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vmware setup

Posted on 2011-02-15
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we are currently thinking about creating a vmware high availabilty solution for a client of ours
will require 10 virtual servers
so we were thinking of creating a 2 node cluster (5 vms in each with resouces available for all 10)
some questions as we are not vmware profficient we mostly use hyper-v for virtualization
do we require a 3rd physical server for management?
should one of the domain controllers (active directory)be on a physical server and one virtualized?
will use iscsi san by dell or netapp
will use 2 force 10 san switches
looking for some practical advice on this setup
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Question by:dano992
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by:alreadyinuse
ID: 34903633
1. The vcenter or vsphere management server would require its own server for installation. This could also be a virtual server and not a physical server. The ESX servers are bare metal hypervisors and you cannot install the vcenter on these.

2. Placement of Domain Controllers is optional, although if you placed at least on DC as a guest as a VM on an ESX cluster you would be providing failover for that DC.
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by:wynandkunkel
ID: 34903648
do we require a 3rd physical server for management?
There used to ba a lot of discussion about this but the agreement is these days that the VCenter machine (for management) should ba a virtual machine as well to take advantage of HA and vMotion.  You would however need a physical server to connect for example the backup drive t.o.
should one of the domain controllers (active directory)be on a physical server and one virtualized?
I would just put a rule on VCenter that will never allow the two domain controllers to exist on the same physical machine
will use iscsi san by dell or netapp
No problem here
will use 2 force 10 san switches
No problem here (just remember to switch on Jumbo frames to optimise throughput)
looking for some practical advice on this setup
Since VMware's licencing starts in threes, I would suggest that you rather start with a three node cluster.  Also make sure that there are enough NICs in each machine that you can dedicate NICs for the connection to the iSCSI network and also dedicate NICs for the Vmotion network.

Please let me know if you need more.


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LVL 123
ID: 34905185
I would recommend you keep at least one Domain Controller Physical.

You can install vSphere vCenter for Management on either a physical or virtual machine, both are supported.

Have a look over the VMware vSphere documentation, a good read through it all

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs

Ensure you servers and SAN are on the VMware Hardware Compatibility list

www.vmware.com/go/hcl

Also read the iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_iscsi_san_cfg.pdf

Any further questions, please just ask
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by:dano992
ID: 34935155
so what i gather is that i should have one DC on a physical machine
second DC on a virtual machine
vcenter should be on a virtual machine (i  was told once that the vcenter server should be on a physical machine because this is where the licensing runs) maybe this no longer applies, they also said you could havea second VC that was virtualized
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 34935233
That's correct, you can install vSphere vCenter on a physical or virtual machine. Licensing server no longer required, (that was a 3.x requirement) each host ESX 4.x server is now allocated a license.

You can only have one vCenter server, but if it's virtualised, with vMotion, HA and DRS, it should always be available. (unlike if physical hardware should fail!)
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