VMware HA question

Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
782
I had a couple of questions that I hope you guys could help answer.

Basically six locations witl have two Dell PE-R300 servers connnected to a small 2TB SAN. I am looking to go with VMware since I have a few ESXi servers running in production around here already with great success. I know that ESXi doesn't support HA capablilites and that is something we want wtih this new setup and I have a quesiton about licensing.

If we do go with the two Dell PE-R300 connected to the 2TB SAN will I have to buy one or two licenses of VMware 4 Std? The second server is there only for HA capabilites at this time. Also will I technically have to buy two copies of each OS that runs inside a VM for HA porposes? I haven't gotten to play around with HA yet so I'm not sure how it handles everything yet but I will setup a test lab shortly.

These are a couple of questions I don't know yet and I knew you guys that have already built out this type of setup will know.

I'm open to suggestions too since this is still in the planning stage. Maybe Hyper-V would work better since I'm going with Server 2008 on the VMs anyway?
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
983
I'm not the best to ask, but each host will need a license. Also, no you don't have to have multiple licenses of the OS. Otherwise, to run a single VM in a 20 host cluster would instantly become cost prohibitive.
 

cmputrnrd4lif

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 13, 2004
Messages
91
VMware pricing is fairly simple. You pay x amount of dollars per physical processor (or socket) in your server with up to x amount of cores on it. Let's say the typical server contains two processors with 4 cores on each. To license that one server, you'll pay whatever the cost per processor times two. The amount just depends on the level of vSphere that you want.

In your case, your servers appear to only have one socket. The breakdown will be like so:

6 locations x 2 servers x 1 socket = 12 vSphere licenses. I believe the Standard edition starts at $1k, so that's roughly $12k to license 12 servers.

You'll also want to purchase VMware vCenter Server to manage all of your servers. Since you need to manage more than 3 hosts, you'll have to purchase the Standard edition which starts at $6k.

Keep in mind that High Availability is different from Fault Tolerance. HA simply means that if the hardware your virtual machine is running on fails, then the virtual machine will automatically restart on another server in your resource pool. So expect a short amount of downtime should something happen. You also do not get vMotion which allows you to live migrate your virtual machine from one physical server to another. This is all assuming you're purchasing vSphere standard which only has HA. You'll pay more than twice as much per processor for the Fault Tolerance and vMotion.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
643
ESXi is not the issue, licensing is your issue. ESXi can run HA, DRS, FT etc with the right licenses.

Take a look at some of the acceleration packages, they are very affordable for 6 processor licenses.

You do not need extra Microsoft licenses for HA, this is because of how HA works. If one host fails, the VMs are REBOOTED on the other host, so you never have more than one copy running at the same time. Microsoft also recently got rid of the 90 day restriction for moving VMs.

VM licensing, if you want to use HA both servers will need to be licensed. You will also need VirtualCenter/vSphere server.

However, depending on your downtime requirements you may not need any of this. Say your VMs are running on Host A. Host A fails, then on Host B, browse the datastore, then right click the .VMX files and 'Add to Inventory'. You can then restart the VMs on Host B, all with no licensing.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
643
I'm open to suggestions too since this is still in the planning stage. Maybe Hyper-V would work better since I'm going with Server 2008 on the VMs anyway?
No, Run far far away from HyperV. There are a load of technical reasons, just save yourself the headache now.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
782
Awsome! Great info. This is exactly what I've been wondering about all rolled into one thread. I now have a better idea what I need to do. Thanks
 

oDii

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Messages
169
No, Run far far away from HyperV. There are a load of technical reasons, just save yourself the headache now.
Care to elaborate? I don't mean to try to derail the thread, but a statement like that needs to be pulled up. Hyper-V might be just what the OP is looking for.
 

goalong

n00b
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
46
Care to elaborate? I don't mean to try to derail the thread, but a statement like that needs to be pulled up. Hyper-V might be just what the OP is looking for.
I'm curious about this too. I understand that MS is typically bloatware regardless of desktop or server version, and anyone who has taken a MS dll apart knows it is loaded with cruft that should have been removed at compile time.

I recall that exchange 2k enterprise could only support 1900 some clients in a clustered config due to some memory leak thing that was never [unable to be] fixed in that version. Imagine having to buy a second cluster to support 100 users because you have 2000 of them and your first enterprise cluster couldn't handle them all.

Sure there are other horror stories, but I'm wondering if past performance is no longer an indication of future returns here.
 

J-Will

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
1,724
If the environment is a MS one, then Hyper-V is a really good choice.
 
Top