OCAU VMware Virtualisation Group!

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by NIP007, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    is anyone actually game to make one and release it? heh, I could probably make one up at work on a standalone server, but there will be advocates from all camps complaining that something should have been tuned and what not.

    from a default install, it'd be interesting to see on same hardware how things perform, benchmarking disk IO, CPU, memory throughput.

    sandra would run some nice tests in a stock windows XP install, although people would then scream blue murder due to the testing approach, never can you win.

    although VMWare are like kids with candy when it comes to benchmarks: http://weblog.infoworld.com/virtualization/archives/2006/06/vmware_relaxes.html

     
    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  2. Falkor

    Falkor Member

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    This may have been discussed in here before, apologies if it has.

    We are putting in ESX in the next month or two and work wants to send me on a training course, No complaints here.

    I looked on the VMWare site, saw the 2 they have.. They also have a Fast Track course which looks like it could be the one to go for. As it covers all the aspects I want.

    Has anyone done any of them? Are they decent? Any other recommendations for courses that anyone else offers?

    Thanks
     
  3. lavi

    lavi Member

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    best advice i can give you is go and learn the ins and out of it first not via a fast track and not via some crap vmware trining course but hands on! my business partner did the vmware course via HP and it was a complete waste of money as i had to spend about a week with him after training him how to do things the right way! even after the training with vmware they tell you that you can't pass you exam unless you go and get some hands on experience.

    Do NOT attend the course and deploy your environment as when shit will hit fan you will crunch. Learn the console and hwat you can do there, build a test environment and once the test environment is done then go to learn with vmware, you can practice at home what you learn at "school"

    I have seen so many people paying hte 2.5k or whatever it is only to walk out after 2 weeks with not much info except sales talk on how virtualization is so good but actually setting one environment up they were all scared specially when you start talking about SANadministration and LUN masking and zoning etc.

    90% of ppl who take the course are BDM's doing it to impress potential clients by blabering on that they are VCP and certified and they KNOW what a business needs. Pffffttt! virtualization is what realestat was 5years ago, the bandwagon to get rich quick and every joblo gets certified now and is an expert, the problem is when a $150.000 stops joblow gets fired (150k is minimum one would spend to start virtualizing with vmware)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  4. Falkor

    Falkor Member

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    Fair points.

    But What If I already have hands on experience (We have been testing here in an environment for the last few months) and I want the course to back it up and cover anything I may have missed? :p
     
  5. lavi

    lavi Member

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    well then you'll not learn much but worth having the VCP under your belt :)

    have you taken a consolidated backup of the test environment, destroy the san LUN then put everything back on yet? :)
     
  6. Falkor

    Falkor Member

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    Not to mention work is paying :p

    No, I will do that :)
    Thanks for the tip.
     
  7. tensop

    tensop Member

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    from experience, the hits are gigantic on 16 bit emulation, large on disk, medium on network i/o

    in terms of perf, 1000mt nic seems to be the best, followed by pcnet32 then vmxnet

    but its heavily dependant on host o/s or whether its esx or not
     
  8. coroner

    coroner Member

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    if only i had the joy of playing in a test environment with a SAN amongst the gear.

    Looking at buying a compatible desktop machine to start off with ESX... maybe a freenas for iscsi if i start feeling rich
     
  9. Gristy

    Gristy Member

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    need to get a pci network card(10/100 will suffice) thats supported by esx.

    anyone have any recommendations?

    or is there a list somewhere because i coudlnt find one.
     
  10. yanman

    yanman Member

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    You don't need anything special to get a test environment setup. It won't be fastest thing around but it will give you the opportunity to try out all the high end features like HA and DRS

    There's some awesome resources here: http://sanbarrow.com/

    Follow the excellent guides here: xtravirt.com White Papers for instructions on how to get ESX installed inside VMware Workstation 6. Further instructions show you how to setup OpenFiler iSCSI LUNs so that the VM's inside your virtual ESX hosts can be VMotion'd. All of this can be run from a single laptop (with Intel, VT extensions enabled, and probably 3-4GB RAM)
     
  11. fad

    fad Member

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    Depends on how much you want to spend.

    If you have a really low budget. Any desktop board will do. Avoid the Intel ones, they don't seems to have a full apic implementation in their bios's. I have found Asus P5B boards are really good. For motherboard without a intel PATA controller, use usb cdrom to install, or SATA (I havent tried this.) You will need storage for the VMFS on this, so iSCSI or buy a supported scsi-sata-sas card. Adaptec 58xx5, Intel SRCS-16, Adaptec 2410a, etc.

    If you want to spend a small amount. Buy a Intel S3000AH or AHLX (for 64bit pci). Using this you can use SATA as scsi ports. So you can install esx 3.5 and run it on a few 200-1tb sata drives.

    These board can use 8gb, in 4x 2gb 667mhz. Which for corsair value ram should be about $200.

    -fad
     
  12. OP
    OP
    NIP007

    NIP007 Member

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    SQL server in a VMware environment

    Hi guys,

    Apart from doing things such as using a dedicated NIC for the server, what other things can you do to achieve optimum performance out of an SQL server in a virtualised environment?

    What servers in your virtual environment have dedicated NICS allocated to them?
     
  13. fad

    fad Member

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    None.

    You could put the VM on a 15k FC lun. Partition the NTFS to align with the block size of the LUN. Also partition the VMFS to align with the LUN. Give it a large amount of memory, and mabey higher shares on the resource group.
     
  14. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    why not just put the SQL data on a RDM which if using a netapp FAS unit allows you to create a lun based on the file system, so block allocation isn't necessary.

    if using within ESX, a separate lun will help by being assigned a separate IO queue because its not on the same lun as the VM and possibly 20 other VM's.

    by putting the data on an independent LUN you don't face as many IO contention issues, ESP if you are using ESX software ISCSI, I have posted here before about the limitations of using etherchannel based ISCSI on ESX for san connectivity, and again in short: etherchannel will not load balance a session ip-ip over seperate nics, it will remember what nic data is supposed to go down, limiting a ISCSI session to 1gbps, there are ways you can work around this, but for peak performance use FC instead of ISCSI.

    making sure the SQL instance can get as much ram as is supported by the server OS.

    tune your sql queries (every other bell and whistle being tuned and tweaked may yield 10-300% performance, but tuned queries can yield anywhere up to say 30,000%)

    edit:
    regarding the ESX IO queue with LUN's i'm considering the restructure of our environment to a NFS filesystem.
    coupled with netapp dedupe technology i can granular restore a single vm rather than a whole lun.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  15. kuruptz

    kuruptz Member

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    VMWARE HELP

    If i have about 200-300 Computers, what would be the best way to set up VMWARE, its an I.T education setup so students will need to install a few different operating systems(WIndows,Linux etc), format/reinstall quite often as this is Cert IV/ Diploma level I.T.

    Right now they are thinking of VMWARE on each computer and each student can have there own Virtual Computers that they can password (not even sure if thats possible), this means they can do as they please with there own virtual computers if they need to format they can without effecting other students, as more then one student will be using the same physical computer, but each will have there own virtual computers.

    How would you go about settings this up? assuming The network infastrucutre is sufficient we run a gigabit network.

    Is this the best way? I was thinking some sort of vmware server that stores all the info and when the computer boot up they connect to this server and can access there virtual PC as otherwise all computer will need to be upgraded in order to run VMWARE smoothly, but with my rough solution above we only need one or two very powerful servers to host all the virtual PCS.

    ALSO Sometimes students will need to run more then one virtual PC at a time on there one physical computer ( i.e Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 running at the same time).

    This environment will need to be easily modified as students will quite often need to install and format operating systems, another thing is OTHER students should not be able to access any Virtual PC but there own (possible to password protect virtual pcs?)

    Im only new in I.T but after reading this thread (read every post) It seems that VMWARE will be a very useful thing to start learning about so i will be looking to setup it up at home with a few computers and start studying VCP and researching VMWARE, it really seems like VMWARE is the future.

    So thanks everyone that posted here, you have inspired me :D
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2008
  16. oli

    oli Member

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    kuruptz I'm certainly no expert in this area but I think you could run Linux on each of the machines themself and install VMware Server on them, then have a central authentication server. Each user that logs into the Linux machines then has the ability to create their own VMs for their own user account.

    And I am fairly certain that each individual user account on a Linux machine with VMware Server can have their own VMs. :)
     
  17. yanman

    yanman Member

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    kuruptz it may pay to check up on the government VMware licensing situation and how it might benefit you. I know our state government has done a big deal with VMware for unlimited licenses of VI3, Virtualcentre and a few others
     
  18. OP
    OP
    NIP007

    NIP007 Member

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    Thanks Fad and Doc for your input! Definitely given me some things to think about. We're looking at taking advantage of NetApp's SnapManager for SQL as well for snapshots and backups etc.. interesting stuff :)
     
  19. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    good choice, with this you can take SQL snapshots for your DB's every 15 minutes if you like and also use netapp to snapshot the VM's (much nicer on NFS). If the box crashes and you loose the whole DB, just restore the VM from the netapp FAS snapshot and re deploy the sql snapshot. worst case scenario you lost anywhere up to 15 minutes of data, if you have a high rate of change or mission critical you should probably be using a master/slave SQL server setup anyway.
     
  20. tensop

    tensop Member

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    I did this as a part of my project back when i was doing my course...

    What you could do is:

    Central imaging server purely for reimaging the Host VM when the students manage to break it. you can use ghost/rembo or something like that here

    Proxy+firewall rules to block broadcast of dhcp/other services to outside of the computer lab

    Each desktop PC will run a linux/windows distro with vmware-server 1.0x on it, write some batch scripts to dump new 'default' guest vms for the client when they shag those aswell(which they will, and lets face it - students should know how to install win2k3 etc, so getting them straight to the desktop instead of spending 30-40 mins rooting around installing windows will be a benefit)
     

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