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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Advice on virtualisation in Technical; We are looking at virtualising 6 or 7 servers here, I priced up a SAN setup but was told it ...
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    dezt's Avatar
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    Advice on virtualisation

    We are looking at virtualising 6 or 7 servers here, I priced up a SAN setup but was told it was too expensive, so i'm going down the route of purchasing a good spec server with lots of local storage for VM's.

    The problem i'm facing is what software to use for hosting the VM's. I was contemplating Server 2008 Hyper-V, but someone mentioned VMWare ESXi to me. The only experience I have with Virtual machines at the moment is through the free version of Virtual server microsoft offered and we run 1 VM through it.

    The server i'm looking at is a HP ML370 G5, with 2 2.83 quad core CPUs, 10Gb Ram, 2x72Gb Hdds mirrored for OS, 5x300Gb Hdd's raid 5 for storage, 6x1000mb Nics, hot swap redundant PSU. Will this run ESXi?

    Should i go for the 1 server at that spec, or should i knock the spec down a bit and get 2 servers one for redundancy, just in case? Sor far everything i'm looking at has a redundant option, the OS hard drives would be mirrored on a raid card, the storage hard drives would be in a raid 5 array, the PSU is redundant as well.

    Any advice would be great as I don't want to go ahead and buy this server and then in a year realise that i messed up in the planning process.

    Thanks

    Oh, the servers being virtualised will be print server, Files server, WSUS, things like that, i'm not virtualising the exchange or my DC at the moment. All other servers are not resource hungry.
    Last edited by dezt; 16th June 2009 at 12:18 PM.

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    WStore_Dan's Avatar
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    Hi dezt

    If you PM me your number, I'll get our server, storage and virtualisation specialist to give you a call if thats ok? He's very higly qualified and will be able to tell you exactly what you need and whats best to go for.

    Alternatively you can email me or call me on 01252 745130

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    Hi

    For a SAN have a look at QNAP iSCSI Business NAS. I would suggest the QNAP TS-509 Pro or QNAP TS-809U if have a larger budget.

    What i would say is, if your going for ESXi make sure the hardware is ESXi compatible. I am also doing a similer project this summer and Ive opted for 2x Sun Fire X2200 M2 (2x Quad-Core AMD Opteron 2376 2.3 GHz and 8 GB) as they have 4 NICs each which will come in handy. I will be using a QNAP TS-509 Pro using 4 1TB hard drives in RAID 5 for the iSCSi storage. I will be using VMware ESXi as i am more familier and have had better luck with the Converter.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Thanks to Kamran7860 from:

    dezt (16th June 2009)

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Any idea how much budget you have? I've been testing Hyper-V, Xen and ESX for the past couple of months and I'm currently leaning strongly towards ESX. If you can get a SAN and two servers then that'll give you brilliant failover and redundancy compared to just having one server. Check out my thread HERE comparing the three virtualisation products, it might give you an idea of what other people are using and why.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    dezt (16th June 2009)

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    monkeyx's Avatar
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    We looked at xen, vmware and hyperv.

    We ended up going with an open source tool called Proxmox VE

    Which acts as a front end to openVZ and KVM. Still get full vzctl access from cli if needed though.

    We have got this running several live servers (Windows 2003/2008 and Ubuntu server 8.04) and even have a contigency server to do migrations etc.

    More than happy to offer advice if any required.

  8. Thanks to monkeyx from:

    dezt (16th June 2009)

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    dezt's Avatar
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    My budget was drastically cut, I have a maximum of £8000 for this, which is why i was thinking of not using a san, unless there's a way i can get everything i need for less than 8k

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    I don't know why you not looked at the sun stoarge 7110 lot of people have deployed them here.

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholab View Post
    I don't know why you not looked at the sun stoarge 7110 lot of people have deployed them here.
    I can't remember offhand how much the 7110's start at but I can definitely recommend the Sun S7000 series of storage too. Have a look then give Andy at Cutter Project a shout.

    Chris

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    monkeyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dezt View Post
    My budget was drastically cut, I have a maximum of £8000 for this, which is why i was thinking of not using a san, unless there's a way i can get everything i need for less than 8k
    We decided to spend the money on two servers in that we can easily replicate and migrate machines between them. We managed to do this in under £8k and we bought 1 very good server with loads of RAM etc, the other server is a DR but can run 100% of what is on the first server if required. Just a little more slowly But we can use almost any modern hardware with Proxmox

    In terms of SAN Openfiler is fully featured SAN/NAS device. But you would need to spend most your budget on the SAN still.

    We are hoping to get a SAN next year, we saw more benefit from the virtualisation project. But each school may differ on this.

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    dezt's Avatar
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    I just took a look at Suns website for the 7110, they start at £8,600, which is over the entire cost i've got to play with unfortunatly.

    I did have a project priced up but it came to £22,000 which my SBM said was too much, I was then asked to see what i can do with £8,000

  14. #11
    coquet636
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    Quote Originally Posted by dezt View Post
    I just took a look at Suns website for the 7110, they start at £8,600, which is over the entire cost i've got to play with unfortunatly.

    I did have a project priced up but it came to £22,000 which my SBM said was too much, I was then asked to see what i can do with £8,000
    After originally quoting £22,000 i am sure they would find the extra £600 to get the server you want after telling them how hard you tried to come in on a budget nearly a third of what you wanted........

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    monkeyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coquet636 View Post
    After originally quoting £22,000 i am sure they would find the extra £600 to get the server you want after telling them how hard you tried to come in on a budget nearly a third of what you wanted........
    One problem you would have is a SAN as a single point of failure and no money left for virtualisation though?

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    dezt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coquet636 View Post
    After originally quoting £22,000 i am sure they would find the extra £600 to get the server you want after telling them how hard you tried to come in on a budget nearly a third of what you wanted........
    But that just gets me the storage, i then need to find a server to host my Virtual platform on, don't I?

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    dezt's Avatar
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    @MonkeyX

    How hard is Proxmox VE to use / get to know from having no experience with it?

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    Forget a SAN if you budget is 8k... thats the cost of entry level ISCSI SANS.

    How about dropping the 5x300Gb Hdds on the server and stick some drives in an NAS box for storing VMs on. As long as these are on a seperate network (or vlan) you'll get some ok performance (20-80mb per sec), but fine for running low-intensity servers (not file, exch, etc).. Maybe something like the SS4200E or as Kamran suggested the qnap ts-109, I have no idea if these work with ESXi but you get the idea...



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