SBS 2011 and ESXi

SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:23 pm

I was thinking of maybe getting a ReadyNAS to use as NFS storage for a new ESXi server to replace any ageing setup. Which ReadyNAS would you recommend for this new setup?

Currently we're using an ageing SBS 2003 OEM server, with a Pentium IV 3Ghz Processor and 4GB RAM installed (3.25GB can be used)

It works fine however it doesn't meet the requirements of some new software we need to use.

So I was thinking with SBS 2011 now released it would be a good time to upgrade our systems.

I was thinking maybe this server would be good: http://betterit.com.au/scripts/prodview ... uct=141001

Should I get SAS disks (if so which ones) or enterprise SATA disks.

I was a bit shocked when I read the system requirements for SBS 2011: http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/syst ... ments.aspx

What's so special about SBS 2011 that it needs a quad-core processor? Why wouldn't a dual-core suffice?

Ideally I would've liked to have just migrated our SBS 2003 installation onto a new server. However as we have the OEM version this isn't possible. So I'd like to get a Retail or Volume License version of SBS 2011 (which do you recommend?)

Also I was thinking using ESXi would be a better way of doing things in case we wish to get the Premium Add-on down the track and also to make it easier to move to a new server if the current server fails.

I'd like to be able to separate hardware upgrades from OS upgrades when it comes to the server. As an SBS migration is a time consuming task.

Any advice on how to migrate from SBS 2003 to 2011 such as good sites to look at?

Also how much downtime will this lead to?
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Tue May 10, 2011 9:34 pm

Here's my updated plan:

462967-B21 - BBWC upgrade for P410i

ML330G6 Server e.g. this one: http://www.digitalyes.com.au/prodView.a ... duct=54278

2 x APA58A (SAS)

T72-02719 (SBS 2011)

6 x 4GB Kingston RAM modules

vCenter for Essentials

ReadyNAS Pro 6 as NFS datastore? Would this do a good job for a small office?

Currently use Backup Exec SBS 2010 R2 to backup our server. Should we continue to use this? Or is there a better option?
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby CappyKD » Wed May 11, 2011 12:18 am

Need some more info. current number of users? Apps? Size of nightly backups, how many Nic's are you planning on running in the esx server? Networking topology?

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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Wed May 11, 2011 12:22 am

Current number of users: 3-5
Apps: Exchange, Papercut, a Time & Cost software package and an Accounting software package.

Nightly we currently backup around 75GB, I think, but I do a full backup each night. I could easily move installer files etc. and get this down quite a bit. I reckon a fraction of this data changes daily.

I'd probably use one for connecting to the NFS share on the NAS, and the other to share the server with the rest of the network. I don't think you can use teaming with SBS? Is this correct?
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby bbaraniec » Thu May 12, 2011 4:56 am

Should I get SAS disks (if so which ones) or enterprise SATA disks.

If you need 10rpm or more then go SAS. If 7200 is enough and judging by the amount of users it will be then go wirh SATA.
Another note, I have 6 servers with SAS drives (HP DL 380 G5 and G6) and around 10 with SATA drives. In last 4 years dead ratio SAS:SATA is 0:3
I was a bit shocked when I read the system requirements for SBS 2011: http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/syst ... ments.aspx
What's so special about SBS 2011 that it needs a quad-core processor? Why wouldn't a dual-core suffice?

It's a bulls***. There is nothing special. I'm guessing it's recommended because you can have "whole package" running on one maschine.
Ideally I would've liked to have just migrated our SBS 2003 installation onto a new server. However as we have the OEM version this isn't possible. So I'd like to get a Retail or Volume License version of SBS 2011 (which do you recommend?)

It is, well at least it was. Also depends who you get on the phone @ Microsoft. The EOM version is assigned to motherboard. I have 50/50 success rate :) Once I was able to transfer license from one machine to another because I had to exchange motherboard. After that I had to reactivate Windows once I was able to do that, got new activation code from MS. Another time I wasn't so lucky.
Also I was thinking using ESXi would be a better way of doing things in case we wish to get the Premium Add-on down the track and also to make it easier to move to a new server if the current server fails.

That's for sure. I have 5 ESXi servers running with 8 OS on each. Migrating machines is easy and fast.
I'd like to be able to separate hardware upgrades from OS upgrades when it comes to the server. As an SBS migration is a time consuming task.Any advice on how to migrate from SBS 2003 to 2011 such as good sites to look at?

Well depends what you have running there.
Also how much downtime will this lead to?

Also depends what you have running. AD, file server, print server, Exchange, SharePoint you can migrate really with really short or no downtime at all.
Best regards
Bartek
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Thu May 12, 2011 5:00 am

bbaraniec wrote:
Should I get SAS disks (if so which ones) or enterprise SATA disks.

If you need 10rpm or more then go SAS. If 7200 is enough and judging by the amount of users it will be then go wirh SATA.
Another note, I have 6 servers with SAS drives (HP DL 380 G5 and G6) and around 10 with SATA drives. In last 4 years dead ratio SAS:SATA is 0:3

So why not go with SAS then as they are more reliable?
bbaraniec wrote:
Also I was thinking using ESXi would be a better way of doing things in case we wish to get the Premium Add-on down the track and also to make it easier to move to a new server if the current server fails.

That's for sure. I have 5 ESXi servers running with 8 OS on each. Migrating machines is easy and fast.

Good!
bbaraniec wrote:
I'd like to be able to separate hardware upgrades from OS upgrades when it comes to the server. As an SBS migration is a time consuming task.Any advice on how to migrate from SBS 2003 to 2011 such as good sites to look at?

Well depends what you have running there.
Also how much downtime will this lead to?

Also depends what you have running. AD, file server, print server, Exchange, SharePoint you can migrate really with really short or no downtime at all.

I have AD, file server, Papercut (print charging software), Exchange, some Time & Cost software and an accounting program that uses SQL.
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby bbaraniec » Thu May 12, 2011 7:57 am

mdgm wrote:So why not go with SAS then as they are more reliable?

Depends on your budget really. SAS are much more expensive then SATA.
mdgm wrote:I have AD, file server, Papercut (print charging software), Exchange, some Time & Cost software and an accounting program that uses SQL.

I haven't migrated SBS AD so I can't tell if how long does it takes. I seems that is pretty easy, there is migration tool for SBS 2011.
I have found this article: http://www.smoothblog.co.uk/2011/01/06/ ... -sbs-2011/
File server that is pure rsync, SQL shouldn't be a problem backup->restore. I have done this many times. I never migrated Exchange thou but I know someone who did.
I ask him how the process looks like.
Best regards
Bartek
----

ReadyNAS Pro 6 :: 6xST3000VX000 (11TB) in X-RAID2 w Dual Redundancy : 4GB : RAIDiator : 4.2.21 : SSH Enabled
Router :: Linksys EA4500 V2
Desktop :: Intel E8400@3Ghz : 4GB : 2x500GB Seagate (ST3500320NS) : NIC Marvell Yukon 88E8056 : Win7 Ultimate 64bit
Laptop :: Asus G75 : i7 3610QM@2.3GHz : 8GB : SSD - Corsair Force 3 240GB : HDD - 1TB : NIC Atheros : Win7 Ultimate 64bit
Laptop :: IBM Lenovo T400 : P8600@2.40 GHz : 4GB : SSD - Intel 160GB : NIC Intel 82567LM Gigabit : Win 7 Ultimate 64bit
Laptop :: IBM Lenovo T410 : i5@2.4 GHz : 6GB : SSD - Intel 160GB : Win7 Professional 64bit
MAC :: Mac Mini Late 2012 : i7 3615QM@2.3 GHz : 16GB : SSD - Samsung 840 Pro 256GB : HDD - 1TB : OS X 10.8.2
Players :: Logitech Squeezebox Duet :: PS3 :: iPhone 4 :: iPhone 5 :: iPad2 3G
UPS :: APC Back-UPS CS 350
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby CappyKD » Thu May 12, 2011 1:04 pm

Do a p2v migration first from your existing physical server to ESXi, the make a clone of that setup and try the upgrade from 03 to 2011 if you have any issues, recovery time is minutes.


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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby CappyKD » Thu May 12, 2011 1:08 pm

And SAS drives fail plenty, especially the SFF ones, the 3.5" ones seem much better, but with SAS you are also limited in capacity vs SATA. I was asking about ESXi nics, not SBS nics. For an optimal setup you should run 4, one for management two for iSCSI and one for the vm's. And I would run iSCSI for the storage vs. nFS.


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Last edited by CappyKD on Thu May 12, 2011 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Thu May 12, 2011 2:52 pm

Why would you use iSCSI over NFS?
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby CappyKD » Thu May 12, 2011 8:02 pm

The biggest reason is being able to format the volume as Vmfs which is a VMWare native file system. I just cut over our 15 ESXi server 400 virtual server environment from NFS to iSCSI and we saw huge performance gains and reliability gains. We also use NFS still with our DMZ VMWare implementation and NFS can easily be overwhelmed when doing too much cloning and migration.g of vmdk's between datastores vs. iSCSI. iSCSI Gets even better when you use hardware hba's vs standard software iSCSI in VMWare.

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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby bishoptf » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:51 am

Mdgm, I am starting to go through the same process, I was wondering if you have updated to sbs 2011 and what worked and did not work, my initial thoughts were that I am going to go with xenserver but I am still open. I have a current sbs2003 setup and want to go to new system and go all virt for the servers, I was planning on having the VM's data stors on a readyNAS pro 6 model, and the physical machine just the bare install server, but house all of the data on the NAS. Still working on replication/backup and how I am going to handle that. I too have been debating nfs vs iscsi no decisions committed but would love to here what work/worked and what did not. Thanks.
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:17 pm

At the moment I'm thinking I probably won't virtualise.
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby bishoptf » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:43 pm

mdgm wrote:At the moment I'm thinking I probably won't virtualise.



Any particular reason that changed your mind?
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Re: SBS 2011 and ESXi

Postby mdgm » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:03 pm

The cost. For one server it can be hard to justify the cost of virtualising. When you have multiple VMs to run it starts to become quite attractive.
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