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Old 02-05-2010, 11:58 AM
"Bo Lynch"
 
Default Clustering

On Thu, February 4, 2010 6:18 pm, Drew wrote:
>> Right know we have about 30 or so linux servers scattered through out or
>> district. Was looking at ways of consolidating and some sort of
>> redundancy
>> would be nice.
>
> I'm in the process of going through something like that right now. The
> solution we're pursuing is to virtualize our existing physical servers
> in virtual machines and consolidating those VM's on a smaller number
> of larger servers.
>
> The tools we're using allow us to keep a warm copy of a VM on
> redundant server and if we lose an entire server we're up within
> 3-5min with minimal data loss. As the servers we're installing have
> VMware ESXi embedded in the server and storage is pulled from
> redundant iSCSI backends, data loss due to server failure is minimal.
> And as part of the backup process includes regular off-site backups of
> the data and VMs to another office we can, in theory, lose an entire
> building and still continue to function.
>
>
> --
> Drew
>
>
Thanks for the info. Looks like VM would be the way to go. I have been
looking at Vmware and virtualbox. Would you recommend Vmware over
virtualbox?

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:01 PM
"Bo Lynch"
 
Default Clustering

On Thu, February 4, 2010 6:34 pm, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On 2/4/2010 3:17 PM, Bo Lynch wrote:
>>
>> Right know we have about 30 or so linux servers scattered through out or
>> district. Was looking at ways of consolidating and some sort of
>> redundancy
>> would be nice.
>> Will clustering not work with certain apps? We have a couple mysql
>> dbases,
>> oracle database, smb shares, nfs, email, and web servers.
>
> Each app has it's own best way to provide the redundancy and
> auto-failover and it's own set of tradeoffs of the added complexity vs.
> the possible reduced downtime if the primary fails.
>
> I'd balance the options against the low-tech method of having raid
> mirrors in swappable bays with a spare similar server chassis or two
> around plus regular backups kept at a different location. The raid lets
> you continue in the likely event of a disk failure so you can repair it
> at a convenient time. Other failures (motherboard, power supply) are
> less likely but can be handled by swapping the drives into an alternate
> chassis (and with Centos you'll need to re-assign the IP addresses that
> are tied to the old NIC mac addresses) with a small amount of downtime.
> And the backups cover things like operator or software errors (that
> would wipe a cluster too) or a building-level disaster that destroys the
> disks or the primary and spare chassis at the same time. Some apps may
> be worth the effort to do better.
>
> --
> Les Mikesell
> lesmikesell@gmail.com
>
Currently we are doing the low tech method. Daily and weekly backups both
onsite and off along with RAID and all that other good stuff. I was just
wondering if clustering was a better way of handling things. Thanks for
the info.
Bo

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:03 PM
Athmane Madjoudj
 
Default Clustering

On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM, Bo Lynch <blynch@ameliaschools.com> wrote:
> On Thu, February 4, 2010 6:18 pm, Drew wrote:
>>> Right know we have about 30 or so linux servers scattered through out or
>>> district. Was looking at ways of consolidating and some sort of
>>> redundancy
>>> would be nice.
>>
>> I'm in the process of going through something like that right now. The
>> solution we're pursuing is to virtualize our existing physical servers
>> in virtual machines and consolidating those VM's on a smaller number
>> of larger servers.
>>
>> The tools we're using allow us to keep a warm copy of a VM on
>> redundant server and if we lose an entire server we're up within
>> 3-5min with minimal data loss. As the servers we're installing have
>> VMware ESXi embedded in the server and storage is pulled from
>> redundant iSCSI backends, data loss due to server failure is minimal.
>> And as part of the backup process includes regular off-site backups of
>> the data and VMs to another office we can, in theory, lose an entire
>> building and still continue to function.
>>
>>
>> --
>> Drew
>>
>>
> Thanks for the info. Looks like VM would be the way to go. I have been
> looking at Vmware and virtualbox. Would you recommend Vmware over
> virtualbox?
>
> _______________________________________________
> CentOS mailing list
> CentOS@centos.org
> http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
>

AFAIK, virtualbox is desktop only virtualization while vmware has more
offering (desktop, server, cloud etc)

--
Athmane Madjoudj
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:49 PM
"Bo Lynch"
 
Default Clustering

On Fri, February 5, 2010 8:03 am, Athmane Madjoudj wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM, Bo Lynch <blynch@ameliaschools.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, February 4, 2010 6:18 pm, Drew wrote:
>>>> Right know we have about 30 or so linux servers scattered through out
>>>> or
>>>> district. Was looking at ways of consolidating and some sort of
>>>> redundancy
>>>> would be nice.
>>>
>>> I'm in the process of going through something like that right now. The
>>> solution we're pursuing is to virtualize our existing physical servers
>>> in virtual machines and consolidating those VM's on a smaller number
>>> of larger servers.
>>>
>>> The tools we're using allow us to keep a warm copy of a VM on
>>> redundant server and if we lose an entire server we're up within
>>> 3-5min with minimal data loss. As the servers we're installing have
>>> VMware ESXi embedded in the server and storage is pulled from
>>> redundant iSCSI backends, data loss due to server failure is minimal.
>>> And as part of the backup process includes regular off-site backups of
>>> the data and VMs to another office we can, in theory, lose an entire
>>> building and still continue to function.
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Drew
>>>
>>>
>> Thanks for the info. Looks like VM would be the way to go. I have been
>> looking at Vmware and virtualbox. Would you recommend Vmware over
>> virtualbox?
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> CentOS mailing list
>> CentOS@centos.org
>> http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos
>>
>
> AFAIK, virtualbox is desktop only virtualization while vmware has more
> offering (desktop, server, cloud etc)
>
> --
> Athmane Madjoudj
>
Whats your thoughts on Vmware server over esxi?
Really do not want to have to budget for Virtualization if I do not have to.
Thanks for any info.

Bo

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:57 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Clustering

Bo Lynch wrote:
>
>>
> Currently we are doing the low tech method. Daily and weekly backups both
> onsite and off along with RAID and all that other good stuff. I was just
> wondering if clustering was a better way of handling things. Thanks for
> the info.

If you are looking at VMware, ESX(i) is the nicest of the bunch but moderately
expensive for the full version that does clustering and live moves - and you
also need a highly reliable iscsi disk server. But even the free version is
very nice in terms of the management tools, low overhead, and the ability to
overcommit the host's RAM. You could start by building shadow copies of most of
your servers that could be activated as needed, with perhaps a few being live
with application level failover (heartbeat, drbd, database replication, etc.).
ESXi is also a nice lab framework for testing new thing.


--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:57 PM
"nate"
 
Default Clustering

Bo Lynch wrote:

> Whats your thoughts on Vmware server over esxi?
> Really do not want to have to budget for Virtualization if I do not have to.

Depends on the hardware, ideally esxi, though it is very
picky about hardware.

And you should budget for it, storage will be a big concern if
you want to provide high availability. A good small storage
array(few TB) starts at around $30-40k.

nate


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Old 02-05-2010, 01:02 PM
Athmane Madjoudj
 
Default Clustering

> Whats your thoughts on Vmware server over esxi?
> Really do not want to have to budget for Virtualization if I do not have to.
> Thanks for any info.

Here is a comparison of VMware ESXi and Server notice that server
doesn't cost money.

http://www.vmware.com/products/server/faqs.html

both are proprietary
there are a lot of good FOSS alternatives such:

KVM (require a modern hardware)
Xen (need a patched kernel: available in centos repos)
OpenVZ (need a patched kernel: available in openvz repos, mainly for
VPS but personalty i use it)

HTH

--
Athmane Madjoudj
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:03 PM
"Bo Lynch"
 
Default Clustering

> Bo Lynch wrote:
>>
>>>
>> Currently we are doing the low tech method. Daily and weekly backups
>> both
>> onsite and off along with RAID and all that other good stuff. I was just
>> wondering if clustering was a better way of handling things. Thanks for
>> the info.
>
> If you are looking at VMware, ESX(i) is the nicest of the bunch but
> moderately
> expensive for the full version that does clustering and live moves - and
> you
> also need a highly reliable iscsi disk server. But even the free version
> is
> very nice in terms of the management tools, low overhead, and the ability
> to
> overcommit the host's RAM. You could start by building shadow copies of
> most of
> your servers that could be activated as needed, with perhaps a few being
> live
> with application level failover (heartbeat, drbd, database replication,
> etc.).
> ESXi is also a nice lab framework for testing new thing.
>
>
> --
> Les Mikesell
> lesmikesell@gmail.com


When you talk about the free version are your referring to Vmware server
or is there a free version of Esxi? The website is a little misleading
with "free trail" and such.


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Old 02-05-2010, 01:03 PM
Drew
 
Default Clustering

> Thanks for the info. Looks like VM would be the way to go. I have been
> looking at Vmware and virtualbox. Would you recommend Vmware over
> virtualbox?

> Whats your thoughts on Vmware server over esxi?
> Really do not want to have to budget for Virtualization if I do not have to.

I know some will disagree with me but for production I recommend
sticking with VMware's ESXi product, which is free, unless you have
need of some of the more advanced features which are available through
paid options.

The downside of offerings like Virtualbox or VMware Server, where the
guest OS is hosted inside the app running on a full blown OS, is the
host itself. In my experience, the smaller footprint of VMware ESX(i)
reduces the amount of maintenance required as well as has minimal
performance impact of the guest OS's.

That said, apps like Virtualbox / WMware server do have their place.
At work I routinely create virtual machines under WMware Server to
experiment with new software before releasing it into the wild at
work. The cost overhead of running Server on my own workstation is
acceptable for testing but I wouldn't consider it for production.

--
Drew

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
--Marie Curie
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:04 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Clustering

Bo Lynch wrote:
>
> Whats your thoughts on Vmware server over esxi?
> Really do not want to have to budget for Virtualization if I do not have to.
> Thanks for any info.

There is a free version of ESXi - which is really the same as the paid version
with the cluster management and vmotion functions disabled. The only reason to
use Server is if you need to drop it on a host that is already running things
natively - or you need to display on the local console. If you are starting
from scratch, install ESXi on the hardware first and put everything on guests.
You do need a windows box to run the control software when setting it up or
making changes. It can use the local server's disk for storage, but eventually
you'll probably want to spend money on a reliable disk subsystem.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com

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