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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Virtualisation of Servers in Technical; Originally Posted by glennda We run the servers on Ubuntu and one of the install options is Virtualisation host. This ...
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    morganw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    We run the servers on Ubuntu and one of the install options is Virtualisation host. This installs all the dependencies etc. The only thing you need to do is setup a network bridge which is fairly straight forward.
    Do you actually get some kind of official Ubuntu documentation for KVM or Xen? When I've looked I've only ever found community based documentation that tends to be sparse and out-of-date.

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    The Redhat docs for KVM are here.

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    The Redhat docs for KVM are here.

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    Based on that I'd be more tempted to have a go with CentOS, or do they reserve some of this software for people that are paying them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Based on that I'd be more tempted to have a go with CentOS, or do they reserve some of this software for people that are paying them?
    The KVM stuff is all free and built into linux.

    I'm not really sure how much of RHEV 3 is 'free' presumably you can download it like you can with JBOSS. I've not found link so am thinking it is a 'package' that redhat sell unless you build from source.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Do you actually get some kind of official Ubuntu documentation for KVM or Xen? When I've looked I've only ever found community based documentation that tends to be sparse and out-of-date.
    I use Community docs - most of it makes sense but sometimes you have to combine various resources to get something working correctly. But trust it fully everything sits atop - exchange, DC's, sims the lot

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    I use Community docs - most of it makes sense but sometimes you have to combine various resources to get something working correctly. But trust it fully everything sits atop - exchange, DC's, sims the lot
    Do you have any issues with Ubuntu package updates? Personally I would feel happier using Debian because you know things aren't going to get changed other than fixing things and security for 2 or 3 years. I've heard a few people say that Ubuntu updates are a little more "dynamic".

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Do you have any issues with Ubuntu package updates? Personally I would feel happier using Debian because you know things aren't going to get changed other than fixing things and security for 2 or 3 years. I've heard a few people say that Ubuntu updates are a little more "dynamic".
    No only run servers on LTS Versions currently 10.04 and update every 6 months. We do heavy googling before updating to make sure there are no problems. Been running this for just over 2 years now. Started with 8.04 and moved up to 10.04. Will probably go 12.04 sometime in August. We don't run any gui's on the servers therefore this reduces the updates which come down significantly.

    Sorry for Hijacking the thread!

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    in centos you install the virtual server tools package upon installation and do a yum update when you boot into centos, or just add the package manually and do a kernel update.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timbo343 View Post
    I am struggling to get my head around this whole virtualisation stuff. Normally i am one for doing it all myself but i fear that i dont know enough or where to start regarding it all now things are getting so complex.

    Would anyone be kind enough to give me a list of advantages of Virtual over physical.

    I take it i would need 2 hosts first and a SAN before i start with anything?

    Also would anyone have a go at doing it themselves or would you get someone in to help you do it?
    We are currently looking and costing the same as you @timbo343. We have decided on 2 hosts and a SAN and will be going towards Xen - plenty of advice on here for that. We are looking at the middle license which does cost money but adds some extra bits to the free version (we are still discussing this).

    In addition we are going to budget for a kick-ass UPS to power all of this. (Still researching).

    We are going to do this ourselves and with questions asked of Google and Edugeekers. We are not sure what to do - but have setup a little test network of two machines in a cluster to trial. We are currently running the trial and it seems to be okay.

    The main issue is we have no idea if we are doing this right. Are we wasting money? Are we going to be okay for the next few years? We are replacing 7 servers (hangover from RM days and 4DCs) and moving them onto two servers. We will be moving a printer server (pCounter), an SME server and a few other bits.

    We don't have a DC onsite - there are central DCs in the LEA - however due to the outage issues in Swansea LEA last week we feel that a DC on site would help. Can this be virtualised? I've heard/read on Google that DCs should not be virtualised, however as this isn't a 'main' DC I got the impression that it didn't matter. It's the one main DC that shouldn't be converted. What are the opinions on this?

    Many thanks

    Gareth

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    DC's not virtualized ?? Never heard of this it makes no difference in fact I'd recommend you do!!!! For a start it means if need be you can move VM's from Server to server if you needed to do an upgrade etc etc - Our DC's and Exchange servers are all virtualized ..... I wouldnt recommend otherwise and definitely have one on site!

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    Another big thumbs up for Xenserver here, running 3 hosts (pooled) with HA for the cost of £1200 (£400 per host for the HA license) attached to Sun 7110 for VM's running 12 servers load balanced between the three.

    I wouldn't virtualise my DC not until I had a proper system in place to bring to take them down and back up again in the proper order if ever a power cut ensued. I haven't got round to this yet but will do when I have the time and the money.

    Installation is fairly simple just download the ISO image burn it to disk and then boot from disk and follow the instructions.

    The SAN and 2 nics of the hosts are on a different IP range running through 2 gig switches to allow for failover the other 2 nics are load balanced and belong to the network LAN so no bandwidth issues as data just flows back and forwards from the XEN hosts to the SAN.

    Has worked very well for over a year in fact thats how long they have been up for hehe!

    I have not updated from version 5.6 sp2 yet to version 6 as it has a couple of issues at the moment.

    Very happy at the moment.

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    cpjitservices (29th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    I wouldn't virtualise my DC not until I had a proper system in place to bring to take them down and back up again in the proper order if ever a power cut ensued. I haven't got round to this yet but will do when I have the time and the money.
    I have not updated from version 5.6 sp2 yet to version 6 as it has a couple of issues at the moment.
    XenServer 6 High Availability will let you choose the restart order of VMs with an optional time delay.

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    @morganw:

    Version 5.6 also

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    @morganw:

    Version 5.6 also
    I think I went from 5.6 SP1 to 6 and then found I had it, so must have been in SP2.

    edit: ...or maybe it was FP1. It's a strange release naming convention they use.
    Last edited by morganw; 29th February 2012 at 10:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Do you actually get some kind of official Ubuntu documentation for KVM or Xen?
    I've found the resources available for Xen (the open source version, not XenServer) running on Debian (rather than Ubuntu) to be fine. Regarding virtualising domain controllers: the issue is with people taking and then restoring snapshots of domain controllers, which confuses them somewhat. It's best to have two domain controllers in your organisation (both can be VMs) and let them replicate between themselves using their own mechanism, or use Windows backup, rather than trying to back them up using a snapshot.

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