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Windows Thread, Why virtualise in Technical; Virtualisation - I know what it is - but why do I need to do it? Why not just purchase ...
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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Why virtualise

    Virtualisation - I know what it is - but why do I need to do it?

    Why not just purchase servers?

    What do you guys'n'gals use it for.

    Cheers

    GJE

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    It's kinda handy being able to put 3 or 4 'servers' onto one physical box. Thats my main reason - we have lots of aging hardware that doesn't require epic resources. Do you need a dual xeon 4GB RAM for a file server - no!

    There are plenty of other benefits, but thats my main concern

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    webman's Avatar
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    Save space and power - instead of having 3 low-to-medium spec servers for example, just have one large server and run the 3 virtually to get the best out of the hardware.

    Testing - create a whole virtual network on one server with multiple switches and servers.

    Failover - hardware fails? Just move the server disk image onto another virtual server hardware and you're up and running again.

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    ICTNUT's Avatar
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    For us we spent the best part of 30k, but these are the main reasons:
    • Power Consumption drop by at leat 50%
    • Heat output drops byat least 50%
    • Being able to run 16+ servers on only 3 physical blades
    • Furture proofing as we only have half our chasis filled
    • Future proofing as our storage setup is only one shelf but we can goto 4 shelves providing 96Tb of data storage !!!
    • all of our servers where out of warranty and needed replacing
    • Short term big layout
    • medium to long term loads of savings
    • reduced maintenance
    • reduced downtime

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I think your questions probably been answered, certainly not got anything new to add. For me the big reason is disaster recovery. Virtual Machines are much easier to restore than physical server boxes. Space saving in the server room is a bonus - a quieter server room! Less power consumption. Also long term friendlier on the ol' budget. Only 2 or 3 servers to replace every 3 or 4 years rather than 9 or 10(+) servers being replaced on perhaps a 5(+) yearly rotation.

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    mortstar's Avatar
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    It's the panacea to all I.T. ills.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Just don't get carried away... put all your eggs in one basket, and if that basket fails, all your eggs are broken too.

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    john's Avatar
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    True, thats why the setup we are making has a couple of seperate servers that will be DCs etc so we can keep mission critical stuff running if we have a blade system issue, these will be housed in a different rack in a different building as part of the DR Plan

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've got the right idea.

    We virtualised for space and power mostly, but also for ease of provisioning. You need a server? Ok, give it five minutes to copy the image and you can have it. This way we keep roles as separate as possible so for example, a reboot of the deployment server doesn't include a reboot of user data.

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    john's Avatar
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    Maybe worth having a watch of this - YouTube - VMware Infrastructure 3 demo very nice video.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethedmondson View Post
    Virtualisation - I know what it is - but why do I need to do it? Why not just purchase servers?
    Buying a larger server and Windows Server 2008 Enterprise/Datacentre is cheaper than buying four/more cheaper servers and single copies of Windows Server 2008 Standard.

    You can give each server-based application its own server to mess around with, with whatever versions of whatever libraries it wants, and can have all the elbow room it wants.

    You can take snapshot backups of entire server images.

    You can change the amount of disk space allocated to a VM without necessarily having to add hardware.

    You can buy pre-made VMs.

    --
    David Hicks

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    One thing I don't think has been covered so far is the ease of future hardware upgrades.

    Want to migrate to faster hardware? Just copy the virtual server image over, and away you go.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    So I'm looking at what I could virtualise...

    I have a nice twin quad core dell server sitting idle at the moment (alright, it isn't ide - it is running a RIS server).

    I have a web server running as an assessment server.

    I have a machine running as a WSUS server.

    That's it really.

    Could I virtualise the RIS server, the assessment server and the WSUS server on the dual quad core box?

    I assume once you have virtualised your servers you keep backups of the images. Where do you store them? I also assume each image has it's own IP address - but does that cause a bottleneck on the network card on the machine?

    Regards

    GJE

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    We have virtualised practically everything across three physical servers. File servers, application servers, print servers, ghost server, and more besides. So far only our main DC has proved a little difficult to virtualise - needs rebuilding as a VM. The only other 'failure' we've had on the virtualisation front is our MIS. It was installed on a VM but the MS-SQL server doesn't seem to like being a VM so that is about to be moved to a physical server.

    We also have two Terminal Servers which don't lend them selves well to being virtualised.

    Yes each VM has it's own IP. We have two 1Gb NIC's teamed (giving a 2Gb pipe) for the VM's to share. So far I've not noticed any bottle necks here.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    We have virtualised practically everything across three physical servers. File servers, application servers, print servers, ghost server, and more besides. So far only our main DC has proved a little difficult to virtualise - needs rebuilding as a VM. The only other 'failure' we've had on the virtualisation front is our MIS. It was installed on a VM but the MS-SQL server doesn't seem to like being a VM so that is about to be moved to a physical server.

    We also have two Terminal Servers which don't lend them selves well to being virtualised.

    Yes each VM has it's own IP. We have two 1Gb NIC's teamed (giving a 2Gb pipe) for the VM's to share. So far I've not noticed any bottle necks here.
    Yes, I have a print server that could be virtualised.

    What products would you all advise that I look into? I know of VMWare - so is that the best one?

    GJE

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