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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Citrix XenServer in Technical; As we currently use Citrix and our supplier supports it we're looking at Citrix XenServer for virtualizing some of our ...
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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    Citrix XenServer

    As we currently use Citrix and our supplier supports it we're looking at Citrix XenServer for virtualizing some of our boxes. I'm looking information from anyone runnning it, what sort of problems have you encountered and what apps do you have running on virtual servers. I'm thinking of starting with our print server running Print Manager +, a WSUS / ESET AV (NOD32) box and a file server then building from there.

    Our setup is currently all Server 2003 R2 x32

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    Also any pointers on questions that I should be asking the supplier before we go down this road?

    Cheers.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Hoping to have a couple of Sun 64bit boxes incoming soon which which to consolidate 5 member servers into (and hopefully some terminal servers too pending testing).

    Have not got a 64bit box at the moment so cant actually test xen server!

    Butuz

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    I've just got 4 x Sun Fire X4150's and a Sun 7110 and 4 copies of Citrix XenServer Enterprise to install on them .

    Will probably be my project for tomorrow. We're hoping to have virtualised all of our existing servers by the Summer (we currently have a SIMS server and two other dells that run everything else including exchange!). I'll keep you updated on our progress tomorrow

    John

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    Looks like if you decide to go this route you will have to upgrade your servers to 64 bit as Citrix Xenserver only works on 64 bit OS. I was looking at this too until I saw you needed 64 bit as that would deal with replacing all my servers hardware to work.

    Citrix Systems » Products » -- XenServer/Essentials » XenServer

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jreimer View Post
    Looks like if you decide to go this route you will have to upgrade your servers to 64 bit as Citrix Xenserver only works on 64 bit OS. I was looking at this too until I saw you needed 64 bit as that would deal with replacing all my servers hardware to work.

    Citrix Systems » Products » -- XenServer/Essentials » XenServer
    If your servers are from within the last 5 years or so, they will more than likely be 64bit. If they are older than that, they should be replaced anyway due to age

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    We will be buying new hardware anyway + the 64 Bit licences for the host servers. The idea is to replace about 5 servers that are coming upto 4/5 years old.


    Any primary things I should be thinking about and key things that are often overlooked in this kind of migration???

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    It just works. I currently have 2x Sun Fire X4440 (4x quad-core HE Opterons & 32GB RAM) attached to a Sun Storage 7110. I have all sorts running on there... WSUS, Sophos, SIMS, the stoopid Edexcel testing stuff, etc., etc.

    HA is a doddle to set up (as is VM installation). I haven't tried P2V because I haven't had the need

    Some of the more advanced stuff (like fixing networking configurations when you lose your management NIC ) has to be done at the shell but it's easy to do and the documentation is great. The forums are very good too if it does all go wrong! With every update, management does get easier mind.

    Oh yeah... always update your pool master first!

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    Excellent news. How much did the Sun Fire X4440 cost you if you don't mind saying?


    Cheers.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    Excellent news. How much did the Sun Fire X4440 cost you if you don't mind saying?


    Cheers.
    Quite a bit! Your best bet is to get a quick quote off someone like Cutter - they won't do a hard sell - but prepare to be seated when you get the email!

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    I'm thinking around £5000 is it even worth sending the email, it doesn't need to be the same spec as your box?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    I'm thinking around £5000 is it even worth sending the email, it doesn't need to be the same spec as your box?
    Have a look at Sun Microsystems - UK - Promotions - FY09 2H Matching Grant Programme. It's the price list for the Sun Matching Grant Programme to give you an idea on what you can get for your money .

    Do give the Cutter Project a call though. Andy there was great at getting me pricing for all the various configurations of equipment we were interested in

    John

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    The SUN Fire X4440 is unbelieveably well priced when two of them are bought on matching grant (£5k each). The equivalent spec Dell R905 will set you back £9k.

    So with SUN I am hoping to get a total of 8CPU's, 32 Cores, 32GB RAM for under £10k. Dell equivalent would cost £18k for what I need. Also because I am buying 2 x SUN servers I qualify for buying a 7110 SAN at half price too - thus saving even more money - as Dell SAN's are silly money.

    If your doing a larger scale virtualisation - you could go for 2 x Sun Fire 4600's on matching grant, which would give you 16 CPU's, 64 Cores, 128GB RAM for £19k.

    Dell Equivilent ( 4 x R905's) would cost £38596.

    Franky - anyone buying anything other than SUN at the moment is clinically insane IMHO! It's not as if the SUN servers are crap either - they appear to be far better designed than the equiv IBM/DELL/HP's.

    Butuz

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    @ Butuz, can you tell me what spec X4440 (there seems to be a few different versions) you got for what price approx.

    I'll be emailing Andy but i'd just like a ball park figure to be thinking about.

    Thanks.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Yes email Andy he is much more privvy to accurate information and he has helped me out no end!

    I understand the importance being able to get hold of ballpark costs before you speak in depth with a supplier though - it's a pet peeve of mine suppliers that keep costs totally secret untill you actually place an order - luckily Andy @ Cutter seems happy to talk ballpark though so I am sure he wont mind this post!

    As your starting virtualisation from scratch you'r gonna need at least two servers and a SAN. Here are a few scenarios for you based on what I have been planning here with Matching Grant prices.

    Option 1. Budget option if you don't have many servers to virtualise.


    Option 2. In between option if you have quite a few servers to virtualise.


    Option 3. Ideal option if you have lots of servers to virtualise and want redunancy via dual server rooms.


    Reason I have stuck with two servers in each option is basically to minimise the number of physical servers needed per option (maximum server conspolidation whilst still keeping a high level of redundancy). E.g for option three you could use 8 x Sun Fire X4100M2 instead of the 2 x Sun Fire 4600s. It would cost approx the same to buy, but running costs would be more expensive, e.g higher electricity usage, higher cost of warrantys after 3 year honeymoon period, more XEN servers to manage and maintain. Your milage may vary!

    Hope this helps.

    Butuz
    Last edited by Butuz; 22nd April 2009 at 02:23 AM.

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    cookie_monster (22nd April 2009)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    @Butuz, from that layout, does that mean you have virtualised terminal servers?



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