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VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

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  • VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

    I need to know your professional opinions on our current setup and will apologize if this is in the wrong area (but to be honest I'm not sure this is covered by any forum).

    Our environment consists of 98% virtual servers (about 70) running on 5 esxi hosts, 3 physical DB servers, and a VMware View desktop deployment of about 500 desktops on an additional 4 esxi hosts.

    Due to circumstances outside our control we had to move our datacenter from one of our on site locations and decommission our main datacenter. We have a second datacenter that didn't have enough space at the time. While searching for a co-location to house our hardware our manager found a local company that hosts smaller clients server infrastructure who said they could house our server virtual environment on their equipment (shared with their other clients) and had rack space available for our 4 VMware View hosts and 3 physical DB servers while we searched for a co-location to house our equipment (hosts and SAN). During the search our manager made the decision to keep our environment hosted with this local company and in doing so limited the access we had to our servers. So basically we can't create new VM's (they do this for a cost), if we need to switch a server nic to a different vlan we have to call them, we can't expand hard drives, etc...

    Now, while we have been at their location we were able to free up Rackspace in our other datacenter and now have our SAN and a blade chassis with 11 blade servers in place. This site is currently acting as our D.R. site, that's right, we are hosting our own D.R. site while a 3rd party is hosting our production environment.

    This is where I need the opinion of other I.T. professionals. From everything that I've come across, most companies either have their equipment in house or co-located and use a 3rd party for their D.R. services. It is also my understanding that some companies go to "cloud" services to eliminate the cost of buying equipment and saving costs on power, but when you purchase the equipment and have it up and running 24/7 I tend to think that reasoning becomes invalid. Our manager has an I.T. background (but not in server infrastructure though) and tends to listen to the opinions of our hosting vendor over that of his own staff, which to me is like a drug addict going to his drug dealer for advise.

    If you could give me your thoughts on this I would appreciate it and I apologize again if this is in the wrong spot, but as you can see, IMHO it's kind of a messed up situation.

  • #2
    Re: VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

    Advice on what? You've described your existing situation but you haven't stated any specific concerns or asked any specific questions about that situation.

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    • #3
      Re: VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

      Sorry, I guess that was a little vague.

      Before I get to what I'm looking for, I also wanted to point out that in the datacenter that we freed up space in we run a smaller production site responsible for a separate part of the business and the third party that houses our bigger production site houses this one's D.R.

      We are looking for validation one way or the other, to let us know if we should continue our push to bring it back in house.

      Does it make sense to spend ten's of thousands a month (won't say the actual amount but it was high enough that one of our guys in finance asked us why we were paying so much and it keeps growing as we add on) when we already have the equipment in house and running 24/7 already?

      Does it make sense to limit what we as admins can do when we have that equipment available? Before we could expand drives, add/remove memory, and add/remove processors for troubleshooting or performance gain instantly but now have to go through an approval process that once passed goes to the third party who then has four hours to complete it. To me, it's a waste of time and interrupts the flow of what I'm working on.

      I know that this all appears to be my view on the subject, which in a way it is I guess, but they are at least the facts from my side of it. When we have asked our manager for the reason we're staying, telling him that all we're asking is for him to validate his arguments with either technical or budgetary reasons all we get is "because I'm the boss". We have another manager in the mix that agrees with us and he asked that we get the opinions of other I.T. professionals to get their take on it to see if they agree that bringing it back makes sense.

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      • #4
        Re: VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

        Given the amounts of money you are (avoiding) mentioning, it probably makes sense to get a consultant in for a few days to review your exact environment and requirements, then make specific recommendations. All advice you get here will be generic so may not all be applicable.

        Normally the reason to use a Data Centre rather than in-house is to do with bandwidth between sites, or with having off-site copies of data in case of major disasters. It is not clear if you have multiple sites needing access to your production systems.
        Tom Jones
        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
        IT Trainer / Consultant
        Ossian Ltd
        Scotland

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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        • #5
          Re: VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

          We have 8 sites that are connected by fiber connections, each site having about 50 physical desktops with multiple printers. Many of these desktops are having latency issues but in trying to be fair I don't want to blame the issue on the third party vendor when it could be any number of things including the physical desktop itself and we are in the process of narrowing that down.

          As for the cost, I can say that it will be over $500,000 per year.

          We have brought up the subject of having someone come in to do an assessment and give us feedback but were shot down.

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          • #6
            Re: VMware shop that needs professional opions on production/D.R. setup

            Originally posted by asysadmn View Post

            As for the cost, I can say that it will be over $500,000 per year.

            We have brought up the subject of having someone come in to do an assessment and give us feedback but were shot down.
            I have to say that appears to be very short-sighted on the part of the shooters! Given the money involved, a few thousand $ (for say a week of a consultants time) seems small compared with the potential savings - and the fact that the costs have been questioned already.
            Tom Jones
            MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
            PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
            IT Trainer / Consultant
            Ossian Ltd
            Scotland

            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

            Comment

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