VMware vSphere 4 Environments

I was on furlough when I started this entry, so I was not supposed to think about work more than 4 days that week, and never in more than 8 hours in one day. So, a summary of what I’ve been doing the last few months…

New ESX Cluster

  • New Hardware and a new cluster – Housing has added 2 Dell PowerEdge R710s and an additional HP EVA 4400 SAN to be our “Production” virtualization environment. (Production is a bit of a misnomer, as we’ve had production class virtual machines for over a year.)
  • Upgrading the existing ESX 3.5 nodes to ESX 4 is on the schedule for later this semester or early in the summer. To make the reinstall easier, I’ve scripted out the installs just about as much as possible using some excellent examples: Cylindric.net and Ubiquitous Talk.
  • We are working on a fairly aggressive plan to virtualize or retire our remaining test and development physical servers, hopefully to be completed by mid-summer. This should allow us to retire another 5-10 2U Dell 2650, 2850 or 2950 servers. Any new systems we are bringing online are being virtualized unless the vendor refuses to support it.
  • I’ve reduced 5 partially populated racks down to 2 fully populated racks and another 2 less full racks. The key to increasing our density was installing 208V power and in-rack UPSes and PDUs. (Yes, it’s not as efficient as whole room UPS, but it’s better than the 110V solution we had before.) I’d like to repeat this work in our other “data center”, but I’m sure you’ve heard about the campus budget situation, so it’s on hold.

Hoopeston Schools

  • With the knowledge and scripting that I learned at the day job, I’ve started on upgrading our two ESX 3.5 nodes to ESX4. By leaving the upgraded node in Evaluation mode, I’m able to use Storage vMotion for migrating running VMs across storage locations.
  • Shared storage is currently powered by a pair of OpenFiler nodes in an HA/DRBD cluster. I followed a couple of excellent howtos: TheMesh.org and HowtoForge. I’m not completely happy with the underlying OS and package management that comes along with OpenFiler, so the plan is to reinstall the nodes with CentOS and recreate the cluster.