Poll: Virtual servers: Company vs DIY

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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, DIY vs Company in Technical; When you lot went over to Vitrual servers did you get a company in to fully install and then you ...
  1. #1

    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    DIY vs Company

    When you lot went over to Vitrual servers did you get a company in to fully install and then you took over, get a company to come in and spec it and then you take over or did you just dive in and learn as you went?

    We are looking at heading that way next summer but as ever time will be tight for proto-typing as well as learning so instead of buying kit and then finding out it may not be suitable for a full network & yes being a bit lazy, wondering about getting a company in to do the ground work and taking it from there.

    Would sorely love to spend the next year elbow deep in testing kit and VM solutions but I know the reality is the project would probably sit untouched for the first 3 months and then get annoyed that the time was slipping away!

    Ta

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Virtualisation isn't that difficult, especially if rather than spending thousands on someone to come in to do it, you spend that on better kit ;-)

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    Iain's Avatar
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    We (well I) did everything in-house last summer, although I'm still halfway through migrating some services. As teejay said, virtualization really isn't hard, and money is much better spent on the hardware.

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    Everything in house - didn't even get a consultant in.

    All you need to figure out is how much RAM you need to run the VMs and what kind of disk/processor usage you will need.
    As far as converting physical to virtual as we used Hyper-V it wasn't that difficult to get System Centre Virtual Machine Manager installed and converting the physical servers (you can do it through the trial if you need).

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    Did it myself but used now-how of suppliers - if you have a big supplier get in touch with their server specialists - tell them what you want to do and get them to spec servers up - pick their brains. You can then get a quote from them but shop round and see what other quotes you can get once you have the spec.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Cheers for the input guys. Looking like it wouldn't be a problem then. Just a lot of research to decide which solution to go for and then the kit to tie it all together.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    Cheers for the input guys. Looking like it wouldn't be a problem then. Just a lot of research to decide which solution to go for and then the kit to tie it all together.
    If you need any help I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who can help - just post your needs and current enviroment

  8. #8

    john's Avatar
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    I did it myself and with advice and guidance from various edugeek members when I got bit I was a bit unsure about or wanted a second opinion on Saved thousands over what contractors would have charged for it all doing

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Another one for doing it yourself - I have done 90% of mine and the other 10% is physical still becuase my San is not big enough to store them.

    Toby

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    We paid for Dell to set ours up, but we started with a very large VMWare ESX rollout with all the enterprise trimmings and an Equallogic SAN with all the salad that at the time was so new that the dell techie didn't know how to set it up. As we were on a very tight deadline, working with kit like that, and moving core business stuff over to it from day one then failure or having stuff offline a day or two longer than expected while I puzzle the manual out wasn't really an option.

  11. #11

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Whilst I would say going at it yourself is the best way to learn, its also the biggest way to screw up. Why not have someone do the work and document the entire process in case you need to rebuild. I did and its how I learnt how to do most of the server set up stuff!

  12. #12

    Domino's Avatar
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    All ourselves here.

    Now virtualised 90% of our infrastructure and spending this week installing two new datacentres in London - all virtual running on HP blades.

    As long as you can spare the time to look through your options, check the hardware requirements and work through the process its not such an issue. Just don't rush into it half cocked...

  13. #13

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    I reckon it depends - if you can do it piecemeal and tackle a manageable chunk at a time - then DIY is fine. If its a "big bang" and you're shifting everything in one go - personally I'd like a bit of handholding - specially if you're doing SANs etc at the same time - I didn't find them easy to understand straight off.

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    It depends on a number of things - complexity, your experience, how 'advanced' you want your solution to be. I would say most experienced infrastructure/server admins would be able to accomplish a basic setup with Hyper-V and with a bit more confidence Xen or ESXi. Normally its when you want to do the more complex things such as High Availability or Clustering with storage configs and service console networks to consider. Then there is the migration activities, again most of the time the conversion tools run pretty well. The value a third party will add is experience in the unexpected and avoidance of the typical configuration mistakes made by people on their first time out and help preventing issues in the future. Things such as ensuring the hardware is on the HCL, sizing Virtual Machines correctly - for instance an 8 vCPU machine is almost always slower to perform than a 4 vCPU machine in an ESX environment because of the challenges with vSMP when there are contention at the host layers.

    A good provider should be able to sell you the services you need whilst allowing you to save money on the less complex parts of the solution and should leave you with the skills to manage and support the environment afterwards.

    Its horses for courses really, if you don't feel its a complex setup, then go for it - you could always get it health checked afterwards before it all goes 'live'.

  15. Thanks to andrew-virtusolve from:

    Roberto (11th February 2011)

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    We spoke wtih a number of vendors who spec'ed up solutions for us. We went with a Dell solution and instead of getting consultants in to set it up went on a 5 day VMware course, then proceeded to set it all up ourselves.



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