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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Rethinking my virtualisation ideas in Technical; It has been a few months going back and forth, with a overload of info coming from suppliers and consultancy...use ...
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    Rethinking my virtualisation ideas

    It has been a few months going back and forth, with a overload of info coming from suppliers and consultancy...use a blade server, don't use a bade server, use a SAN, no use 2 SANS, oh add two 10gbe switches, must use FCs...use VMware, use Hyper V....Having a headache trying to give my school the best choice for the money, but the fact is we cant afford something that would offer the SLA of a system designed for trading offices in Carnary Wharf!

    I've taken a step back today and with Hyper V r3 potentially having ability to replicate to SMB shares..to just go back to having a few robust HP DL380s running VMs on local SAS drives..through 10gbe NIC cards.

    Some colleagues at work laugh at my corporate background but seriously a consultant said a few weeks back some schools quite happily spend 50k plus budget on switching, which was 3 times the whole of my IT budget i had over 2 years in one of my corporate IT job!

    What do you guys think?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Compare the 380's with the 360's. 360's can take similar ram same procs and up to 8 HDD's and can be slightly cheaper then 380's for pretty much the same thing just 1 u

    I personally just for 2

    Also Gen 8 machines are out soon and they look shiney or you could get good discounts on G7's

    Toby

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    Yes i seen those Gen 8...they remind me of Dell rack server mated with a Apple G5 lol

    Good call on the DL360s, more compact as well.

    I've pretty much stepped back from suppliers opinion so I could gather my thoughts.

    VMware sounds good but I think the company offering the design is so into making it bulletproof they are forgetting I have a budget

    One company offering an intel blade solution I have concerns about it's switching bandwidth

    Another is quoting a used C7000 blade to get within my costs(but I have seen how much a 10gbe passthrough switch could cost)

    So right now, the thing that makes sense to my school, is 2/3 DL360s running (12-14 VMs ) on local disks with 10gbe...2 DL380s running as fileservers (i already have DL380 so not much cost to add another)

    I have a good DPM server already...so backup of VMs covered.

    Give me some time then to see what Hyper V r3 could do later on...

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I can't comment on the VMware VS Hyper-V as if I'm honest I've not used either for a long time. Although my new role is going to be implementing and supporting VMware installations.

    My Dl360's with Dual 6 core Xeon (Hyper threaded so 24 Cores), 100GB ram Dual PSU, Quad Nic (built in).

    Although rather then looking at 10GBE (if you don't have the infrastructure to support yet) look at Teamed 1GBE links - you will find the cost comparison to get 8 1GB links (meaning 8Gb but with a max single connection of 1gb) is a huge amount less then 10GB with a PCI card upgrade later of easy to do. A quad port HP network card is a couple of hundred pounds IRRC

    This is what I have done although I don't use local storage I'm San (fibre channel) based

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    Cheers Toby,

    Will team a few NICs together(4x1gbe) for the fileservers...the Netgears I am looking at have 10gbe ports built in(again, love to have HPs but to spec something similar with stacking, POE and 10Gbe would be double in price)

    That was my concern with going for a blade, a blade with 4 nic mazzinine cards, running 6 VMs then having to go through midplane onto the blades built in switch, then to the core switch will surely introduce bottlenecks, and the intel modular server spec does not even have a 10gbe option..and the C7000 10gbe option price was just insane.

    Looking at it buying individual servers gives me more flexibilty to upgrade.

    Ps did u manage a school before? so take it you are VM consultant now, in which case congratulations on your new venture!

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWu View Post
    Ps did u manage a school before? so take it you are VM consultant now, in which case congratulations on your new venture!
    Currently still running a school but from 30th april I start my new role supporting and implementing Virtulisation in SMB's along with the support side of things for an IT Outsourcing company!

    We currently have 900 clients 3 VM hosts (which we are replacing 2 of with the DL360's) running about 16 VM's and about 6of physical machines for File Servers along with backup servers smoothie etc!

    Should be good fun!
    Last edited by glennda; 15th March 2012 at 08:17 PM. Reason: wrong month!

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    If I was working to a really tight budget I'd be very tempted to go for SAN and have a massive redundancy of desktops as 'servers' using teamed nic iscsi. Rational is that you could put in say 6 reasonably high spec diskless desktops for way less than the costs of servers and spread the load. We run our terminal servers this way. If your running high availability it doesn't matter if you loose a few, your not paying for the build quality or redundant psu etc. Disk access would probably be the limiting factor. You wouldn't be able to do it with cost effectively with vmware (essentials licensing restricts to 3 servers), or with a commercial kvm (licensing is per socket). You could do it with xen or kvm for free, possibly with hyper-v?. Alternatively, beef up you internet connection (with redundancy) and run it on amazon. If desktop or cloud is too scary then I would do SAN in any case, it just makes things so much easier.

    caveat is that I'm in the luxury position of replacing a FC bladecentre/SAN with a new bladecentre to give 10GbE to each server and multiple 10GbE to the core switches.

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    Just have to ask this here, because it's kind of confusing reading this forum sometimes. Do most of you in the UK/Europe work at just one school and manage everything that occurs at that school? I only ask because some of the numbers here sometimes seem silly to me. We're managing over 50+ virtual servers and will be managing over 100 by this time next year.

    We also support 40,000+ students though and over 60 locations. Just curious, it'd help me try to separate my thinking to just one location, as opposed to the entire county that we support.

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    That would probably be how i would buy in some cheap servers / desktops to run Terminal server and App-v, as and when my school introduce BYOD.

    I did visit a school a few weeks back where one of the cabinets out out of the three was more than my entire IT project budget(cabling,servers and site wide wireless) ...just stocked with yummy HP SANs and blades!

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpe5732 View Post
    Just have to ask this here, because it's kind of confusing reading this forum sometimes. Do most of you in the UK/Europe work at just one school and manage everything that occurs at that school? I only ask because some of the numbers here sometimes seem silly to me. We're managing over 50+ virtual servers and will be managing over 100 by this time next year.

    We also support 40,000+ students though and over 60 locations. Just curious, it'd help me try to separate my thinking to just one location, as opposed to the entire county that we support.
    It varies from school to school. But over here It tends to be each school having its own Technical team on-site rather then a County system where everything is done remotely/cloud. The setups vary from county to county though and private/state etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpe5732 View Post
    Do most of you in the UK/Europe work at just one school and manage everything that occurs at that school?
    I'd say most larger schools >1000 students have an onsite team and everything is done in-house. Smaller primary schools are generally supported by the local authority.
    A few years back the government tried to introduce monolithic systems, usually controlled by outsourced companies, and it has worked to some extent. As school budgets are cut those are gradually moving back in-house as the (poorly paid) techs are generally able to offer a more customised albeit ad-hoc system suited for the particular school and the teachers whims.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWu View Post
    It has been a few months going back and forth, with a overload of info coming from suppliers and consultancy...use a blade server, don't use a bade server, use a SAN, no use 2 SANS, oh add two 10gbe switches, must use FCs...use VMware, use Hyper V....Having a headache trying to give my school the best choice for the money, but the fact is we cant afford something that would offer the SLA of a system designed for trading offices in Carnary Wharf!

    I've taken a step back today and with Hyper V r3 potentially having ability to replicate to SMB shares..to just go back to having a few robust HP DL380s running VMs on local SAS drives..through 10gbe NIC cards.

    Some colleagues at work laugh at my corporate background but seriously a consultant said a few weeks back some schools quite happily spend 50k plus budget on switching, which was 3 times the whole of my IT budget i had over 2 years in one of my corporate IT job!

    What do you guys think?
    What are the server roles you are looking to virtualise and are they all critical? If you do the SAN route you can have full failover for everything. If you just need you domain to be available and you have a tested disaster recovery option for your storage then maybe this is good enough and your Hyper-V on SMB shares idea would be much better value for money.

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    Have a look at the HP DL385s - AMD powered with more CPU cores and usaly slighter lower priced than their Intel options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    What are the server roles you are looking to virtualise and are they all critical? If you do the SAN route you can have full failover for everything. If you just need you domain to be available and you have a tested disaster recovery option for your storage then maybe this is good enough and your Hyper-V on SMB shares idea would be much better value for money.
    Thank you.

    The most critical roles on these would be SIMS and the finance app, Exchange 2010 is on a new physical box at the moment so might not need to virtualise that yet..i use DPM to backup the SQL DB and the VHDs later on.

    I'm just at a indecisive moment with the SAN, would that be a single point of failure? Do i have money for 2( say netgear readynas instead of the MSA2000? My head hurts lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Have a look at the HP DL385s - AMD powered with more CPU cores and usaly slighter lower priced than their Intel options.
    Yes they have 32 core beasts haven't they?

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