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Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

You either take control of who you are and fight day and night for what you might be. OR, you just accept the 'This is how the world works might as well make the best of it, and go with the flow'. What do you choose to do with your life or give up on your dreams?


Alctel posted:

Ok, so this old chestnut, virtual, physical or appliance for VCenter?

Moving to Vcenter 5 from 4.1 and we had it on a physical box (since it makes things easier for upgrades etc) but 'best practice' is having it virtualised apparently.

What do y'all do? Our enviroment has 2 ESXi servers with around 20 VMs on

I have it virtualized, I gain HA and lose hardware dependancies, no problems to report

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Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Alctel posted:


What do y'all do? Our enviroment has 2 ESXi servers with around 20 VMs on

I have it virtualized and replicated to DR. Similar environment to yours, 2 hosts plus 1 in DR, about 35 VMs. I don't think there's a good reason these days to make it physical, but any more than a handful of hosts and you have to be a little mindful of where it is (use host affinity to keep it on a small subset of hosts so you can find it at 3am under stress). Us 2-host guys can let it roam free

I've heard nothing but bad things about the appliance.

feld
Feb 11, 2008

Out of nowhere its.....

Feldman



Alctel posted:

Ok, so this old chestnut, virtual, physical or appliance for VCenter?

Moving to Vcenter 5 from 4.1 and we had it on a physical box (since it makes things easier for upgrades etc) but 'best practice' is having it virtualised apparently.

What do y'all do? Our enviroment has 2 ESXi servers with around 20 VMs on

Physical. Nothing more painful than having Virtualcenter crash and having to search all your ESX servers to find it and turn it back on. (I've not witnessed anyone using the high availability thing yet, and considering the amount of RAM they recommend for virtualcenter -- like 8GB -- why would you want that on your VM cluster?)

KS
Jun 10, 2003


I think virtual is the way to go as long as you have some form of outside monitoring that can alert you if the whole cluster drops due to a storage or power issue.

If you're running a larger cluster, pin it to the first two hosts using DRS rules. That's pretty much what they were built for. As for RAM, I think 8GB for vcenter is the least of my problems.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


One reason to make it physical is if you don't have vMotion (I know, kill me now). I run it virtual without vMotion, so instead of being able to vMotion it to another host to upgrade the one it's usually on, I have another powered-off VM using the same VMDK on shared storage and I have to turn one off, then turn the other one on. One thing I've noticed is that it takes a while to start up vCenter even after the VM finishes booting, and sometimes it's very picky about logging in with DOMAIN\username instead of just username.

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



feld posted:

Physical. Nothing more painful than having Virtualcenter crash and having to search all your ESX servers to find it and turn it back on. (I've not witnessed anyone using the high availability thing yet, and considering the amount of RAM they recommend for virtualcenter -- like 8GB -- why would you want that on your VM cluster?)

He said he had 2 hosts, so that negates both your reasons. You have a 50/50 chance of finding it on the first try, and it doesn't need (or, more correctly, use) 8GB of RAM. My vCenter's active memory is rarely over 1GB unless vCenter is actually doing something, and then it might hit 2GB.

Once your host number climbs, just set DRS rules right and you'll still be able to find it.

Intraveinous
Oct 2, 2001

Legion of Rainy-Day Buddhists

We had an issue long ago with the virtualized vCenter, so long ago I don't even recall what it was. We had just finished a P2V migration on a fairly new box (DL380G5), so I just made that our new vCenter server, and haven't looked back since. We're running 6 nodes in production and 4 in DR, and it's good advice to use DRS rules to put vCenter on one of the first few nodes. I'll keep that in mind if we can't get budget to replace this physical box some day.

Moey
Oct 22, 2010



Erwin posted:

My vCenter's active memory is rarely over 1GB unless vCenter is actually doing something, and then it might hit 2GB.

How big is your environment? Is your SQL db running locally?

WarauInu
Jul 29, 2003


Question on networking and bonds maybe I have something wrong. Setting up my first "production" Xenserver 6.0 and it will have ideally when done 6 nic's, with 3 bonds of 2 nic's a piece. My thoughts were split each bond across different cards, and split pairs on different switches so if a switch went down data would go through the other.

I am being told I should have each on the same switch or it won't work. Am I wrong, and if so how would I best gain my redundancy I am looking for?

Erwin
Feb 17, 2006



Moey posted:

How big is your environment? Is your SQL db running locally?

3 hosts over 2 datacenters, 35ish VMs (so tiny). Yes, SQL is local.

To be clear, active memory, as opposed to shared memory is only about 1GB. Total host memory used is 6.5GB at the moment, but that's still not really a reason not to virtualize vCenter.

I guess if you have spare hardware you can give it more thought, but buying hardware vs. just making it a VM is a no-brainer I think.

fatjoint
Sep 28, 2005
Fatjoint

WarauInu posted:

Question on networking and bonds maybe I have something wrong. Setting up my first "production" Xenserver 6.0 and it will have ideally when done 6 nic's, with 3 bonds of 2 nic's a piece. My thoughts were split each bond across different cards, and split pairs on different switches so if a switch went down data would go through the other.

I am being told I should have each on the same switch or it won't work. Am I wrong, and if so how would I best gain my redundancy I am looking for?

[edit] I'm just not going to comment on this... The more I write the more I realize I should leave this to someone who knows what they're talking about there. Have a look see here. I know when attempting link aggregation at my locale, we ran into an issue because the aggregate was split across two switches and it didn't work the way we intended it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_aggregation

The OP needs to include Duncan Epping's blog site - I've purchased every book that Duncan Epping has written, and he has a great blog that covers a lot of information for free at http://www.yellow-bricks.com/


fatjoint fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2012 around 00:17

feld
Feb 11, 2008

Out of nowhere its.....

Feldman



Erwin posted:

3 hosts over 2 datacenters, 35ish VMs (so tiny). Yes, SQL is local.

To be clear, active memory, as opposed to shared memory is only about 1GB. Total host memory used is 6.5GB at the moment, but that's still not really a reason not to virtualize vCenter.

I guess if you have spare hardware you can give it more thought, but buying hardware vs. just making it a VM is a no-brainer I think.

6 hosts here and we see ours use 4-6 GB active memory. People remote desktop to it for the vsphere client over the vpn which causes it to use even more resources...

I once watched a friend try to find his crashed virtual center hiding somewhere on ~70 hosts. Was quite amusing. See, the OS kind of hung; it wasn't like the VM crashed completely and esx could restart it automatically....

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



feld posted:

I once watched a friend try to find his crashed virtual center hiding somewhere on ~70 hosts. Was quite amusing. See, the OS kind of hung; it wasn't like the VM crashed completely and esx could restart it automatically....
You're really asking for it if you have 70 hosts and don't pin vCenter.

Misogynist
Jul 14, 2003



evil_bunnY posted:

You're really asking for it if you have 70 hosts and don't pin vCenter.
vCenter will only live on the cluster it lives on (hat tip, Yogi Berra), so you're really at a max of 32 unless you're completely clueless and have no idea which host belongs to which cluster.

Not that this is a significantly better situation, of course.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



Misogynist posted:

vCenter will only live on the cluster it lives on (hat tip, Yogi Berra)
"This is not the vCenter you're looking for"

The way I've done in the past really depended on the customer's situation.

Now that I'm in-house and planning their next implementation, it'll be virtual (asynch replicated to B&DR site).

evil_bunnY fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2012 around 14:34

cheese-cube
May 28, 2007

Propane and satanic accessories.



You can get vCentre 5.0 as a virtual appliance now however there are some limitations to it (Off the top of my head: can only use it's embedded database, doesn't support Linked Mode configuration, doesn't support IPv6).

On the subject of vSphere 5.0 has anyone had any issues with VAAI (Now known as "Storage APIs - Array Integration" which sounds a lot lamer)? I am currently managing a large-ish environment (5 hosts/65 VMs) backed by an IBM V7000 SAN which supports full hardware acceleration and so far it has been nothing short of amazing. With the hosts utlising the full-copy and block zeroing array operations I can deploy a VM from a 50GB template in under 45 seconds.

Can anyone else provide any other anecdotes re VAAI?

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007



cheese-cube posted:

You can get vCentre 5.0 as a virtual appliance now however there are some limitations to it (Off the top of my head: can only use it's embedded database, doesn't support Linked Mode configuration, doesn't support IPv6).

I just started reading the Scott Lowe book, and in chapter 2 he talks about PXE booting all your ESXi hosts from your vCenter server, but in that situation I have no idea how you could pull it off with a virtual vCenter. How do you boot up from nothing when your boot server lives on a virtual server that can't boot?

Very chicken & the egg stuff here...

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



cheese-cube posted:

IBM V7000
What's the price like on these?

cheese-cube
May 28, 2007

Propane and satanic accessories.



evil_bunnY posted:

What's the price like on these?

Looking at some recent quotes that have come across my desk a 2.5" form-factor, 8Gb FC control enclosure with 24 x 600GB 10k 6Gb SAS HDDs will set you back around $120k ($60k for the enclosure and around $2.6k per HDD). Of course that is retail pricing, IBM Special Bid pricing can be much better. Not to sound like an IBM shill or anything but I can say the V7000 scales up ridiculously and no matter how much I/O I throw at it the thing just keeps on chugging.

Edit: just want to stress that the prices I've given above are retail prices, not partner pricing.

cheese-cube fucked around with this message at Feb 29, 2012 around 19:05

necrobobsledder
Mar 21, 2005
Lay down your soul to the gods rock 'n roll

FISHMANPET posted:

I just started reading the Scott Lowe book, and in chapter 2 he talks about PXE booting all your ESXi hosts from your vCenter server, but in that situation I have no idea how you could pull it off with a virtual vCenter. How do you boot up from nothing when your boot server lives on a virtual server that can't boot?

Very chicken & the egg stuff here...
You'd have to assign a special boot image for the cluster containing a vCenter VM and only permit one machine to ever boot from it at a time (that much I haven't seen an option for besides MAC address filtering for images, which then introduces a MAC address dependency in your recovery sequence). If your entire system goes down, you need a defined sequence anyway and one way of breaking the dependency is to just say "the chicken starts from this special, unique egg" or vice versa. In software parlance, this is basically a singleton.

A comedy option is to have a physical server around to function as a temporary vCenter that gets a p2v run on it in the event things go to hell. But I assume that if any of this is necessary, you'd probably be better off spending time dusting off your resume than restoring all the equipment.

Misogynist
Jul 14, 2003



cheese-cube posted:

Looking at some recent quotes that have come across my desk a 2.5" form-factor, 8Gb FC control enclosure with 24 x 600GB 10k 6Gb SAS HDDs will set you back around $120k ($60k for the enclosure and around $2.6k per HDD). Of course that is retail pricing, IBM Special Bid pricing can be much better. Not to sound like an IBM shill or anything but I can say the V7000 scales up ridiculously and no matter how much I/O I throw at it the thing just keeps on chugging.
As someone who's considering dropping a quarter mil on a V7000/SONAS configuration, this is reassuring.

Bitch Stewie
Dec 17, 2011


cheese-cube posted:

You can get vCentre 5.0 as a virtual appliance now however there are some limitations to it (Off the top of my head: can only use it's embedded database, doesn't support Linked Mode configuration, doesn't support IPv6).

From what I saw the biggest ball ache is that it doesn't include VUM.

Martytoof
Feb 25, 2003



Awesome.

Awesome to
the MAX.




Yeah, I can't imagine that it was ever really designed to boot your ENTIRE infrastructure via autodeploy. I thought that you had to have a certain level of available infrastructure which booted traditionally for this to be effective/feasible.

I always assumed this was an ideal way to get DPM running. You've got an entire bank of servers that are powered off until they're required, then you can bring them online when you need to migrate resources to them, and since they're basically overflow machines you can auto-deploy them statelessly.

cheese-cube
May 28, 2007

Propane and satanic accessories.



Bitch Stewie posted:

From what I saw the biggest ball ache is that it doesn't include VUM.

Well the virtual appliance was never really designed as an "all-in-one" kinda deal so I'm not surprised that VUM isn't included.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



Alctel posted:

Ok, so this old chestnut, virtual, physical or appliance for VCenter?

More on the subject:
http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2012/0...whats-the-deal/

Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

You either take control of who you are and fight day and night for what you might be. OR, you just accept the 'This is how the world works might as well make the best of it, and go with the flow'. What do you choose to do with your life or give up on your dreams?


nvm

Dilbert As FUCK fucked around with this message at Mar 2, 2012 around 02:17

Misogynist
Jul 14, 2003



We're having no end to our support issues with Veeam, and we're considering moving to a competitor's product. I'd like to solicit this thread's opinions while we do our bake-off: Veeam, PHD Virtual or vRanger? Why?

Mierdaan
Sep 14, 2004



I've always meant to ask if I just had a bad experience with Veeam or what. We were using it to back up a 1TB Server 2008 R2 file server a few years back, and every single night the backup would take {$hugeInt} of hours. The amount of data written to the Veeam server's drive reflected the actual deltas, but it took a full backup's worth of time every single night. Veeam wasn't ever able to explain it, since according to their sales guy and their tech support the synthetic incrementals should've been fast.

Misogynist
Jul 14, 2003



Mierdaan posted:

I've always meant to ask if I just had a bad experience with Veeam or what. We were using it to back up a 1TB Server 2008 R2 file server a few years back, and every single night the backup would take {$hugeInt} of hours. The amount of data written to the Veeam server's drive reflected the actual deltas, but it took a full backup's worth of time every single night. Veeam wasn't ever able to explain it, since according to their sales guy and their tech support the synthetic incrementals should've been fast.
This is one of our issues that we do not have with our eval of PHD Virtual.

fatjoint
Sep 28, 2005
Fatjoint

Misogynist posted:

This is one of our issues that we do not have with our eval of PHD Virtual.

We have Backup Exec, and the thing I'd have to say about any product is they all have their issues.

We used to have extremely long exchange backups until one day I realized that while the system drive of the exchange server existed in a datastore that had plenty of space for snapshots, all of the datastore volumes were sized to the same size of the vmfs datastores.

This causes issues with change block tracking - specifically - it caused the ESX server to issue stuns to the virtual machine to accomodate the writing of data. I created all new luns for the storage groups and made sure when creating each of the vmdks to leave about 15GB of free space within the ESX datastore.

Went from 30+hrs of backup time to 10.

Wonder_Bread
Dec 21, 2006
Fresh Baked Goodness!

Currently evaluating PHDvirtual's 5.4 product here myself, we are a current user of their older esXpress 4 product. The older version has always been rock-stable and hasn't let us down yet.

It's pretty fantastic and the licensing and support costs are a steal, in my eyes (licensed per host, quoted for $1045/yr for the first year and $280/yr afterwards for Platinum support.. Probably the biggest reason we're looking at them, beyond being somewhat familiar already with the product. Also, set up was so ridiculously easy. It took me longer to configure the NAS then it did to set up the VBAs only five hosts along with installing the console. And it only took five minutes to configure the NAS...

But our situation is a bit different, as we're looking to stay with them and are only playing with new features/features my predecessor didn't use. I looked at Veeam real quick but their licensing costs turned me off right away.

Wonder_Bread fucked around with this message at Mar 4, 2012 around 01:21

three
Aug 9, 2007




Veeam's first level support sucks. You really need to engage your rep to get escalated.

Misogynist
Jul 14, 2003



three posted:

Veeam's first level support sucks. You really need to engage your rep to get escalated.
Their level 2 support is also bad enough that after speaking with the support manager, the tech we had doesn't work there anymore.

Maneki Neko
Oct 27, 2000



I've seen pretty mixed results with Veeam.

We basically just said we're not going to backup anything over 100GB with it, and that seems to have eliminated most of our issues, but we also haven't upgraded to version 6. Anything ends up being slow gradual changes, because the initial full backups take forever, so we're not really able to add more than 1-2 servers a night to a job.

We were never able to get the super fancy U-AIR or Surebackup stuff working the way we wanted with 5, and just back burnered it until 6 came out, but ended up revamping our longer term architecture to eventually phase Veeam out.

Our support experiences have been ok, unless you ride someones rear end it seems pretty easy for them to forget you, and if you have one-off type issues, don't really expect to get a good answer to why something happened. They could also do with a lot more "best practice" type documentation, outside of "here's how you install it", it seems to be a lot of trial and error and forum threads.

madsushi
Apr 19, 2009

Baller.

If on a SAN (NetApp), we use NetApp's VSC.

If not on a SAN, we use PHDVirtual's esXpress, because it simply works.

evil_bunnY
Apr 2, 2003



Good VM sizing post (originally for MSSQL, but a lot of it applies to everything you virtualize)

I find that the single most telling memory usage stat is page faults (what MS calls hard faults now). Once you get rid of (most of) those, watching application/service latency while you vary vRAM will give you a better idea of what works best.

Always start small.

Wonder_Bread
Dec 21, 2006
Fresh Baked Goodness!

Also...

The only true flaw (and I don't THINK it's an issue with my network or storage) is that initial backup and replication jobs using PHDvirtual take FOR-loving-EVER.

Is this normal? I tested it using direct-attached storage (local disk via datastore) and it was still equally as slow the first time.

Rexxed
May 1, 2010

Dis is amazing!
I gotta try dis!


I have a question regarding VMware licensing and running an ESXi host. I signed up for the free ESXi license to play around with bare metal virtualization on an old server I had in many pieces. I got it back together and set up with 4.1 since 5 wouldn't run on the old school single core opterons. It works and it's fun to tinker with, which is really my main purpose, this is just a learning project for me. To manage the host and interact with the VMs I have set up, I have been using vSphere client. vSphere client seem to be indicating that it's an evaluation copy and will expire in 60 days (less now, that was the initial limit).

My question has two parts given this limitation. The first is: is the license of vSphere client (or any of their more complicated management tools) how they get you to spend money on their product given that the free ESXi license exists? If so, the second part of my question is: is there any free way to manage an ESXi host? Third party utilities maybe, or some hidden option that actually has datastore interaction and/or console accessibility in the ESXi host console, or something crazy like that? I am obviously very new to virtualization, but it seems that in order to do anything with an ESXi box you require management software. Having ESXi be free and the management software cost money is fine, but since I'm just messing around, I am wondering if my learning is going to abruptly end when the vSphere client's evaluation does.

Intraveinous
Oct 2, 2001

Legion of Rainy-Day Buddhists

Rexxed posted:

My question has two parts given this limitation. The first is: is the license of vSphere client (or any of their more complicated management tools) how they get you to spend money on their product given that the free ESXi license exists? If so, the second part of my question is: is there any free way to manage an ESXi host? Third party utilities maybe, or some hidden option that actually has datastore interaction and/or console accessibility in the ESXi host console, or something crazy like that? I am obviously very new to virtualization, but it seems that in order to do anything with an ESXi box you require management software. Having ESXi be free and the management software cost money is fine, but since I'm just messing around, I am wondering if my learning is going to abruptly end when the vSphere client's evaluation does.

It sounds like you downloaded a trial of ESXi rather than ESXi free. The free version doesn't expire. You'd need a license for vCenter if you wanted to manage several boxes at once, and do things like vMotion between hosts. vSphere Hypervisor is what they call the free version now, I think, vs vSphere ESXi for the full, needs licensing, version.

EDIT: Link for the Free, assumed non-expiring, version: http://www.vmware.com/products/vsph...r/overview.html

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Rexxed
May 1, 2010

Dis is amazing!
I gotta try dis!


Intraveinous posted:

It sounds like you downloaded a trial of ESXi rather than ESXi free. The free version doesn't expire. You'd need a license for vCenter if you wanted to manage several boxes at once, and do things like vMotion between hosts. ESXi Hypervisor is what they call the free version now, I think, vs vSphere ESXi for the full, needs licensing, version.

Well, I was able to put my license key into the ESXi server and it says it's registered now. If you're suggesting that the management tools take their licensing status from the host, then maybe I just need to re-launch vSphere client and see if it continues to have an evaluation warning.

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