Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Virtualising more server roles and Learning Gateway in Technical; Hi All
We are about to embark on a brand new Sharepoint VLE solution and I want to invest a ...
26th January 2009, 09:21 PM #1
Virtualising more server roles and Learning Gateway
We are about to embark on a brand new Sharepoint VLE solution and I want to invest a bit on our backend at the same time. We been Sharepoint for the last 12 months but haven't been able to build it as fast as we would have liked and require outside support to assist us.
My biggest gripe with the network at the moment is I think the DR setup could be a lot better, the school have recently purchased an office block about 1/2 mile down the road for additional office space. We currently have a small network of about 30 machines over there and the two buildings are connected via a point to point Motorola wireless bridge. I want to make use of this building to aid in disaster recovery.
I like the idea of Virtualising Servers, we recently have virtualised our Web and Proxy server using VMware ESXi and have purchased the foundation/vmcenter pack on top of this. This is running on 2 separate hypervisor nodes and then are connected to an iSCSI NAS box (Overland SNAP Server 520) which has terrabytes of storage.
I wanted to know what options I have with developing a backend which can replicate between 2 sites, the same data, if one site is playing up i can reroute all traffic to the other site or do it in a way that the main building is the primary, if someone terrible happened at the main building all traffic could go from the office building. I know I dont have the great features of VMware enterprise where it does live migration but I happy to do this manually in this type of scenario. Also is there a way it can load balance if I went with option 1. What type of hardware would we need to invest in at the second site?
We don't have a SAN and use the SNAP server as our main storage, it seems to be able to serve files out ok but it could be better during peak times and we rely a lot on this device not going down (so far we have been ok) but I am worried that we are over reliant on it and want to change things. I am thinking as part of the VLE project if it would be worth migrating all information to a SAN and then use the SNAP server as a backup server. Would other members recommend a SAN or should i stick with the SNAP?
Also am I taking a risk by asking the company we choose for the VLE to virtualise our sharepoint VLE/SQL? At the moment there isn't much load on our 2 new HP DL380's with 1 quad core and 8gb ram but one is running the web server VM and the other is doing the Squid proxy VM, both are connected to SNAP server for storage. I was thinking of adding further VM's to these nodes.
On top of the other developments we have 2 exchange servers (1 staff and 1 students) both running standard edition and the staff email server is nearly 4 years old. I was thinking of migrating all staff mailboxes to the students exchange server. Can I do this? is there any limitation with standard where I can have 2 separate mailbox groups?
Also have any schools virtualised their MIS systems (SQL), Facility CMIS and eportal to be precise. We seem to suffer from a lot of memory leaks on this separate server and am thinking of putting this onto a newer server or virtualising it to our DL380s. Any advice from other schools who have already done this would be most appreciated..
26th January 2009, 09:37 PM #2
Hey Ranj, i like the sound of what your doing but have a question. Why are you not using Hyper-V?
We have all our servers, bar 1 exchange box, on windows 2008 server and hyper-V is awesome not to mention some of the extras R2 will have with it.
We have virtualised a DC, fileserver, SQL server and all seem to be running smoothly.
I have not tried virtualising sharepoint yet as we have a DL360 (box1) running sharepoint and a DL360 (box2) as our web server / sharepoint web front end which connects to our farm on box1.
It would be nice to see what you have done with sharepoint as i am the developer here and the only one that really does anything with sharepoint (started from 0 knowledge 3 months ago).
Sharepoint now runs our website / staff intranet / student intranet and we have sites which include a helpdesk / room booking and / resource booking as well as a slightly customised master page (still not bothered getting into the visual stuff yet) we are also trying to setup sharepointLMS from e-learningforce (google them) as it seems like it ticks all our boxes and version 2 looks good (from the demo at BETT).
Anyways, get in touch if theres anyway we can help each other
27th January 2009, 01:54 AM #3
If you want to run a Linux-based server, DRBD. It's free to use, well documented, and you can assign it specific network interfaces to use for replication traffic, so you can have a dedicated connection just to synch your two locations. You could then run VMWare on top of Linux, running your Windows VMs on top of that.
Originally Posted by ranj
We have a 4GB machine running 3 Windows-based VMs, no problems. For the Sharepoint VLE/SQL I'd make sure the SQL server gets assigned its own disk partition or RAID volume to do with as it wants.
28th January 2009, 03:33 PM #4
Check to make sure SharePoint is supported by Microsoft before using VM Ware. It wasnt at the begining of December - but i know VMWare are going through the requirements with Microsoft at the moment.
29th January 2009, 12:36 PM #5
I am using Sharepoint Services 3 on a VM with no problems. Not sure how other versions of sharepoint fare.
6th February 2009, 04:28 PM #6
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