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O/S Deployment Thread, Datacentre OS deployment in Technical; Hi guys, Me and a friend of mine are planning on colo'ing a few servers and renting them out. We ...
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    GTX
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    Datacentre OS deployment

    Hi guys,

    Me and a friend of mine are planning on colo'ing a few servers and renting them out. We have just about everything in place apart from one thing. OS deployment on request.

    Is there a way to deploy a OS (Linux) inside a data centre from a server or a panel? i was thinking FOG but I'm not 100% sure its going to work in a Data centre environment. We would like to get a request to reinstall the server via ticket/email, press a few buttons and off it goes. No need to go to the data centre and do it manually?

    Is there a free/cheap way of doing this or is my fuel costs going to sky rocket with trips to the DC?

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    hyper-v or esx-i should work. you could then use virtual servers and manage the entire thing remotely. If you are going to linux then why not set it up like a vps and allow the user to have access to the control panel. they can rebuild, reinstall, shutdown boot without any tickets at all. Just setup any remaining servers blank with the os base on then and jsut add to them and activate as needed.
    Last edited by squeeky; 7th May 2013 at 02:40 PM.

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    GTX
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeeky View Post
    hyper-v or esx-i should work. you could then use virtual servers and manage the entire thing remotely. If you are going to linux then why not set it up like a vps and allow the user to have access to the control panel. they can rebuild, reinstall, shutdown boot without any tickets at all. Just setup any remaining servers blank with the os base on then and jsut add to them and activate as needed.
    Thanks Squeeky,

    But i dont really understand, I am planning on letting out dedicated servers not VPS's. Would Hyper-V or esx-i be able to do that to dedi's or just VPS's?

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    The thing is it depends how you want to sell it. virtualisation still provides a sort of dedicated server but in a virtual enviroment. I wouldnt class this as strictly dedicated tho.

    If you want to just install servers and provide remote access to the entire system with keyboard and mouse etc then if you have dell servers you want DRACS. It allows you to use a web interface (even if the server is turned off) to control the keyboard mouse power etc even at bios level.
    Last edited by squeeky; 7th May 2013 at 03:02 PM.

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    GTX
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    I used to sell VPS servers, Moving into the dedicated server side of things now. Hence why i want to be able to reinstall them remotely.

    Thinking about it.. What would the disadvantage of using FOG be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickH View Post
    What would the disadvantage of using FOG be?
    The disadvantage is that FOG doesn't handle Linux installs very well. The principle is about right, though - have a machine (probably a virtual machine on your VPS host) providing some kind of PXE-bootable system that allows you to install whatever Linux distribution you like on a machine. Your physical servers would all need to be linked into the same physical "management" network, and you'd need to put a second network card in each server for this network.

    What sort of price are you planning to charge for a dedicated server? How much RAM / harddrive space / bandwidth does each one have?

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    GTX
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    The disadvantage is that FOG doesn't handle Linux installs very well. The principle is about right, though - have a machine (probably a virtual machine on your VPS host) providing some kind of PXE-bootable system that allows you to install whatever Linux distribution you like on a machine. Your physical servers would all need to be linked into the same physical "management" network, and you'd need to put a second network card in each server for this network.

    What sort of price are you planning to charge for a dedicated server? How much RAM / harddrive space / bandwidth does each one have?
    Thanks Dhicks, Ill look into that further. We are aiming around £65-80pm for 4GB ram, 2 x 120GB drives and 1TB bandwidth a month hosted in Sheffield DC. Prices are not finalized yet but i cant see them moving.
    Last edited by GTX; 7th May 2013 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickH View Post
    Thanks Dhicks, Ill look into that further.
    Just thinking about this a bit more: you'd need a Linux distribution that boots over PXE - I think either SystemRescueCD or Slax had a neat trick where it could be its own PXE server, so you just set up one small VM and have your servers boot over the network from that. A Linux setup script would be easy enough to write - just partition a harddrive, format to the appropriate file system and copy over whatever distribution you're using, with settings controlled by the MAC address of the network card.

    You could power-on machines via wake-on-LAN, but if a server was already running I guess you'd need to get the current user to do a reboot. This might be tricky if they've forgotton the root password or whatever, but most datacentres seem to offer a "smart hands" allowance for things like swapping disks and rebooting machines - you'd just ring up the datacentre and have them hit the reset button on the server.

    We are aiming around £65-80pm for 4GB ram, 2 x 120GB drives and 1TB bandwidth a month hosted in Sheffield DC.
    What sort of customers are you aiming these servers at? I've been pricing up servers for backup - I can build a 2U server with 40TB of diskspace, but I'm not sure how much it would cost to run in terms of power consumption per month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Just thinking about this a bit more: you'd need a Linux distribution that boots over PXE - I think either SystemRescueCD or Slax had a neat trick where it could be its own PXE server, so you just set up one small VM and have your servers boot over the network from that. A Linux setup script would be easy enough to write - just partition a harddrive, format to the appropriate file system and copy over whatever distribution you're using, with settings controlled by the MAC address of the network card.

    You could power-on machines via wake-on-LAN, but if a server was already running I guess you'd need to get the current user to do a reboot. This might be tricky if they've forgotton the root password or whatever, but most datacentres seem to offer a "smart hands" allowance for things like swapping disks and rebooting machines - you'd just ring up the datacentre and have them hit the reset button on the server.



    What sort of customers are you aiming these servers at? I've been pricing up servers for backup - I can build a 2U server with 40TB of diskspace, but I'm not sure how much it would cost to run in terms of power consumption per month.
    Thanks for the input, Ill look into this more.

    For the power consumption, we try get all our servers to use under 1amp. I think the best bet is adding up all hard drive idle power usage. I would of thought they use the most when spinning up.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    This is what we do here, we have hundreds of servers and virtual servers in our DC all running off of IBM Blade Center servers (IBM Flex System - United Kingdom) these arn't cheap and the juice for each power supply is 2500Watts and there is 4 in one server, we use Cobbler for Linux roll outs... we tried FOG but it just couldnt cut the mustard.

    Cobbler - Linux install and update server

    and we also run:
    Spacewalk - Spacewalk: Free & Open Source Linux Systems Management

    We roll out mainly CentOS images, prebuilt for architecture. The servers themselves run oVirt (oVirt) Which is actually Red Hat Virtualization but oVirt is free. All of the blades within the server are oVirt nodes. oVirt is self is a lot like VMWare but it's all web based, as is cobbler and skywalk. So all we do is VPN into the DC network and do what we need to do and with everything being web based we can do it all from browser and even do it from a very nice Asus tablet if we so wish!

    If we spin up a machine say for some one to use for backups then we just create a user account in ovirt, and when they go to the oVirt portal you get a user login page. The user can then create machine on which OS they have specified so they create the machine and use the OS, so they get full access to the machine.

    ovirt.jpg
    If you need any information let me know.
    Last edited by cpjitservices; 8th May 2013 at 10:15 AM.

  11. 2 Thanks to cpjitservices:

    ConradJones (11th May 2013), GTX (8th May 2013)

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