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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Whether to virtualise our main servers in Technical; Originally Posted by Jollity True enough on the downtime. If the host for your file server would not boot, would ...
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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    True enough on the downtime. If the host for your file server would not boot, would you host the file server VM on the backup server?
    In our case yes, we have a "backup" empty Hyper-V host that we could restore the entire file server to in about 45mins.

    We use SSD drives here so its a bit quicker

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    Jollity (24th February 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    I have been playing with specifications for a PowerEdge T620 on the Dell website, but I will get an equivalent quote for an HP M350p. Two main servers something like:
    2 x Intel® Xeon® E5-2620v2, 2.1GHz, 15M Cache, 7.2GT/s QPI, Turbo, HT, 6C, 80W, DDR3-1600MHz
    14 x 4GB UDIMM, 1600 MHz, Low Volt, Dual Rank, x8 Data Width - total RAM: 56GB
    PERC H710 Adapter RAID Controller, 512MB NV Cache
    System Array (for host and guest images): RAID 1 - 2 x 1.2TB, SAS 6Gbps, 2.5in, 10K RPM Hard Drive (Hot-plug)
    Data Array (passthrough to the file server): RAID 5 - 3 x 600GB, SAS 6Gbps, 2.5in, 10K RPM Hard Drive (Hot-Plug)
    Extras Disk (80GB for WSUS files, rest for previous versions files): 500GB, SATA, 2.5in, 7.2K RPM Hard Drive (Hot-Plug)
    Dual, Hot-plug, Redundant Power Supply (1+1), 750W, Titanium
    Additional network card: Broadcom 5720 DP 1Gb Network Interface Card
    5Yr ProSupport and Next Business Day On-Site Service
    Looks like pretty good specs. Doing a quick addup it seems to cover running all VM's on 1 machine if the worst happens, pretty much the point of virtualisation. Personally I'd spec up the RAM and CPU's a little to allow for growth other whys, looks fine.

    Hard drives, I'd be tempted to have 1 large storage pool and allocate space for each virtual hard drive from there rather than segregating space. In deed, I know others will likely disagree, but I'd have the "Data Array" as an expanding VHDX image attached to the file server rather than passing through a physical array.

    I'd question using a seperate server for storage and using iSCSI to connect the two hosts to that instead of DFSR, but that woudld cost more...

    Any suggestions? Would you divide up the roles differently? Anywhere you would you suggest increasing the specification? Anywhere I would be able to cut back if I have to?
    I like to split roles as much as possible, I'd put the DHCP server in it's own VM away from the DC/DNS servers.

    I have specified RAID 5 on the data disk as an additional layer of redundancy on top of replication to the other server by DFSR. Is this unnecessary? I have a colleague who is not keen on using RAID, so I will need to justify this.
    Personally I think RAID5 is fine how you're planning to use it, espeacially with the DFSR replication going on. For how you're planning to set it up I'd say RAID is a must, regardless of version. It's justification is simple - the server keeps running when a hard drive fails giving you time to fix the problem with minimal/no downtime.

    If you look at Server2012 Storage Pools then hardware RAID is probably best avoided. Storage Pools and DFSR should give you a lot of flexibility.

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    Jollity (24th February 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    It is a fair question, and I will think more about the alternative.

    A significant reason is perhaps that this is what we do currently. It has the advantage of also splitting the load, but I do not really know that this is necessary. It means no technician action is required if one server goes down, though there is a slowdown while the connections to the server that's down time out. Does the Veeam set up you are talking about do automatic failover?

    Though if we have the disks space available to store all the data files on the second server, it occurs to me it might as well act as a DFSR replica server. Though I suppose we could use slower, cheaper disks if it was only to be used in emergencies.
    It is not going to equally split the load though - you can still potentially end up with all the load on a single server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    It is not going to equally split the load though - you can still potentially end up with all the load on a single server.
    DFS does seem to divide the clients up between the servers, but I have never tested how well the balances the load. It is true that there is nothing to stop it putting all the heavy users on one server by chance. I suppose I am making an assumption that on average things will balance out well enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    Though if we have the disks space available to store all the data files on the second server, it occurs to me it might as well act as a DFSR replica server.
    On reflection this is wrong, because I am already talking about three copies of the data in total, one on each main server and one on the backup server. If the backup server acts as a file server in emergencies then we would only need two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    In our case yes, we have a "backup" empty Hyper-V host that we could restore the entire file server to in about 45mins.
    Does the "backup" server do anything most of the time or is it just there waiting for emergencies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    Does the "backup" server do anything most of the time or is it just there waiting for emergencies?
    Its just there for disaster recovery purposes, so is online and ready to be used but does nothing in the mean time.

    The beauty of virtualiztion and using VEEAM for backups is they can be restored so quickly, having a spare server makes this an even quicker process.
    Last edited by zag; 24th February 2014 at 02:10 PM.

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    Another option would be to overspec your backup server and use that to run a VM in an emergency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    DFS does seem to divide the clients up between the servers, but I have never tested how well the balances the load. It is true that there is nothing to stop it putting all the heavy users on one server by chance. I suppose I am making an assumption that on average things will balance out well enough.
    A couple of thoughts (I may be wrong, but can't find detail for 2012R2 on this)...

    Hyper-V can't use DFS shares to store VM's for live migration - the file system will lock the VM files preventing the handover

    Hyper-V doesn't do live automatic VM load balancing (or if it does, I can't find the detail). It can do automatic failover using Hyper-V Replica. And you can manually load balance using Live Migration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    A couple of thoughts (I may be wrong, but can't find detail for 2012R2 on this)...

    Hyper-V doesn't do live automatic VM load balancing (or if it does, I can't find the detail). It can do automatic failover using Hyper-V Replica. And you can manually load balance using Live Migration.
    You need SCVMM integrated with SCOM for this.

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    I am doing some more research on the backup software and am giving Veeam a better look.

    To use Veeam I would need to do the data storage as a virtual disk file rather than passthrough. Is there any other reason why Veeam would not work for the plan I laid out?

    Would I need a Veeam license for the backup server if it was not actually being backed up? Is there any good reason for considering a version other than Veeam Backup Essentials for an organisation of our size?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    I am doing some more research on the backup software and am giving Veeam a better look.

    To use Veeam I would need to do the data storage as a virtual disk file rather than passthrough. Is there any other reason why Veeam would not work for the plan I laid out?

    Would I need a Veeam license for the backup server if it was not actually being backed up? Is there any good reason for considering a version other than Veeam Backup Essentials for an organisation of our size?
    You could leave your data outside of a VDK and back that up using BackupAssist if you wanted. If you don't have an enormous amount of data to store, then a VDK would be fine, it's just when you start getting 1TB+ of data that you would be best to keep that out of a Veeam backup file or it can take a long time to backup/restore the VM server.

    Veeam Backup Essentials should be fine for your environment. The licensing is for the hosts, not the backup server.

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    Jollity (27th February 2014)

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    Why does hyper-v require a physical DC please!! We have DC1 and DC2 both virtualized on different 2012 hosts.

    No problems in 2 years. Or have I been dodging the bullet!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    I am doing some more research on the backup software and am giving Veeam a better look.

    To use Veeam I would need to do the data storage as a virtual disk file rather than passthrough. Is there any other reason why Veeam would not work for the plan I laid out?

    Would I need a Veeam license for the backup server if it was not actually being backed up? Is there any good reason for considering a version other than Veeam Backup Essentials for an organisation of our size?
    I have a veeam backup essentials licence and I have a much bigger environment. You only need to license the hosts you back up from. We backup approx 6.5tb of vm's in a 6hour window each night. Backing up from 3 hosts using 2 veeam proxys/and repositories.

    My next mission is to migrate file share data from cifs shares on a san/nas to 2012vms primarily so I can get the veeam benefits for backup. Also dedupe on 2012 rocks. I did a 900gb test server of our student home folders and got 30% saving of space.

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    Jollity (27th February 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by burgemaster View Post
    Why does hyper-v require a physical DC please!! We have DC1 and DC2 both virtualized on different 2012 hosts.

    No problems in 2 years. Or have I been dodging the bullet!!!!!!
    There are quite a few systems and services that are highly dependant on a functioning DNS and/or AD domain. This includes SAN or NAS devices. So, if your virtual environment is down due to an extended power outage or other event you may have difficulty bringing everything back online. This is not just a theoretical risk. I have experienced it personally about 5 years ago with a SAN environment that required DNS to function properly. I had to quickly install the DNS role on a physical server before the SAN was fully functional.

    Beyond that, you are placing all of your eggs in one basket and if your virtual environment is down for any reason, then no system or person can authenticate and DNS will not resolve including external DNS.

    You don't need to spend a lot on a physical DC. We just use a small Dell R210 with 4GB RAM that runs in a separate building to our main infrastructure. Cost us less than 2k.

    http://blog.joeware.net/2013/02/20/2675/

    http://blog.joeware.net/2013/03/04/2679/
    Last edited by seawolf; 27th February 2014 at 01:56 AM.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgemaster View Post
    Why does hyper-v require a physical DC please!! We have DC1 and DC2 both virtualized on different 2012 hosts.

    No problems in 2 years. Or have I been dodging the bullet!!!!!!
    Thats a really bad network design idea, you can get horribly caught in a loop that way.

    Always use physical DC's. So much stuff is dependent on them with Hyper-V

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