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VMware Vcenter 5 how to

Discussion in 'VMware Certifications' started by tomshawk, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    Hey everyone,

    I've installed vmware and vmware ESXi many times and I love the product but I've been asked to do something I have not done before so I need a little assistance.

    I have a customer that called Dell and they recommended vmware vcenter to do what they want to do and I have not played with this particular product before.

    So my question is simple I think.

    what they want to do is

    have two servers, Dell T410's with 16Gig of ram and a TB of space in each

    Over kill but i'm cool with that.

    a Netgear readynas to hold VM's with 4 TB of space

    Have one server up and running for normal operations.
    If that server dies, have the second server be able to power up, start the VM's and be back up and running in minutes, not days.

    Dell sold them vmWare vcenter server with vmware ESXi 5.0 plus essentials.

    I've already installed the ESXi on both servers, that went fine as usual. no hosts yet

    I'm wondering on the vcenter, should I use the appliance download or install it on a third machine.
    I'm thinking a third machine, seems obvious to me but want opinions as this flavor is new to me and after buying the servers, vmware licensing and new versions of windows 1 copy of SBS2011 with second OS being Windows 2008 with SQL server 2008, they are trying to save a few bucks.

    If you need more info, please ask away.

    Basically i'm looking for a simple how to and opinions on best practices that is not so long winded as vmware's website.

    Thanks in advance on any help you can provide
     
    Certifications: MCSE/NT4, MCP/2K3, MCP+I, CCNA, Net+, A+
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I would suggest removing the internal storage, it's a waste of space. Use a couple of USB sticks to host the ESXi OS.

    Install the VC as a VM (either the appliance or a full Windows installation) and have it hosted on one of the ESXi hosts.

    Once installed you will need to be running VMware HA to be able to automatically restart halted VM's on the other host, I would ensure that you create a startup order so that your important guests like your DC whould be first followed by VC, then any other important VM guests rather than allowing them to boot up in no particular order.

    For HA to function correctly you're going to have to have both ESXi hosts running full time tho.
     
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  3. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I always design the ESXi installation on RAID 1 disks, using a USB stick or flash drive worries me as it is a single point of failure.

    You need to make suer you have redundant paths to your LAN infrastructure from the ESXi hosts so if NIC A dies, then NIC B will be used.

    The NAS is probably the most important part, does it have redundancy in place? PSU, Separate Disk Controllers, Separate NIC's etc etc

    The vCentre server, I would build it on a Windows box as you and perhaps your support will find this more familiar.

    Have you got switches available for your vMotion traffic for HA or are you planning to run this across the LAN?
     
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  4. Cunningfox

    Cunningfox Byte Poster

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    I had that very discussion with a Dell specialist a couple of months ago, we both agreed that for redundancy and value a pair of small RAID 1 disks were the best solution.
     
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  5. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    What do you think would happen if the USB device failed?

    and +1 to Simon apart from this bit :p

    and I'm sure He knows why :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
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  6. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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  7. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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  8. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    I plan on using the internal drives as backups for snapshots as I have plenty of space. ;)
    They are not Raid 1, they are 4x 400GB in a Raid 5

    So everyone's opinion seems to be the same, as no-one countered, it doesn't matter whether I use the Appliance of a third machine for vcenter. That's good to know.

    Craigie: the readynas is a 1TB mirrored, sorry, I goofed on the original post. It has 2 Nics and yes, I do have APC UPS's waiting for me at the clients.
     
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  9. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes yes, the option to do this once is removed once the host is in a HA cluster. Blond moment (put it down to the fact that I spent last night in A&E and may well be going back there tonight as I am still suffering.
     
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  10. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Sorry to hear Simon, I noticed you had been a bit quiet on twitter, hope everything is OK and get well soon buddy.
     
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  11. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    I notice that you said about having a third machine for vcenter. You might as well have it as a vm to take advantage of all the redundancy you've built into the infrastructure. Personally I wouldn't use the appliance just yet, it seems pretty stable but it is a new product and based on linux which in small environments may case general panic to anyone with an aversion to a blinking cursor.

    Also using the internal storage on the hosts for anything other than iso storage could seriously menace things like HA vMotion etc.

    Hope you get better soon SimonD theres another free lunch going at the end of january.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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  12. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I work on the KISS principle, I know you can auto deploy the image to the ESXi host with vSphere 5, the question is why would I want to?

    More moving parts, equals more items to go wrong, a more complex infrastructure, more documentation and more items that support have to deal with.

    If a client is investing in a VMware infrastructure then they are going to have some £'s to spend otherwise they would be looking at something like XenServer.

    Why not use RAID 1, and then use the spare capacity to store ISO images or templates.

    When designing a VMware infrastructure I will always make sure every part is fully redundant as I don't want to be the bloke who gets the support call at 4AM on Christmas Day because a client tried to save a couple of quid.
     
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  13. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Goes against your KISS principal, more parts, more power, more cooling, more cost and as for using it as storage, why would it be better to store it on the host? Surely you would like to encourage having ISOs and templates on shared storage
     
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  14. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    Excellent idea, and I can use one of their old Server OS's as they are being replaced with this new Server.

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: MCSE/NT4, MCP/2K3, MCP+I, CCNA, Net+, A+
  15. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    Well, it appears I need a little more help.

    I can create a VM hosting the VM on the servers harddrive itself and it works fine.

    I delete that VM, attached the NAS which was fun figuring out where the IQN number in ESXi as I have never had to use it before and kept getting login errors without it. Anyway
    I got that setup and created my datastore, no problem.

    When I try to create a VM I keep getting "Path to datastore has been lost" , once I hit OK, and go browse the datastore, I see the folder there, and in it a little 1k file.

    The event log of ESXI shows "Path to datastore has been lost" then right after that, "Lost connection to storage device" then, Connectivity to device is restored, and then filesystem on Volume (blah blah blah) has been mounted in rw mode.

    I've been researching quite a bit into the night and will continue. I'll post back here if I find something, but

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
     
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  16. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    Do you have the latest firmware on the readyNAS?
     
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  17. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    pretty sure but i'll check.

    Side note, I notice I posted this in the wrong forum, can a Mod move it?
     
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  18. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Blimey Thomas your quick off the mark you got no work to do or summint! how is the readynas connected is it all over a GB switch, and has both the readynas and portgroup confirmed they have GB connectivity? try a few easy fixes first swap out a few network cables to ensure you dont have a dodgy one.
     
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  19. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    LOL ! Work on monitor 1, Cert forums on monitor 2, and Veeam forums on number 3 :D
     
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  20. tomshawk

    tomshawk Byte Poster

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    ThomasMC: according to Netgear's site I have the latest 4.2.19

    Dales: Yes, I have a GB switch and Cat6 cables, all brand new. I can ping the NAS all day long even when trying to create the VM with good returns, but i'll swap them out anyway. Granted I don't have a high-end HP GB switch, this is my office test switch, Linksys 8 port

    The NAS's built in Website shows GB connection
     
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