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How can Virtualisatoin help us?

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  • How can Virtualisatoin help us?

    Hi all,
    been getting emails more often touting virtualisation and i think its about time i looked more into it.

    I'd basically like to know (considering our current company setup) if virtualisation is a worthwhile step.

    Our CLIENT/SERVER I.T. infrastructure consists of:

    1 x DC (2003 Std R2 SP2, running BES with 12 users)
    1 x DC (2003 Std R2 SP2, running CRM, SOPHOS)
    1 x Storageserver (storageserver 2003, 1.3TB of useable data)
    8 bay tape autoloader attached to storageserver
    1 x Server 2008 running Exchange 2007 SP2
    2 x Terminal Server (2003 Std R2 SP2, office 2007 and other stuff etc)

    Domain consists of approx. 30 client desktops (XP Pro) that vary from old durons/celerons to P4's, using TS, to C2D, working locally (for cad designers).
    Approx. 30 laptops that work both in the office and remotely, using mostly TS.

    Over half of our client pc's would need to be replaced if we upgraded our client OS to Vista or Win7. Also as they are older, they have 10/100 nics in them, and thus slows down our gigabit network.

    2mbit MIA Leased line.

    Would/could virtualisation help if integrated into our network?
    If so, how? What are the benefits? Realistic cost savings?

    I'll be reading more about virtualisation, but am still terribly uneducated about it. So any adivce would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: How can Virtualisatoin help us?

    Besides freeing you of the depedency of hardware,
    Better utilization of your hardware
    better redundancy

    There are numerous reasons why to go virtual.

    you can always start here
    Technodrone|@maishsk|Author of VMware vSphere Design
    VMware vExpert 2013-2010,VCAP5-DCA/DCD,VCP
    MSCA 2000/2003, MCSE 2000/2003
    A proud husband and father of 3 girls
    If you find the information useful please don't forget to give reputation points sigpic.

    Have a good one!!


    • #3
      Re: How can Virtualisatoin help us?

      One of the things that attracts me to virtualization in SMBs is being able to perform whole-PC snapshots and potentially complete backups of the VHD files. Talk about disaster recovery heaven. Also, I like the ability to "P-to-V" (Physical to Virtual) old servers and from then on, never have to worry about migrations caused by the need to upgrade the hardware.

      Another plus is that you can create a test environment easily using production machines. You can clone a VM and then put it in a protected network for tweaking. If you thrash it, no problems.
      Wesley David
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      • #4
        Re: How can Virtualisatoin help us?

        Thanks for the replies guys.

        Am currently reading through the pages on the link you gave me Maish

        If there is a short(ish) answer to this, could you advise on whether its worth it for our particular network?
        Would it render some of our hardware redundant or would it run in tandem with it?
        Our yearly I.T. spend is usually based on smaller things. We certainly don't buy servers every year or so. We buy as we grow is kind of our I.T. policy.

        Does anyone have any real world examples of what it could do for us. i.e have you ditched your existing setup for a virtualised one and seen improvements/benefits etc?

        Thanks again.....i'm still reading btw


        • #5
          Re: How can Virtualisatoin help us?

          If you go down the VMware route you could utilise VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)

          This can deliver desktops across the LAN (not sure about running this on megabit connections though)....very cool but expensive


          • #6
            Re: How can Virtualisatoin help us?

            Shortish answer? I did a short stint at a location that had 5 Physical Server plus 17 Virtual Servers. Even with the Virtuals the CPU loads were still not too extreme. Ever watch a physical machine under load as a File Server and wonder what a waste of a perfectly good Quad Core 2.4GHz running at 3 - 4%. Virtualisation changes that.

            Get yourself a machine, make sure it has sufficient RAM and then install 3 or 4 VMs on it. I have a 64bit laptop, 2.0GHz CPU, 4GB RAM and I can run 1 x Server 2003, 2 x Server 2008 (1 with SharePoint Portal Server) and 1 x XP Pro Workstation at the same time on their own private Domain. With that and Windows 7 Pro I do admit it does get sluggish but more RAM, if it was possible, would solve a lot of that.

            I can take the laptop to a mates place, copy the VHDs and have it running on his desktop in less then 30 minutes. All installed and configured. How long would it take to set all that up from scratch?

            Does that help answer why Virtualisation is such a great solution?
            1 1 was a racehorse.
            2 2 was 1 2.
            1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
            2 2 1 1 2