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Esxi High Availability Clusters


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In two weeks I start my new Sysadmin job and virtualisation will be the first project I will be working on along with normal duties and this is the proposed solutions. Anyone done any waork with them or set one up. I have done the ESXi on a PC thing before, but haven't really done it with clusters. Will be using iSCSI SAN for storage. Any tips or pitfalls to look out would be nice. I will get it done anyway but I figure it won't hurt to start gathering info.

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This is one time I'd say it would be good if Matt was still around. He seems to be the guy on this sort of thing. I know Wess has some experience with Virtualization as well, so if you still have contact with them outside of the forums, I would pick their brains for some tips.

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Openfiler works with ESXi and iSCSI, not the best solution but its fine for a lab. So you just need 3 machines and a VM, so you can have 2 ESXi nodes, connected to Openfiler for iSCSI storage, and a Server 2008 VM for vSphere. This will give you a workable lab setup, and using the demo version of vSphere you can try the dynamic power/resource management and migration features out, which is what you don't get with standalone ESXi. Apart from that, if your familiar with ESXi, you should be golden.

I work with a FC based cluster, so I can't help much on the iSCSI stuff (beyond enable JUMBO frames and separate traffic via a VLAN) but clustering I can help with.

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I'm not sure what they are running on the SAN atm, won't really know till I start. I was hoping fro FC but will see what happens, it's going to go under planning etc when I get there and will be trying a few different options. TBH I would prefer to be going with RHEL and KVM, but will see how we go. Thanks for the tips though, I will keep doing some research so I can hit the ground running.

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  • 5 weeks later...

What exactly are you looking to understand? The inner workings of ESX/ESXi (hypervisor)? How to setup a cluster (VM or MS?)? How the hosts talk to a SAN?

It's kind of a broad subject, if you could hone in on a topic or a couple topics I'd be happy to answer some questions. And not anything against you, believe me, but I hope they aren't going to just go "here's a SAN and VMware manage it!".

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yeah I mean vSphere/ESXi is pretty old technology.

Virtualisation has moved on. I'd reccomend telling your CTO to look at Hyper-V :)

In term's of coniguration it's all quite logical. Everythings architectured to represent a Datacenter.

Datacenter1 --> Cluster 1 --> Machine1 --> VM1

VM2

Vm3

Machine2 --> VM1

VM2

Cluster 2 --> Machine1 --> VM1

VM2

Vm3

Datacenter2 --> Cluster 3 --> Machine1 --> VM1

VM2

Vm3

Machine2 --> VM1

VM2

Cluster 4 --> Machine1 --> VM1

VM2

Vm3

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