Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Virtualization on the cheap in Technical; Virtualization on the cheap, can it be done ?
I'm looking at virtualization for personal development as well as consolidating ...
I'm looking at virtualization for personal development as well as consolidating all the random boxes I have serving various roles. But like any school, budgets are practically non existent.
I'd like to seperate the roles that have just been growing on one server as I test and put into production.
(WSUS, MDT WDS, VAMP plus other odd roles plus AV) I also have two linux servers, one serving unifi and one as a silly intranet server, worst thing about some of these random boxes is the fact there is no disaster management nor backups...
vmware is out of the question due to cost I assume, so I'm most likely left with using 2012r2 datacentre and running hyper-v.
Now I have no NAS / SAN but would like to try iSCSI on freenas, is this viable ?
I've managed to wrestle some extra money and acquired a refurb HP G5 (thanks dave at ict-direct) which has plenty of grunt for this purpose I hope.
We are running a standard quad core AMD with 16 gig of ram on a standard desktop board, running windows server hyper-v. works lovely for our Unify, opennas, temporary backup server, web site, and a few other servers without any problems. Running mirror raid on the drives for redundancy.
Would not recommend WDS on it as network speed may be a problem without some expensive network cards.
We did it on the super-cheap with ESXi free. We currently have a large number of VMs running on three hosts, backed up with GhettoVCB so in the event of a failure the backup can be moved across to another host.
You can do virtualization fairly inexpensively, but be careful about going too cheap or your performance and reliability will actually end up being poorer than for a traditional physical environment (as well as being far more complex).
I would suggest you spend your money on two well spec'd hosts that are on the HCL of your chosen virtualization solution, and a good backup solution if you are going to virtualized on the "cheap".
FreeNAS is perfectly suitable (we use it here) and I would definitely recommend it for your backup storage combined with Veeam and/or BackupAssist depending on if you use ESXi or Hyper-V. SuperMicro hardware (DIY) is a good way to keep your costs down for backup storage, but just be sure to use enterprise (RAID quality) drives such as the WD SE or RE lines with any RAID storage or you may have issues.
Been reading about and thanks to your advice, I intend to try the following :-
EXSi free version and backing up with the free version of veeam, I'd really like good DR and failover in place but that just won't happen because that comes at a cost (as do all things that make our lives easier ).
I'll boot EXSi using a usb stick using the headers inside the server (or create a mirror) and I'll configure the rest of the physical storage as raid 10 for the VM pool giving me 144 ish gig (72gig sas drives) the drives are refurb so this is just reassurance, this should be enough space for the VMs. Later when I need more storage / VMs I'll explore freenas with ZFS and iSCSI
Should give me something to start with anyway.
Last edited by caffrey; 9th February 2014 at 01:30 PM.
Seems the hyper-v server (the baremetal one) can only be administered with RSAT for windows 8.1 too, wonder if this'll give me an opportunity to get a new PC ... ;p so it'll have to be full install of server 2012r2 with hyper-v
For me, the questsion of ESXi vs. Hyper-V depends largely on if you currently run Windows Server and what you future upgrade plans are. Licensing wise, You'll pretty much want a copy of Windows Server DataCenter in order to run multiple VM's, at which point you have Hyper-V included free in the pacakge. Add to that Hyper-V in 2012 supports replication (and I think failover) without the need for shared storage...
From what I remember ESX is the better product, but costs to get all the equivalent features. If you're looking at central management with something like SCVMM for Hyper-V then ESX will become a contender again as the vSphere Management Center cost about the same price (I think) and gives ESX many of the missing features from the free version.
So I've got ESXi setup on a usb stick, everything is working - datastore on a raid6 .I've got my first few VM's attached to the domain with some test services running - what's the catch ? This was incredibly easy to set up - must be something I've missed ? If not why didn't I do this sooner ?