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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS, new server, small school, ESXi? in Technical; Having something of a close disaster on our hands caused by a server hard drive clogging up I've managed to ...
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    contink's Avatar
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    SIMS, new server, small school, ESXi?

    Having something of a close disaster on our hands caused by a server hard drive clogging up I've managed to persuade one of my heads to go with a Proliant ML115 as a SIMS unit and take SIMS completely off the curriculum server.

    Before you all lose the plot, it's a school with less than 150 children and about 6 staff total so not exactly hard core...

    Given that I'd rather avoid the server tanking and requiring a complete rebuild if/when it all goes pete tong... I'm giving some serious thought to putting the whole thing on ESXi 4 system and then installing Win2k3 and SIMS on a guest OS... that way, if anything goes base over apex the backups can be switched to a VM host on one of the other servers and just pick up easy enough while the original host server gets fixed up...


    BUT... a few questions to answer...

    1. Does anyone know if SIMS has any issues with ESXi and/or being run as part of a guest OS
    2. Do I need to be thinking Server 2008 R2 instead of 2k3 R2 for the installation
    3. Any weird and wonderful Office requirements pending for client machines?

    Most VMware related really but anyone able to recommend a good backup solution for Guest OS's that would be compatible with the ESXi... both hardware and software...

    If I can avoid having to even backup within the Guest OS and just backup the whole OS partition so it's easily restored elsewhere I'd be particularly happy.


    Thoughts?

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    Do you have virtualization in place already?

    D

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    Do you have virtualization in place already?

    D
    No... not yet... I have my own ML115 at home which I use as a test bed and it's been rock solid... I could virtualise it all on an existing server but I'd like to just compartmentalise it completely and use the other server as a backup rather than all eggs in one basket..

    I was looking to get a unit from Servers+ with the ESXi on a USB stick so it's simple and ready to go...

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    Why pay for ESX when Hyper-V is freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    Why pay for ESX when Hyper-V is freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    Erm... ESXi is free...

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    The CMD line R2 version is free is this the one you are talking about or have I got my ideas all muddled up?

    D

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    SIMS will run ok on a unmodified OS.
    Windows Server 2008 R2 isn't currently supported. Windows Server 2008 is.
    The ML115 should run it ok, just make sure you got more then 2GB ram. I assume it's going to just be SIMS, not DC or TS?

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    OP: ESXi runs fine on a ML115 (so does Xen for that matter). So long as the OS is supported by the hypervisor, SIMS doesn't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    The CMD line R2 version is free is this the one you are talking about or have I got my ideas all muddled up?

    D
    Free VMware ESXi: Bare Metal Hypervisor

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    SIMS will run ok on a unmodified OS.
    Windows Server 2008 R2 isn't currently supported. Windows Server 2008 is.
    The ML115 should run it ok, just make sure you got more then 2GB ram. I assume it's going to just be SIMS, not DC or TS?
    I'm going with a 4Gb machine... and no it's not going to be a TS, DC or anything else other than handling admin fileserver and SIMS roles.

    In terms of Win2k8, can anyone comment on any reasons NOT to install that as the Guest OS?
    Last edited by contink; 11th March 2010 at 02:38 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    Erm... ESXi is free...
    and better

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    and better

    Agreed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    I'm going with a 4Gb machine... and no it's not going to be a TS, DC or anything else other than handling admin fileserver and SIMS roles.

    In terms of Win2k8, can anyone comment on any reasons NOT to install that as the Guest OS?
    Nope. R2 is not supported yet, but many are on it, so might as well if you are testing. you can always add another guest older version and leave dormant as a backup.

    while you're at it, if you haven't already done so, migrate to sql 2008 as well.

    Generally, going virtual sounds like a great plan. There's another thread here that discusses backups quite a bit, possible in another forum not MIS so worth a search.

    If your database is small and so is the data, you could get away with snapshots, and backing up the whole virtual file, but that's quite large still i reckon. One backup of that and then setting SQL to backup your db to a different drive would be good, with periodic backup of other used folders, which may be Nil in your case especially if you don't use the document storage.

    How do you backup the other / existing servers.

    For a bigger setup, most backup software has virtual add-ons, we are looking at the BackupExec remote agents, but this is proving to be quite costly, but easiest to manage for us.

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