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MIS Systems Thread, Virtualise SIMS in Technical; Originally Posted by coolusername I assume most people are keeping their SQL data on local hard drives on the virtualisation ...
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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolusername View Post
    I assume most people are keeping their SQL data on local hard drives on the virtualisation hosts.

    Does anyone have their data on an iSCSI SAN? How does it affect performance with SQL Server dragging data across the iSCSI network for every query?
    correct, we have 2 SQL Servers and both are physicall likewise with our storage it is on a Storage Server which is physical apart from that everything is Virtualised.

    James.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolusername View Post
    I assume most people are keeping their SQL data on local hard drives on the virtualisation hosts.

    Does anyone have their data on an iSCSI SAN? How does it affect performance with SQL Server dragging data across the iSCSI network for every query?
    Our SIMS (2vCPUs (@2.66) and 4gb ram): 170 staff, 1700 students has no problems. Not even close to exchange 2003 for IO and that doesn't break a sweat over iscsi either.

    San (iscsi) is on dedicated network seperated from 'production' network.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 1st March 2010 at 04:54 PM.

  3. #33
    Abaddon's Avatar
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    iSCSI here as well, with SIMS on VMWare host. Fully vMotioned etc etc.. no performance issues. Staff use it on laptops wirelessly through a Citrix server farm mostly, although some are using the locally installed client.

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    Thanks for the reply Matt, so does that mean you have some experience of SIMS .net with data on an iSCSI SAN?

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    ful56_uk's Avatar
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    Our sims server runs on esx on a iscsi sas San. Like everyone else no problems run smooth as. Plus the added bonus of snap shots pre any patches that might fail

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolusername View Post
    Thanks for the reply Matt, so does that mean you have some experience of SIMS .net with data on an iSCSI SAN?
    Very limited I'm afraid. Basically found you need to have the database in memory with enough free RAM for everything else. Most of SIMS stuff is read IO so it shouldn't matter too much. No idea about the details of how they did it. Just they have Dell blades\storage, Cisco switches using VMware. There's a enough people on here to give advise about a good SAN setup.

  7. #37

    russdev's Avatar
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    Funny we just placed an order for new Sims.net server which Hyper-V. So within the next few months we should have Sims.net running on virtual server.

  8. #38

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    We're about to make a decision on what our new MIS is going to be. Part of the tender document we asked them to submit was 'Can we run your MIS run as a VM on the attached host spec?'.

    Both suppliers said yes.

  9. #39


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    We have SIMS running under Xen via nfs here. I have no complaints. Like most people we have dedicated storage switches.

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    We have an iSCSI SAN on dedicated switches (two storage controllers, each with two ports, one on each of two separate gigabit switches) and ESXi on two fairly capable hosts (24GB, 2 x quad 2.66GHz, 8 NICs) so should be able to give the VM decent bandwidth and plenty of RAM. All is running very well for our other servers and I will now have a trial run at virtualising SIMS .net (with full SQL/not express) with the data on the SAN.

    Will report back when I have either been crowned SIMS .net saviour or sacked for dragging us back into the dark ages.

  11. #41
    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Sorry to revive an old thread, but just to add... we're running 20 virtualised servers (Hyper-V), none particularly demanding other than our file server and SIMS, on two HP ProLiant DL385 G7s (2 * 8 core Opterons, with 72GB RAM) and an iSCSI HP MSA2312i SAN.

    SIMS itself is running on Win Server 2008 (32 bit), with four virtual processors, and 8GB of RAM. It's definitely under load, but not maxing out in terms of CPU and RAM at least.

    All the staff that used SIMS lots prior to the virtualisation say the performance has decreased from what was previously a 5-year old (tin) Dell server.

    Anyone else experienced a drop in performance with going to Hyper-V and managed to improve it?

  12. #42
    The_Windy_Miller's Avatar
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    I'm hoping that there's a typo here and that SIMS is running on Server 2008 (64 bit?

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    No, 2008 (R1) 32 bit. I quote our CC's IT department:

    Some schools have been in touch to ask why we
    only supports Windows Server 2008 Enterprise SP2 (32-bit)
    and not the later Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit).
    We do this to provide optimum support for schools. Our
    policy is to set up the SIMS Host as a dedicated server and a
    SIMS workstation.
    Setting up the server this way has several advantages:
    • More effective and efficient support which can isolate and
    establish whether a problem is caused by a network, a
    client or a software issue.
    • Some legacy SIMS modules are 16-bit and will not run
    on Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit) - which negates the
    advantages of the workstation set up.
    • SIMS itself is 32-bit, so there are no performance
    enhancements gained by installing a 64-bit operating
    system.
    • During upgrades it is sometimes required to access the
    SIMS client application - this saves the need to move to
    another machine.
    • During support and upgrades, it is sometimes necessary
    to reboot a server. If the server is used for other purposes
    and running other software, this affects all users
    (sometimes in the classroom) in addition to SIMS users.
    • If the server is not dedicated to SIMS, performance may
    be affected and conflicts can occur - making it more
    difficult and time consuming to isolate issues.
    Of course schools are free to make their own decision
    whether to follow our recommendations or install a 64-bit
    version of Windows Server 2008 onto the SIMS Host. However
    please be aware that, while you will still receive support from
    us, it may take longer to resolve some issues.

  14. #44

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Looks like your hands are tied.
    I don't like the last 3 points. Not really relevant.
    I have R2 and have installed the client too. no problem.
    Just to wind them up, ask them if they'l support you on Windows 8 with Server 2012 as it's now supported by Capita

  15. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    Gongalong (28th February 2013)

  16. #45
    Gongalong's Avatar
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    I LOL'd It's probably a way of trying to push their hosted solution.



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