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ESXi from Dell UK...

Discussion in 'Virtual and Cloud Computing' started by garyb, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. garyb

    garyb Byte Poster

    We are in the market for a new server to replace our PE2650 [5 yrs old] which currently sits in a local data centre with SQL2000 running. Our Dell server man sent me a server spec with ESXi pre configured for free albeit I guess without HA or any other features.

    I would love to take this on but still curious as to the real benefits of ESXi over VMserver or indeed physical servers.

    In our current infrastructure we have a 2003 IIS Server [DMZ] & 2000 SQL server [LAN] with intention of adding another IIS box on DMZ, resulting in 5U of rack space. With a new ESXi 2U server I could potentially reduce this to 2U and save some rack money going forward, but am I leaving myself short of failover? If this box goes down, I have nothing to fall back on until fixed. Would it be advisable to leave the 1U box in the rack and "mirror" the live VMs to this, does that even work? Other option I guess is to backup VMs across WAN to our office each night but I fear that could be around 40GB a night, again costing us at data center.

    Last question I promise, my hardware firewall has WAN, LAN & DMZ ports which fits in nicely for each box to connect to its respective NIC. In the above plan I will have 2 DMZ servers & 1 LAN server, but only 1 NIC on the ESXi server, how do I route these to specific ports on my firewall, will I need further routers/switches or indeed should I order a NIC for each VM I am planning [3]?

    Thank you for any help you can give, I am researching but have been told to decide on this ASAP!

    WIP: MCSA 2003
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    If you are looking to go down the ESX route without any of the High Availability stuff then the first thing I would suggest to you is try to make sure that the physical box is as redundant as possible, i.e Dual PSU, Dual Network Cards, RAID, Etc. That way you are reducing the risk of any downtime should a component fail.

    You can, if memory serves convert VM's from ones designed to run on ESX to ones that will run on VMWare Server, but you would also need to convert them back when your main ESX server comes back online. AFAIK you cannot 'mirror' ESX VM's with Server VM's.

    In your situation I'd suggest leaving your 1U server in place simply to hold backups of your VM's, and not run live versions should the ESX server go down. Without High Availability its a risk you're just going to have to take.

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