Seeking advice on creating a basic virtual infrastructure.
Posted on 2014-12-15
HELP! I’ve inherited a project that I’m hoping to get some guidance and advice on. I've been asked to complete the creation of a basic virtualization infrastructure for a small insurance company with about 35 users. This will be the first virtual server on the network, and it will ideally host three VMs. The most critical VM will host a Microsoft SQL database that contains all client data and is accessed by all users.
Unfortunately, they've already purchased the hardware, so I’m pretty much locked into the following configuration unless there are obvious roadblocks. The server is still in the shipping container, and the NAS has been unboxed and the drives installed, but not fully configured with a volume or iSCSI.
The server is a Dell PowerEdge T620 server running VMware ESXi 5.5 (Eventually I hope to convince them to install a 2ndESXi server for failover, but for now I only have one server to work with). Basic specifications are 2 x Xeon E5-2620 processors, 48GB RAM, 2 x 750W power supplies, 4 x 1GB ethernet ports, and VMware ESXi 5.5 embedded on Dual 2GB SD Cards. The server has no RAID controller or internal drives.
For storage they have a brand new Synology DiskStation DS1813+ with 6 x 3TB WD “Red” drives. The Dell server and the Synology DiskStation will be connected via an 8 port, unmanaged, 1Gigabit switch. I realize an unmanaged switch is not ideal, but I’m hoping that it will be adequate since the only devices connected it will be the Dell server and the Synology DiskStation. I'm thinking a single RAID10 volume and is the way to go, but I'm all ears if you have suggestions. Any thoughts on using Synology's "SHR" RAID in this environment? I have some basic experience with VMware and vSphere virtualization, but this is the first time I am setting up “shared storage” via iSCSI and NAS. The other ESXi servers I’ve worked with all used internal hard drives for storage.
I guess I’m looking for advice or suggestions from anyone with experience on a similar configuration or environment. Does anyone see problems with the basic configuration I’m describing? I’d love to hear about any rookie mistakes that I should avoid. In fact, any thoughts at all from those with more experience would be greatly appreciated. The company's existing servers are not in terrible shape, so it's not a huge rush to complete the project, but I'd like to have the SQL Server virtualized by the end of January if possible.