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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Virtualisation in Technical; Hey Guys, Just wondered if anyone has virtual servers in there schools? Thinking about making the plunge to save energy.Can ...
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    Virtualisation

    Hey Guys,
    Just wondered if anyone has virtual servers in there schools?
    Thinking about making the plunge to save energy.Can any of you give me some numbers? on savings?
    Thant you have experienced for yourselves.
    Thank you.

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    Don't have any solid figures.

    But we went from 12 physical servers to 3 virtual physical servers hosting at the last count 23 servers :-).

    All the little programs we have SIMs cashless catering etc all now have there own servers.

    Air on now does not have to work so hard and is turned up slightly as well.

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    We have went from 12 physicals>LTO3 Tape to 12 virtuals>2 Host boxes>16tb SAN>16tb Diskbox>LTO 5 Tape. So we have gone from around a £54k replacement cycle over 5 years to around £35k plus reduced running and cooling costs.

  4. Thanks to andyturpie from:

    mikeyd101 (28th April 2014)

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    Very difficult to quantify as i have been requesting something to monitor the server room power draw for some time. We virtualised main systems 4 years ago, and now are running 78VM's on 3 hosts plus about 10/12 Physical Servers. I think that we would have to be running maybe 50 physical servers if we hadn't virtualised. I have been virtualising a few more recently as the hardware became end of life, and alongisde moving some kit to a second server room for DR purposes i am going to be able to take out a whole 42 rack. and still have space in the other racks. (a lot of rack space is taken up with VDI and storage systems)

    The energy saving benefits are high, but the true benefit is in administration and availability. Using VM's allows us to have total role seperation so if a VM goes pearshaped it only affects one role, Hosts can be maintained without downtime etc. And new servers/roles can be deployed in minutes not days.

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    We currently run 2 Hosts with a 16TB SAN and D2D2T which run our 6(maybe 8) main virtual servers. We also used some old physical servers to make a couple of extra hosts - one to run some of our ancillary systems (ClickView, Spiceworks etc...) and another as a kind of development box.

    There are a number of advantages for going virtual - the mains being power, space and hardware savings as well as the manageability, administration and availability during and after major issues.

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    We went from about 15 physical down to 4 virtual about 3 years ago and not a moment has gone by when I haven't thought its the best thing we have ever done. Everything just sped up overnight using VMWare as the base software and managing it couldn't be easier. Even to this day I don't get how it works so much better on a fifth of the hardware.

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    Virtualisation

    How much RAM do you have in your hosts ?
    Currently got 32 in my 3 hosts want to up it 90 odd. Just want some comparisons when management question it.

    As others have said going virtual is the best thing I have ever done in terms of cost
    Last edited by ozydave; 25th April 2014 at 06:17 AM.

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    I've got 4 host , 2x dual CPU and 2x single CPU , dual CPU hosts have 128GB RAM , single CPU host have 64GB RAM . 20 virtual machines running with capacity for any host to fail and machines to be started on another host . Next plans are to put 10gig network cards in each host and have 10gig storage network backbone

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    I don't know about energy savings, but in terms of reliability, easy provisioning of new servers, backing up & disaster recovery and space reclaimed in my server room (it was all fat towers before, in a single rack now, more or less) it's been superb. Thoroughly recommended.

    We went Hyper-V in a failover cluster with a SAN; there are different options now with Hyper-V (and I think VMWare have more sensible pricing these days) but there's plenty of people around here that have gone Hyper-V or VMWare with great success, and a lot of people doing funky things with storage.

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    RobD's Avatar
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    We have 3 physical ESX hosts (196GB RAM each) that host around 40 servers. Then a physical DC and a physical Backup server, all runs pretty smoothly.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We run 3 ESX hosts, 72GB, 48GB and 24GB hosting about a dozen servers. Best thing we ever did. All our DCs etc are all virtual, backup & restore is made so easy should we need to and resiliency is great. Not sure on power savings, that wasn't really high on the list of reasons to do it

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    We have 8 virtual hosts with about 60-odd virtual servers on them. I can't imagine not virtualising a large part of the server workload these days.

    Untitled.png

    They're fairly meaty servers, but then we're virtualising SQL servers, and Exchange servers that support 1000s of mailboxes.

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    We went from around 12 servers down to 5 (4 for the virtualisation, 2 as Hyper-V nodes, 2 as storage using SMB3.0 shares, and 1 server for a system that requires a physical device connection which can't be virtualised).

    So, potentially that's gone from 8.4kW max draw down to 3.7kW.

    Actual power usage is more difficult to calculate though, as the old servers were not all taxed 100% all the time, and neither are the new ones.

    In terms of spec, we have each of the nodes loaded with 96GB RAM. However, I have come to a point where that isn't really enough. I would be quite happy to double that in them.

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    This looks like it might help: Cost comparison toolkit: Calculating server power usage - Tech Pro Research

    Put simply you're likely to save power, but it depends upon how many servers you are P2V-ing.

    SANs eat a fair amount of power, so that may negate the power saving you see by reducing the number of physical servers, especially if you're going to have additional networking kit to support SAN traffic.

    If power-saving is the real driver behind this then it'd be worth considering VMware V-SAN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post

    They're fairly meaty servers, but then we're virtualising SQL servers, and Exchange servers that support 1000s of mailboxes.
    Always makes me giggle to remember our mail server with 2000 mailboxes runs on 4GB of RAM and barely bats an eyelid under load - even when someone gets phished and their account sends out 10k+ emails in a matter of hours

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