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Best way to configure my EsXi Host Server

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hi Guys,

I have a new Dell R410 Server with 16GB Ram, Dual Quad Core E5506 CPU's and 2 RAID 1 arrays. Datastore1 is a 1TB SAS, Datastore2 is a 1TB SATA. It has 2 builtin 1GIG Nics , and a Intel Server 1 GIG Nic addin ( I am at home right now and cannot confirm specs)

All I need to P2V are 2 servers, A Win2k3DC/Terminal Server which I plan to in-place upgrade to win2k8 afterwards as it has legacy apps , a legacy win2k3 SQL2000 Server and setup a new win2k8 File Server.
We have 5 printers, and 6 users, as we are a small office and the old servers hardware is due for replacement.

I am new to VMware, and am learning this as I go, I have done alot of reading believe I have a handle on the basics. Provisioning resources, p2v is all ok.  I am using ESXi 4.1 Free version during design and testing, with a view to purchasing if it proves suitable.  Otherwise I will investigate MS's offerings.

I cannot find anything about the best way to ultilize both my R1 arrays.  The SAS is faster than the SATA obv, and Im thinking of putting the vm's pagefiles on another virtualdrive on the other datastore for speed.

Or should I have all the VM's on Datastore1 and create the virtualdrives for file storage on datastore2, and then link them into the fileservers vm ?

I cant afford a SAN and only have the local storage available.

Could someone pls provide some opinions of what I should be considering for my datastores ?
Also, I need a way to get my Shadowprotect images into a VirtualDrive, so my shadowprotect IT Edition can restore from the datastores, rather than across the LAN as it should be faster for all my rebuilding and testing. ( Do I have to create a VM, simply to add them in, ie is there a shortcut ?)

Many Thanks in Advance
Cameron.
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Question by:Cameron_645645
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bgoering earned 350 total points
ID: 33511971
Look to VMware Converter to either P2V your running boxes or to import your Shadow Protect images. I have seen some recent activity where the newest 4.0 versions of shadow protect are not supported, but version 3.x are.

So far as your raid arrays - you can pretty much decide when you create the VM where it will go. For a smaller environment like yours SATA raid is probably adequate for OS disks, and I would use the faster datastore for DATA disks, like for SQL and your Fileserver.

You indicated RAID 1 - which is great for performance, but offers no redundancy. I would consider instead RAID5 that gives a good tradeoff for performance and redundance, or RAID 10 if performance is the key consideration.

Good Luck
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by:Cameron_645645
ID: 33512204
The Raid1's both are mirrors, so I get redundancy there.
Is there any merit to the idea of having the VM's OS on the SATA and the pagefile on the SAS in one VD to improve the Vm's performance ?

Im just going to restore the images from within the VM, as Im using v4 shadow images.

Thanks for commenting !
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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 150 total points
ID: 33512473
VMware recommendation is to keep the VM's pagefile in the same directory as the VM files. I haven't noticed any performance gain by splitting them up. The only gain by separating them is disk space.

For P2V, use Converter Standalone as "bgoering" suggested. Otherwise, I think you're all set. I can't comment specifically on Shadowprotect since I haven't played with it.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33514337
I also would leave the VMs swap file as coolsport00 and vmware recommend in the same folder as the virtual machine. Typically if you have faster disks available use them for data purposes, such as the fileshare disks or SQL disks (especially SQL Log disks). Again I caution you to test with Shadow Protect v4 - I participated in a thread recently (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_26409657.html) that I don't believe ever got resolved with a user trying to use Shadow Protect 4.

Good Luck

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