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Deployment using VM

Posted on 2013-06-08
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Last Modified: 2013-07-16
Hi Experts,

I would ask for complete guidance. I have server [just hardware] 4 QUAD with 4TB storage.
I would make 4 virtual WIN 2008 R2 servers [one will run Exchange 2003] on this one. What are the steps ?

I was thinking about using WMWARE but not sure if that's the right way. I need to do virtual backups etc.

Please propose most efficient way.

Thanks.
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Question by:fpoyavo
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39231953
Why use VMWare when Hyper-V is included in 2008 R2?

You cannot run Exchange 2003 - it's not compatible with Server 2008 R2.
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by:skullnobrains
skullnobrains earned 334 total points
ID: 39232004
i would never use windows as the host for price, performance and risk to break everything in setups where you give a raw partition to a vm.

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any virtual tool will let you do virtual backups, snapshots and the likes, at least vmware, virtualbox and qemu. main differences are that vmware supports moving machines from one host to another without stopping the vm (useless if you have a single host) and vmware is expensive while the other 2 are free.

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in qemu, you can give raw partitions to your vms easily
something like "qemu /dev/sda3" will start a vm giving it the 3rd partition of the first sata disk. there are many guis for qemu around. most are ugly but they get the job done. qemu will be very slow if you do not use the kernel module kqemu (windows/bsd/solaris) or kvm (linux)

in virtualbox, you can do it with a cryptic command, but the rest of the machine's configuration can be made in a comprehensive GUI

no idea about vmware. used to be feasible on gsx, but I have not tried on esx

all of them support iSCSI exports which are also much faster than sticking the hosts disks in files.

using actual files to store the guests filesystems on a ntfs filesystem is in my opinion foolish performance-wise, and suboptimal with other filesystems, but some people will find it easier to administrate

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i'd probably go for a solaris or BSD host using zfs on the hosts, zfs iSCSI exports (builtin) for the guests disks, and virtualbox as the virtualisation software.

you'll have to type a few commands to setup zfs exports and to make them available in virtualbox's device manager but then everything including hot snapshots, guest export and the likes can be performed using the GUI, and you can install a web gui for remote administration if necessary

nb : snapshots will not be available using iscsi exports (at least not as far as i know) but in this case, you can do the snapshots in ZFS rather easily

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you'd need to make a few decisions and give information regarding which OS you want or do not want, availability of iscsi exports directly from an existing san, knowlege of unix systems, wether you are comfortable when using the command line or you'd rather do everything from a GUI... before we produce a step by step guide

please include information on your storage : what are those 4Tb ? directly attached disks ?
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 166 total points
ID: 39232020
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Author Comment

by:fpoyavo
ID: 39233049
Leew,

VMWARE is not free and does anybody knows the price tag ?

Good point but is HYPER-V Free ? I think its up to 32GB free right ? Not sure 32gb of space or memory :)))

Yes I would stick to something free but manageable and with normal GUI where you can do copies, backups etc.

I will look today into suggested virtualbox and other options. I would remond you I am into windows environment and will not use any linux, unix, bsd OSes.

Any suggestions ?

Thanks.
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by:fpoyavo
ID: 39233069
P.S. I forgot to add a few things.

1. It will be high availability redundent environment with heavy load balancing
2. There will be need to make sure VM can be transparently replaced by its backup on the fly

Is VirtualBox or any other except VMWARE can be used in real enterprise solution ?
Is there proven record of that where you may have multiple hosts using VirtualBox or qume or anything except VMWARE ?
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LVL 118
ID: 39233116
VMware Hypervisor is FREE, 1 cpu per server and 32GB of RAM, if you need more purchase VMware vSphere Essentials at $500.

Desktop Hypervisors are not suitable when you can use VMware ESXi or Hyper-V for FREE.

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Accepted Solution

by:
skullnobrains earned 334 total points
ID: 39234401
Yes I would stick to something free but manageable and with normal GUI where you can do copies, backups etc.

I will look today into suggested virtualbox and other options. I would remond you I am into windows environment and will not use any linux, unix, bsd OSes.

virtualbox is the easiest to manage... by far since it is an all-in-one solution.
qemu has third-party GUIs but they probably do not come as handy.
xen does not apply on windows

It will be high availability redundent environment with heavy load balancing

no problem there whatever the solution. qemu supports more complex networking including distributed virtual switches on many instances, but they will be a pain to configure, and i assume you don't need such advanced features.

vmware's network redundancy works in a VERY weird way, btw

There will be need to make sure VM can be transparently replaced by its backup on the fly

definitely push-button on virtualbox, same with many of the qemu guis : machines can be exported, backuped, cloned, snapshoted in a few clicks from the gui. beware that hot-cloning or hot-exporting are not supported, but hot-snapshots obviously are

Is VirtualBox or any other except VMWARE can be used in real enterprise solution ?
Is there proven record of that where you may have multiple hosts using VirtualBox or qume or anything except VMWARE ?

yes. most professionnal virtual hosting and many cloud services are built on qemu+kvm. Xen is used by many companies and providers, including cloud hosting, and many remote-desktop or remote-app solutions including some citrix produts are based on xen hypervisor, and virtualbox's usage in medium to large companies is spreading quite fast though it is difficult to mesure as there is no registration or usage report bundled with any of them.

you migh also want to look at distributions dedicated to virtualisation if you want to have the power of unices without any command-line knowlege.
here is an example : http://www.proxmox.com/proxmox-ve
it features some extra features such as hosts working as a cluster, and machines moved around physical hosts
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