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Questions about a Windows servet 2008 network

post #1 of 10
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Hey all

I have a client who is currently running SBS 2003 in their business, however they are rapidly approaching the limitations of this version of Windows with user licenses and Exchange information store size limitations.

So I wanted to move them to Windows Server 2008 R2 (don't worry about migration info at the moment smile.gif ), and had a couple of questions.

What I was thinking was to install 2008 R2 with Hyper-V on the physical machine and then virtualize the Exchange Server and Domain Controller etc. I've only ever really dealt with SBS networks, so this is a little bit new to me.

Bare in mind I would like to go down the road of virtualization, so, what would be the best path? Separate virtual servers for Exchange and DC and things like IIS (which they use)?

How does licensing come in if we had separate installations of Server 08 running virtually?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
bump smile.gif
Ol' Sandy
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post #3 of 10
Couple of questions, from inexperience so i can understand the situation.

Whats the point of putting up VMs except to increase security? Because if the main machine failed, wouldn't matter if you had backups since you would have to start from base again til its all set up once more. So wouldn't it make more sense to just use all the resources on just hte main machine instead of splitting them, and doing backups from there so it may be easier for later?

As far as licensing, I would guess you need 1 per machine (including VM). Since all of them would need to authenticate.

Not really answering any questions here, but asking a few more for my own sake biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poseiden View Post

Couple of questions, from inexperience so i can understand the situation.
Whats the point of putting up VMs except to increase security? Because if the main machine failed, wouldn't matter if you had backups since you would have to start from base again til its all set up once more. So wouldn't it make more sense to just use all the resources on just hte main machine instead of splitting them, and doing backups from there so it may be easier for later?
As far as licensing, I would guess you need 1 per machine (including VM). Since all of them would need to authenticate.
Not really answering any questions here, but asking a few more for my own sake biggrin.gif

Using VM's allows us to save power which is a strong point from my client's point of view. When using Hyper-V we can back up the whole parent partition/host, which also backs up child partitions on the physical machine and restore them all in one go. No reconfiguring will be necessary. We can also snapshot individually the VM's to a NAS or similar and restore as necessary should a VM break for whatever reason, which reduces downtime to only the VM affected (e.g. only taking down Exchange while AD and other services stay online).

Running all of those Windows Server roles on the same physical machine is advised against as many of them fight for resources (e.g. Active Directory and Exchange will try to consume as much memory as they can, and while Microsoft does do this in their SBS product, I've seen it cause memory contention issues unless you fine tune the hell out of it). It will also allow us to migrate easier.

By using virtualization, we can over-spec the server which will allow us to run up additional VM's if necessary in the future.

I'm really just interested in licensing right now smile.gif
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Ol' Sandy
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

Using VM's allows us to save power which is a strong point from my client's point of view. When using Hyper-V we can back up the whole parent partition/host, which also backs up child partitions on the physical machine and restore them all in one go. No reconfiguring will be necessary. We can also snapshot individually the VM's to a NAS or similar and restore as necessary should a VM break for whatever reason, which reduces downtime to only the VM affected (e.g. only taking down Exchange while AD and other services stay online).
Running all of those Windows Server roles on the same physical machine is advised against as many of them fight for resources (e.g. Active Directory and Exchange will try to consume as much memory as they can, and while Microsoft does do this in their SBS product, I've seen it cause memory contention issues unless you fine tune the hell out of it). It will also allow us to migrate easier.
By using virtualization, we can over-spec the server which will allow us to run up additional VM's if necessary in the future.
I'm really just interested in licensing right now smile.gif


Hmm never considered those points, especially about the taking down servers part. But as far as power consumption, wouldn't it be the same since its still all the same server? As far as the snapshots part, thats fine and dandy, but if the server crashes to the point of reformat, you still would have to readd each VM would you not? Instead of just restoring from one single image (which albiet would take more time)?

Sorry if i'm not really helping, im just interested in learning how this stuff works in a real environment since school enviro's don't really teach this side biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poseiden View Post

Hmm never considered those points, especially about the taking down servers part. But as far as power consumption, wouldn't it be the same since its still all the same server? As far as the snapshots part, thats fine and dandy, but if the server crashes to the point of reformat, you still would have to readd each VM would you not? Instead of just restoring from one single image (which albiet would take more time)?
Sorry if i'm not really helping, im just interested in learning how this stuff works in a real environment since school enviro's don't really teach this side biggrin.gif

No you do save power, because you wouldn't use a single physical installation of Windows to run all of those Windows Server roles. Period. Without virtualization you'd need to deploy more physical servers for each subset of Windows Server roles. With virtualization you can use one physical server but use the VMs to separate out the roles, so they still run individually.

If the server crashes to the point of reformat, you'd just grab your backup image of the whole Hyper-V installation and restore it, VMs and all. Because VMs are stored on a single physical server running on top of the hypervisor, we can backup the whole physical server, INCLUDING the VMs and we still get a single image.

Or we could store the VMs on a high speed NAS over iSCSI or something, and only image the barebones Hyper-V installation. Either way, if the physical server requires a complete reformat, we still only have one image to restore smile.gif

Don't worry about not helping, I just need to know stuff about licensing anyway which someone may come along eventually... tongue.gif
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Ol' Sandy
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

No you do save power, because you wouldn't use a single physical installation of Windows to run all of those Windows Server roles. Period. Without virtualization you'd need to deploy more physical servers for each subset of Windows Server roles. With virtualization you can use one physical server but use the VMs to separate out the roles, so they still run individually.
If the server crashes to the point of reformat, you'd just grab your backup image of the whole Hyper-V installation and restore it, VMs and all. Because VMs are stored on a single physical server running on top of the hypervisor, we can backup the whole physical server, INCLUDING the VMs and we still get a single image.
Or we could store the VMs on a high speed NAS over iSCSI or something, and only image the barebones Hyper-V installation. Either way, if the physical server requires a complete reformat, we still only have one image to restore smile.gif
Don't worry about not helping, I just need to know stuff about licensing anyway which someone may come along eventually... tongue.gif

Ah ok, i can understand that. But lets talk memory. Do the servers inside the VM's use less memory? I know there is the allocated memory you give each VM, but on a scale how does the VM memory usage compare to a live usage with the same requirements? Like, VM uses 30% of the allocated memory for that role inside it? (sorry if this is confusing)

At least with these questions, this is keeping bumped biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poseiden View Post

Ah ok, i can understand that. But lets talk memory. Do the servers inside the VM's use less memory? I know there is the allocated memory you give each VM, but on a scale how does the VM memory usage compare to a live usage with the same requirements? Like, VM uses 30% of the allocated memory for that role inside it? (sorry if this is confusing)
At least with these questions, this is keeping bumped biggrin.gif

Because you're not running every single role inside one VM, then yes they'll consume less memory individually. Put together though, memory usage would probably be the same - but that isn't really the issue here, we can throw 64GB of RAM into the server and not really worry about it (this client has money *cough*) smile.gif
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post #9 of 10
Standard 2008R2 you can make up to 4 VMs, Enterprise is 12, and Data Center is unlimited, if i recall correctly. Separate all the VMs like you said in to certain roles depending on which version of 2008 R2 you are using. I would at the bare minimum keep the DC and Exchange away from each other. File server can be on the DC if needed.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dir_d View Post

Standard 2008R2 you can make up to 4 VMs, Enterprise is 12, and Data Center is unlimited, if i recall correctly. Separate all the VMs like you said in to certain roles depending on which version of 2008 R2 you are using. I would at the bare minimum keep the DC and Exchange away from each other. File server can be on the DC if needed.

So with one copy of Server 2008 R2, I can install Hyper-V as the sole role on the physical server and then use the SAME license in four VMs on top of it? If so, that's good smile.gif

Yes definitely keeping DC and Exchange out of each other's way!

They have a separate file server which we are not changing for compatibility reasons smile.gif

Thanks!!

Edit: Just found this: http://msmvps.com/blogs/virtualreality/archive/2009/04/01/hyper-v-licensing-explained.aspx
The table towards the bottom says standard gives one physical, one virtual, while enterprise gives one physical and four virtual, data center is unlimited as you said.

Wasn't sure what to search for until your reply, so thanks a bunch! smile.gif
Ol' Sandy
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Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB Samsung EVO 1TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 
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Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 Hitachi HUA722010CLA330 WDC WD10EARS-00Z5B1 TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B 
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Phanteks PH-TC14PE with TY-140's Lamptron FCv5 (x2) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell U2412M 
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Dell U2412M Dell U2212HM Dell U2713HM Topre Realforce 87UB | Ducky DK9087 G2 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 64GB 1333MHz 4x WD RE4 1TB on-host (Adaptec 6805E RAID 10) 
Optical DriveOSPowerCase
2x Crucial M500 480GB, 2x WD RE4 500GB on-host ... Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
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Ol' Sandy
(28 items)
 
"Zeus"
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K (4.5ghz @ 1.320v) Gigabyte Z68X-UD3R-B3 MSI R7970 Lightning Corsair 16GB (4x4GB) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB Samsung EVO 1TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 Hitachi HUA722010CLA330 WDC WD10EARS-00Z5B1 TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Phanteks PH-TC14PE with TY-140's Lamptron FCv5 (x2) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell U2412M 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Dell U2412M Dell U2212HM Dell U2713HM Topre Realforce 87UB | Ducky DK9087 G2 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 64GB 1333MHz 4x WD RE4 1TB on-host (Adaptec 6805E RAID 10) 
Optical DriveOSPowerCase
2x Crucial M500 480GB, 2x WD RE4 500GB on-host ... Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3437U HP EliteBook Folio 9470m  Intel HD Graphics 4000  16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Hard DriveOS
256GB SSD elementaryOS "Luna" 
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