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4 Servers into 1?

Discussion in 'Virtual Computing' started by garyb, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Good afternoon,
    Just trying to get my head around a potential set-up. We are moving to a smaller office with no dedicated comms room so I want to propose server virtualisation to my MD.

    Currently I physically have:
    1 x Dell PE2650 server 2003 running AD + Exchange,
    1 x Dell PE2650 server 2000 running BES / Sage Line
    1 x HP 1000s server 2003 appliance edition file server
    1 x Iomega NAS file server

    I want to take these offline and replace with 1 small server in the new office, very small budget but could anyone suggest if a Dell T601 server http://configure2.euro.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=uk&kc=305&oc=sv2t610&sbc=rf_spider&s=bsd&l=en&cs=ukbsdt1&vw=icon&dgc=SS&cid=41148&lid=1069637&acd=23975883724507178 would allow me to run the above servers, roughly how much RAM would be needed, this ships with no OS so can anyone advise on best solution for that too?

    Am I even approaching this correct, trying to run Active Directory on a VM, as you may see I have no really experience with VMs and cant really afford to get this wrong If we go that route?

    I currently use Acronis Echo Server to fully backup these servers for bare metal restore to different hardware, I guess that's the way I would migrate if possible, presumably I could continue to use that in virtual environment on each individual server image?

    Any advise appreciated..

    Kind regards
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  2. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    How big is your exchange server? our current environment has a physcal node for exchange because at a certain point exchange can get pretty heavy, we also have a backup exchange in a virtual macnine running on ESX...

    Running AD in a VM should not be a problem, we have both of our AD servers virtualized.

    I also don't think it's a good practice to run all of these servers on one physical server without having some kind of redundancy. Think of it this way, if that server has issues, like memory, cpu, motherboard, etc... your whole production environment will be down... we have multiple ESX servers clustered to prevent such disaster so think about it, just be safe or else if things come down, you're going to be responsible.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  3. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Many thanks for your answer, replies below..

    Kind regards again

    Gary
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  4. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    Hello Gary,

    I am an IT Consultant, one man operation

    I am doing exactely what you would like to do

    I have a Dell T601 running vMware Esxi 4.0
    I am running 2008 Server with Exchange 2007 on one server
    a second 2008 Server file server
    a 2003 Blackberry Server
    and a second 2003 server for a database.

    The Server has 8 CPU's, 32Gigs of Ram, and 2 TB's of HD space and 8 NICs all teamed for each server OS

    It works well, but, again, I am one man operation, this is not best practice for a company with serious productivity needs

    Theprof is correct, the size of the Exchange server, and what the Apps are will make a big difference in your desicions, most importantly though is redundancy and backup needs.

    I have a seperate NAS for backing up my Servers.

    and
    I have a second seperate server that I use for a remote Backup Service I provide for my clients.
     
    Certifications: MCSE/NT4, MCP/2K3, MCP+I, CCNA, Net+, A+
  5. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Thanks for your advice tomshawk, replies below.

    What software do you use for VM, I am looking for a solution that will not require a host OS to keep costs to a minimum?

    Thanks again

    Gary
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  6. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Hes using vMware Esxi 4.0 which is a free product

    Microsoft do an alternative called Hyper V which is free

    Citrix also do one called xen server which is free

    And theres probably loads more free ones out there.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  7. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    WIP: Nada
  8. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Say what?
    your dedicating two nics to each individual server?
    what the bugger for?



    and Gary, get exchange off your AD server! :)
    other than that, your disk subsystem is going to be the most crucial here, get more smaller disks rather than few larger ones, you will benefit from the increased IOPS
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
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  9. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    All of the hypervisors come in 'free' flavors
    but most of these eschew most of the important reliability features, the more eggs you put on the server, the more reliability features you start to desire
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  10. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    A single virtual machine with a dual vCPU (Nahelim(sp?)) and appropriate memory running Exchange 2010 on ESX 4.0 can handle over 3000 users without issue, it's 'thebombdotcom'

    there is VERY little overhead associated with virtualizing even 'tier 1' apps on vmware these days
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  11. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Aint that the truth, I seem to be the only one in my company getting fidgetty when it comes to the mssing features however....


    Being happy with the idea that the failure of 1 physical host will remove all access to company systems for some users (those on TS, about 50% of our user base at present, likely to increase soon) and access to a critical business app for everyone else points to an unhinged state of mind.....
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  12. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Your not using HA?
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
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  13. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I see, that's something I will look into, thanks for the heads up.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  14. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Nope, ESXi all on its own, but thats my lot all over. Go into a project with the intention of doing it properly and then when you see the bill decide to go for a half arsed approach.

    We have a second host coming online in the next couple of weeks but they're won't be any proper failover between the two....
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  15. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    The question is, why not?

    Until I decide to set up another Server on this box why not use it for all it's worth. ;)

    It's really fast, Screams actually ;)
     
    Certifications: MCSE/NT4, MCP/2K3, MCP+I, CCNA, Net+, A+
  16. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    then why not just have 8 nics bound to the vSwitch and the Server portgroup (personally with that many NICs i would have two for the management int on one vswitch and 6 for the servers on a seperate vswitch)
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
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  17. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Hah I wish I could Phoenix, perhaps If I ever get this project on the go I could separate them.

    When you say smaller disks I take it you mean on the host machine, rather that 2 x 500GB, go for 2 x 250GB?

    Cheers & thanks for your guidance.
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  18. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Hi, with a bit of research behind me can I clarify the following with you?

    1 - Dell are telling me to go HyperV with Standard 2008, besides only allowing 4 VMs, are there any other restrictions that you know of with this? Could I for example use OEM Server licenses on the VMs during development? This obviously becomes the most expensive option as they are knocking out the host OS at £550.

    2 - I am also led to believe that with ESXi I cannot use USB hard disks for off-site backup, that would be a real pain for me. If HyperV is the only solution to allow me backup to USB drives I guess my choice becomes limited?

    3 - Are there any suggestions for free / budget conscious backup software out there that would allow backups of VMs and single VM restore's?


    Kind regards again.

    Gary
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003
  19. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    1. Windows Server 2008 Standard gives you 1 + 1 license (1 physical + 1 virtual). It's the Enterprise that gives 1 + 4 (4 virtual).

    2. You cannot use USB pass-through (To access USB from within a virtual machine) on Hyper-V or ESX. Apparently it's a feature in latest XenServer but I'm not 100% sure (I haven't tested it)

    3. Run Windows Server backup (free) to back the VHDs and you should be fine

    Hope that helps
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  20. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

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    Thanks for your advice.
     
    WIP: MCSA 2003

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