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  • thoughts on my plan

    I have two existing physical servers running server 2003. One is running Exchange and the other SQL and file/print. Both are Dell poweredge about 4 years old.

    I need to add a new software package that requires a 64 bit OS and more RAM for a newer version of SQL.

    Currently backup is to removable drives and I plan to put a NAS in another building connected with Gb Ethernet.

    I was thinking about getting a new server sufficient to run the new server requirement in a VM and to virtualize the existing servers. I would then use one of the existing servers as a backup. I don't need high availability but reasonable redundancy.

    I planned on putting vsphere essentials on the new server (to get the backup APIs) and then getting Veeam essentials. I would backup to the NAS. I would keep one older server available with vsphere loaded on it and if the new server failed I could copy images from the NAS to the old server and run them there.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: thoughts on my plan

    You could use Trilead VM Explorer to both backup the VM's to the NAS and to replicate them to the spare server.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: thoughts on my plan

      Easiest option would be to purchase 2 servers capable of handling all your VM's. Get a decent storage solution, if IO is not a real concern then maybe look at a Dell PowerVault MD3200i, and connect both systems to that.

      Install ESXi on the servers and create a VM for vCenter.

      If one server dies then the other should be able to handle the load without copying files.

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      • #4
        Re: thoughts on my plan

        Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
        Easiest option would be to purchase 2 servers capable of handling all your VM's. Get a decent storage solution, if IO is not a real concern then maybe look at a Dell PowerVault MD3200i, and connect both systems to that.

        Install ESXi on the servers and create a VM for vCenter.

        If one server dies then the other should be able to handle the load without copying files.
        It sounds like you're recommending an iSCSI SAN and VMware HA. If so, then vSphere Standard is the minimum edition required to get HA and vMotion.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: thoughts on my plan

          Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
          It sounds like you're recommending an iSCSI SAN and VMware HA. If so, then vSphere Standard is the minimum edition required to get HA and vMotion.
          I am.

          I would recommend getting vSphere Essentials Plus which will provide HA and vMotion.

          http://www.vmware.com/products/datac...pare-kits.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: thoughts on my plan

            Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
            Easiest option would be to purchase 2 servers capable of handling all your VM's. Get a decent storage solution, if IO is not a real concern then maybe look at a Dell PowerVault MD3200i, and connect both systems to that.

            Install ESXi on the servers and create a VM for vCenter.

            If one server dies then the other should be able to handle the load without copying files.
            That is a nice solution but would require a significantly higher budget than I have.

            Other than it would require copying files to get back in operation do you see any glaring issues with what I described? I need to get the new server. So I wanted to use that as a starting point for virtualizing servers. I wanted to make sure I can get a proper backup of Exchange and SQL so that is why I thought Vmware essentials would have the backup APIs and Veeam essentials can use them to backup to the NAS.

            Not sure but it would seem like I could migrate to something like you described at a later date by replacing the "spare" server with a new server, adding better shared storage and upgrading to a different version of Vsphere?

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            • #7
              Re: thoughts on my plan

              Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
              You could use Trilead VM Explorer to both backup the VM's to the NAS and to replicate them to the spare server.
              Interesting product. I just looked at their site. Does it know how to do a "correct" backup of both Exchange and SQL? I am not seeing that ? Onr of the reasons I was thinking Vsphere essentials and Veeam essentials is that one has the backup APIs and the other does VSS integrated backups.

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              • #8
                Re: thoughts on my plan

                No, VM Explorer isn't an "application aware" backup product, but you can restore individual files from the backup.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: thoughts on my plan

                  So what is your budget then???

                  We recently implemented a full strategy for VMware in one of our offices.

                  2 * R620 with 64GB RAM
                  1 * MD3200i with 12 * 600GB Disks
                  2 * PowerConnect Switches

                  and of course the vmware licences for less than AU$27.5K

                  I think your making this way harder than it needs to be. Using the methind you are trying to implement will cost you time and depending on your exchnge and SQL databases this could be lots of time in recovery.

                  Can the company afford to be down for any length of time due to the length of time it would take to recover?? Just think of the actual cost of recovering these servers alone in the event that you have a crash.

                  Have a look at Veamm One for your backups and please test, test, test before going into production.

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                  • #10
                    Re: thoughts on my plan

                    Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                    So what is your budget then???
                    The MD3200i alone is $22k USD. My budget is less than that. I could just buy 1 new physical server and load SQL on it. So my objective is to go further within reason.

                    Curremtly the backups are Shadowprotect images with bare metal restore.

                    These servers are backend so if they go done they can still do business. If they were mission critical can't open the doors if down I could justify allocating more money.

                    I looked at Veeam one and it is a management product. The Veeam essentials I am considering gives you both the Veeam backup product which does VSS integrated backups so Exchange and SQL are backed up plus the Veeam One managenment product.

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                    • #11
                      Re: thoughts on my plan

                      Look at implementing a "homegrown" iSCSI SAN using something like Openfiler, FreeNAS, Open-E, etc.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: thoughts on my plan

                        Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                        I am.

                        I would recommend getting vSphere Essentials Plus which will provide HA and vMotion.

                        http://www.vmware.com/products/datac...pare-kits.html
                        I noticed it is the first level that comes with vSphere Storage Appliance? Any idea how well it works? According to the FAQ the design intent is that you don't need extra shared storage. It uses the DAS on the server as shared storage so in a small site such as the one I described you could have say two physical servers with DAS and it would turn it into shared replicated storage and also have HA features such as vmotion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: thoughts on my plan

                          I didn't realize that VSA came bundled with any of the kits, I thought it was strictly a standalone puchase.

                          Yes, the VSA as part of the Essentials Plus kit gives you what you need.

                          Make sure to read and understand the system requirements before purchasing and installing VSA:

                          http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-51/in...8D02F545B.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: thoughts on my plan

                            There are many ways of acheiving storage using old pieces of kit. You could use something like openfiler to setup disks that can be used as storage for VMware.

                            You mention you are using SQL hence the reason i mentioned the storage options. BTW $22K for an MD3200i is horrendously expensive. Our unit here cost us less than AU$10k shipped.

                            I think at this time you would be better having a chat to a local VMware consultant and getting some first hand infromation with someone you can sit down and brainstorm with.

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