@DAckroyd STOP IT! I'm gonna make a mess in my... Too late
also by them the new samsung chips should be on the market (4GB per memory chip) prodicted 32GB per stick of RAM
Also possibly solid state storage (or at least in your hosts)
@DAckroyd STOP IT! I'm gonna make a mess in my... Too late
1 x Print server - this is currently running on an old RM second forest root
1 x RIS Server - not sure how these fit into a virtual scenario
1 x Application Server - this houses our Successmaker Enterprise files and our Sibelius licence (and WSUS)
1 x Exam server- running the WJEC Secure Assess software
The main reason for doing this is increasing our green credentials and reducing the backup procedures.
Out of interest - what are the benefits of going to virtual servers? How have people done it? I see myself creating each server, backing up them up to an off site location (DVD at home probably LOL Or NAS) and then running them. EVery big change means a new backup of the container file.
Never done this before.
if that is the spec of the machine you want as your host them look at upping the number of NIC's (I have 10 per host (2 on board, 2 cards of 4xgigabit). Alternativly you could look at 10Gbe cards to add in if you have the central switch to go with that.
Not sure where you plan to store the data either? 1TB if you are running Hyper-V and only on one server should be ok, might even beable to sync that to a second server if you have a second for the job but you'll want to look at a SAN at some point
Our reason for going virtual was because of the cost involved in upgrading our current servers (it worked out to cost about the same as 3 or 4 new desent spec servers). it also means I have a test enviroment for setting up our new domain (currently got about 10 new servers - wouldn't have that many with physical machins due to cost. we also have some xp and a windows 7 machine running on it. we should also see a bit of a drop in energy bills for both cooling and electricity
The main question now I guess is Hyper-V or VMWare?
I'm thinking of trying to get the print server, basic app server onto one of our quicker boxes (currently runs on some 1U Opteron boxes with 1GB RAM and SATA HDs). Was thinking Hyper-V with local storage but to go for it properly would need some beefier kit.
Will be an interesting plan for next few years though as these servers we have now are 3yrs old (time flies ) and with Evesham junking the warranties the replacement might come sooner rather than later
Last edited by Theblacksheep; 3rd February 2009 at 02:57 PM.
The user data is stored on a server provided by our LEA - I would not want to virtualise that as it is outside of our control. We look after it but are not allowed to break it.
The servers I am going to virtualise are going to be spare so I guess I could double up the servers and run two physical servers to one store a few virtual servers - until we get to purchase or add bits to our main server.
Thanks for the advice - looking forward to getting my teeth stuck in.
Hyper-V is microsofts version of ESX(i) or Xen. A bare metal hypervisor. It requires a 64bit processor with Intel-VT and XD-bit support or AMD-V and ND-bit support. It is shipped as part of Windows 2008 Server (Hyper-V v1) or Windows 2008 Server R2 (Hyper-V v2).
I believe there is a bare bones free download version as well. provides just enough of Win2k8 to install Hyper-V and setup VM's via command prompt.
Windows 2008 Server include fail-over clustering which in turn gives High Availability support to the VM's. v2 includes microsofts version of 'vMotion', tranfering VM's between hosts without powerdown.
Because of this, basically free within Win2k8r2, it is a very compelling solution when compared to how much you'd payout on the VMWare licenses to do the same job. Thus why I'm seriously looking at MS VM's here.
Hi Gareth. Glad to see you too are interested in Virtualisation.
I've been using VMWare ESXi 3.5 (the free version) to some testing with regards to Virtualisation and P2V. On the whole I am very impressed with the way VMWare and Converter works - I have tried converting XP Workstations, CC3 Workstations, CC3 Terminal Servers and Vanilla Windows servers and all have worked correctly.
In the short term, over the next year or two depending on funding, we are looking to virtualise 5 or 6 of our physical servers (not our CC3 domain controllers). Unless I get a big budget hike, I am going to be using the free version VMWare ESXi 3.5 coupled with a SAN of some kind. Now I had planned the SAN to be an off the shelf iSCSI box such as Adaptec Snap Server or a HP 2000i. But having just discovered "Openfiler" I am going to install that on a test workstation to try it out.
I think the SAN is really important as one of the biggest benefits of virtualisation is divorcing the software from the hardware, and if you use local storage in your physical hosts, you are not divorcing the Virtual Machines from your physical host's hardware. If your RAID array fails, or the server fails, you are stuck with not being able to access that storage or those virtual images until that physical host is repaired.
With a SAN however, if a physical host is lost, you can simply connect another physical host up to the SAN and get your VM's back up and running quickly. If course, this puts lots of reliance on the SAN - but your SAN should be specified with hot spare drives, redundant PSU's etc, and also it should be a big iron server from a big name manufacturer, with the required same day/next day support. You should also make sure all SAN data is mirrored onto another SAN, or NAS, just incase!
I am planning to use three of our existing servers as virtual hosts, plugged into the SAN, and then convert our servers onto the virtual hosts.
Hope this helps!
also andrew, are you planning on connecting your RM CC3 server things to the SAN? as if you have the datastore already set on there that may make it easier when you come to move the servers over?
Does anyone have any thoughts on Citrix XenServer? I have got the 30 day trial version but havent really had a good chance to play with it yet.
I am in the middle of moving as much as possible over to Virtualised infrastructure. at the moment i have a single Hyper-V (Core Enterprise) server 10GB and 2 quad core xeons 1U intel with mirrored Disks. It runs just Dandy at the moment, though i wouldn't like to put much more on it.
1 MO Sharepoint 2007 Server (Front End not DB)
1 EPortal (CMIS Web Front End)
1 Moodle Server <- on win2k3 lightly used experimental.. not happy that the DB is on the VHD but don't know enough about linux or moodle to set it up properly..
1 Heritage 2K8 Library System server.
Old kelidos V2 server (again under used another story) and MSDE on VHD
it also ran QCA onscreen testing and runs Edexcel server when required.
I am going to get another next year and do the 2k8r2 load balancing thingymebob
My Question is on SAN this is where i would like to know what people do... do you attach the SAN to the Hyper-V/Virtual host and dump the VHDs on it or do you in the Virtual Servers add an iSCSI host and offer the SAN space direct to the Virtual host data D: Drive as it were... <- im thinking this might be better for Light DB stuff .. or you could start to visualize file servers maybe?
I will have a look at Openfiler as i was looking at Linux for SAN as i want to do it myself and Win doesn't do it out the Box :-( again Core would have been ideal!
This means that all Hyper-V servers can see all VHD's. This is what allows the High Availability and Live Migration features of Hyper-V to function.
To set this up correctly you will need Win2k8-R2 which finally allows file level locking rather than partition level locking and thus multiple Hyper-V servers can access the same LUN. Win2k8-R1 locks the LUN to the first Hyper-V server to attach to it and so Live Migration is not currently available. High Availability works because when the initial Hyper-V server fails the LUN is released for another Hyper-V server to pick up.
k-strider (5th February 2009)
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