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Setting Up Remote Data Center

By jfrickson ·
I need to set up a remote data center. There will initially be 5 servers -- one Windows 2003 Server, and 4 Linux, probably SuSE.

My budget will be somewhat limited, so price is a factor. Since it's remote, remote management is a BIG factor. I've heard that HP and Sun have the best remote management, followed by IBM and Dell.

If I were to go HP, I'd probably get a mix of Proliant DL140's and DL360's. For Sun, it would probably be a mix of X2100's and X4100/X4200's. I haven't looked too much at IBM's offerings, but I'm guessing a mix of xSeries 336 and x3550's. I've pretty much ruled out Dell.

I would appreciate recommendations and comments on the (dis)advantages of these or other systems.


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Buy a single powerful HP DL385 Dual Core and install VMWare ESX Server

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Setting Up Remote Data Ce ...

You don't need to buy multiple servers for this scenario because you are only running a handful of machines at most. VMWare ESX server is its own operating system, bases on Linux, which will allow you to create multiple virtual machines running whatever operating system you need. VMWare ESX is granular that you can even restrict the speed of the virtual machine CPUs' down to the single Mhz. I've used it and it's
quite awesome, although it will cost you a bit, but overall much cheaper than buying many servers. One caveat though is that if the single hosting server craps out, you lose all of your virtual machines with it, so it is highly recommended to buy a server with redundant fans, power supplies, NICs', and out of band manegement, like the onboard iLO-2.

I am not a big fan of IBM servers, as I have had my share of issues with them, especially with their blade servers, due to faulty BIOS firmware. I've been working with HP/Compaq servers for over 10 years in my professional career and am quite satisfied with their products. It's your choice, but I would stick with HP Proliant DL series, as they are no larger than 2U in many cases.

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Why Me Worry, question please

by DanLM In reply to Buy a single powerful HP ...

I know you and I have gone our rounds. But, that was over politics. This is a technical question. Chuckle, can I ask?

I had a previous post going about looking for a UNIX flavor for a server where I work. I basically have this picked out by what was presented in the post that I started, and followup reading versus the business requirements. But, now they want to run two Os's on that server(Madriva as the host, with 2003 as the guest).

VMware from everything that I have read will meet those requirements. I'm still going through the administrator guide so I know what I'm talking about when I present this. That, and I'm trying to get a firm understanding of what is involved.

Looking at this post specifically, you suggest VMware ESX. Can I ask why the ESX instead of the free version VMserver? I was looking at VMServer with Madriva as the host. The primary applications that they want to run will be Linix(Java applications and JBOSS), with them wanting the 2003 to be a backup for a Crystal Report server.

When I was reading the specs, I didn't see anything. At least in our case, why ESX won out over the free version.

Second question, how is the support with VMware?

I was looking to present FreeBSD as the OS of choice when I was only researching out one OS, with Madriva being the second option. But after the new requirements, I see that FreeBSD is only supported in the guest mode. And I think the primary server should be what handles the main load(Hope I'm right on this).

Also, our server is probably going to be a Dell(because of current contracts with them), dual or more processor's with I am not sure of the memory they are looking at.

All feedback is appriceated, thanks in advance.


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VMWare ESX is its own O/S whereas GSX runs on top of Windows

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Why Me Worry, question pl ...

and ESX, now referred to as Infrastucture Server, is very granular and will let you customize settings down the the virtual processor speed and virtual disk throughput. VMWare support is excellent, as they are now owned by EMC, which is a very reputable and stable company from my own experiences. ESX will let you host everything you need on one box and nobody will ever know that they are accessing virtual machines. You really don't need to drive yourself nuts by reading that big *** manual, as the best way to learn the product is to dowload a 30 day eval and throw it onto a server. It is very intuitive once you get a feel for how it works and how to create virtual machines.

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