Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, New VMware network in Technical; Hi!
Have been going through various vmware possibilities for my first vm network. Forgive my lack of knowledge but i've ...
4th March 2012, 04:38 AM #1
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New VMware network
Have been going through various vmware possibilities for my first vm network. Forgive my lack of knowledge but i've been away from I.T. Since 2003. Would like to virtualise the following:
AD/file-print server 2k8 r2
Terminal service server 2k8 r2
Administration DB (oracle - less than 80gb) on 2k8 r2
This would be one office and would like to bring about 6 offices with identical setups on same system.
Can't budget enough for SAN so we are thinking the following;
Two Dell r710 servers w 64 gb ram, two 6 core procs, and about 4tb raid 10. VMware will be on sd cards.
Server-a (running vm's)
Server-b (replicate vm's via veeam)
Need a backup solution as well, preferably at a dr site.
Any suggestions or thoughts? One thing to note, i've been pretty much demanded to go with dell and due to limited time have opted to go with vmware/veeam. I will look into linux options in the future. I'm in a HURRY to get this implemented but must get it right.
5th March 2012, 06:08 AM #2
It sounds reasonable but rushing is never the way to go.
If you're have to go with Dell, then go for it. Whatever you do make sure you have support and maintenance on the hardware and also the VMWare is supported.
It's very expensive to licence and support. We went with it a couple of years ago. Your setup is quite small, i know large organisations that have whole vmware based datacenters, and they are now switching over to Hyper-V due to cost and the fact that the feature-set is up to speed way more that i used to be.
Having the failover for the vm host will be key, we've had issues with a blade chassis and there wasn't redundancy on all parts, i'm not familiar with veeam but if it does the duplication well then that's a good thing.
I would seriously consider the storage options. Where are you putting the 4TB on the servers themselves? Don't forget vmware is based on unix underneath and, if you were to go with hyper-v which is included in your windows licences you could sway more money towards a SAN. it's a much better option. Say if you put the VMs themselves on the server storage, mirrored and then the data on the SAN. Especially if you're running a database, the setup up and config of storage is key.
As with any OS install, leave a big enough partition, these days, we are running low on disk space for an 80GB C drive OS disk with Server 2k8 R2. There is always more and more that ends up there and fills it up.
Also, do some practise, with VMs and Win2k8 R2 - some major differences especially in permissions, it's not always enough to merely be an admin any more.
For a rush job, it might be worth considering getting a consultant in to help with setup, so it's done right first time, but this is costly. Otherwise budget for and arrange some kind of support even if it's on a case by case basis (just in case you don't get the answer on EG! ).
We made a mistake on ours where we created a > 2TB partition for the data storage but did it incrementally, and then found that VMware wouldn't see it. Luckily, what it could see still worked, but that storage segment was off limits and we had to move all VMs to another partition, before we could blow away the first partition and recreate smaller. Hard to do if you don't have a lot of storage in the first place.
VMWare documentation is pretty good, but we still missed some things as we were rushing.
I don't know about Oracle specifically, but if you want to be able to do clustering on M$ SQL and VMWare it really needs a SAN, local storage is way too complex. Also, i found it hard to find the right docs, whereas for Hyper-V there seem to be loads.
I'm sure others will chime in with more experience than me, so good luck.
5th March 2012, 11:23 AM #3
Firstly, I would check what your oracle DB is as they are a little behind and their licencing for vm's could be a little funky depending on how you provision the vm and what the physical box has. Veam can handle all those requirements and is actually extremely good a replicating and DR restoration (it will allow you to specify a re-ip policy at the dr site if you need it and you can directly powered on a backed up vm and then svmotion it back to the correct lun with veam software).
I am assuming that server-b will be a cold standby should server-a go pop, depending on how you configure your replication dont forget that dataloss may occur depending on where in the replication cylce you are when server-a dies. Also with vmware on SD card you have a single point of failure right there, not really too much of a worry but if you are teaming nics and having redundant power supplies etc a single SD card maybe of concern for resiliance.
Because you have 64GB in each server you will need to purchase the correct edition which by the sounds of it is essentials (not essentials plus as you wont need vcenter), also if you need to update your esxi software which does happen occasionally then you will need to powerdown all your vm's to reboot the host (possibly not a problem but depends if you pay much attention to your 5 9's metrics).
By the same system are you going to buy identical kit for all 6 offices or import their kit onto your new virtual environment.
Do not rush this otherwise things could go horribly wrong, what I will say though is actually scale your storage correctly. Have you run iometer or similar to gauge how hard your storage is getting hit on your physicals so you know whether you need 15k drives for some vm's or can manage with 7k drives for the rest. I would without looking into it stick the DC's system drive on 15k and the ts box on 15k and then the file storage on 7k drives. The biggest mistake at the moment people make is judging their storage needs solely on disk space!
5th March 2012, 11:48 AM #4
Originally Posted by scifidale
Disk IO will kill you very quickly if you put the wrong ones in... get a capacity planner sorted as part of the project so you go into the spec with your eyes open
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