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VSphere essentials Hardware Configuration

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  • VSphere essentials Hardware Configuration

    We are considering vsphere essentials or essential plus to virtualise 9 windows based servers.

    Is there best practive on how/what hardware topolgy to use. ie 3 indpendent physical servers each with virtual servers installed and space for data or should we consider using NAS, SAN or whatever and do the virtual servers reside on these boxes or what?

    How is the best way to put this together say using 3 servers (the max for essentails).

    Has anyone a good reliable configuration they could recommend.

    Any thoughts or pointers to relevant documentation or practical examples appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: VSphere essentials Hardware Configuration

    two reasons to use sans:

    1. DR/HA - if one of your physical hosts fails, you can simply vmotion the guest servers over to another host with no or miniaml downtime.
    Think about this, compared to having a physical host with no shared disk blowing up - yo nede to find a way to get your virtual guests onto a new host asap, especially if they are critical

    2. throughput. You're talking about putting 9 guests on the infrastructure. you need to know what sort of Disk IO they need. some will need very high iops, others not so much. Think about having say a highly utilised SQL server on one of your physiocal boxes - it's going to take heaps of the disk IO, negatively affecting other guests. But if it's on a SAN, then you end up with higher IOPS and more through put
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    • #3
      Re: VSphere essentials Hardware Configuration

      Whats your budget?

      The starter quotes I received are basically EMC NX Series is about 100k, NetApp 2020 is about 50k (Both include replication to 2nd box, snapshots, etc, etc)

      I would recommend reading some information about IOPs before you purchase anything.

      Most of the papers I have read refer to the following order of bottlenecks in the VM world: RAM, Hard Drive IOPs, Processor

      The RAM is easy and the cheapest of the issues, The Hard Drive IOPs is much harder.

      You have 3 servers to run 9 servers.. In most cases we are placing 10+ VMs on each physical ESX box. So unless your Processor demand is extremely high you will be fine with 3 machines.

      Since you situation is starting small I would recommend you add all the RAM up (across all your servers) and have that much in 1 box, Run the two other boxes as your REAL systems and the last box as your failover / test environment.

      Server 1 = 5 VMs
      Server 2 = 4 VMs
      Server 3 = 0 VMs (but capable of running all 9 in crunch)

      It might be a waste of RAM, but for the price of RAM to give you peace of mind if your TWO other boxes fails seems pretty cheap.



      • #4
        Re: VSphere essentials Hardware Configuration

        thank you for your replies.

        we only have essentials which doesn't have vmotion. We are trying to minimise costs hence the thought of using NAS. I think the cost of SANS will be too high.

        Has anyone experience of using NAS and is there any benefit of using NAS even for data or just ensure physical serves have enough hard disk space in each for data as well.

        once again thanks for replies.


        • #5
          Re: VSphere essentials Hardware Configuration

          Why not using the Dell MD3000i iSCSI SAN ? it is fairly cheap and works great with gigabit ethernet

          15x 450 GB SAS 15k RPM with dual SCSI controller cost about AUD $ 15000 last year.

          or you could always utilize unused server and then install OpenFiler if needed for free iSCSI appliance.
          Last edited by Albertwt; 8th November 2010, 09:52.