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Posted on 2011-02-10
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Hi,

I was wondering if I have SAN storage. and few machines.

And want to run a small private cloud. Say few Win7 machines and few CentOS machines. With some sort of failover. So one machine fails it can failover to another machine using the same storage? Is this possible using current platforms?

Thanks
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Question by:masdf123
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bgoering earned 250 total points
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Certainly - look at VMware vSphere http://www.vmware.com

You would need at minimum the esseentials plus package for HA to accomodate failures

Good Luck
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Yes, you could build it with a physical SAN, or if you just want to try out the technology, you can build VMware in a BOX or ESX in a Box.

if you follow these articles

VI in a BOX

http://xtravirt.com/xs10003

you can install Two x VMware ESX Servers iin VMware Workstation, and Virtual SAN software and complete your private cloud and test HA, DRS, vMotion failover.
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by:bgoering
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If you go with VMwares full "cloud" platform you would need a higher licensing level in addition to the cloud software add-ons. I think it only installs on Enterprise Plus.
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OK. Are there any open source solutions? Because vshere and vcenter can be expensive. And I think I need vcenter for sure to do HA?
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by:bgoering
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See http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/small_business_editions_comparison.html for a comparison of the features available in each edition.
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by:bgoering
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I think you can use Xen or KVM on linux platforms. There are fully opensource as well as open and supported editions of those. I am not certain about their support for high availability and failover though as I don't use them myself
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by:masdf123
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So what is difference between vsphere and vcenter?
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by:bgoering
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And yes - you do need vCenter to do the HA, The Essentials plus edition is the minimum required to do HA - its retail cost is $3495, but if you shop around you can do a bit better than that
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by:bgoering
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by:masdf123
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So if I have vcenter, I dont need vsphere right?
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by:bgoering
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vSphere is the overall name of the platform, vCenter server is the managemt / monitoring piece, and ESX or ESXi are the servers that host the virtual machines.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Parallels has a Cloud Hosting solution which is much cheaper than VMware Cloud Director.

http://www.parallels.com/

it's based on their Parallels Virtuozzo Containers.
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by:bgoering
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"So if I have vcenter, I dont need vsphere right?" They are pretty much the same thing.
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by:masdf123
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So when we say HA. We assume the storage VM's are using is redundant and HA then provides ESX server failover, is this correct?
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by:masdf123
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I think I confused it with the vshpere infrastructure client.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Correct, until vSphere 5!
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by:masdf123
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what does vSphere 5 bring?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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then we get new super functionality of HA of the Storage Datastores as well!
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by:masdf123
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oh wow. So there is HA of the stores after a SAN storage as an example?
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by:masdf123
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Thats like Exchange DAG
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by:bgoering
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When we say HA, it means if one host (ESX or ESXi) fails, the virtual machine will automatically be restarted on the other host. For a good HA solution there are a number of pieces one should consider besides just the storage. Of course the storage shoulc be configured with a fault tolerant raid solution, have multiple power supplies, etc. but also consider.

reduandancy in
   networking
   ups
   servers
   air conditioning

all of the things that go into making a continous operating datacenter
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by:bgoering
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I was a bit underwhelmed with what I heard about vSphere 5 from the partners exchange. The biggies I guess are.

Storage will kind of autotune itself (Storage DRS)
Some replication capabilities for their DR solution that don't require hardware replication in the storage
Ability to throttle some network connectivity on a per vm basis

thats about it, what was missing for me was long distance vmotion - was hoping for that
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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vSphere 5, which is due out this summer, will add Storage DRS, HA, host-based replication, vMotion over long distance and network I/O control at the virtual machine level.

At present we have VM - HA, DRS, vMotion moving VMs between ESX Hosts.

Storage DRS, HA will use Storage vMotion to perform automatic load balancing if a datastore becomes overloaded.

Storage DRS,HA users will be able to define groups of data stores, called “storage pods,” that will automatically load-balance based on capacity. Users can then provision virtual machines (VMs) to specific storage pods rather than to specific data stores.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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@bgoering: vmotion over long distance is in, we've been testing for months....
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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@bgoering: however, what's not been defined as to what options will be in which license level! and there could be a Super Datacenter License! above Enterprise Plus, Enterprise Plus Plus
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by:bgoering
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@hanccocka: not according to http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/2240031960/VMware-previews-vSphere-5-at-Partner-Exchange

No mention of stoage HA (what would that be anyway?) just storage DRS and host based replication for the SRM product.

This article also states the long distance vmotion (along with SLAs) are slated for a 2012 release...
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by:bgoering
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@hanccocka undoubtably on the licensing - I am still a bit perturbed that I have to go to a new higher licensing tier to get all the features when I was an Enterprise customer on 3.5
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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@bgoering: I'll have to speak to the Channel, in May 2010, they stated it would be in vSphere 5, because of the work with the Cisco alliance, and Cisco were very keen for the option. 2012....what version would that be, an update?
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by:bgoering
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<rant>
Who knows - they have run the gamut 2.5 3.0 3.01 3.02 3.5 3.5 U1 (2,3,4,5) 4.0 4.0 U1 & 2, 4.1

I can't find any rhyme or reason to the number scheme - it all seems kind of arbitrary. I am gathering the change the first number when they want to introduce a new licensing level to get the useful features of the new release that SHOULD be entitled to anyway (IMNSHO) because of all the maintenance I pay
</rant>
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by:masdf123
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This post had good info. Thanks guys!
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by:Qlemo
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This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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