Hyper-v Productuction Environment Hardware!

Posted on 2011-10-14
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi Guys and Gals,

i have been tasked to put togerther a proposal for Hyper-v Environment running max, 5 servers but has to be fault tolerent with instant standby!

my initial thoughts are 3x HP DL380 G7, 2 running Hyper-v Server and 1 running Windows Storage server with 10GbE running between them.

but i have was also thinking of 2x DL380 G7 and a SAN, either with 10gbe or fibre.
also having SCVMM to manage them.

whats your thoughts on this? im just not sure which route to go down..

Thanks in advance
Question by:supporthl
    LVL 55

    Accepted Solution

    It's not fault tolerant if you only have one server running Windows Storage Server. You either have to have two storage servers clustered or get a SAN storage box with dual controllers. The dual controller boxes are generally more expensive for the box but you only have to buy one set of disks.

    If your servers are from HP it helps if the SAN is from them too, EVA4400 would probably be overkill, P2000 ought to do. For just two servers look at SAS host connect rather than FC or iSCSI, it's cheaper, just as fast but limited to four hosts since there are only 4 host ports per controller and it's generally deployed direct attached without switches.

    Author Comment

    thanks for that! sounds better!

    would you reccomed that the VMs are intalled using physical disk, or VHD?

    also, do you know, if one host went down, can you use scvmm to transfer to the other host quickly? to minimize downtime etc.

    LVL 55

    Expert Comment

    by:andyalder has how to create a failover clluster, bear in mind you have to license all servers in the cluster for each virtual machine that runs Windows, e.g. for 2 node cluster and 5 windows VMs that's 10 standard licenses.

    I'm not a Windows expert but I think you would use VHD.
    LVL 41

    Assisted Solution

    There is no point in buying SCVMM for 5 VMs. You can manage everything via cluster manager. With Hyper-V clustering, you get what is known as high availability. If a host goes down, all VMs that were on that host crash and get rebooted on another host, which takes however long it takes for the VMs to reboot. This happens automatically without any manual intervention.

    Install VMs using VHD. Raw iSCSI to the VM might make sense in some cases, depending on the workload and your SAN.  FC and 10G Ethernet are both a waste for you environment. Use SAS or 1G iSCSI Ethernet for storage.

    As for licensing, the cheapest way for 5 VMs and 2 hosts is to license each host for 5 VMs, so that is 1x Windows Enterprise + 1x Windows Standard on each host. Windows Enterprise is good for 4 Windows VMs on the hardware. You should also look at Windows Datacenter if you expect that you may ever add VMs in the future. Each Windows Datacenter license is good for unlimited Windows Server VMs on the processor that has the Datacenter license assigned to it. Datacenter is cost effective at around 7.5 VMs, as I recall. You can trade up your Enterprise licenses to a Datacenter license, you you can use single processor hosts so you only need 1 Datacenter license per host.

    If you are running normal business work loads, use just a single quad core processor such as Xeon 5620 per host. It has enough power to easily run 20+ VMs in my environment. A single processor also cuts your licensing in half when using Datacenter.

    I can't say much about HP hardware, other than I have heard some really negative things regarding HP P4000 series from unhappy HP customers. Search for 'storagemojo lefthand equallogic' you can also go the shared internal storage route using local SAS drives in RAID 10, battery backed cache RAID controllers, and Star Wind Software which can turn the internal storage into a FT iSCSI SAN.

    Author Comment

    thanks guys, a lot to think about on that!

    Author Closing Comment

    provided information, but more research is required

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