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Wired Networks Thread, Virtualisation meeting - What should i ask? - What's your experience? in Technical; Hi I am just at the beginning of planning the migration of our school network to a virtualised solution. We ...
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    Virtualisation meeting - What should i ask? - What's your experience?

    Hi

    I am just at the beginning of planning the migration of our school network to a virtualised solution. We are a RM CC4 network and RM have arranged a meeting with myself and my technicians about virtualisation.

    My question is are there anythings i should really be finding out from them? Any key questions i should ask?

    Is there anything you discovered when moving from a physical to a virtual network?
    Did you need to upgrade switches / cabling?

    Basically after anyones experiences of moving to a virtual network and what to look out for, what to avoid and what i would need to find out, any unexpected problems that popped up or how you would do things differently in hindsight etc.

    Thanks
    (I know i'm not asking much )

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    One thing you need to find out is if they are using Microsoft's HyperVisor is if they will leave you with a physical DC as you may find that if you need to shut the whole network down (due to power outage?) you won't be able to start it as the HyperVisor relays on a domain to function....

    Or at least that is what I seem to remember reading somewhere

    Oh and what is the estimate time span that they will support your SAN in your having one - There was a time when EMC stop supporting their sans (sold by RM) within a year or 2 of being sold.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Are we talking Virtual Server or Virtual Desktops or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by dobsonl View Post
    One thing you need to find out is if they are using Microsoft's HyperVisor is if they will leave you with a physical DC as you may find that if you need to shut the whole network down (due to power outage?) you won't be able to start it as the HyperVisor relays on a domain to function....

    Or at least that is what I seem to remember reading somewhere

    Oh and what is the estimate time span that they will support your SAN in your having one - There was a time when EMC stop supporting their sans (sold by RM) within a year or 2 of being sold.
    You could login locally to the server.

    I wouldnt recomend Hyper-V anyway. VMware is better in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    You could login locally to the server.
    I didn't think you could do this in a high availability environment?

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    Both.

    We have some money left and i would be looking at virtualising the servers for the obvious benefits of failover, energy consumption and overall speed of recovery if something goes wrong.

    Then also saving money on replacing the desktops (currently done every 3 years) if they were used more as thin clients.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dobsonl View Post
    One thing you need to find out is if they are using Microsoft's HyperVisor is if they will leave you with a physical DC as you may find that if you need to shut the whole network down (due to power outage?) you won't be able to start it as the HyperVisor relays on a domain to function....

    Or at least that is what I seem to remember reading somewhere
    Nope - it'll work just fine without a domain. Even if it's joined to one, you can still login locally. We have a Hyper-V cluster with a (currently) virtual DC supporting it's domain. No problems at all if the DC goes down.

    Having a physical DC somewhere is still recommended though.

    Oh and what is the estimate time span that they will support your SAN in your having one - There was a time when EMC stop supporting their sans (sold by RM) within a year or 2 of being sold.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by dobsonl View Post
    I didn't think you could do this in a high availability environment?
    Yep, you can. There are some issues of course. As well as our DC we also have our SCVMM 2012 RC server virtualised, so bringing it all back up after a power cut did take a bit of poking and prodding. HA VMs don't appear in Hyper-V manager - they can be managed through SCVMM. Since our SCVMM server was HA, the fun had getting it back up was more complex than I'd've liked.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    I'd recommend on using KVM & Xen for virtualization, it's free but has just as much functionality as VMWare and even more so as there is alot of work going into KVM & Xen at the moment, alot of places are moving away from VMware now due to the cost of the licenses.

    KVM & Xen also runs on lower spec hardware if you need it too.

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    Guys this isn't about personal preference or what you would use but what sort of questions should the OP be asking RM to get it clear in their own minds what exactly is being offered.

    Ben

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Indeed, the OP could ask what sort of virtualization solutions RM will offer, they may offer VMWare but if the OP knows abiout Xen & KVM then he could ask about those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjitservices View Post
    I'd recommend on using KVM & Xen for virtualization, it's free but has just as much functionality as VMWare and even more so as there is alot of work going into KVM & Xen at the moment, alot of places are moving away from VMware now due to the cost of the licenses.
    I'm rather kicking myself for buying VMWare (the basic version without the HA) now that I've been playing with KVM - it is that good.
    I'd probably go with KVM over XEN though, as it's built into the kernel so lots less hassle.
    I initially had some speed/disk access issues but learned that using preallocation=metadata ALWAYS and Disk Cache mode = none combined fixed it.
    Also - the spice protocol is something to check out, for desktop virtualisation it can offload processor/graphics work onto the client.

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    We have an RM CC4.3 network - all servers are virtual using VMware.

    We didnt ask to many questions as we researched a lot prior to the meeting.
    Our questions were mainly about licencing - VMware isnt the simplest licence structure IMHO

    But common things, probably surround;
    Number of hosts required to run your X amount of servers
    Core switching - required port numbers
    Do you have a SAN? Do you have enough space on existing shelf for virtualisation or do you need another? is there enough space for expansion etc? If no SAN what are you suggesting to use to store data etc.
    Down time required if any?

    If you are already CC4 - then they should just be able to P2V your network (physical 2 virtual) and not need to redo anything unless your thinking of SANs etc, may turn into a sales push so have wits about you and research after meeting.

    If you want to know a little more post meeting give me a PM and be happy to assist where I can.

    Hope it goes well - virtual was a great decision for us, much more flexible and cost effective and easy to manage

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