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Virtualization Questions

By otaku_lord ·
Hey Everyone,

I have just inherited a Network Admin position for a small, but growing, company.

The MIS Manager wants to implement virtualization for the company but I am somewhat confused about the exact need for it.

We are currently running (5) Dell 1650/1750 1U servers and an HP Proliant ML530 Array. He just ordered an additional (4) Dell 1650s.

I am looking into some solutions for him but want to be sure that I am giving him the correct information and best solutions.

Thanks in advance!

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by stevenvantil In reply to Virtualization Questions

If you are looking to do virtualization of servers it is normally used to consolidate and use more of a servers processing power. VMware is what we use and you can download and try ESX/ESXi for free.


Steve VanTil
System Admin

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by otaku_lord In reply to Virtualization

So does it perform similarly to clustering in that you can take several machines and "pool" their resources to dole out as needed for your virtual servers?

As I said earlier, I get the basics but I haven't been able to test it here (no spare machines) and the whitepapers online only scream their praises without giving real specifications or usage.

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by stevenvantil In reply to Virtualization

Yes, it does do this. It has a technology they call vMotion which moves VMs live with no downtime. It has HA and FT features and you may want to check out Distributed Resource Scheduler. vMotion is the main product and you can find more info here:

Steve VanTil
System Admin

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by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Virtualization Questions

2 good specified servers (2 decent processors min 64Gb RAM)and a large iSCSI array (if your current one no good)

Get some Vmware ESX or VSphere software and the live migration tool.

Migrate your machines.

For a better solution try to separate your data from your virtual machine images, Makes then easier to manage.

When finished retire your 5 x dell servers or use them for some DR / testing / backup solutions.

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Suggest you test

by CG IT In reply to Virtualization Questions

before you actually deploy.

While server hardware might be under utilized, you just don't know what performance impact running a VM along side a non VM server on the same box will have.

The why the need for VM is that with the additional 4 new servers, you've got 10 boxes. With VM you might get that down to zero new boxes if you deploy 1 VM server on each existing box. But again, that depends on how much utilization there is on the existing server and whether adding a VM will over tax the resources or simply humm along merrily.

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Problem with zero boxes is

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Suggest you test

you don't have a box to start creating real VM's on without removing the existing services.

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Seems like

by dwdino In reply to Virtualization Questions

the cart is before the horse.

Virtualization looks to extract utilization that is normally wasted in the old model of one workload per physical server.

Before virtualization is performed there are many items that must be analyzed. For instance, how consumed are my current servers, what level of redundancy/resiliancy do I need, what are my future growth plans, etc.

Virtualization can provide significant savings but requires a certain scale. From the sounds of your environment, I would recommend 2 Dell R710s and an MD3000i. This might suffice for your hardware needs.

Really be carefull with those old 1650s. That is dated hardware...

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Sounds like my

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to Seems like

2 good specified servers (2 decent processors min 64Gb RAM)and a large iSCSI array (if your current one no good) I described above.

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Yes, but...

by dwdino In reply to Sounds like my

...this deployment is far from hardware aquisition. I am really hoping more homework is done.

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One of the issues...

by otaku_lord In reply to Yes, but...

is that I don't have a budget to really buy any more equipment. I am stuck with what I have. The four "new" servers are used and were picked up from a liquidation site. Two of them are going to be used as proxy servers.

Server #1 - Domain Controller
PE1650/512MB Ram/P3 1.13GHz
Server #2 - DB/File Share
HP ProLiant ML530/2GB Ram/Xeon 2.8GHz
Server #3 - File Share
PE2850/1GB Ram/Xeon 2.8GHz
Server #4 - Exchange
PE1750/1.5GB Ram/Xeon 2.8GHz
Server #5 - Intra/Internet Sites
PE1650/512MB Ram/P3 1.26GHz
Server #6 - File Share/Antivirus host
PE1650/1.5GB Ram/P3 1.39GHz
Server #7 - DHCP
PE1750/1GB Ram/Xeon 2.4GHz

Supposedly one of these is an SUS server as well but I have not been able to determine which one. The MIS Manager wants to start the process within a month. I told him I needed test machines to play around with but again, it is not really in the budget.

Does that cloud the picture any more?

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