management' server DC, backup for above, AV etc...
    File & Print servers (Not DCs)
    Exchange (Not DC)
    Sql (Not DC)
    Exams server (Not DC)
    SIMS server (Not DC)

    Far easier for maintenance, backup and replacement that way...

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    thom's Avatar
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    Re: Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize?

    I will definately be sharing out the RAM more efficiently.
    Also, we don't use Exchange so I don't need to worry about that.

    Any other ideas/opinions?

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    Re: Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize?

    You won't see all the benefits of virtualisation without SAN.
    If you are looking at going virtual then ideally you'll have 2 or 3 fast servers with lots of RAM, one of which will be redundant.
    your ideal candidates for virtualisation are likely to be:
    DC's
    file servers
    print servers
    web servers
    mail relays

    bad candidates are:
    database servers
    terminal servers
    proxy
    - or anything that gets a high proc/memory load. Best to monitor your servers for a couple of weeks to get a real feel for what htey are actually doing, every site is different.

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    Re: Servers: Consolidate, Seperate or virtualize?

    Yep, that's basically it. You can virtualise anything that doesn't utilise the full potential of the server your running it on. Thus freeing the server to do something else as well.

    You need a SAN so you can move/backup your virtual servers around easily.

    As for monitoring, consider nagios and cacti.

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