fiatala
Contributor
Contributor

Proposed HA build - looking for feedback

Jump to solution

Hello. I need to test our software's response to a high availability host failover in a vSphere environment. We do not currently own the hardware or licenses needed to test this workflow, so I'm just looking for a big-picture acceptance or rejection of the following build. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Our software:

We have a dual-server configuration (A and B) with each server holding a mirrored copy of a proprietary database stored on a raw partition. These servers run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5/6. Clients and various daemons are balanced across these servers.

If one of the servers dies, the surviving member of the system reconfigures to balance the client load. This works fine in standalone virtual environments, but we need to see what happens if A is on VMHost 1, B is on VMHost 2, one of the hosts dies, and the guest automatically transitions live to the other host.

Proposed build:

  • One license for VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit.
    • The essentials plus kit provides vSphere Storage Appliance. That appliance would be used to mirror a datastore across two hosts.
  • Two Dell PowerEdge T320 towers, each containing:
    • 64GB RAM
    • 1 Processor (6 core Xeon E5-2430)
    • 3 TB RAID6 with PERC H710p RAID controller

Guests:

  • Host 1 hosts our A server and several other standalone ancillary/utility servers.
  • Host 2 hosts our B server and several other standalone ancillary/utility servers.

Goals:

  • Determine how our software reacts in general to a failover scenario, where Host 1 dies and guest A automatically redeploys on Host 2.
  • Determine if our local databases remain mirrored if no disconnect is detected (30-60 seconds of no contact).

Questions:

  • Does a single VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit provide all necessary licenses and allotments for this test?
  • Is the proposed hardware acceptable?
0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
jrmunday
Commander
Commander

Are you asking about hardware spec for production use or testing?

You can also do the HA testing using VMware workstation, and some nested ESXi hosts (all in eval mode). I have this setup at home using VMware workstation 8, 5x virtual ESXi hosts (60 day evaluation licence), and either the vCenter server appliance or a Win2k8 server with vCenter installed (my preference). The whole setup is running on a standard HP media workstation with 16GB RAM and I also use NFS on my NAS for shared storage. Perhaps open filer or something else might work for you?

vExpert 2014 - 2018 | VCP6-DCV | http://www.jonmunday.net | @JonMunday77

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
5 Replies
jrmunday
Commander
Commander

Have you considered building your own test lab using the 60 day evaluation licence (includes all features) provided on all VMware products? This wouldn't require much hardware, and you could test your application workflows to achieve both goals.

vExpert 2014 - 2018 | VCP6-DCV | http://www.jonmunday.net | @JonMunday77
fiatala
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks. I had forgotten about the evaluation period. I will likely take advantage of that and purchase if we decide to support it long-term.

Any thoughts on the hardware? Our non-HA testing has been with VMware Workstation and Microsoft Hyper-V. The few free hardware units we have do not support ESXi due to a now-defunct custom RAID controller. I'd like to get entry-level (inexpensive), mainstream hardware, and those Dells seem like a good fit.

0 Kudos
jrmunday
Commander
Commander

Are you asking about hardware spec for production use or testing?

You can also do the HA testing using VMware workstation, and some nested ESXi hosts (all in eval mode). I have this setup at home using VMware workstation 8, 5x virtual ESXi hosts (60 day evaluation licence), and either the vCenter server appliance or a Win2k8 server with vCenter installed (my preference). The whole setup is running on a standard HP media workstation with 16GB RAM and I also use NFS on my NAS for shared storage. Perhaps open filer or something else might work for you?

vExpert 2014 - 2018 | VCP6-DCV | http://www.jonmunday.net | @JonMunday77

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
fiatala
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks! I wasn't aware of outer/inner guest support in Workstation. I was able to do a quick verification of the ESXi free install under Workstation with VT-x/EPT virtualization active and the RHEL6_64 inner guest install below that.

We'll worry about licensing and purchasing everything after deciding on a support path and running through this evaluation workflow.

0 Kudos
fiatala
Contributor
Contributor

"Are you asking about hardware spec for production use or testing?"

Missed that question. The current phase is just seeing in general how our system responds, so it's a testing proof-of-concept stage. When we decide if/how we support HA we will then purchase the systems necessary to define best practices for customers. It will be low-end production quality (min req) using the specs I listed or something in that ballpark.

0 Kudos