Virtualization Projects

So, I’ve been lax in writing here lately. Quite a bit of my writing energy has been going into documentation since both jobs are using wikis now. (I’d blame Twitter, but that seems too much like a cop out.)

But, I’ve been pretty busy at both jobs with virtualization and storage projects. Just a few of the highlights:

  • Housing
    • Our ESX node installs are now as close to fully automated as I want to make them, using Leo’s Ramblings as a starting point.
    • All our nodes are now running the latest and greatest ESX3.5u4+patches, thanks to enough excess capacity to empty one node at a time with vMotion and reinstall.
    • The HP EVA 4400 SAN has had a second Fibre Channel switch added and all the ESX nodes are now dual path to storage. The original plan for this SAN was to only have development and test level VMs, but production VMs came online once management gained confidence in virtualization and P2V conversions. Hence the need to add dual path support.
    • Some of those production VMs will involve adding “on demand” capacity to a web app that has usage peaks once or twice a year, so we’ll be adding a hardware Server Load Balancer to the mix as well. HTTP load balancing is easy, SSL support not as easy.
    • I’ve started to look at vSphere, but it’s not a pressing upgrade need for us.
  • Hoopeston
    • We’ve been transitioning to ESX since finding more affordable pricing through a state contract. As we retire VMware Server, we’ve been able to greatly increase VM density on the existing Dell PowerEdge 2900. And, we’ve purchased a new Dell R710 and it’s showing promise to get much higher density than the 2900.
    • Since ESX supports iSCSI, we’re investigating using Openfiler with DRBD and Linux HA as a storage option. (Some very good howtos are here, here and here.

Over the next few months, Housing is planning on purchasing an additional SAN for “production” workloads and continuing to virtualize anything that seems like a good idea. (And maybe a few things that are a bit of a stretch.)