LandscapeMode
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VMWare Infrastructure set up

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Hi all,

I need to project a design & implementation vmware document to persuade my manager that we have to virtualize our server room in order to gain space, save money and consolidate our infrastructure.

So far i had two VMWare sales representatives person that came to show us the power of the product. Unfortunately the demo of the last representative went wrong, the guy came through a lot of errors, anyway...

Here is a glimpse of our situation: We would like the virtualize the core of our system for a company composed of 150 users. We use a clustered exchange server[/u] on two proliant DL380G4 that are four years old and start to show signs of failures (cluster service not working properly anymore), the cluster is attached to a SAN.

Plus we have around ten to fifteen Proliant servers that are application servers[/u] (Active directory servers, file server, terminal services server, blackberry server, WSUS, front-end server for Exchange...). Till now, the credo was one server per application.

We are going soon to upgrade to Exchange 2007 so we will need to purchase 64 bits servers.

I see those two servers as the starting point for designing a setup. My idea is to start with a duo of Proliant Quad core servers attached to a new SAN, then convert (to virtual) our earlier servers then use the boxes as additional VMWare servers (using one or two more Proliants). We then would use the old san as a backup unit attached to a consolidated backup VMware server (backup proxy server).

I haven't study a lot VMWare, i cant get trained before my manager approves the design guide i am trying to make. Therefore if any guidelines, design and implementation articles have been made and just say it all, just let me know, thanks ;).

Of course, i have a lot of questions and would really appreciate if some experienced users here could tell me if it is really a good idea to start virtualizing an Exchange 2007 infrastructure (for about 150 mailboxes), if my design idea above is right and if we can after a four days training (VMware Infrastructure 3: Install and Configure) do the job ourselves...

Any exemples, customers feedback,... anything that could add weight to my document would be welcome too.

I hope i am not taking the wrong direction asking you first, i could google for hours but i would prefer talk first with experienced folks that live their network admin lives happily with that product.

All the best.

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acr
Champion
Champion

If youd like to see how your current setup would virtualize, VMware have a product called Capacity Planner, this will product a report based upon scenarios of how your Physical Servers could be virtualized..

It is a cost option but is often worth it, at least you get documentation to provide to the bean counters..!!

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acr
Champion
Champion

If youd like to see how your current setup would virtualize, VMware have a product called Capacity Planner, this will product a report based upon scenarios of how your Physical Servers could be virtualized..

It is a cost option but is often worth it, at least you get documentation to provide to the bean counters..!!

View solution in original post

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vmmeup
Expert
Expert

Well if I were you I would make a list of all your servers and try and get some sort of mem and cpu usage stats. The I would total up your mem and cpu and add 25% for overhead etc....... Then I would use that as a benchmark for the size of the servers you will need. Just to give you an idea I currently have 12 vmware ESX servers running 123 Virtual Servers and I have enough room to loose two of them and still have enough resources to run. Now this won't be the case for everyone, but it shows you the potential. I running them all on HP DL380 G4's by the way, they each have 12Gb of ram and 2 3.6Ghz CPU.

When you do a return on inestment don't foget to include:

Cooling

Power

Server Hardware

Support for Server Hardware

Physical Switch Ports

SAN Switch Ports

Rack Space

etc....

Sid Smith ----- VCP, VTSP, CCNA, CCA(Xen Server), MCTS Hyper-V & SCVMM08 [http://www.dailyhypervisor.com] - Don't forget to award points for correct and helpful answers. 😉
LandscapeMode
Contributor
Contributor

What about 64 bits support for vmware? Can i run exchange 2007 on virtual machines? Can 32 bits virtual servers can be hosted on 64 bits hosts, can i mix 64 bits and 32 bits ESX servers in the pool?

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aleph0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Sure.

VI 3.0.1 support 32 and 64 bit mixed in the same host. You can Run Exchange 2007 on Virtual machine. You can also install w2003 R2 without problem.

And give a look here:

http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=75400

hth

cheers

mf

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LandscapeMode
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Contributor

Is that true that to manage automatic failover physical machines need to be the same?

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aleph0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

False,

you need to have compatible (same sets of instructions) processors. The Servers model could be etherogeneous.

mf

\aleph0 ____________________________ http://virtualaleph.blogspot.com/ ############### If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!
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LandscapeMode
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Contributor

Ok...:)

Now i am wondering if you could give me an advise. Regarding our setup (exchange for 150 users, a file server, and some low ressources applications...), all this could fit on iSCSI Equallogic PS100E.

What is the average quote for a complete iSCSI PS100E (with cards, disks,...)?

Message was edited by:

LandscapeMode

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aleph0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I'm sorry but I've never implemented anything with iScsi, I use just SAN.

I would suggest you to use SAN (MSA1000 or MSA1500 or Clarion 3XX, maybe Dell rebranded). Could be a cheap solution with High throughtput

hth

mf

\aleph0 ____________________________ http://virtualaleph.blogspot.com/ ############### If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!
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LandscapeMode
Contributor
Contributor

Do you have reasons why not use iSCSI and to only use SAN? are SAN preferable? For a relatively small setup wouldn't iSCSI be more cost-effective?

Would the HP StorageWorks MSA1000 SAN Starter G2 Kit be a ready-to-rock solution?

Message was edited by:

LandscapeMode

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aleph0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I've seen that SANs are preferred from my cutomers (big financial, big telco and medium manifacturing). I've a customer with Clarion CX 300 that run about 30 VMs in 2 ESX box (DL582 2proc/2core 8 GByte Ram). Idon't remember if MSA1000 G2 starter is in HCL but this could be easy to check.

In my experience MSA1000 is easy to set up and solid with very good performances. the two hosts have about 65 % CPU consumption and among the VMs they have also 1 backend Exchange 2003, 1 OWA server, 1 SMS with SQL, another SQL and a File server. All this for about 350 users.

cheers

mf

\aleph0 ____________________________ http://virtualaleph.blogspot.com/ ############### If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!
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adolopo
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If you're going to implement a VMware solution, I don't believe cost of HW should be a driving point. A consideration? Sure. I mean, if your work runs it's daily operations off of iSCSI, then yes, stick with it as your virtualization solution.

My work houses both iSCSI and SAN. Basically, in the question of "SAN vs. iSCSI", I'm agnostic. But I do harbor a bias for SAN, only because my personal (performance) tests concluded, for my situation, SAN is a better fit.

In the end, if cost is that big of a deal, you could conceivably run shared storage off NFS mounts from a *nix box. That'd work. Not well, but it'd work.

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aleph0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

absolutely agree!

cheers

mf

\aleph0 ____________________________ http://virtualaleph.blogspot.com/ ############### If you found this information useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful". Thanks!!!
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doubleH
Expert
Expert

EqualLogic boxes are great. Usually the deciding factor is if you already have FC or iSCSI in place already and what your storage team is already familiar with.

iSCSI is quick and depending on the vendor can be very easy to get up and running and to maintain. FC requires a bit more work, as I said if you have a storage team that already uses FC it's not a big deal.

hth

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LandscapeMode
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Contributor

Speaking of Equallogic, we have a sale folk coming in house to make us a demo of a 30000$ dollar product.

Though i have read here some posts about the possibility to save big money with iSCSI. Surely money shouldn't be the decisional factor when you look at the overall decisions that have to be made. But my point is that our company, which by the way doesn't have any storage team, but works with two IT tech including myself, is relatively a small company (150 users), besides i understand that the way things are setup within VMWInfrastructure that the SAN storage (or iSCSI or NAS) represent a single point of failure. Correct me if i am wrong, but then searching for the lower cost solution could permit to add redundant hardware and maybe be able to create a second point of failure if possible.

Isn't it a bit scary to rely entirely on the health and integrity of only a SAN storage system if we decide to virtualize most of our current servers?

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doubleH
Expert
Expert

it depends on your SAN. if you get a PS100 it IS fully redundant. if you get a PS70 it only has 1 controller and therefore NOT redundant.

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