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  • disaster recovery using Vmware server

    I'm wondering whether Vmware server solves the problem of the same hardware requirements in the case of disaster recovery: In the case I'm running windows2003 server on , for example IBM xseries server , I have Vmware server installed and Virtual machine that is my DC and Exchange server , SBS2003 (SMB network) .
    If my physical server crashes for some reason let's say hardware failure and using this ocasion I want to replace the existing IBM with more powerful let's say HP server .
    I'm installing a fresh server2003 and Vmware server , copying my virtual machine from the old server's disk .
    Will I be able to raise my DC back on a new server ?
    I will appreciate any help
    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

    Shouldn't this be moved to VMWare's forum?
    Gods/Mods will decide...

    Sorin Solomon


    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    -

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

      Hi alexis,

      Thanks for your post!

      Yes, VMware virtualizes the hardware, thus, allowing you to replace the underlying hardware with new hardware, at any time. This is great if you are doing a server upgrade or replacement (as you would in the case of DR).

      Say that you shut down your virtual servers each night and got a clean backup. Say that the next day, you vmware server crashes and won't come up. You could restore the backups from the last night's backup, to a new machine, start up your virtual server, and they would work fine.

      In the case of a DC, make sure you have a backup DC on the network for your users, in the event of primary failure.

      Does that help out?

      Thanks,
      David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
      Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training
      TrainSignalTraining.com - Free IT Training Products
      Personal Websites: HappyRouter.com & VMwareVideos.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

        Hi, David.
        Is the VMWare emulating the CPU also? Meaning, if I build a virtual machine on a single-core CPU, will I be able to move it to a double-core one? Or an original AMD CPU to an Intel one?

        Sorin Solomon


        In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
        -

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

          Hi,

          Yes, VMware also emulates the CPU. All virtual systems have the same hardware. Here are the specs from the VMware administrator's guide, found at:

          http://www.vmware.com/pdf/server_admin_manual.pdf

          Virtual Machine Specifications
          Each virtual machine created with VMware Server provides a platform that includes
          the following devices that your guest operating system can see.
          Virtual Processor
          ! Intel Pentium II or later, or AMD Athlon or later, depending on host processor;
          Intel EMT64VT (experimental support).
          VMware, Inc. 13
          Chapter 1 Introduction and System Requirements
          ! Single and multiprocessor per virtual machine on symmetric multiprocessor
          (SMP) systems.
          Virtual Chipset
          ! Intel 440BX‐based motherboard with NS338 SIO chip and 82093AA IOAPIC
          Virtual BIOS
          ! PhoenixBIOS 4.0 Release 6 with VESA BIOS
          ! DMI/SMBIOS‐compliant for system management agent support
          Virtual Memory
          ! Up to 3600MB of memory per virtual machine, depending upon the host system’s
          configuration, the types of applications running on the host, and the amount of
          memory on the host.
          Virtual Graphics
          ! VGA and SVGA support
          Virtual IDE Drives
          ! Up to four devices: disks, CD‐ROM or DVD (DVD drives can be used to read data
          DVD discs). DVD video is not supported.
          ! Hard disks can be virtual disks or physical disks.
          ! IDE virtual disks up to 950GB.
          ! CD‐ROM can be a physical device or an ISO image file.
          Virtual SCSI Devices
          ! Up to 60 devices on up to four virtual SCSI controllers.
          ! SCSI virtual disks up to 950GB.
          ! Hard disks can be virtual disks or physical disks.
          ! Generic SCSI support allows scanners, CD‐ROM, DVD‐ROM, tape drives, and
          other SCSI devices to be used without requiring drivers in the host operating
          system.
          ! Mylex (BusLogic) BT‐958 compatible host bus adapter.
          ! LSI Logic Ultra160 LSI53C10xx SCSI controller.
          VMware Server Administration Guide
          14 VMware, Inc.
          Virtual PCI Slots
          ! Six virtual PCI slots, to be divided among the virtual SCSI controllers, virtual
          Ethernet cards, virtual display adapter, and virtual sound adapter.
          Virtual Floppy Drives
          ! Up to two 1.44MB floppy devices.
          ! Physical drives or floppy image files.
          Virtual Serial (COM) Ports
          ! Up to four serial (COM) ports.
          ! Output to serial ports, Windows files, Linux files, or named pipes.
          Virtual Parallel (LPT) Ports
          ! Up to three bidirectional parallel (LPT) ports.
          ! Output to parallel ports or host operating system files.
          Virtual USB ports
          ! Two‐port USB 1.1 UHCI controller.
          ! Supported devices include USB printers, scanners, PDAs, hard disk drives,
          memory card readers, and still digital cameras.
          Virtual Keyboard
          ! 104‐key Windows 95/98 enhanced
          Virtual Mouse and Drawing Tablets
          ! PS/2 mouse
          ! Serial tablet support
          Virtual Ethernet Card
          ! Up to four virtual Ethernet cards
          ! AMD PCnet‐PCI II compatible
          ! Wireless networking support with bridged and NAT networking
          ! PXE ROM version 2.0
          VMware, Inc. 15
          Chapter 1 Introduction and System Requirements
          Virtual Networking
          ! Nine virtual Ethernet switches (three configured by default for bridged, host‐only
          and NAT networking).
          ! Virtual networking supports most Ethernet‐based protocols, including TCP/IP,
          NetBEUI, Microsoft Networking, Samba, Novell NetWare, and Network File
          System.
          ! Built‐in NAT supports client software using TCP/IP, FTP, DNS, HTTP, and Telnet.
          Virtual Sound Adapter
          ! Sound output and input.
          ! Creative Labs Sound Blaster AudioPCI emulation. MIDI input, game controllers,
          and joysticks are not supported.
          David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
          Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training
          TrainSignalTraining.com - Free IT Training Products
          Personal Websites: HappyRouter.com & VMwareVideos.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

            Hi David
            Thanks for your help and informative link

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

              we employeed VMWare specifically for DR. i work with a gov agency and we must comply with Tier 6 DR specs...

              i have a friend that works at another place.. they utilize VMotion for the same reasons... we are in jacksonville, FL and the DR for his site is in atlanta. there is an OSX connection between his sites, and with VMotion he can (literally) click 2 buttons and the servers are now on in atlanta, and the end users notice nada.

              with us, we can have everything running, but in the event of a hurricane, we can flip the switch and the public websites fire up out at the DR site, as well as AD and email an other services we must provide...

              you have to decide how you want to handle failover with VMWare... like your DNS records and traffic shaping... i lot of the magic lies in the configuration of your vlans and routing... this is what determines whether you have sync or async mirroring. right now, VMotion isnt supported across multiple subnets so it helps to have a decent router and switches to accomadate...
              its easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
              Give karma where karma is due...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

                Sorry, I have to nit pick here.

                Hardware in VMware is virtualized, not emulated. There is a significant difference.

                For sheer efficiency purposes, the CPU is one of the only hardware components not virtualized in VMware. CPUs are neither emulated or virtualized in VMware. If your host has an AMD Opteron 875 CPU, VM guests will see an AMD Opteron 875 CPU.

                The one caveat to this is that there are a specific set of CPU instructions that cannot be passed from the VMkernel directly to through the hypervisor to the CPU. System/Kernel Mode/Processor Ring 0 calls which are all synonomous with context switching. VMware must virtualize these instructions which is why VMware virtualization products do not as efficiently handle servers or applications with high volumes of context switching (such as Citrix/Terminal Services, JAVA, etc.) as their physical server counterparts would. ESX 3 does a MUCH better job at this than ESX 2 did, however, we won't see 100% efficiency until the hypervisors are moved from software based to hardware CPU based (VT, Pacifica, etc.). I'm guessing in about 3 years we'll be there.
                VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
                boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
                My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: disaster recovery using Vmware server

                  Hi Jason

                  Thank you for this clarification. Excellent point and I see the important difference now.

                  Al the best to you,
                  David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
                  Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training
                  TrainSignalTraining.com - Free IT Training Products
                  Personal Websites: HappyRouter.com & VMwareVideos.com

                  Comment

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