Production vmware hardware

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
We are finally ready to pull the trigger on getting some new vmware systems. We are migrating off leased hardware that is complete overkill for where our company is now. My budget is around $5K (USD) max. Lower cost is better.

These boxes will be running ESXi 5.1 off a usb stick in the servers the datastores are currently on a Synology 1812+, but will be moving to a EMC SAN once we move off the other hardware. We have the licences for vSphere already. 3-4 servers should cover us and give us some room to grow. If we have a server go out, 2 servers could handle the load, but it would be a bit slower.

This is what I am looking at for each server:
SUPERMICRO SYS-5017C-MF 1U Rackmount Server Barebone LGA 1155 Intel C202 DDR3 1333/1066/800
Kingston 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ECC Unbuffered Server Memory Server Hynix M Model KVR13E9/8HM
Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 69W Quad-Core Server Processor BX80637E31230V2

This comes out to just over $1K each shipped with tax.

What do the [H] vm junkies think of this setup? Is there a E5-2600 setup that is comparable but not too much higher priced?
 

ClariorHincHonos

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
1,972
Can you provide details as to how many virtuals will be running, what kind of disk I/O is required, etc?
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
Can you provide details as to how many virtuals will be running, what kind of disk I/O is required, etc?

The production apps are not hit very hard. We are talking a hand full of outside users hitting the public facing web sites and under 20 internal users. Our company used to be much bigger which is why we are on the hardware we are now; HP blade chassis with 5x blades running dual xenon E5540 and 48GB ram each.

Currently for production there are the following 2k8 r2 VM's.

3x web servers (can be reduced to 2 without issue, currently just separate for convenience)
3x application servers (same as above).
1x SQL 2008 server
2x SQL 2005 servers (can be consolidated)
1x Quickbooks server
1x AD controller
1x PFSenese router (will be moving to dedicated hardware).
1x vSphere server
1x VDR Server
1x Sophos AV server
1x SMTP server
1x DFS (file) server

So we are talking 15-20 VM's maximum, we can merge some of the servers down too if needed. Looking at vCenter we only have one or two servers that are even above 10-15% on both CPU and memory.

IO wise the SQL servers are probably the biggest issues, inefficient db design. I am half tempted to build a dedicated sql server (non-vm) with a few SSD's in it to speed it up. We have a few TB worth of files and other documents that are accessed but they will live on a different NAS.
 

schizrade

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
4,885
You would be smart to run 32GB RAM on all of them and run HA/DRS on the hosts.

In the end, I think you are asking for issues leaving the HP hardware rather than scaling back on blades. I would go from 5 to 2 blades and run them in HA/DRS with the Synology.

Just my 2 cents. Let us know what you decide.
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
You would be smart to run 32GB RAM on all of them and run HA/DRS on the hosts.

In the end, I think you are asking for issues leaving the HP hardware rather than scaling back on blades. I would go from 5 to 2 blades and run them in HA/DRS with the Synology.

Just my 2 cents. Let us know what you decide.

The problem is we are leasing the HP hardware, the blades, plus two other 2u HP's and switches are costing us around $4K/mo. The leasing company won't let us scale back, it's an all or none deal.

I prefer the name brand hardware myself due to the support but with the budget we have to work with it is hard to go to them.

The vSphere license we have is currently 4.1 which we will be upgrading to 5.0/5.1. License Reporting shows Essentials Plus (6 CPU), Standard (8 CPU) and vCenter 1 instance. I am not sure how that will translate in to 5.0/5.1 license terms yet, but we should have HA/DRS available to us.
 

schizrade

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
4,885
So you are locked in? That sucks. What happens when you break that contract then?

I don't think your barebones server will leave your Co. with anything but a bad taste and the blame on you. I would seriously look at buying 2 HP/Dell servers (r420's are no too pricey) and some shared storage. I think home brew is asking for issues. I would recommend pushing for the budget to do it properly. Make a case for it.
 

Grentz

Fully [H]
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
17,209
There is nothing wrong with whitebox if you use quality hardware. It's not like HP or Dell does anything special besides have support (which isn't all that great most of the time anyhow).

My question would be if you are currently paying $4k a month, how is the budget to buy only $5k? Or is that because of SAN/ other costs?
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
So you are locked in? That sucks. What happens when you break that contract then?

I don't think your barebones server will leave your Co. with anything but a bad taste and the blame on you. I would seriously look at buying 2 HP/Dell servers (r420's are no too pricey) and some shared storage. I think home brew is asking for issues. I would recommend pushing for the budget to do it properly. Make a case for it.

We will have to pay a penalty to break the lease. It is still cheaper than the 80+k for the rest of the lease. I am looking at getting quotes for the HP/Dell servers.


There is nothing wrong with whitebox if you use quality hardware. It's not like HP or Dell does anything special besides have support (which isn't all that great most of the time anyhow).

My question would be if you are currently paying $4k a month, how is the budget to buy only $5k? Or is that because of SAN/ other costs?

The budge it slim because we are trying to save money. We have to pay the $4k/mo till we get transitioned off the HP stiff.
 

4saken

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 14, 2004
Messages
11,886
whitebox production hardware, nice...

DRS will only be available under enterprise licensing in 5.x
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
whitebox production hardware, nice...

DRS will only be available under enterprise licensing in 5.x

3 of these plus the ram to take them to 32GB each comes out to about $4K.

HP ProLiant DL120 G7 Rack Server System Intel Xeon E3-1230 3.2GHz 4C/8T 4GB (1 x 4GB) No Hard Drive 658416-S01

I am going to present both options with the pros and cons to my boss. Knowing him he will probably take the cheaper option and deal with the headaches that may result. That being said, I have never had issues with my whitebox supermicro dev servers.
 

Nate7311

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 11, 2001
Messages
3,320
Not trying to tip the boat here, but have you looked into off-lease stuff? Is there a reason that you have to have up to date tech? That being said, as I'm sure you realize, your $5k budget on Hosts for 15-20 VMs with redundancy is more than a bit tight. If you are feeling that much of the squeeze due to the monthly lease payment, and your budget is that tight, I'd look around. There are a BOATload of off-lease servers available with euqal/better specs. Hit fleabay and/or a local IT Recovery center for HP G5/G6 gear and or Dell 410/610/710 gear. It's available, and you'll probably be able to get more proc and more RAM which translates into increased headroom. With proper pre-testing and/or redundancy, there's no reason for failure.
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
Not trying to tip the boat here, but have you looked into off-lease stuff? Is there a reason that you have to have up to date tech? That being said, as I'm sure you realize, your $5k budget on Hosts for 15-20 VMs with redundancy is more than a bit tight. If you are feeling that much of the squeeze due to the monthly lease payment, and your budget is that tight, I'd look around. There are a BOATload of off-lease servers available with euqal/better specs. Hit fleabay and/or a local IT Recovery center for HP G5/G6 gear and or Dell 410/610/710 gear. It's available, and you'll probably be able to get more proc and more RAM which translates into increased headroom. With proper pre-testing and/or redundancy, there's no reason for failure.

Good idea, will look in to that too.
 

ClariorHincHonos

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
1,972
I agree with the off-lease hardware and at the very least grabbing the HP/Dell stuff. Supermicro stuff is OK, but definitely has it's issues at times. Shame the leasing company is giving you the shaft, but I imagine if they let everyone out of their contracts they'd be dead. They should at least negotiate though.
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
I agree with the off-lease hardware and at the very least grabbing the HP/Dell stuff. Supermicro stuff is OK, but definitely has it's issues at times. Shame the leasing company is giving you the shaft, but I imagine if they let everyone out of their contracts they'd be dead. They should at least negotiate though.

Unfortunately my boss went the supermicro route because right now cheap is better and we can have the stuff in a day. I told him of the possible issues and he accepted it. I have been able to get a hold of a few free dell 1950's (2x dual core) with 16gb ram each that I will make backup for the essential production apps. I also have a pile of cisco switches so that is taken care of.

My boss and his attorneys need to get out of a few leases/contracts that cost us over $100K/yr. The company was much bigger when the stuff was put in to place and it got spit up and we got stuck with it. It's nice hardware (HP Blades, HP Procurve switches, Perket firewalls, etc) but it is way overkill. We went from nearly 400 people down to 25.
 

kdh

Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
806
which emc array will you be moving to, and what is the proposed layout of it?
 

Wrench00

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,423
I picked up a Dl380 Smart buy G8 that was almost the same as supermicro. Can't beat the warranty.
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2001
Messages
1,487
which emc array will you be moving to, and what is the proposed layout of it?

Not sure on the model, but I know they spent ~$20K on it a couple years ago. (16 bay, 10x1tb SATA 6x600GB SAS drives).

I picked up a Dl380 Smart buy G8 that was almost the same as supermicro. Can't beat the warranty.

I tried to push my boss in that direction but he wouldn't. He wanted it *NOW*.

The three servers are up and running right now but I am still moving stuff on to them. I am putting Intel dual nic's in each since only one of the on-board ports is supported by vmware.
 

kdh

Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
806
Not sure on the model, but I know they spent ~$20K on it a couple years ago. (16 bay, 10x1tb SATA 6x600GB SAS drives).

sounds like either an ax4-5, ns120 or vnx5100. All 3 are good little starter arrays.

what licenses are on it? did you get FAST? do you have navianaylzer license enabled? anyone done a heat map on that array for you?

looking at what you are currently doing, you could be beating that array into the dirt by now tho.
 

Wrench00

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 30, 2003
Messages
3,423
My SAN has 3SSD for write and read cache and 5 1tb SAS drives. Very happy with it.
 
Top