Virtual Machine

Posted on 2011-09-06
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Pls advise me whether my situation suites wo use VM.
I had more than 10 servers, all are new and I do not planned to migrate them to VM.
I only want to setup new dept and let them use VM where they need quite a huge space of harddisk + Menory with their software. I need to have a failover environment too.
By starting to use this, I might migrate other future in the future, I want to see how stable is the VM environment.
Pls advise me whether to proceed
Question by:swpui
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LVL 121
ID: 36487735
If they need to use "huge disk space" and "huge memory", there Virtual Machines are probably not the best candidates for Virtualisation or Virtual Machines.

VMware vSphere Hypervisor is the new name for ESXi.

The free download is available from here

You need to register to download for free.

The latest versions is ESXi 5.0

Here are the documents for ESXi 4.1.

Getting Started Guide

Please make sure you server is on the Hardware Compatibility List

and you use a 64 bit server and enable Intel Virtualisation Tecnology also called Intel-VT.


Expert Comment

ID: 36489563
One great reasons to go virtual for other departments is you can with the vCenter product partition off virtual machines with permission like you would file shares.

You could give the new department a user/password that they could only control "their" Virtual servers - and they could "remote control" them with the vmware console software - like having an KVM-over-IP so the IT department won't be bothered by small stuff, it may empower your users.

Author Comment

ID: 36500096
Attached to show you the requirement, if I would like to convert it to VM environment, how's the diagram should be changed? Failover is a must. What if I did not use VMware but MS hyperV?
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LVL 121
ID: 36500132
I would download and evaluate VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V to test these virtual machines, they are very large and may not be suitable for virtualisation.

VMware Supports failover called HA (High Availability), but you would need to VMware vSphere Hosts, and Shared Storage e.g. SAN or NAS. If a host should fail, the VMs would be restarted automatically on the other hosts, an outage of a few minutes whilst the VMs are restarted.

VMware High Availability - Decrease Downtime and Reduce Risk

VMware High Availability (HA) Product Briefs

Author Comment

ID: 36500152
Hanccocka, you mean the diagram I attached seems very large scale and VM did not suitable for this environment?
LVL 121
ID: 36501623
Correct, I would test before committing to such a project to check performance.

Author Comment

ID: 36515131
How am I going to test as I do not have additional server nor software

Accepted Solution

BDithelp earned 125 total points
ID: 36515198
Well you have to have a server running as the virtual host to convert physcial machines to. So you need at least 1 server in testing or going production. Then as you convert physicals to virtuals you can free up more hardware. And the first guy gave you links to the VMware "free" version to test with, OS software licenses are up to you to have for testing.

Based on the comments above you need to research and test the virtual product before you decide or your going to have issues. VMware hypervisor, Hyper-V, XenServer or whatever you need to spend a good deal of time researching and playing with one or each of there free products then decide if you want to use the limited free products in production or scale up to a paid product and with a SAN or NAS.

VMware is very stable and never had any issue with Hyper V either as far as stability. If you want full redundancy and failover it's going to cost a bit for initial deployment but savings overtime by a bit.

Also you can go one step better than HA in VMware and setup FT (fault tolerance) which is no downtime if you loos one server but there are limitations. (both are in paid products)

For 10 servers I wouldn't push to virtualize everything but if your planning on expanding, need easier managment, have cooling or rack space issues, want to consolodate and want better and easier redundancy then yes.

How large of disk space we talking under 2TB? VMware has limitations on maximum virtual disk sizes or raw device maps and it is basically 2TB.

Also converting some physical machines to vm's can be a pain. SQL, Exchange and AD servers. Others are pretty easy.

Also vCenter is a paid product - just so you know.

Once you start using it you will start to really like it and be able to see the advantages first hand, easy to add resources to a vm, vm's boot faster, can use datrecovery to make backups of vm's and restore a whoie virtual server in a few minutes (but vmware DR is also a paid product)

God Speed!
LVL 121

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 125 total points
ID: 36515889
VMware ESXi 5.0 software is free to test and evaluate. The risk is entirely yours if performance is not acceptable, we've seen many virtualisation projects fail because people assumed that it would work for their servers, and the results were poor performance.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36533752
I gotta find a way to do testing, thanks for the advise.

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