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cmosentine
13-Nov-2014, 14:19
Hi all: We have five OES/SLES servers in our main office. My boss was willing to buy extra hardware and dedicating each server to specific tasks to avoid single points of failure bring ALL activity to a stop. These servers, HP DL385 G1s - circa 2006, need replacing, and given the small footprint OES/SLES needs, I want to consolidate, that is if my boss is OK with it.



I see two options for consolidation.



1. Consolidate services of the five servers into three servers, two servers for all needed services and one dedicated for data backup; or

2. Two servers running VMWare ESXi 5.5 (free version) and one for data backup.



Either way I am looking at three servers. Both options do increase the amount in functionality we would loose in the event of a hardware failure. Using VMWare has the advantage of giving us snapshot ability to recover from a bad update, etc.. There is always the option on combining both options - having individual servers but running VMWare on each to get the benefits of snapshots, etc..



Lastly, if I were to go with the VMWare solution, how MUCH SERVER do I really need. Our OES11 SP2 servers are still running very well on 8 year old servers. Thanks, Chris.

Stevo
13-Nov-2014, 18:44
I would recommend going the VM route. We have been doing this for
several years and it has been quite beneficial.

Not only do you have snapshot ability, but many backup solutions let
you back up your VMs, giving the ability to do full VM restore or even
file level restore from the VM backup.

We have a few sites that have only one esx host, all running several VM
servers on them.

Some of our single host sites have only 2 xeon cpus, 64GB of RAM and
around 6 or 7 TB of storage (much of which is not in use) running
usually 3 VMs (1 oes11sp2, 1 server 2012, 1 server 2003 for backups).

These sites also have VM to tape backup (but VMware does not support
it) by putting the scsi card into passthrough mode assigning to the
backup VM.

The large storage on these VMs was to assist with running vdi at these
sites, but we've discovered it doesn't work so well without some
storage device that gives higher iops. Also, if you're looking the vdi
route, look into servers that have the ability to add a gpu card.


--
Stevo

reverendjb
13-Nov-2014, 18:56
When you make the decision to go with vmware, don't go with the free
version. At the very minimum, buy the Essentials license. It is only
like $500(license is for three hosts), and gives you access to the
storage api and vCenter.


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cmosentine
13-Nov-2014, 19:10
Thanks, that sounds like good advice.

cmosentine
13-Nov-2014, 19:13
Steve: I have been reading some "best practices" articles and VMWare dos not recommend using internal local storage due to there being a single point of failure which I presume that being the storage controller. However, I just can't afford the higher end solutions they are recommending, like FC. I could do iSCSI but I worry about speed over 1 Gb connections. Can't afford 10Gb ethernet.



Are you using local storage?

Stevo
13-Nov-2014, 20:15
cmosentine sounds like they 'said':

> Are you using local storage?

So my response to cmosentine's comment is...

Where we are doing vdi at this remote site, we are using a NAS, and
doing the connection via nfs.

We went with qnap devices, and have a couple arrays in them, one of
which contains ssds, more for caching in the vdi envir.

--
Stevo

Joseph Marton
13-Nov-2014, 20:41
cmosentine wrote:

>
> Steve: I have been reading some "best practices" articles and VMWare
> dos not recommend using internal local storage due to there being a
> single point of failure which I presume that being the storage
> controller. However, I just can't afford the higher end solutions
> they are recommending, like FC. I could do iSCSI but I worry about
> speed over 1 Gb connections. Can't afford 10Gb ethernet.

In a previous life when I managed an environment, we had to cut some
costs when we implemented VMware. We bought three new servers to act
as ESX hosts, but we didn't have enough budget to also buy a true SAN.
So instead we bought a box from these guys:

http://www.nixsys.com/

Loaded it with disks, installed SLES on it and made it an iSCSI target.
A year later we bought a FC SAN and moved this box to our DR site to
act as the storage for its new VMware environment.

Today you have more choices. If you license vSphere instead of using
the free version of ESXi, you have Essentials and Essentials Plus. The
Plus version includes vMotion and other stuff. Plus if you can't
afford a true SAN, VMware has a Virtual SAN which you can license with
Essentials Plus.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/compare
http://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san
http://blogs.vmware.com/tribalknowledge/2014/03/management-blog-post-draft.html

I don't fully understand the Virtual SAN but I believe it replicates
data among all the hosts in the cluster so that you still have shared
storage for vMotion and everything using direct attached storage.

--
Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

Massimo Rosen
14-Nov-2014, 08:56
Joe,

Am 13.11.2014 20:41, schrieb Joseph Marton:
> Today you have more choices. If you license vSphere instead of using
> the free version of ESXi, you have Essentials and Essentials Plus. The
> Plus version includes vMotion and other stuff. Plus if you can't
> afford a true SAN, VMware has a Virtual SAN which you can license with
> Essentials Plus.

But Virtual San really needs a dedicated 10GB Link (in Theory, 1GB is
supported but strongly recommended against by VMWare. And he said he
can't afford the 10GB Route...

CU,
--
Massimo Rosen
Novell Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de

Joseph Marton
14-Nov-2014, 12:20
Massimo Rosen wrote:

> But Virtual San really needs a dedicated 10GB Link (in Theory, 1GB is
> supported but strongly recommended against by VMWare. And he said he
> can't afford the 10GB Route...

Ah, I didn't realize that, good to know. In that case a cheap
home-built iSCSI SAN using 1Gb links may be the way to go then.

--
Does this washcloth smell like chloroform?

lhaig
14-Nov-2014, 15:10
On 14/11/2014 13:20, Joseph Marton wrote:
> Massimo Rosen wrote:
>
>> But Virtual San really needs a dedicated 10GB Link (in Theory, 1GB is
>> supported but strongly recommended against by VMWare. And he said he
>> can't afford the 10GB Route...
>
> Ah, I didn't realize that, good to know. In that case a cheap
> home-built iSCSI SAN using 1Gb links may be the way to go then.
>


You can use NFS and ISCSI with VMware with good results.

VMware is my day job and I would strongly recommend the essentials license.

I would also suggest using something like a QNAP to provide both NFS and
ISCSI access, I use one on my home playground and ESXi 5.5 and it works
a treat. I run about 30 servers on mine including + -10VDI windows xp/7
desktops (depending on how many I deploy for testing.

I have a mixture of ssd and sata disks in mine to provide different IO
speed as needs be and then vmotion between them as needed.

There are a number of OSS Virtual solutions available and SUSE has one
as well. You might have a license depending on your current Suse agreement.

Hope this helps

Regards

Lance

Stevo
14-Nov-2014, 15:43
Joseph Marton sounds like they 'said':

> Ah, I didn't realize that, good to know. In that case a cheap
> home-built iSCSI SAN using 1Gb links may be the way to go then.

So my response to Joseph's comment is...

We've found nfs is faster than iscsi anymore, at least it is for us.

--
Stevo

dbgallo
14-Nov-2014, 18:35
OR use XEN? instead of VMWare? You have SLES thru your entitlement most
likely, and XEN is a component of that


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Anders Gustafsson
14-Nov-2014, 22:58
Dbgallo,
> OR use XEN? instead of VMWare?

It really depends on what you want to use. If all your VMs are "nice"
(Linux), then XEN. If any of them are Windows, then VMWare

--
Anders Gustafsson (NKP)
The Aaland Islands (N60 E20)

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